Molokai Hawaii Vacation
A Molokai Hawaii vacation honors true Hawaiian tradition that focus on nature, preservation, and the simple pleasures of life. Visitors to this island paradise are surrounded by extravagant beauty. The fifth largest of the Hawaiian islands, Molokai is ranked #10 among the 111 island destinations of the world for care and preservation. Whether walking, hiking, horseback riding, or riding a bike, the breathtaking land and seascapes visible in various sections of the island illustrate the quintessential Moloka'i experience. A visit to the Halawa Valley is an illustration of the grand beauty the island has to offer.
The Halawa Valley was viewed as a sacred by the ancient Polynesians, who settled there as early as 650 AD. Today the valley is still filled with hidden places of worship (called heiau in Hawaiian). A hike to the double-tiered, 250-foot, Mooula Falls will expose rare Hawaiian plants and animals, rich flora, and breathtaking vistas. Encircling the trail are also a variety of native fruits and flowers. The hike to Mooula Falls is not for the faint of heart in that it is a strenuous 4.2 mile round-trip. But, to get to the good stuff, on an Molokai Hawaii vacation there is sacrifice. One good thing about the hike is that once a person is at the top, there is rest and beauty. All hikes to this area must be accompanied by an official guide because it crosses private property. Although hiking boots are an essential on this journey, a swimsuit and sunscreen are also definite musts. Pack a good healthy lunch and lots of fresh water. It might be a good idea to save this hike to near the end of trip; especially if its been a long time since physical exertion was part of the routine of the day.
Kalaupapa National Historic Park is a perfect first day excursion on any Molokai Hawaii vacation. Peace and serenity are the characteristics of the day as you drink in the 2.9 miles of the most spectacular blue seascapes in the world. No longer part of the rat race, this "Eden" experience will help to renew and refresh body, mind and spirit. A fairly new park, the Kalaupapa National Historic Park has a history that is wrought with the pain of generations of people who suffered from the fear and ignorance of others with regard to a disease that has been considered shameful. Very much like HIV/AIDS victims were shunned because of fear of exposure, Hansen's (also known as leprosy) victims were isolated into colonies. In the 1930's effective treatment became widely available and eliminated the insecurities that lead to isolation of patients. And since approximately 95% of all people are immune to this disease, public concern had died down about the ill affects of this disease. Upon arrival in Kalaupapa, a Molokai Hawaii vacation tour guide will lead the mule pack through this community that has been hidden away from the world. You will learn about the history of the leper colony, the struggles and human afflictions, along with great tales of compassion and love. The embodiment of the tour is lunch at Judd Park on the scenic Kalawao side. Most people are overwhelmed with the magnificence of it all as they overlook awe-inspiring sea cliffs and waterfalls, magnificent ocean rock formations and unreserved explosion of surf.
Perhaps just going back to a simpler time is the goal of your Molokai Hawaii vacation. Then, the sleepy, central town of Kaunakakai has everything you need. The town's main street, called Ala Malama Avenue has three uncrowded blocks of "mom and pop" establishments and gift shops along a horse post lined strip. Don't miss a trip to the Kanemitsu's Bakery. They are said to have the best piping-hot loaf onion-and-cheese bread. Built in 1937, the Molokai Public Library is still in its original builing as are many of the buildings in town. There is no hustle or bustle about town. Kaunakakai has no traffic lights on Molokai and it closes up early. Complete the town tour by taking a short 1/2 mile walk across the main highway to the wharf. The wharf stretches out nearly mile from the shore, to shallow mud flats along the coastline. It's the State of Hawaii's longest pier. The view from the wharf includes the town of Kaunakakai, the south coast of Molokai, and the nearby islands of Maui, Kahoolawe and Kaua. And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship,and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land. (Mark 4:1)
In order to enjoy a Molokai Hawaii vacation, you've got to get there. There are essentially two routes. Take a flight with a local air carrier from Honolulu International Airport or the daily ferry from Maui, on Oahu Island. The flight from Honolulu takes approximately 25-minutes. The plane lands at Molokais Hoolehua Airport. From the airport, it is best to rent a car; four wheel drive if it's available. As you exit the airport, a sign gently reminds you to "Slow down, you're in Molokai." No worries about getting lost while driving on a Molokai Hawaii vacation. There is merely a single two-lane highway that spans the entire island.
If a person chooses to take the ferry across instead, the 100 foot Molokai Princess, which is actually a yacht, will take a person there in fine form. The princess offers a daily roundtrip route across the Kalohi Channel from Lahaina, Maui to Kaunakakai, Molokai and back. The price of a ticket is $85.00 round trip. Fairs are reduce to nearly 1/2 for children. The voyage lasts about one-and-a-half hours. When traveling in the afternoon, the dazzling sunset crowns the day. Additionally, winter travel on the ferry offers the opportunity to whale watch. Whatever the choice of adventures and however you choose to get there, a Molokai Hawaii vacation is natural, beautiful, and simple.
Oahu Hawaii VacationAn awesome Oahu Hawaii vacation offers beautiful beaches, historical monuments, and fabulous adventures. One of the six major islands in Hawaii, Oahu is also the State's capital. Known as The Gathering Place, Waikiki Beach, is a world famous vacation destination. Waikiki Beach shares the stage with Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona with the Polynesian Cultural Center as must-see sites Oahu.A landing on Waikiki Beach at once brings a person into the world of the hang loose ambiance of the islands. Walking toward Diamond End, 100-year-old greet a person as they enter Kapiolani Park. The now infamous Waikiki Beach is also known as "spouting waters." Once, Hawaiian royalty could frequently be seen frolicking and prancing at this prestigious location. Built on the shores of Honalulu at Waikiki in 1901, the Moana Surfrider hotel introduced the Oahu Hawaii vacation to the world.On the North Shore pro surfers brave the waves while beginner take lessons with some of the best surf instructors in the world. A statue of Duke Kahanamoku welcomes visitors to gather and mingle. Duke Kahanamoku is considered the "Father of Modern Surfing." A swimming prodigy, Duke won gold medals in the 100-meter freestyle in both the 1912 and 1920 Olympics. Duke also spent some time in Hollywood as an actor. He actively spread the popularity of surfing. Having grown up in Waikiki, he is one of the most famous residents of the island. Some recognize him as a Hawaiian hero.
When a person decides to take an Oahu Hawaii vacation, there are an abundance of beaches for every level of swimmer, diver, and surfer. Even if a person does not swim, don't let that stop a visit to this island. Known as "The Path to the Sea", Ala Moana Beach Park is a magnificent 76-acre park located just west of Waikiki beach. Ala Moana Beach is noted for a prime location to swim, surf, or body board. Much of the popular television show Baywatch was filmed at the "Royal" Beach; also called Ali'i beach. Just east of Waimea Bay is Chuns Reef. Although a rocky beach, it is considered a paradise for the experienced surfer during winter months and a superb snorkeling location during summer. The home of the infamous Bonzai Pipeline is called Ehukai, or "Reddish Tinged Water." The surf at this beach is said to be the most dangerous in the world. Scuba dive, snorkel, or just wade in tidepools at the Three Tables Beach. This is only a few of the 125+ beaches along the shores of Oahu.
Don't miss a visit to an extremely important historical site during your Oahu Hawaii vacation; Pearl Harbor. The Pearl Harbor Naval Base is adjacent to the sunken remains of the USS Arizona and the USS Arizona Visitor Center. The visitor center is operated and kept up by the National Park Service. Admission to the center and USS Arizona Memorial is free to the public and no reservations are required. A 20 minute documentary of the attack on Pearl Harbor is also offered and visitors are urged to view the film before boarding the U.S. Navy shuttle boat that takes people to the memorial itself. Free tickets for the film and the shuttle to the memorial are issued to everyone upon arrival. Because admission is on a first come, first served basis, be prepared to wait an hour or more. As this location is full of history and significance, the memorial is swarming with people all day long. The earlier in the day you go the better. "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful , and multiply , and replenish the earth, and subdue it : and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." (Genesis 1:28)
Sightseeing is a wonderful activity during an Oahu Hawaii vacation. There are so many breathtaking views. For example Leahi (which is "Diamond Head" in English) is a United States State Monument that is located a mere 10 minutes from Waikiki. The English given name was so called because of mistaken identity, by British soldiers, of calcite crystals embedded in the rock. They thought they were diamonds. Diamond Head is a section of what geologist call the Honolulu Volcanic Series; a convoluted group of cones, vents, and volcanic eruption flows. Take a 0.75 mile hike to the edge of the crater's rim to the summit above the observation deck to see both Waikk and the Pacific Ocean in detail. Although the hike is not difficult, a person has to climb 74 steps, go through a tunnel then take 99 more steps that are quite steep. Then, a person has to take a tiny tunnel to a narrow spiral staircase inside the coastal artillery observation platform at the top. Exciting and exhilarating, being is good physical condition will bring added joy to your adventure.
The discoveries of an Oahu Hawaii vacation are numerous and include the Makapuu Lighthouse on the South Shore, the Honolulu Academy of Arts, and the Byodo-In temple, the First Friday art walk, Bishop Museum, the Dole Pineapple Plantation, and Waikiki Aquarium. And, of course, no Oahu, Hawaii vacation would be complete without a walk along Kalakaua Avenue. Kalakaua Avenue runs parallel to Waikiki Beach. It features the best shopping, dining, entertainment, and hospitality on the island. From surf lessons to horseback rides, a submarine ride or petting a dolphin at Sea Life Park, or fresh succulent shrimp from a street vendor taking part in these extraordinary activities create indelible memories that will last a lifetime. No matter where a person goes on the island, theres no lack of things to do when on an Oahu Hawaii vacation.