by Mantra Kaushal(’26)
Hawaii is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the entire world. Thousands of people from many different countries come to visit these islands each year. Each island has its own history, culture, and special attractions of its own. While the island of Kauai is an extremely scenic, natural, and calm location, Oahu is much more developed and includes the capital city, Honolulu.
First of all, Oahu is known for its historic Pearl Harbor and the multiple memorials at this active military base. The Pearl Harbor National Memorial was built in 1962 to remember all the individuals who lost their lives on December 7th, 1941, fighting against the Japanese forces during World War II. In addition to this, a much more calming location on the island of Oahu is the world-famous Waikiki Beach. This beach is famous for its white sand, turquoise waters, and tall palm trees. This beach is perfect for any tourists looking to relax and enjoy the natural scenery while being in close proximity to the big cities. And of course if you are visiting Oahu, it is a crime to come back home without snorkeling at least once during your trip. There are numerous opportunities to experience the beautiful waters surrounding this wonderful island, but arguably your most vivid and vibrant encounter will be in the Turtle Canyon Catamaran Snorkel Cruise.
Waikiki Beach. Image from Go Hawaii.
If you are looking for a much more scenic and natural experience to get away from the crowded cities and high-rise buildings, you may want to explore the island of Kauai. Number one on your to do list is viewing the Waimea Canyon State Park. The colorful rocks at this canyon are truly a natural wonder that one should visit at least once in a lifetime. In terms of food and restaurants, it is crucial that you try the cultural food of Kauai: Acai Bowls. At the corner of every street in Kauai, I will witness at least one small business dedicated to keeping this cultural food alive. Also, while you are visiting this scenic island, make sure to beware of the thousands of roosters and chickens around you. If you are the adventurous type, make it a priority to do the Hughes 500 Helicopter Adventure in which a highly experienced pilot shows you parts of the island you wouldn’t be able to view otherwise.
For those needing the perfect blend of city craziness and natural calmness, Maui is the place for you. From big cities like Kualappu and Kaunakakai to the wildlife of Wailuku and Waikapu, the island of Maui has it all. One famous location for all tourists is the Lahaina Harbor. This harbor has all the water activities you could ever think of. Fishing, snorkeling, whale-watching, scuba diving, and ocean cruising are all included in this water wonderland. If you consider yourself to be more of a land person, Maui has many options for you too! For example, the Pipiwai Trail is perfect for hikers of all ages! On the way, hikers experience different edible fruits and vegetables that cannot be found anywhere else in the world while also traveling through a bamboo forest. The best part about this adventure is that the end includes a beautiful view of the Waimoku Falls!
Overall, Hawaii is the perfect place for every tourist because of its vast variety of islands and cultures. Every island has its own beauty and visitors can spend weeks at a stretch without feeling homesick or bored. People of all ages, ethnicities, and races enjoy their beautiful trip to one of the most underrated tourist attractions in the entire world! All in all, if ever given the opportunity, never say no to experiencing this prodigy of nature!