Hawaii, is the 50th U.S. state, an isolated volcanic archipelago in the Central Pacific. Its islands are renowned for their rugged landscapes of cliffs, waterfalls, tropical foliage and picturesque beaches with gold, red, black and even green sand. Of the 6 main islands, O’ahu has Hawaii’s biggest city and capital on the south shore, Honolulu, home to Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head crater and Pearl Harbor’s WWII memorials.
We visited Hawaii 3 times: (1) May 2011 for Sheba’s bestie grad school graduation, (2) May 2014 for our 2nd honeymoon and (3) July 2019 when we announced our pregnancy. The first 2 times we stayed at the Wyndham at Waikiki Beach Walk, Holiday Inn Waikiki Beachcomber Resort and Hilton Waikiki Beach. We explored the island of O’ahu, specifically Honolulu and Waikiki Beach, including swimming with dolphins, jet-skiing, parasailing and rode in the Atlantis Submarines Waikiki. We also hiked Diamond Head and visited the Diamond Head State Monument, the Magic of Polynesia Dinner show, Waimea Falls, Kahuku Land Farms and the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites.
During our third visit, we visited Maui and stayed at the Grand Wailea Maui, A Waldorf Astoria Resort. Sprawling Haleakala National Park encompasses the island’s highest peak, volcanic Haleakala, as well as the pools and waterfalls of Ohe’o Gulch, accessed via scenic, winding Hana Highway. We travelled the “Road to Hana” along The Hana Highway, a 64.4-mile-long (103.6 km) stretch which connects Kahuluito to the town of Hana in east Maui. We visited various sites along the way, and hiked and swam in beautiful waterfalls, including the Twin Falls. We also enjoyed an amazing luau, snorkeling, and swam with reef sharks, turtles and even held a jellyfish!