February Newsletter from Lovejoy Travel Agency
Hawai'i Part 1:
Ha'Why Go Anywhere Else?
What can I tell you about Hawai'i that you don’t already know? Hawai'i is a U.S. state, that’s right, no passports needed despite the tropical paradise it offers (don’t laugh, I get this question all the time). Hawai'i was formed on a hot spot in the earth’s crust with the islands being the top of the LARGEST MOUNTAIN RANGE IN THE WORLD. The Hawaiian language has 12 letters in their alphabet, which should make it pretty easy to learn, right? Hawaii is made up of about 136 islands, 7 of which are inhabited: O'ahu, Hawai'i (The Big Island), Maui, Kaua’I, Moloka'i, Lana’a and Ni’ihau.
All this, and yet every Hawaiian island is completely unique from each other. It is tough because people come to me and tell me they have never been to Hawai'i, which island should they see? All of them, of course, but if you have to narrow down the islands to just one or two per visit, the determining factor is really going to be your personal interests. Here are a few distinctions between the four most visited Hawaiian islands to help you narrow down your selection. 
When To Visit

Year round is a good time to visit the islands. The warm trade winds make the islands very comfortable yet there are contracts in landscapes and temperatures depending on altitude and surrounding waters. Although Hawai'i has a rainy season and a dry season, the rainy season is comfortable and the hotel zones tend to be located in the drier areas of the island where the clouds most likely dropped its rain on the other side. 

O’ahu is ideal for the first-time visitor because it is easy to fly into and you have great attractions that are located close to each other. 70% of the state’s population resides in O’ahu, making for great city life. However, just because it is populated doesn’t mean you give up on the nature that surrounds it. Waikiki Beach is a great place to learn to surf and absorb some sun during the day and local food and mai tais at night. You can hike Diamond Head or snorkel at Hanauma Bay. Of course, don’t forget about Pearl Harbor or the Polynesian Culture Center for a bit of history. 
Resort Areas:
  • Waikiki Resort District in Honolulu is a perfect spot to stay in O’ahu with so many restaurants, entertainment and attractions. Most of the hotel accommodations will be located in Waikiki, making it an ideal location for accessibility.
  • North Short is located on the north side of the island and is a great place for laid back surfers with their 7 mile beach. November through February will have the biggest waves but May-September are more gentle.
  • Ko Olina is on the leeward cost (southwest of the island) and is the home of Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa. The Leeward Coast is less urban with off-the-beaten-path beaches and landscapes.
Top Attractions:
  • Waikiki Beach-Full of music, energy and fun, you can't go wrong with spending the day on the Waikiki Beach.
  • Pearl Harbor -The attack on Pearl Harbor immobilized our nation by surprise. The site not only docks the USS Arizona Memorial but commemorates the lost soldiers who are still entombed on of the US’s most significant WWII sites. This is such a site of respect that visitors are asked to remain silent through their experience.
  • Diamond Head - The land sparkles with crystals, misleading sailor of it’s worth, hence the name Diamond Head. Diamond Head is great hiking with the most amazing summit.
  • Hanauma Bay is a great place for snorkeling with crystal clear waters and schools of fish.
  • Surf the North Shore-The more experienced surfers will want to make it to the North Shore for some extreme sports
  • Familiarize yourself with Hawaiian history at ‘Iolani Palace, build under the ruling of the US's only king, King David Kalakaua.
  • Check out the Royal Artifacts and Planetarium at Bishop Museum.
  • Polynesian Cultural Center-What a place to completely emerge yourself into the Hawaiian culture. This is a cultural park dedicated to educating guests on native dance, music, weaving and games. Stay later and you get to enjoy the Ali'i Luau show and buffet.
Hawai'i (The Big Island)

This is another island that is ideal for first time visitors because there is so much to do. In fact, you will need to make a second trip to The Big Island to get it all done. The Big Island, guess what, is the biggest of the Hawaiian islands. It is so big that I recommend flying into the Hilo International Airport and flying out of the Kona International Airport to make the most of your trip. In between Hilo and Kona, you can walk through lava tubes, night swim with manta rays, or do some stargazing at the planetarium as they have great viewing for stars. 
Resort Area:
This is not the island for you if you are looking for a big city. Rather, you are going to find nature and wonder in each of the 8 climate zones on the island ranging from continuously wet, to dry-arid, to...tundra (that is not a typo).
  • Kohala Coast is on the west side of the island where the world class hotels are located with full service, upscale resorts. 
  • Kailua Village (Kailua-Kona) is a laid back areas with a local feel where you will find petroglyps fields of lava rock carvings and volcanic craters. 
  • Hilo is yet another laid back area on the east side of the island where it is lush with waterfalls and flower farms.
Top Attractions:
  • Hawai'i Volcano Park has the worlds most active volcano. You can go during the day to see the glory or you can do a night tour to watch the lava glow. While you are there, you can stop at the Kilauea Visitors Center and the Thomas A Jagger Museum, ending with a drive along the Chain of Craters Road.
  • Night Swim with the Manta Rays - The Manta Rays come close to shore at night to feed and is a great opportunity to swim with these beautiful creatures. Lighting has been placed in the water to help you view the manta rays, which makes the swim easy and enjoyable.
  • Air Tours - This is a great island to do air tours and view scenes that are only visible from a birds eye view. But think about that, scenes you can only see from a helicopter. Humans aren't there to alter it. So rare.
  • Mauna Kea is one of most ideal places for star gazing as you summit the mountain where the Hawaiians consider the sacred land to be connect to the heavens. The summit has the largest conglomeration of high-powered telescopes anywhere in the world!! PS. It's cold up here.
Keep a lookout for my next newsletter to learn more about Maui and Kaua'i!