When you think of Hawaii, what do you think of? Our first guess would be the beach – the first thing that comes to mind is an image of those beautiful golden sands, that gorgeous azure sea and a radiant sun, shining down on you from the heavens.
And to be honest, you wouldn’t be far wrong. Hawaii is exactly that, and it is more than possible to spend two weeks in the Aloha State and barely move away from the beach. However, you would be doing yourself and the fiftieth state a pretty major disservice by doing this – Hawaii has so much to offer!
If you’re willing to put down the cocktail and get up off the beach, there are plenty of great activities to keep you entertained.
Get yourself down to a car rental store and go for a cruise around the island of Oahu. Make sure you start at the crack of dawn – there’s a lot to see and do!
First thing in the morning, drive on over to Hanauama Bay; you can go for a snorkel in the nature preserve, and there won’t be anyone else around to get in your way.
Then you should follow the road around the eastern edge of the island until you come to the North Shore – here you’ll be able to watch seasoned surfers take on the mightiest of waves all year round.
Grab lunch in Haleiwa then take the scenic route to Mililani, where you’ll find loads of things to do until the sun goes down.
If you find yourself on the Big Island (also known simply as Hawai’i), make sure you experience the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, down on the south-east tip. It’s only about 30 miles away from Hilo, but if you’re staying on the Kona Coast you have a bit of a trek ahead of you.
The volcanoes in the park are still active, which means that you might get to see the lava slowly flowing into the ocean with your own eyes – in fact, make sure you check for any activity at the visitor centre on the way in!
The forest surrounding the massive Halemaumau Crater contains plants that have gone unchanged for 70 million years – as far back as the dinosaurs!
On your journey back, take a hike through the lava fields in the Kau Forest Preserve.
On Maui, wander down to Lahaina and catch the ferry to Lanai. You’ll dock in Manele Bay, the main port of the former Pineapple Island. Rent a 4×4 for the ultimate experience: ripping it up down the dirt tracks!
Get close to nature in the Garden of the Gods, a collection of precipitous rock towers which will fill you with awe. Next, take a walk down the beautiful Polihua Beach, as it tends to be deserted (apart from the green sea turtles).
Finally, pull on your scuba gear and go underwater at Hulopoe Bay for the perfect way to end a long and rewarding day – the marine preserve is home to many a beautiful sea creature.
Tom Rokins is a travel blogger who yearns for the Islands of Aloha. If you feel the same way, head to Cheapflights for flights to Hawaii.