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Things To Do in Hawaii
Water sports are big in Hawaii - the true home of surfing. Together with stand-up paddling and outrigger canoe paddling, it can be traced back to the early Polynesian days.
Enrol for surf lessons on any of the islands. Most schools promise they will have you standing and riding a wave after just one lesson! More experienced surfers should head for Oahu's North Shore where the big winter waves attract the best surfers in the world.
Other water sports which can be enjoyed throughout Hawaii include bodysurfing, boogie boarding, windsurfing, snorkelling and scuba diving as well as snuba (a cross between the two). Sailing, kayaking, stand-up paddling and outrigger canoe paddling are readily available and worth a try while sports anglers will love the deep sea fishing on offer. Most islands offer submarine trips as well as 'Dinner Cruise' tours.
Hiking is popular in Hawaii and trails for independent hikers are clearly marked. Anyone hiking on should scrub their shoes and wash their socks and the legs of their trouser before hiking on other islands to avoid transfer of an insidious and invasive weed.
Horseback riding, quad bikes and bicycle tours allow you to experience the islands from a different perspective. Many hotels and resorts offer tennis and jogging facilities to their clients and you are never far away from a top class golf course in Hawaii. There are over 80 to choose from, from ocean layouts lining the Pacific Ocean to rolling mountain courses that weave through the tropical rainforests.
Air activities on offer include helicopter and light aircraft tours and of course there are plenty of fascinating escorted tours available. If you are only visiting one or two islands it is well worth considering a full day tour to the others. The Volcanoes National Park in the really comes alive when you are with an experienced guide and the Waimea Canyon on Kauai (often referred to as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific) is quite a spectacle.
No trip to Honolulu would be complete without a visit to the poignant Pearl Harbour and Arizona Memorial. Hint: get there early in the morning as entrance tickets to Pearl Harbor are distributed on a first come first served basis. But don't forget to visit the Iolani Palace and the Bishop House Museum, both of which tell a fascinating story about the history of the islands.
You will find a great publication called "101 Things To Do in ..." available in the airport and hotels on each island. These list just about everything on offer and give contact details for all suppliers. Make sure to pick up a copy on arrival.
|Photo credits: HTA, Peter Garzke, Tor Johnson, Ron Dahlquist|