the name conjures up magical images of tropical beaches and sun drenched vacations.
A top honeymoon destination, a great family vacation spot, and a popular business
meeting destination, the islands of Hawaii bring a taste of native culture that
sets them apart from the mainland as a leisure destination.
by Polynesians somewhere in the first millennium, it wasn't until Captain Cook
visited in 1778 that the Western world took note of these green jewels in the
Pacific. The British explorer named them the "Sandwich Islands."
native inhabitants continued to rule Hawaii throughout the 19th century, Queen
Liliuokalani eventually lost her throne, under questionable circumstances,
to expanding U.S. business interests. The native government was disbanded and
Sanford Dole replaced the Queen as President of the Republic of Hawaii near the
turn of the 20th century.
soon became an official U.S. territory and, a few decades later, was the reason
the U.S. entered World War II, following the Japanese attack on an American naval
base near Honolulu at Pearl
Today, the U.S. military presence is easy to see on most of the islands.
Active and retired members of all branches of the armed forces, along with their
families, are happy to call Hawaii their adopted home.
Hawaii's warm climate, sandy beaches, warm breezes and scenic beauty make it a
vacationer's paradise and immensely popular with honeymooners, surfers, spring
breakers and sun worshipers from around the world.
Hawaii is comprised
of eight main islands - Hawaii,
Lanai, Molokai, Oahu,
Kauai, and Niihau - and its most famous beach, Waikiki,
is located on Oahu's south shore.
sun, sand and surf are only a small part of the island attractions!
The culture of the
first people still defines the Hawaiian experience. Visitors are greeted with
a flower lei and a bright smiling Aloha! as they arrive. Beach luaus, outrigger
canoe races and hula dances are the most familiar ancient traditions that you
can share, but if you take the time to see the less traveled sections and museums, you'll also learn the rich history of the people who first settled the land.
beaches, of course, no trip to Hawaii would be complete without
a genuine Hawaiian luaus which are wonderful family feasts offered
by many resort hotels and restaurants throughout the islands.
Oahu, don't miss the Waikiki
Aquarium, and the Honolulu
zoo. For an extra special thrill, also make your way to Sea
Life Park where, in addition to seeing spectacular displays
of sharks and reef fish kids get an opportunity to swim with the
a half-hour drive from Waikiki, make an entire day trip to the Dole
Plantation where kids can learn about pineapple growing aboard
the Pineapple Express, and later take a stroll through the Pineapple
More about Hawaii travel around the Web:
Go Hawaii - The official tourism site chock full of useful info on family vacations, golfing, wedding & honeymoon planner, art, history & culture plus hotel booking, dining, weather info and separate guides for each island.
Aloha from Maui - Top attractions, activities, wedding & honeymoon planner, maps, pictures, travel tips, and a good backgrounder on Hawaiian culture.
The Oahu Visitors Bureau - The official site featuring facts, information and pictures of popular golf courses, favorite wedding spots, family fun, sports, art & culture, hotels & restaurants, plus additional guides to Waikiki, Honolulu, the Windward Coast and shore areas.
Molokai - The Most Hawaiian Island - Generous helping of info on accommodations, transportation, visitor activities, a special report on the Kalaupapa Peninsula, photo tours, FAQ's, weather info, event schedule.
Discover Kauai - The complete guide including island culture, visitor attractions, parks & beaches, hotels & restaurants, event calendar, related links.