Growing up, I watched many Elvis Presley movies and it was clear that Elvis had a love affair with Hawaii, enough for him to film a handful of movies and concerts there. He isn’t the only celebrity who seemed to love the island though; it attracts many celebrities all year long. Hilary Duff spent the last days of 2016 there, and Britney Spears hits the island with her kids whenever she can. Oprah has a house on the island, as does Pierce Brosnan, while a certain Barack Obama calls the place home. So what is it about Hawaii that attracts so many?
The answer is simple: the carefree lifestyle and sunny weather. If you’re one of those who love a hectic city life and visiting places that have historical buildings and architecture everywhere you go, maybe Hawaii isn’t your destination. But if you love beach getaways and are looking for some relaxation and a muchneeded time out from your usual busy life, Hawaii is the dream vacation.
ALL WALKS OF LIFE
If you enjoy getting to know the locals when you visit a place, then Hawaii has a lot more to offer than most people think. From native Hawaiians (who originally hailed from the islands of Polynesia) to Hispanics and Filipinos, Hawaii is the only state in the US where everyone is a minority. This diverse population makes it a melting pot of cultures.
SUMMER ALL YEAR ROUND
Strategically located in Oceania, Hawaii has the perfect tropical weather. The temperature remains relatively steady throughout, at a near-perfect 20 to 31 Celsius. It is basically summer all year long in Hawaii, though their winter gets wetter.
Like most tropical places, the weather is good for flora and fauna. With many endangered species on the island, including the recently discovered Tosanoides Obama fish (yes, named in honour of former president Obama), you might just spot something unique.
GLORIOUS MOTHER NATURE
As with most islands, the skyscape is beautiful. Sunrises and sunsets are colourful and picturesque, while stargazing is a must. If the many beaches in Hawaii aren't your thing, or you simply want a break from them, perhaps waterfalls surrounded by lush rainforest would be a good option. Oahu might have the famous Waikiki for beach lovers, but Maui has some of the best waterfalls, so be sure to add that onto your itinerary too.
Hawaii is also known for its volcanic attractions, so if you’re looking to witness flowing lava, you’re in luck. The world’s most active volcano, Kilauea, is located within the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. You can catch a glimpse of the glowing orange lava from the Kilauea Overlook, or get a bird’s eye view with a flight over the hot liquid.
On the other side of the spectrum is Haleakala, one of the world’s largest dormant volcanoes which is located in Maui. If you love all things volcanic, be sure to do your research as there are plenty more the island has to offer like the Diamond Head.
YUMMY FOR YOUR TUMMY
Food in Hawaii can be quite pricey, but there is a justification: ingredients have to be brought onto the island, hence the expense. While there are hole-in-thewall type of places for those who are more adventurous, there are food tours you can embark on to try out all the different cuisines the island has to offer.
And since it’s a cultural melting pot, you can find a fusion of food, including from Mexico, China, Portugal, Thailand, Korea and Vietnam. Whether you choose to try out ethnic food (which is usually cheaper) or splash out cash on food at fancy restaurants, be sure to try out the traditional Hawaiian luau (a mixture of salmon, pork and pineapple) or poke (raw fish salad) during your stay.
OH WHAT FUN!
Every island within Hawaii is different and is like no other, so be sure to bring your adventurous attitude with you. If you love the outdoors, you will find no shortage of adventure-based activities, including zip lining through the forest canopies, fishing, paddle boarding, mountain biking, catching the waves and surfing, and scuba diving. For something a little more sedate, but still breathtaking, you can watch whales or swim with sea turtles.
If you watched 50 First Dates, you would get the sense that pineapples are a thing in Hawaii. It is said that Hawaii has the world’s finest. It may be a dying trade now, but you can enjoy the Maui Pineapple Tour if you enjoy the rare opportunity to venture into the middle of the fields and taste the fruit just seconds after being picked off the stalk.
If all the sightseeing leaves you a little tired, you can always enjoy sumptuous spas or delectable dining at any of the lavish resorts on the island. Alternatively, you can go shopping and be spoilt for choice at the factory outlets, farmers markets, mega shopping malls, or small shops selling local crafts.
And when the lights go down, there is a pretty entertaining nightlife, from dance parties to street entertainment.
Without a doubt, Hawaii is great for family vacations, romantic getaways, pure relaxation, or even health retreats when you’ve just had enough of city living.
Related: AirAsia X Launches Flight To Hawaii