Scuba Diving in Hawaii has Variety

Scuba diving in HawaiiScuba diving in Hawaii, is some of the best in the world. It has all the variety of a Polynesian paradise like Fiji combined with the most modern facilities and world-class guides.

Thanks to year round warm waters, it’s possible to schedule a dive in Hawaii in any season. That makes it more cost effective to travel here than some other locations, such as Tahiti or Australia. Though they have mild climates, too, airline and hotel costs vary more for them throughout the year.

But the benefits of Scuba diving in Hawaii go well beyond saving a few dollars. There are unparalleled dive locales and types all within easy travel. Scuba diving in the different parts of the Hawaiian islands is one the best Hawaii tourist spots. The islands offer a clear blue water with a vast variety of marine life.


Oahu has offshore lava formations that sport a variety of sea life. There are tiny grottoes that provide their homes. You can explore

them endlessly along with the green sea turtles who will accompany you. There are also a number of sunken planes and shipwrecks that add interesting elements to a dive. Now that’s a great scuba diving experience. You can swim with the turtles. A great Hawaii family vacation to experience.


A short boat trip away, off the west coast of Maui, there are several good scuba diving in Hawaii sites. Molokini, Five Caves and Black Rock, along with many others, offer diving suitable for all skill levels.


Kauai, also known as the Garden Island, is better in the non-winter months. The large swells during winter make the venture a little too risky for all but the most expert. It also tends to stir up a lot of sediment, making the views poor even for the truly adventurous. But during the rest of the year the north shore offers some of the most pristine waters around.

Hawaii Scuba Diving


An area 17 miles off of southwestern Kauai offers scuba diving in Hawaii that is found nowhere else. The waters of Ni’ihau hold huge sea arches, giant pelagic fish and close-up views of monk seals. Because of the distance and the terrain, it’s not generally recommended for novices. But for the more experienced, this is well worth exploring.


Lanai is a favorite of many divers, both new and pro. The lava formations create fascinating plays of light and shadow while they provide homes for the marine life. Winding your way through arches and tunnels or along the many ridges and over peaks gives a variety found in few other spots.


Molokai offers the longest barrier reef in Hawaii. The south side of the island is one giant, teeming mass of interesting sea life. It’s also much less crowded than many of the more well known dive sites around the Hawaiian islands.


Then, of course, there is Scuba diving in Hawaii on the Big Island itself, Hawaii. A large coastline provides countless spots to explore the underwater geography and endless arrays of tropical animal species. Some of the clearest waters in the world allow visibility as far down as 100 feet/30 meters. Cavern Point, Kailua Pier, Red Hill and many more spots along the Kona and Kohala coasts offer diving for all skill levels. You can even get scuba diving lessons.

So in your itinerary for your Hawaii family vacation, add scuba diving to your list.

Sheltered from the trade winds by the high mountains, dives are so peaceful you’ll forget you’re anywhere near civilization. Yet, you can enjoy all the convenience of diving near a major population center since there are hundreds of dive shops, guides and other supporting businesses.

Try scuba diving in Hawaii and you’ll wonder why others fly so far away when paradise is in your own neighborhood. In Hawaii, this is the best scuba diving Hawaii tourist spots there is.

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Top Hawaii Attractions

Top Hawaii AttractionsTop Hawaii attractions are indeed vast as there is a chain of paradise of wonderful places to see for your Hawaii family vacation. There are 7 or 8 ‘main’ ones (depending on the criteria used), and over 150 smaller ones.

Hawaii is not just a land of volcanic outcroppings. It is a rich, tropical paradise full of natural and human-made wonders. Those are the reasons why Hawaii is also one of the top family vacation destinations.

Certainly, there are natural sights and Hawaii views galore. First of which is the natural chain of paradise.

Some of Hawaii attractions like the view of the loveliest waterfalls in the world are a must see. The Akaka Falls majestically pouring down 442 feet into crystal clear waters below is just one example.

Diamond Head CratorAnd, there is no doubt that extinct volcanoes such as Diamond Head crater – and live ones like those at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – offer some of the most interesting hikes around.

But, some of its most fascinating natural features lie under the surface. Hawaii’s attractions of underwater and underground tours are some of the best attractions there is to see while staying in Hawaii. It is the underwater Hawaii view of what the island of Hawaii has to offer.

The Kula Kai Caverns offer deep caves, lava tubes and many other natural features below the surface. Scuba diving in these waters is bound to bring sights you could find nowhere else from underwater lava tubes to thousands of tropical fish species and monk seals.

The humpback whales that migrate to waters around the islands every winter are another fascinating natural sight available to visitors. Shark encounters are easy to have on any of the dozens of boat tours offered by experienced guides. These are some of the places to see in Hawaii’s chain of paradise, an adventure in itself.
Waipio Valley Overlook
Other animal attractions include the first rate Honolulu Zoo and the one-of-a-kind Panaewa Rainforest Zoo. The first offers an African Savannah exhibit where the lions roam free like San Diego’s Wild Animal Park, but in a much more lush setting. The second is set in an actual rainforest and is unlike any other zoo in the world.

Not surprisingly, a Hawaiian vacation offers several truly fine aquariums. The Maui Ocean Center has a 54-foot tunnel that fronts a 750,000 gallon tank full of creatures you’re likely to find while scuba diving. The Waikiki Aquarium provides an equally thrilling look at many of the native marine life species.

You can see a lot of these natural wonders by cycling around the islands, then taking a hike. You can stop at one of the thousands of world-class beaches or snorkel around and see live tidepool inhabitants with ease. You can take in numerous botanical gardens that house thousands of native plant species that are unique to this region.

But Hawaii, Oahu, Maui and the rest also have numerous man-made attractions to offer visitors.

The Bishop Museum has millions of objects on display that record the state’s past and present. The unique blend of Asian, European and Polynesian culture that is Hawaii finds representatives from every thread here. The Kokee Natural History museum in lush Waimea Canyon provides yet another take on a interesting phase of Hawaii’s evolution.

The Dole Plantation provides a look into Hawaii’s fascinating past and ever-changing present. The Pineapple Express train ride will give you a history lesson on the great entrepreneur who put the state on the map, while you see some of the grounds and the lovely mountains nearby. The world’s largest maze will amuse the kids as the adults stroll through the outstanding gardens.

Make sure to make time to see the USS Arizona Memorial, commemorating the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The Battleship Missouri standing guard on the fallen offers a chance to get on board to see what life on such a ship was like. The USS Bowfin and Submarine Museum are not far away.

Those looking for an ideal family beach vacation in Hawaii often think of the outstanding hotels, the first-rate beaches and the stellar restaurants and shows offered. Those all exist, to be sure. But Hawaii is so much more than a Hula dance near the swimming pool or a stroll in the sand during a luau.

Hawaii is an adventure along a chain of paradise with many links. Top Hawaii attractions, yes they are so many but you should try to see them all.


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Hawaii tourist attraction: Dole Plantation

Dole PlantationHawaii tourist attraction like the Dole Plantation offers one that, like many things in Hawaii, is a little bit different. That, and a dozen other fascinating things to see and do here make this attraction one of the state’s continuing best. When you do come to Hawaii, make Dole Plantation part of the Hawaii family vacation experience.

Dole is known worldwide for producing and selling pineapple. James Drummond Dole arrived in Hawaii in 1899 to do just that. But, ironically, the fruit is not a native species. It is believed to be an import from Brazil or Paraguay, carried here in the 16th century by Spanish traders who arrived on the islands during one of their many voyages.

But native or not, grow pineapple here Dole did. An entire island’s worth. At one point, the company owned the entire land mass of Lanai and employed thousands of workers to grow, harvest and process pineapple from 20,000 acres.

Pineapple Ice Cream

Pineapple Ice Cream anyone?

But there is much more to the Dole Plantation for visitors to see than a history of the great agricultural entrepreneur.

The Dole Plantation offers the world’s largest maze to travel through.

The Pineapple Garden Maze, officially recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records, covers three acres. It provides a series of twists and turns formed from 11,400 Hawaiian plants stretching over 3 miles. That’s if you don’t get lost and retrace your steps! One of the best mind puzzling and Hawaii tourist attraction there is.

There is also an outstanding train ride unlike any you’ll find elsewhere, The Pineapple Express. This 20-minute ride across the plantation is lovely, fun and educational – and it would be hard to decide where one aspect ends and the other begins.

Knowledgeable and entertaining guides fill riders in on the history of the Dole Plantation and company as they provide information about the whole agricultural industry in Hawaii. Those businesses continue to employ over 40,000 people and generate $3 billion in revenue yearly.
Dole Plantation
Among other fascinating tidbits, visitors will learn that each pineapple plant continues to be planted by hand, using the leafy crown from a previous pineapple. Harvesting is also still done by hand, an unusual practice in this era of machine agriculture. Along the 2-mile ride, visitors can see some of Oahu’s finest sights including the Waianae Mountains and the ocean beyond.

The Dole Plantation also houses several gardens that will make any lover of botanical exhibits swoon.

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There are thousands of Ti Leaf plants, a member of the lily family that can grow 10 feet high. There are over 3,000 species related to pineapples called the bromeliad family and the Dole Plantation offers a wide variety of them to view. Many sport delicate pink and white flowers that resemble orchids.

The state’s official flower, the yellow hibiscus, is here in abundance along with other varieties in pink, red and white. There are other beautiful native species, as well, such as the Koa and the Ohia Lehua, a flower made of fine tendrils.

Of course, the lei flower or garland makes up a significant part of the gardens. Leis were once made of shells, bones and other objects. The lovely pink and white flowers that comprise the contemporary offering make it clear why the practice evolved to use these instead.

Come visit the Dole Plantation, one of the best Hawaii tourist attraction. It is located in Central Oahu near Wahiawa about 40 minutes from Waikiki. Since Dole is popular, let me just say that make it a part of your family vacation. And get to taste the world’s popular pineapple.

Look at these current Hawaii Travel Deals: Save up to $325 on Hawaiian Packages, from $275 pp!

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Top Family Hawaii attractions: Honolulu Zoo and Panaewa Rainforest Zoo

Honolulu ZooThere are many family Hawaii attractions to see just like the Honolulu Zoo and Panaewa Rainforest Zoo. These Hawaii attractions are also the best place to bring your children to see the different animals of Hawaii while you’re on your family vacation.

Top Family Hawaii Attractions: Honolulu Zoo

Starting from a land grant in 1876, the Honolulu Zoo was gradually stocked with animals in the early 20th century by the Administrator of Kapiolani Park. Growing from a tiny collection of a monkey, a honey bear and a few lions, it now offers views of hundreds of animals both familiar and exotic.

There are over 43-acres in Waikiki of animals in one of the most unusual zoo settings anywhere in the world. Over 750,000 visitors per year come to this site near Diamond Head to enjoy the painstakingly gathered species in a lush and tropical environment and find out why this is on everyone’s family Hawaii attractions list.

Enter and pass by the Flamingo Pond. Travel farther down the path to see the state bird, a goose called the Nene. To the left is the children’s petting zoo where young ones will be fascinated by the llamas.

Wild lions roam freely in a 10-acre area called the African Savannah in a setting similar to San Diego’s Wild Animal Park. But, in this case, the grounds are lush and filled with contrast that isn’t provided by San Diego’s dusty pits. Sharing the space with them are several other native species of the Dark Continent, including Capuchin monkeys.

There are species that are natives of other continents as well. Apart from the Nene the zoo houses a Hawaiian pig and mouflon sheep. There is an anteater and a sloth. The zoo offers views of the exotic Coatimundis from South America. And don’t miss seeing the outstanding Sumatran Tiger.

Many of the species in the Honolulu Zoo are better seen in the evening. For this, the zoo provides a special program called the Zoo by Twilight Tour.

There is also a family sleepover option as part of the Snooze in the Zoo event held Friday’s and Saturday’s once per month. Children would love to see some animals so going to the Honolulu Zoo is great for your family vacation.
Family Hawaii Attractions

Top Family Hawaii Attractions: Panaewa Rainforest Zoo

If you find yourself in Hilo and want to have a truly unique zoo experience, visit the Panaewa Rainforest Zoo. Situated in a genuine 12-acre rainforest, it offers a variety of species.

There are Spider Monkeys, a Pygmy Hippo, a Water Buffalo and more. Birds have a comfortable home in this lush tropical paradise. There are Vultures, Parrots and the official state bird, the rare Nene Goose.

Small by some standards, housing only about 150 animals total, the zoo is full of fascinating little enclaves. There is a section housing the Colobus Monkey, another with a giant Anteater. Just down the path is an Aldabra Tortoise. Be sure not to miss the extraordinary peacocks not far from the extensive butterfly enclosure.

Of course, any visit is best capped by seeing the rare White Bengal Tiger named Namaste. This native of India was actually donated by an owner in Las Vegas and his name means ‘Aloha’.

That’s just what you’ll be saying when you visit one of the top family Hawaii attractions. The two zoos, Honolulu Zoo and the Panaewa Rainforest Zoo are must see Hawaii attractions for your Hawaii family vacation.

Over 30 Oahu Attractions, Tours, Museums, Activities & Sights for 1 Low Price are included with the Go Oahu Card!



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Hawaii Whale Watching Tours are Popular

Whale Watch Tour HawaiiHawaii whale watching tours are one of Hawaii’s most popular tours. And there are ample opportunities afforded by the state’s many tour operators. But before you go, learn a little bit about a time when these amazing creatures were followed not for a photo shot, but a harpoon one.

Whaler’s Museum

Located in a popular shopping mall in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii , the Whaler’s Museum presents a cornucopia of information about the world’s largest sea mammal.

Offering fact-filled displays and short films on over 70 species, it is nevertheless more than just an outstanding educational experience on biology. The museum also gives a well-rounded view of the lives of whalers in the 19th century. These hardy men braved 3-5 year voyages filled with dangers from above and below. When they weren’t swamped by storms they were drowned by the great beasts they hunted.

An authentic whaling boat complete with gear shows clearly the living conditions under which they worked. A real 40-foot Sperm Whale skeleton shows graphically the size of their magnificent prey.

Next door is the House of Whales, which provides still more information on one of the planet’s most interesting animals.

The Whaler’s Museum is located on the mezzanine level of the Whalers Village Shopping Center. The mall is in Lahaina near Kaanapali Beach.

Whale Watch Tours

There are other opportunities to see whales in Hawaii that offer the chance to see them up close and in action. There are dozens of Hawaii Whale Watching Tours that are operated by owners of boats large and small.

Humpback whales migrate from their Arctic feeding grounds every winter to breed and care for the calves. That gives tour operators and tourists many days during which to get a first-hand look at the parents and their 3,000 pound, 15 foot offspring.

Thanks to Hawaii’s moderate climate, from late November to mid-April dozens of boats roam the channels between islands where these gentle giants enjoy swimming. Experienced guides have a good idea where to find them and will often put microphones into the water to enable those onboard to hear the whale’s fascinating calls.

Whale watch Hawaii

On Whale Watch Tour in Kauai

Finding the whales is one thing. Keeping up with them is another. Any animal that can cover the thousands of miles from the polar regions to Hawaii in a few weeks can easily outrun an inexperienced captain. Also, Federal law requires that the operators stay at least 100 yards from the whales. So maintaining the proper distance requires some skill. Ask some probing questions of any prospective guide. Whale watching is not that easy as you think as watching the whales where they are located. You must also learn to respect the territory of the whales.

Most whales are found off Maui, so the largest numbers of Hawaii whale watching tours are concentrated there. Most tours will leave from south and west shores between Lahaina, Kaanapali, Kihei and Wailea. But there are also areas off Oahu where the whales frolic. There are also numerous tours that leave from the Kona Coast on the Big Island, Hawaii itself. Whale watching tours are one of the best ways to enjoy your Hawaii family vacation. You get to see these beautiful sea creatures in their natural habitat. Make whale watching part of your family vacation while in Hawaii.

Come see the Na Kohola, as the locals call them. With a little luck, which is common in these waters, you’ll see these air-breathing mammals spout a gusher, fly into the air and splash down as they provide a show for nearby females. A visit to Hawaii is not complete if you don’t get to see the whales. So while in Hawaii, book your Hawaii whale watching tours for your family.


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Bishop Museum: A Hawaii Attraction

Bishop MuseumOne of the popular tourist destinations in Hawaii is the Bishop Museum. It is a must see when visiting Oahu. In a natural paradise filled with extraordinary beaches, outstanding falls and amazing volcanoes it could hardly be otherwise.

Yet, it does offer some truly fine museums as well. One of the foremost, which would merit a visit in any city, is the Bishop Museum.

Located in Honolulu, the outdoor grounds and building facade alone make the trip worthwhile. A large open grassy area highlights a 19th century structure that resembles the Natural History Museum in New York. But the 50-foot palm trees make it clear you are nowhere near Manhattan.

Built in 1889, it is the legacy of one of the leading citizens of the day, Charles Reed Bishop. He wished to honor his late wife, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, a member of the royal Kamehameha family, by providing a facility to make all Hawaiians proud. It began with a few items, mostly from their private collection. Since then, the collection has grown to over 25 million objects covering a wide range of subjects displaying Hawaii’s heritage and natural blessings.

Bishop Musuem Oahu

Bishop Musuem Oahu

Within the three-story Hawaiian Hall, for example, there are thousands of artifacts covering the island state’s unique Asian, European and American immigrant cultures. It provides an outstanding view into the not-too-distant past when Hawaii was developing out of its native roots and into a modern culture. This Hawaii family vacation is also a history lesson as well for those taking their family vacation in Hawaii.

At the same time, it’s easy to find many thousands of objects devoted to this unique land’s roots in the Polynesia Hall. Two floors of exhibits contain objects that represent the Polynesian and Micronesian cultures that fed and interacted with the island chain.

The Natural History Hall covers many of the natural animal wonders of Hawaii and is also a popular tourist destination in Hawaii. Certainly, similar museums in London or New York provide awider range. But here the emphasis is on those species native to the area. That provides the museum with a distinctive difference that is well worth the time spent exploring it. Rare birds and insects found nowhere else are special highlights.

Anyone visiting will want to make time to take in the museum’s up-to-date astronomy wing, the Jhamandas Watumull Planetarium. Much more than the sometimes-dull show offered elsewhere, the views provided offer a vista of the skies here that is unlike any elsewhere. The views can make you say that this is the best Hawaii tourist attraction there is.

One of the latest additions is the Castle Building, erected to house an ever-changing array of fascinating exhibits. Hands-on displays of robotics will delight young and old alike. Interactive exhibitions about everything from dinosaurs to space exploration have been offered in the past. The innovation of the curators makes it a sure bet that no matter when you visit there will be something interesting on display.

A recent offering that looks to be made permanent describes in detail the life of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. There are dozens of items from her personal collection on display. The Bishop Museum offers you the history of Hawaii, culture and modern day exhibits. A great place for a fun learning family vacation here in Hawaii. Popular tourist destination in Hawaii like the Bishop Museum offers you the general info of everything about Hawaii.



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Diamond Head: A Great Family Attraction in Hawaii

Some of the popular places like Diamond Head State Monument, located in Oahu, is one of Hawaii’s biggest tourist attractions. It isn’t hard to see why. To the geologists it might just be a ‘pyroclastic cinder cone generally comprised of a friable tuff-type soil structure’, whatever that means.

To tourists, Diamond Head is the summit of volcanic excitement.

Named by English sailors in the 19th century who found calcite crystals they mistook for diamonds, it is Hawaii’s most recognizable landmark. Its diameter covers over 3,500 ft/1067 m. At its pinnacle, it is 760 feet/232 m high at Le’ahi Peak.

But those numbers, large as they are, hardly convey the sheer breathtaking sight that greets visitors whether at the base or the top. The volcano saw its last explosive eruption over 500,000 years ago. But the amazement on the faces of those who hike to the top is ever new.

Diamond HeadThe hike is just under three-quarters of a mile (about a kilometer). No more than a moderate climb, it takes about an hour to reach the top. But during and afterward one has the feeling that this is the experience of a lifetime. For along the switchback trail, which offers a handrail for assistance, the sights are unparalleled.

Climbing up the final 99-step stairs near the top, the feeling grows that you are about to see things you never have before, and never will again. Make your way through the dark tunnel then enter into the light. At the top your effort is rewarded by a panoramic view of Oahu that is unavailable from any other vantage point. This is a great family vacation for you since not only will you be spending time and the wonderful view with your family but you will get a dose of exercise by climbing the stairs.

Take a few moments to enjoy the small things, too. A military bunker that once housed WWII lookouts is still a major attraction. It is at the end of the 225 ft/68 m tunnel. Explore pieces of the old fort built at the turn of the 20th century.

The gentle trade winds brush your hair while you listen to the crashing of the waves down at the shoreline. Look down and see the beautiful Kapiolani Park at the south end of Waikiki. Look across the landscape and gaze on some of Hawaii’s most luxurious private estates. In the center of the island are the Koolau Mountains.

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Bring a flashlight to assist you through the tunnel and a bottle of water to assist on the hike. And, oh, don’t forget the camera. Take souvenir shots of your Hawaii family vacation against the backdrop of the tunnel and on the way up to the Diamond Head. Even though there are a lot of popular places in Hawaii nothing beats the Diamond Head as it is an exhausting and fun way to tour. Hiking up the hill to get to the summit is the best way to see the view of the Diamond Head and the view of Hawaii. This has to be one of the most popular places in Hawaii!

Temperatures at the summit can be cool, but the sun is very hot at times, especially given the dark stone all around. Dress accordingly. Diamond Head attracts over 600,000 visitors per year, so come early and be prepared for the crowd. This Hawaii family attraction visit should be planned before hand.

And, by the way, ‘pyroclastic’ just means rock fragmented by fire produced by a volcanic eruption, while tuff turf is rock made of compressed volcanic ash. Come climb this big cinder cone, a hill made of volcanic ash, and see what the geologists – and the tourists – get so excited about. So add Diamond Head to the list of your popular places in Hawaii.

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Places to visit in Hawaii: Hawaii Botanical Gardens

Waimea Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Waimea Arboretum and Botanical Garden


It might seem odd as to pick Hawaii Botanical Gardens. After all, the state is one huge, lush tropical garden, so why bother? The fact is that Hawaii is lovely, but it is also very developed these days. As a result, much of the nature has moved to protected areas over the generations. In short, the best floras are sometimes to be found in Hawaii’s botanical gardens.

Foster Botanical Gardens

A mere 13.5 acres, Foster Botanical Gardens, one of Hawaii botanical gardens that may be small, but it is mighty.

Mighty in possessing some of the oldest and finest of the state’s outstanding plant species. It is surrounded by urban landscape, which makes it very accessible. At the same time, as the oldest botanical garden in Hawaii, it holds some of the best samples.

The Lyon Orchid Garden also one of the Hawaii botanical gardens that offer an exceptionally good display of species of flower that one naturally associates with Hawaii.

That’s ironic, given that so much of the state’s plant life was actually imported from elsewhere. The Prehistoric Glen offers primitive plant species that are rarely seen elsewhere. The Middle Terraces offer heliconias, aroids and more. Don’t miss the Main Terrace, dating back to the gardens beginning in 1853.

Located at 50 North Vineyard Blvd, Honolulu, the Foster Botanical Garden is a must see.

Nani Mau Gardens

Located in Hilo on the Big Island, visitors will enjoy 20 acres of waterfalls, quiet paths and thousands of lovely plant species.

The Annual Garden houses six acres of tapestry gardens. Red Salvia sit alongside Norfolk Island pines. Nearby are African Tulip trees and a Bombax, whose flowers pop open with color and an audible sound. The pua-kenikeni aroma will remind many of the island’s finest leis.

The European Garden is another unexpected treat in this tropical paradise. The roses on the gazebo invite you to sit and breath in the fragrant air. You’ll want to munch on the huge pummelo fruit as you breath in the aroma of delightful herbs nearby.Hawaii Botanical Gardens

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden

Part of the famed Onomea Falls, the Garden is 8.5 miles north of Hilo along the Scenic Route of Onomea Bay. Gingers and bromeliads are only two of the over 2,000 species that call this garden home. Surrounded by lush tropical jungle, the facility offers comfortable chairs and unparalleled sights and smells.

An elevated boardwalk provides an excellent view of the Kahalii Ravine, filled with giant bamboo, banana trees, orchids and ferns. Along the Palm Vista Trail visitors can see some of the more than 200 species of palm, including the fast growing Wanga from Malaysia and the Areca with its distinctive red seeds. Further on there’s a fine view of a huge Jackfruit Tree with colorful fruit over two feet long.

Finish your visit by seeing the Onomea Falls. Three high terraces provide an outstanding ladder for water that rushes through giant palms and ferns. At the base there are numerous native species of fish and prawns.

Waimea Arboretum and Botanical Garden

But the prize for largest botanical garden has to go to the Waimea Arboretum, otherwise known as the Waimea Valley Audubon Center. Sited on 100 acres, it houses 36 major botanical collections visited by over 150,000 guests every year.

Located on Oahu’s north shore, it is part of Waimea Falls Park. The falls themselves are spectacular and the gardens equally so. Several species of native hibiscus share space with rare dune plants. The erythrina offers a view of some of the collections’ many medicinal plants. This is a great Hawaii family vacation, since you will get to visit the falls and the botanical gardens. Kind of like all in one package. Places to visit in Hawaii like the of botanical gardens is truly remarkable because of the many kinds of flowers, many flowers that you will get too see and smell too.

Don’t leave without seeing one of the amazing cliff-diving shows, either.

Places to visit are the dozen Hawaii’s Botanical Gardens which are a must see for any family vacation in Hawaii. Given that a visit to the island state is often motivated by a desire to enjoy its natural beauty, this is a can’t lose situation. The Hawaii botanical gardens should be added to the list of your family vacations when in Hawaii.

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Hawaii Boat Tours and Hawaii Shark Encounters

Hawaii Shark Encounters

Hawaii Shark Encounters

Hawaii offers one of the best shark encounters and best Hawaii boat tours. Experience the real shark encounters like those of you see on TV. Or perhaps try the boat tours. That can mean cruising around to see the excellent sights along the coast or out at sea, such as whale watching.

Several of the major cruise lines, and hundreds of smaller boat operators offer tours around and between Hawaii, Oahu, Kauai and the other islands. Along the way cruisers (as the passengers are called) get to enjoy all the amenities these ships have to offer. And that’s quite a lot.

Some Hawaii boat tours have gambling, entertainment and. But with these shorter cruises no one has any reason to get itchy to set foot again on land. A cruise can be as short as a couple of hours, or as long as a couple of days as you wind your way among the 8 major islands, and some of the other 150 or so minor ones that make up the state of Hawaii.

Sailing ships are another option. Everything from 14-foot dinghies to 60-foot yachts are available to individuals or groups large or small. Sail around in the tropical breezes along the shoreline. Head out to the open ocean and see some whales frolicking as the dolphins swim alongside. Have dinner and champagne before making your way lazily back to the island.

You can board anything from the 1,500 passenger Star of Honolulu to a 38-foot fishing boat built for six. Other boat operators may offer similar tours, or activities that the larger lines can’t, such as water skiing or high speed boat racing. They provide fishing trips, snorkeling jaunts, scuba diving and – not least – shark encounters. With these activities, you can have a great family vacation.
Hawaii Boat Tours
Step off the boat and into the waters occupied by Galapagos, Tiger, Sandbar and other shark species native to the area. The Galapagos reaches over 10 feet/3m long. Not something you want to come face to face with unless you have something more than a scuba mask and wetsuit around you.

Shark Encounter tour operators provide customers not just expertise – which is highly useful – but cages as well. Slide down into a sturdy metal enclosure some of which are lined with 1/4 inch Plexiglas. You get a very close up view but are completely protected from any decision the shark might suddenly decide to make.

And make them they do.

Most sharks are peaceful, most of the time. Though not fearful of humans and so willing to approach, one can never predict when they might decide you are their next meal. But these cages make sure that can’t happen. Even so, expect to pump some adrenalin. Being an inch away from a shark’s nose – or teeth – is a scary experience for even the most adventurous. Shark encounters is not just some day in the aquarium it’s an experience of a lifetime

But after all, that’s the whole point. You get the thrill without the risk. That’s not a combination you can expect anywhere else.

Enjoy any of the hundreds of options available from Hawaii boat tours or cruise ships. Even if you don’t see a Great White, you’ll get a lot of excitement. Make Hawaii family vacation the best family vacation you’ll ever have.


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Hawaii Historical Sites can be a Learning Opportunity for the Kids

Hawaii Historical Sites

Pearl Harbor

The Hawaii historical sites like the USS Arizona and USS Missouri memorials are the top places to visit.

On Dec 7, 1941 planes from Imperial Japan torpedo-bombed U.S. Navy ships at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. During the attack over a thousand sailors lost their lives on the USS Arizona alone, which sank under the barrage.

After the end of WWII efforts began to build an appropriate memorial to the battleship Arizona and her lost crew. Those efforts finally bore fruit in 1962 with the USS Arizona Memorial.

A 184 ft/56m long, covered bridge-like structure bowed in the middle, it houses a museum that can hold over 200 visitors as well as a shrine to the departed. The structure spans the length of the sunken ship, parts of which can be seen underneath the water, along with oil which continues to seep out of the wreckage over 65 years later.

At the entrance sits one of the nearly 20,000 lb (9,000 kg) anchors, one of two that were originally installed on the Arizona. The other is at the State Capitol in Phoenix, AZ.

Through the portal lies the assembly room. Here, visitors can view photos of the period near any of the 21 windows representing a 21-gun salute to the fallen. Seven are kept open to memorialize the date of the attack. There is also a short documentary film discussing the events. As part of your Hawaii family vacation, you will learn more about the details of the World War II.

At the back is a large marble wall engraved with the names of all those who died on or near the ship during the event. Some few of their remaining shipmates visit from time to time and remember solemnly that horrific day.

Not far away is the intact USS Missouri, a WWII-era Navy ship that subsequently saw action in Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf War. At the end of WWII, the Missouri was the site of the official surrender and signing ceremony that took place in Tokyo Bay. Here the Emperor and other Japanese representatives met with Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Adm. Chester Nimitz and other officials to sign the terms of surrender documents.

This Hawaii historical site is one of the most important historical sites there is here in Hawaii.

When the time came to retire the ship there was intense competition among several cities to house it as a museum and memorial. Over the objections of some who thought it might diminish the Arizona memorial, it was finally brought to rest in Pearl Harbor in 1999.

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Its bow points to the fallen ship as a symbolic gesture of watching over those whose remains still lie in the waters nearby. Unlike the USS Arizona Memorial, tours of the USS Missouri are not sponsored or maintained by the National Parks office. The tours are separate.

Touring the Missouri takes about an hour, perhaps longer as new areas become available as they’re brought up to current safety regulations. Numerous parts of the ship are accessible, even beyond those that are part of the guided tour. Cabins, gun-turrets, engine room and more are shown and explained as you wend your way through the large battleship. Then you’re free to explore as long as you like. This family vacation is an educational, historical way to learn about Hawaii’s history and the history of World War II.

The two memorials are the great Hawaii historical sites that you should visit. It is in the two memorials you will learn a lot about the World War II.

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