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Have you ever wanted to visit Hawaii?
Most people would give a hearty, “YES!” to that question. I (Dad) would have actually said the opposite prior to our first visit to Hawaii in 2010. For someone from Florida, this just felt like a South Pacific version of the Sunshine State. Boy, was I wrong!
While O’ahu can be a bit overly touristy, even the capitol island has some amazing travel opportunities. I feel fortunate that we visited Maui on our first visit to the Aloha State.
Not that you need an excuse to visit Hawaii, we felt we’d give you a little visual inspiration to book that trip!
Visit Hawaii: Seclusion and Luxury
The Four Seasons Resort in Lanai provides one of the most luxurious and exclusive Hawaiian experiences available. Lanai island used to be the pineapple production capital of Hawaii. Now, a secluded resort community dominates the island. Two Four Seasons and an independent resort (Lanai Hotel) provide lodging to the relatively few guests that visit Lanai, each year. A South Pacific paradise, you could relax with this view or take an excursion to go fishing or snorkeling. You can also take a ferry over to Lahaina, Maui to do some shopping and exploring.
Known as The Garden Island, Kauai features the spectacular Grand Canyon of the Pacific, pictured above.
Just one of the glorious landscapes Kauai offers visitors, The Garden Island also includes some of the lush landscapes from Jurassic Park and much lower population than most other Hawaiian islands.
Visit Hawaii: Lost
Do we have any Lost fans out there in the interwebs? Recognize this beach? That’s right! This is the beach where the plane from that famous show, crash landed.
Located out on the Western tip of O’ahu near Dillingham Field, the Lost beach is simply gorgeous! While you’re out this way, visit the Original Glider Rides and take a gander of Lost beach from above in a glider, like I did to get this shot. 🙂
While we’re on the topic of Lost, do you recognize this dock? Maybe it’d be more recognizable if it had a submarine tied up to it. This also served as a filming location for the show, Lost.
Located in O’ahu and part of the Kualoa Ranch, visitors will immediately recognize many scenes from Lost and other shows at Kualoa Ranch.
Also known as Jurassic Valley, activities abound at the Ranch. Mountain biking, four-wheeling, zip lines, kayaking, horse back riding, movie tours, and so much more. Get away from the tourists and enjoy what the Hawaiian backcountry has to offer at Kualoa.
Visit Hawaii: Aulani
I think we’d be remiss if we didn’t include a picture of Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa. Located in the Ko’olina region of O’ahu, you experience all the Disney magic in a Hawaiian setting. Anytime you visit Hawaii, you should consider Aulani as part of your visit, especially for all you Disney fans!
Visit Hawaii: Seven Sacred Pools
The Seven Sacred Pools (‘Ohe’o) in Maui provide one of the most tropical swimming experiences imaginable. After a long drive to Hana, visitors are rewarded with these natural pools that stair-step from the mountains to the Pacific Ocean.
Enjoy a relaxing swim in one of the pools or do some cliff diving from one of the many lava rock platforms. You can hike from one pool to the next and experience a different landscape with each one.
As you can see, it doesn’t get much better than at sunset. Just keep in mind that you have a long, windy drive in the dark back to your resort.
Just above the Seven Sacred Pools lies one of the most famous bamboo forest hikes in the world, the Pipiwai Trail. Although it’s a famous one, bamboo forest hikes can be found on most of the Hawaiian Islands. The one pictured, above can be found in O’ahu as you return from a hike to a beautiful waterfall.
There’s nothing quite like hiking in a thick bamboo forest, never sure of your position or destination.
Visit Hawaii: The North Shore
If you’re into surfing, there’s no where in the world like the North Shore in Hawaii. Not only the home of the original big wave surfers, Haleiwa also boasts being the birthplace of the Hawaii shave ice.
The photo above was taken at Sunset Beach, but you can also see similar surfing meccas such as Banzai Pipeline and Waimea Bay on the North Shore O’ahu.
In recent years, North Shore O’ahu has grown into a shrimp truck destination, as well. Food trucks, in general, have exploded in growth in the last few years and none are more famous than the North Shore shrimp trucks. Don’t miss these epicurean delights during your visit to the North Shore.
All good things must come to an end and your days when you visit Hawaii are no different. However, if they all end like this picture, how can you be sad? Amazing sunrises and sunsets never cease to amaze during your visit. Make sure you’re up early and don’t retire too early. You’ll want to drink them all in. Trust me.