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Hawaiian Explorer Moderate
The highlights of Hawaii-trendy Waikiki and Maui, Pearl Harbor and volcanic energy at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park-are yours to discover on this island hop in Pacific paradise.
Oahu is "The Gathering Place." It has more hotels, more restaurants, and more major attractions than all of the other islands put together. Our major city, Honolulu, is here. So is the "World's Best Beach" at Waikiki.
Honolulu is sophisticated, lively, and breathtaking. It has more in the way of arts, culture, and entertainment. It has an abundance of galleries, nightclubs, and museums, a major zoo, aquarium, Iolani Palace (the only royal palace on U.S. soil), Pearl Harbor, the Arizona Memorial... the list goes on and on.
The day-time high temperatures in Honolulu during the summer range from an average of 85 to 87 degrees F (29.4-30.6 C) with night-time lows of 70 to 74 (21.1-23.3 C). Winter day-time high temperatures in the city are 70 to 74 degrees F (21.1-23.3 C) and night-time lows are 65 to 69 degrees (18.3-20.6 C). Travelers may want to pack a light jacket and pants for strolling on the cooler winter evenings. Hikers planning to trek through some of Oahu's higher elevations should be aware that there is a 3.5 degree drop in temperature for every thousand foot rise above sea level. Its a good idea then to carry along a couple of layers of light clothing for these higher elevations, especially in the winter months.
No other American city could offer you the opportunity to surf the world's biggest waves, snorkel a lagoon, hike into a dormant volcano, golf at a dozen championship courses, and catch the sunset from a five-star restaurant. All within an hours drive of your hotel room.
The key to enjoying Oahu, as with most of the islands, is mobility. The Bus circles the island for only a dollar. Or rent a car and get out to see the 'real' Hawaii... the gentle waterfalls, and the craggy peaks. Discover the 'undiscovered' beaches. Boogey board at Makapuu. Ride a horse at Turtle Bay. Watch the surfers at the Pipeline. Or sample a little fresh pineapple juice. Have fun! Get wet! This is Hawaii. It's an adventure!
Travelers who can go anywhere in the world come back to Maui again and again, because their Maui moments are some of the most treasured of their lives. The majestic leaps of Maui's humpback whales are the perfect symbol for the magic of this island, where natural wonders set your spirit free and the warm aloha of Maui's people fills your heart with a sense of belonging.
Maui's prime resort areas are Kapalua, Kaanapali, Kihei, Wailea and Makena. Strung like jewels on the sunny western and southern shores of Maui, they offer pristine beaches and a wide range of hotel and condominium accommodations. At serene, secluded Hana, you'll discover Hawaii the way it used to be.
The best golf in paradise is yours to enjoy on Maui. There are challenges for players of all skill levels and incredible views no matter where you play, from the public courses to the championship layouts of Maui's Golf Coast. Plus, nowhere else in the world will you find the array of oceansports and activities that Maui offers.
Then there are the 42 miles of world famous beaches, ranging Only on Maui... from the little jewel of Red Sand Beach to the black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Park. The best snorkeling is at Honolua Bay or the small islet of Molokini, a submerged crater.
For the nature enthusiast, Maui has breathtaking hiking trails. The Hawaii Nature Center in Iao Valley is a good starting place. The rangers at Haleakala National Park lead free nature walks, both at the 10,000 foot summit of Maui's awe-inspiring, long-dormant volcano and at Oheo Gulch with its famous Seven Pools.
One of the best ways to experience Upcountry Maui is on horseback. The green pastures and sweeping vistas will remind you of range land in Wyoming. And Makawao town provides a taste of the "Old West."
Discover the fascinating artifacts of Maui's ancient culture at the Bailey House Museum or explore the island's heiau ruins (Hawaiian religious temples). If you get a chance, don't miss the performance of hula kahiko (ancient hula) by one of Maui's hula halau (hula schools).
The Island of Hawaii
Twice as large as all of the other major Hawaiian Islands combined, the The Island of Hawaii (the Big Island) is also the youngest of the island chain. At some 800,000 years of age, it's also still growing. The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park contains one of the world's most active volcanoes which continues to pour into the sea adding to the shoreline. From its snow capped peaks to its black, white and green sand beaches the island is really a study in contrasts. Rocky deserts and lush rainforests. Peaceful bays and rolling pasture land. Luxurious orchids and waterfalls on the windward side, and areas on the western slopes where the world famous Kona coffee is grown. The Island of Hawaii is the place for adventure. Horseback riding in Waimea. Golf everywhere. Snow skiing (really!) at Mauna Kea. The ocean is gorgeous at any time of year. Kona is the marlin fishing capital of the Pacific. Or maybe the quaint shops and restaurants of Hilo, will be enough to keep you thoroughly entertained. The Big Island is also the place for history. All over the island you'll see petroglyphs, and heiau, ancient places of worship. The royal summer palace and the first Christian church in Hawaii will take you back in time. From the rainbows and waterfalls of the windward side to the sun drenched beaches of the Kona/Kohala Coast, the Big Island is vibrant and alive. And wherever you go, you'll find the spirit of Aloha. Of course, you'll find all of the amenities, attractions, activities, and accommodations that will fit any pocketbook and life style. You'll also find a physical beauty, a depth of cultural heritage, and a spiritual warmth that is without equal. Whatever you're looking for in a Hawaiian vacation, the Island of Hawaii offers some great moments that could last a lifetime. Because Hawaiian weather varies very little throughout the year, the weather you'll experience on the Big Island depends more on location than time of year. The wide variety of climates and the resulting range of temperatures and rainfall across the island are due primarily to differences in elevation and exposure to the moist northeasterly trade winds. The average day-time temperature in the coastal resort areas ranges from the mid 80's (29.4 C)in the summer months of May to October to the mid to low 70's (23.9-26.1 C) during the winter months of November to April.
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