Being the oldest (and smallest) of the four major islands, Kauai has a lot to offer for visiting tourists. Dubbed the "Garden Isle", it really does live up to its name. Mount Waialeale at the center of the island receives over 452 inches of precipitation a year, making it one of the rainiest spots on this planet. The scenic area of Na Pali Coast on the island's north west coast is one of the most breathtaking naturally made coast lines in the world. It offers some of the most beautiful beaches. The Pali (cliffs) rise as high as 4,000 feet above the beautiful Pacific Ocean. The coast can be enjoyed by hiking, boating (kayaks), and by air (either helicopter or small airplane). A definite must see! And dubbed "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific," Waimea Canyon is 10 miles long and 3,600 feet deep. The canyon has a unique geologic history; it was formed not only by the steady process of erosion, but also by a catastrophic collapse of the volcano that created Kauai. If you've been to the Grand Canyon this is extremely beautiful and definitely comparable!
Oahu, known as "the gathering place", is home to 75% of the state population. This island offers a lot for tourists: from Pearl Harbor, to north shore, to the various attractions of Honolulu. I've carefully chosen top 10 attractions that are unique to Oahu and are definitely worth the visit. most important piece of Oahu lies within the capital. This harbor is a definite must see for the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial/WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument. Having been bombed by the Japanese on December 7, 1941, one must pay tribute to those who have fallen during this disastrous day. Pearl Harbour also offers the U.S.S. Missouri Memorial and the National Cemetery of the Pacific, where 25,000 soldiers who bravely fought in the war are at last at peace. This is definitely time well spent! Being the capital of the state, the beautiful city of Honolulu has much to offer. From its state buildings, ʻIolani Palace (seat of the Hawaiian Monarchy), Diamond Head, and Waikiki beach, this capital has all the big amenities including the outstanding tourist attractions.
Being the 2nd largest of the Hawaiian Islands, Maui truly sets itself apart from the other islands. Native Hawaiian tradition gives the origin of the island's name in the legend of Hawaiiloa, the Polynesian navigator credited with discovery of the Hawaiian Islands. According to that legend, Hawaiiloa named the island of Maui after his son, who in turn was named for the demigod Maui. The island of Maui is also known as "Valley Isle". This beautiful island is home to multiple attractions and below are the top 10 which I believe set it apart from other islands. The Ocean Project is marine education for kids and families (and kids at heart) who want to learn about the marine environment. Its backbone is three part education, field research and interpretation. The Hana Highway is a 68-mile long stretch of Hawaii State Routes 36 and 360 which connects Kahului with the town of Hana in east Maui. Although Hana is only about 52 miles from Kahului, it takes about 2.5 hours to drive when no stops are made as the highway is very winding and narrow and passes over 59 bridges, 46 of which are only one lane wide. There are approximately 620 curves along Route 360 from just east of Kahului to Hana, virtually all of it through lush, tropical rainforest.
Having been born from 5 major volcanoes, this unusually large island is bigger than all the islands, islets, and atolls of the Hawaiian island chain combined. Named after the legendary Polynesian navigator Hawaiiloa, this island is by far so unique that it's definitely out of this world! At 13,796 feet, the Mauna Kea Summit peak offers an incredible view of lava, desert, the valley and Mauna Loa. Free guided summit tours are available on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00-5:00 PM, and the Onizuka Center offers free nightly stargazing from its telescope array as soon as the sun sets. Incredibly, this volcano is actually the highest peak on this planet measured from sea floor to its peak. Mauna Kea stands at more than 10,200 m (33,500 ft), significantly taller than the elevation of Mount Everest above sea level. The drive isn't long at all and the view is amazing when no clouds are present. Situated on the peak of Mauna Loa sits an incredible scientific experiment. The Mauna Loa observatory was specifically chosen to be on this peak since Hawaii is in the middle of the Pacific. Having no outside interference from the continents, this observatory is home to many research projects. Sunrises, sunsets, and especially the star gazing is a must at this location.
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