Cheap Flights to Honolulu
A quick glance at a map reveals a little-known fact about Hawaii.
This far-flung state actually comprises eight islands, but only six are
open to tourists. From east to west, they include the Big Island of
Hawaii, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Molokai and Oahu.
The history of Hawaii stretches back to about 1500 years ago,
when seafaring Polynesians first set foot on the Big Island. Remnants
of their long-lasting monarchy can be seen throughout the islands. For
example, visitors are often greeted with a lei of Hawaiian hibiscus,
the Hawaii state flower. The floral lei dates back to the ancient
Hawaiians, who wore braided leaves, native flowers and shells. Other
ancient traditions that continue today include hula dancing and luaus.
Gorgeous scenery and idyllic weather,
along with a choice of six distinct islands, makes a Hawaii vacation a
good bet for even the most discerning traveler.
Visitors to the Big Island are drawn to its incredible array of
natural attractions. Along with green, black and white-sand beaches,
this island is home to an active volcano, snow-capped mountains, arid
deserts and lush rainforests. Its prestigious Kohala Coast area is home
to some of the world's most luxurious resorts and celebrity-owned
homes. More budget-conscious tourists can find reasonably priced
accommodations in the Kona area.
Maui offers stunning beaches and many fine resorts, as well as
top-rated golf and incredible snorkeling. A favorite among families,
Maui also offers a relatively busy nightlife scene compared to the
other islands. Whale-watching and snorkeling cruises are a popular
pastime for winter visitors.
Quiet Kauai is often likened to old Hawaii. This tranquil
destination is a good choice for those seeking a vacation at an
unhurried pace. Its Poipu Beach area is a particularly good choice for
families for its pristine and child-friendly beaches. The northern area
of Kauai is home to the exclusive Princeville resort area, as well as
the Na Pali Coast and Hanalei Bay.
Without even a single traffic light, Molokai offers an even
quieter pace than its sister islands. Largely undeveloped, this is
Hawaii off the beaten track. While it may lack the many luxurious
resorts of its sister islands, those in search of pristine snorkeling
and unpopulated beaches won't be disappointed.
Sleepy Lanai has just 30 miles of paved road, but it is home to
two luxurious resorts and two championship golf courses. Hikers
recommend Munro Trail for views of neighboring islands Maui, Molokai,
Kahoolawe, Oahu, and Hawaii's Big Island. Its uncrowded beaches offer
swimming, snorkeling, or spotting a spinner dolphin or whale offshore.
Oahu, home to Honolulu and the University of Hawaii, offers
big-city amenities comparable to those on the mainland, but with
incredible scenery like Diamond Head as a backdrop. Waikiki Beach is
just one of many stunning beaches on the island. Travelers can check
out world-famous beaches beloved by surfers, like Pipeline and Waimea
Bay, in the North Shore. Nightlife and fine restaurants abound in
Honolulu, which is also home to a zoo and the recently revitalized
Waikiki Beach Walk.
When to Go
Hawaii's weather is pleasant
year-round, but tourism peaks during summertime, as the islands are
especially popular once the kids are out of school. This is also when
airfare and hotel prices tend to be at their highest. Holiday periods
and three-day weekends are also busy. Beginning around January,
so-called "snowbirds," seeking refuge from wintery temperatures at
home, flock to the islands. If you're looking to avoid the crowds, many
consider October and November ideal.
How to Get There
More than 20 major airlines
Hawaii's busiest airport. There are also direct flights from the
mainland to Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii's Big Island, but for the most
part, you may need to connect through Oahu to get to the neighboring
On Kauai, Waimea Canyon is the largest
canyon in the Pacific and truly a dramatic sight to behold. Watch your
ears on the drive up, as the pressure mounts while climbing higher and
higher to the scenic vista at the top.
On the Big Island, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a living
testament to the power of Mother Nature. It is home to Kilauea Volcano,
the most continuously active volcano in the world. Visitors can have
the unique experience of walking on land that is younger than they are.
On Maui, the Road to Hana is a journey in itself. There are few
words that can describe the beauty of this drive with its green cliffs
and lush valleys bursting with waterfalls.
Oahu's Diamond Head is one of Hawaii's most recognized icons.
This now-extinct volcano is highlighted on the skyline just beyond
Waikiki. Visitors can hike to the top to behold breathtaking scenery,
or admire it from afar.
A helicopter trip above the islands is highly recommended. This
is a great way to appreciate the lush landscape, incredible waterfalls
and otherwise inaccessible portions of coastline. Check for information
upon arrival at the airport at the brochure kiosk.