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Hawaii Vacations Guide

Map of Hawaii Oahu Molokai Lanai Maui Hawaii - the big island Honolulu Kauai Welcome to Hawaii, the "Aloha State" and the 50th state admitted to the United States of America. Hawaii is the southernmost state of the United States with its capital in Honolulu on the beautiful and popular island of Oahu.

Hawaii vacations are popular year round but how should you start your travel planning? First, begin with an understanding of the Hawaiian Islands themselves, the geography, its diverse weather, high season, low season, which islands fits your style and budget, hotel and lodging options, Polynesian culture and of course, how to find vacation deals!

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Many people think of the Hawaiian Islands as the perfect relaxing travel and vacation destination made up of six to eight islands i.e.: the main six - Oahu, Maui, Hawaii (the Big Island), Kauai, Molokai, Lanai and also Kahoolawe, Niihau. However, Hawaii is actually an archipelago spread over 1,500 miles and made up of hundreds of islands! Some major cities and towns are Hilo, Honolulu, Kanohe, Kailua, Kahului, Kailua-Kona, Kihei, Lahaina, Lihue, Pearl City and Waipahu. Click here to see a Hawaii map. Most cities and towns have plenty of hotels available to serve those looking to take a Hawaii vacation. Tourism is the state's primary industry.

Hawaii Vacations, Hotels and Tourism  Hawaii, The Aloha State.Hawaii is divided into five counties: Honolulu, Hawaii, Maui, Kauai, and Kalawao. Honolulu County consists of the Island of Oahu and the Northwestern Hawaii Islands. Hawaii County is the Big Island. Maui County includes the islands of Maui, Lanai, Kahoolawe, and most of Molokai. Kauai County includes the Islands of Kauai and Niihau. Finally, Kalawao County consists of the tiny Kalaupapa Peninsula on the island of Molokai.

Hawaii, the Big Island, is where the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park encompasses the very active Kilauea and the active Mauna Loa volcanoes. Interesting fact: Mauna Loa is the largest mountain by bulk in the world and accounts for 85% of the Hawaiian Islands. The county seat is at Hilo, the largest city on the island and the second largest in Hawaii. Macadamia nuts, papaya, and flowers are grown here, but their economic relevance is dwarfed by tourism.

Kauai, "The Garden Isle", is one of the wettest places on earth. The spectacular Waimea Canyon and Coconut Coast with the tourist town of Kapaa are popular with tourists. The island of Niihau is sometimes called "The Forbidden Island" as its owner didn't encourage visitors until recently. The entire population consists of about 150 people.

Maui, the principal island of Maui County, is the third most populous island after Oahu and Hawaii and popular with family vacations. After tourism, pineapple and sugarcane are the major industries. Golfers love Maui golf because of its challenging and diverse set of golf courses.

Lanai is a small island of about 140 square miles with no real tourist industry. Until recently Lanai was a pineapple plantation.

The vast majority of visitors to the Hawaiian Islands come to Honolulu where there are many Honolulu hotels on Waikiki Beach and off the beaten path. Pearl Harbor is here as is Diamond Head. More than 75% of the state's population lives on Oahu. The Ala Moana neighborhood of Honolulu is the heart of the commercial district and is where the Ala Moana Center, the largest open-air shopping center (mall) in the world, is located. First time visitors and vacationers to the state of HI will find many of the Honolulu attractions quite "awe-inspiring" and discover quickly that there are plenty to things to do, see and explore all over the island of Oahu.

As a general rule, book hotels in Hawaii early as the popular ones book up well in advance. If you are a bargain shopper, look for deals and Hawaii vacation packages as competition between the hotels and resorts lends itself to a buyers market. Do your research on the typical weather patterns during your projected vacation dates and select the island culture and hotel that fits your style. For example, Waikiki Beach is in the city of Honolulu and is a busy tourist destination while the Big Island is famous for its volcanoes, Hana on Maui is a more laid back, remote, undeveloped tropical paradise while Molokai's reef is a haven for scuba diving and Kauai has the only navigable rivers in Hawaii.

Lots to choose from when planning travel to Hawaii? Absolutely! So choose wisely and enjoy your next Hawaiian vacation.



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