Monday 31 Jan, 2011

Hawaii. More than just Aloha Spirit

Here in Boston (where EF Explore America offices are located), we’ve been getting quite a bit of snow.

So to take my mind off cold, I’ve been thinking of warmer destinations and one in particular:

Hawaii.

The word may bring to mind lazy days on sun-drenched beaches, colorful leis and that warm, welcoming “Aloha.” But Hawaii has more to offer than just relaxation and hospitality. Hawaii has a rich history, a stunning array of wildlife and some of the most spectacular natural landscapes on earth. Here’s some of the not-to-be-missed highlights.

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Some of the most active volcanoes on the planet are located in this national park. The glut of seismic activity makes this a prime spot for visitors and scientists alike. Don’t worry though. Because of the composition of these volcanoes and their location, the Hawaiian volcanoes don’t erupt with the power and force of say, Mount St. Helens. You’re more likely to experience a lava flow from a safe distance.

Iolani Palace

Hawaii has a rich Polynesian heritage and fascinating history. Restored to its original opulence, the Iolani Palace offers insight to Hawaii’s royal past. The palalce was home to Queen Lili‘uokalani until her overthrow in 1893 and then served as capitol to the short-lived Republic of Hawaii.

The Pearl Harbor Memorials

Though Hawaii was not actually a state, but a U.S. territory at the time, one of the most decisive events in American history took place here. Several memorials, including the submerged U.S.S. Arizona, pay tribute to the men who lost their lives in the Pearl Harbor attack. Last month, the 69th Commemoration was observed and a new visitor center was dedicated.

Dole Plantation

While there’s a lot to learn in Hawaii, you can have quite a bit of fun, too. The Dole Plantation boasts the world’ largest maze—pineapple-shaped, of course. You may want to study-up before heading in!

There’s another reason that I’ve had Hawaii on the mind. Sure, thinking about an island paradise is a great way to forget the winter weather, but Hawaii is also the newest EF Explore America destination. Check out the itinerary and get into an island state of mind!