Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Top 10 Places to Visit in Hawaii

Over the past few weeks leading up to the election, I have been extremely busy doing media appearances about the candidate’s tax policies. Combined with the October filing extension, and a busy franchise-selling season, it has made for a very hectic few months. Fortunately, things should be slowing down over the next few weeks and I should be able to visit one of my favorite places in the world – Hawaii. As much as I love to go to the islands, I really love talking about them and telling those who are just about to make the trek on where they must go. So, below, please find my list of the top 10 places to visit in Hawaii.

1. Lanikai Beach

Translated into English Lanikai means "heavenly sea," which is exactly what it is. Locals and visitors alike marvel at the picture perfect white sandy beaches and clear turquoise waters. The beach is perfect for photography, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, or just relaxing and enjoying the magnificent view.

2. Hilo

Hilo is a coastal Hawaiian town with something for everyone. This town features multiple museums, a beautiful historic theatre, and downtown area filled with shops and attractions. The area also has dazzling waterfalls, and the only United States zoo situated within an actual rainforest (the Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo).

3. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, situated on Big Island, is one of the most visited spot in the entire state of Hawaii. It has trails for hiking, beautiful sights to photograph, and two record holding volcanoes. Kilauea is the world’s most active volcano and Mauna Loa is the world’s largest volcano.

4. Kilauea National Wildlife Refuge

In a comfortable 203 acres of land on the North shore of Kilauea, the Kilauea National wildlife refuge is the place to go when you want to see and learn about Hawaii's exotic wildlife. You might see Hawaii’s state bird (the nene), or even catch a glimpse of a humpback whale off the shore.

5. Molokini

The Molokini island is widely known for having the clearest waters in Hawaii, and offers from 80 to 200 feet of crystal clear waters. This also makes Molokini the location for Hawaii's best and most beautiful snorkeling. You can either rent a boat to take you further out, or you can just snorkel off the coast. Either way you are likely to witness a beautiful display of sea life.

6. Waimea Canyon

Mark Twain once called this beautiful canyon in Koke's State Park the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific". Over 3,600 feet depth, a mile wide, and 10 miles long, this canyon is both inspiring and stunning in its mass and beauty. Besides the obvious size, the canyon also has brilliantly colored inner walls that play in the sunlight creating a truly spectacular view.

7. Waikiki

With beautiful beaches, waterfalls, and trails, Waikiki offers all the grander of nature that other Hawaiian islands boast. It also has great shopping opportunities including fine art, custom jewelry, designer clothing, and local music. Waikiki is the perfect place to find souvenirs for your friends back home, or to purchase beautiful Hawaiian décor for yourself.

8. Gardens of Kauai

The island of Kauai, known as the garden island, will leave you breathless from the moment you set eyes on it. Hundreds of flowers, trees, streams and water falls will all catch your attention simultaneously, making the visit a true experience of the beauty and spirit of Hawaii.

9. Haleakala

Haleakala is not only one of the largest mountains in the world, but it is also a massive dormant volcano. Seen from miles away, Haleakala is hard to miss, and even harder to look away from. Many locals suggest taking a sunset bike ride, or power walk, down the mountain for a healthy and stunning evening activity.

10. Polynesian Cultural Center

It should be no surprise that the Polynesian Cultural Center makes the list. Every visitor of Hawaii should visit this culture-rich center to not only learn about the island and local inhabitants, but the center also hosts one of most authentic luaus in Hawaii.

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