All I Want For Christmas Is a Real Good Tan
By: Denise Miller
Hawaii is the ultimate dream vacation for visitors from all over the globe. From white sandy beaches with their crystal blue water and monster waves to nighttime entertainment, there are a variety of things to do that are unmatched anywhere else. Attractions for the whole family include museums and galleries where the Arts and culture of the Hawaiian Islands give us lessons on its history.
The language, music and art of Hawaii date back thousands of years to its earliest inhabitants. It became our 50th state in 1959. Hawaii has some of the best spas and resorts in the world. Dinner can be fast food or one of the many gourmet restaurants. At night there are many nightclubs and luau’s to experience. Entertainment can be traditional Hawaiian or “mainland” as they refer to the U.S.A. Hawaii is made up of six islands that were formed by volcanoes. Many are still considered active and it is a work in progress on a grand scale! Sometimes, one can actually watch a lava flow- from a distance!
Hawaii was a remote island paradise that was discovered in 4000 AD by the Polynesians. Europeans came in the late 18th century. Captain James Cook arrived in Kealakekua Bay in 1779. (The natives thought that he was the God of Peace until he died in a fight.) Both Europeans and Polynesians brought foreign plants and species of animals to the islands. This introduction of foreign plants and animals had a negative impact on Hawaii’s ecosystem. There are stiff fines- even today- for bringing certain foreign plants and animals into Hawaii in an effort to protect its natural system. While Hawaii is made up of a group of islands, the most popular and well known are Oahu and Maui.
Oahu is the third largest, most populated, and holds the capitol, Honolulu. Pearl Harbor Memorial is located there, a national shrine. It has been the stage for many movies and TV shows. Maui is the second largest island, known for its beautiful vegetation. The actual island of Hawaii is known as the “Big Island”. It is the largest and still forming from the lava flows.
Lanai is the smallest island, 18 miles wide and has a reputation for pineapples- hence the nickname “Pineapple Island”. Molokai is called the “Friendly Isle”, one of the least developed yet one of the larger islands. The residents live by raising crops and fishing. They are strong on tradition and not very commercialized. It has one of the most magnificent beaches in the world! Kauai is the oldest island, known as the “Garden Isle”. It holds “Waimea Canyon” thought to be the most beautiful canyon in the world!
There are two more small islands that are not tourist attractions. Kahoolawe, which is uninhabited and Nihau, whose only residents are natives. When is a good time to go see Hawaii? Any time is good, however, Hurricane season is from June to November and the “rainy ” season runs from November to March and can see 4 inches of rain in a month. The weather is seasonal year round, in the 80’s with lows around 60-70 degrees.
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