Category Archives: Hawaii

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Keep Calm and Hike Makapu’u …

Category : Hawaii

Aloha! Nice to meet you ….

 

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We’ll get to Makapu’u in a minute haha – but first – a little about SIT Vacations’ new blogger on the block.

My name is Angel Mataia. I’m a Pisces – I love long walks along the beach …. hahaha okay okay …

I grew up in Southern California but have made Oahu my home for the past few years. I love it here as you probably can imagine – and if an In N Out Burger ever gets built here  – I’ll have almost no reason to ever leave the island again haha ( My west coasters know what I’m talkin about ! )

My family members have lived on Oahu for far longer than I have; we all currently reside on Oahu’s famed North Shore, with a few dogs, some free range chickens, and bunch of growing kiddos.

The only thing that makes working and living in Hawaii so awesome is the chance it gives us to meet so many of you from all over the world – sooooo …..  COMMENT! Ask questions – tell me about yourself and your Hawaii experiences, or share your own personal travel tips for Hawaii first timers. We’d love to hear any suggestions for us on places to check out while on island. Let me know! and most importantly Let SIT Vacations, take you there :)

The main focus of this blog is to show you around the neighborhood so to speak, share with you some of our favorite sights, sounds, and even flavors of Hawaii. Consider us your newest connection in Hawaii – the long lost Polynesian cousin you never knew you had haha

Here’s to New Places and New Friends!

Angel

Let me start off by saying that I’m not what one would necessarily call an avid hiker. But when a group of friends needed something free but fun to do the general consensus was to trek out to the Windward side of the Island and hike up to the Makapu’u lookout. We took the above photo from the top of the lookout. A view well worth it as most good hikes tend to be. Makapu’u lighthouse trail doesn’t disappoint on scenic beauty – even for someone who didn’t thoroughly enjoy the hike up haha

The Oahu Division of State Parks classifies the Makapu’u Lighthouse trail as “Moderate” and I would agree.

However makapu4this wouldn’t be a leisurely hike to take when you stop the rental car to take a look. Wear comfortable shoes, and loose comfy hiking appropriate clothes. The trail is all uphill, on a hot or moderately warm day in Hawaii expect to get fairly sweaty. If you’re anything like me on vacation and have sampled nearly every delicious new offering to come across your plate than Makapu’u Lighthouse trail is great way to work it out without overdoing it while also getting in a healthy dose of Hawaii’s scenic natural beauty. If you are taking a drive and happen to stop by, but aren’t prepared for a full hike its always an option to do a partial walk/hike. The views from every part of the trail are amazing no matter where you are so its still possible to get a good shot for the perfect Instagram post haha … maybe an option for the “lets not and say we did” travelers in your group.

The route is a total of two miles up – round trip. As you can imagine, the uphill route up makes for a quick downhill trip back to the beginning of the trail. Another reason for good shoes – watch your step coming down! The trail is uphill, as I mentioned before, and might be difficult for some but there are resting/lookout points along the way to stop and take a rest if needed. Makapu’u is a perfect trail for the occasional, maybe reluctant and not so outdoorsy hiker as well as the iron man marathon runner in the family. Dogs are also welcome on the trail – so bring your furry friends if you’ve traveled together! A little something to do for everyone … and did I mention free? We like free.

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I’d say about two hours is plenty to enjoy this hike, that’s not only walking time but includes selfie and family photo time as well. The Windward side is a little dryer than some other parts of the island. There isn’t anywhere to get water along the trail so bring plenty with you along with sunscreen and a hat! It gets pretty windy at the summit so make sure you hold on to your hats! The Makapu’u lighthouse itself is off limits but its distinctive red roof makes for some beautiful shots against all the sapphire blue of the coastline – like the one pictured left that I took from a ways down the trail.

Depending on the weather, clear days may provide you with a view of the islands of Moloka’i and Lana’i. From November to May Makapu’u is a great spot to view whales in the bay, but be sure to bring binoculars.

All in All – Makapu’u is worth doing! Its a great day outdoors, you leave having seen some of the best views that Oahu has to offer. If isn’t already on the Hawaii “to do” list – you might want to pencil it in. You’ll be glad you did :)

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Me and some of the guys at the top of Makap’u Lookout

 

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that wind though!

 Happy Travels!

Angel

For SIT Vacations

 


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Hawaii-2

5 Things To Do In Hawaii: From A Local’s Perspective

 

Hawaii is the place of the beautiful sand beaches and the beautiful people. There are a lot of things that one can do in Hawaii but as locals we have a five suggestions that would help you make your Hawaii trip more enjoyable and worth it.

Sleep. Of course, this is often not ideal if you want to tour the place but if you have a 14 day trip to Hawaii the first thing that you should do is sleep and enjoy some time in dreamland, this also gets you the energy you need for the next days and for the hiking and swimming adventures.

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Hike. Hawaii is not just known for it’s beaches but also for it’s  and the light house, locals think that other than swimming you must also hike and enjoy the peaceful and serene view of the mountains. Let us call it view from the top. You might also like the fact that there are hidden waterfalls in Hawaii that tourists love.

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Interact with Locals. The best way to tour Hawaii is through an escorted tour. This way, locals can help you get through every detail of Hawaii and you get a view of Hawaii from an insider’s perspective. Interacting with a culture you are also not familiar with will help you divert your attention away from your problems and learn.

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Swim. Of course, no trip to Hawaii is complete without any swimming. Swim your heart’s content with the best clear waters and sand.

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Relax. You deserve it. You may want to tour Hawaii, interact with the local, hike and swim but never forget to relax. You are in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Relax. Take a deep breath. Enjoy shave ice and the company of mother nature.

So what are you waiting for? Book a Hawaii trip now and see where it gets you!


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5 Hidden and Must-Have Experiences for Your Hawaii Vacation

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Heading for Hawaii for your next getaway? You have made a good decision about your destination, and now it’s time to ponder over what you should do in Hawaii and where to roam.

As you would have been planning for your trip and scouting for Big Island vacation packages, looking for the best things to do in Hawaii, you would probably stumble upon the regular articles and information about the most popular destination in the city of Honolulu, i.e. Waikiki. But, the exotic beachfront is not the only place to hangout, there are so many other places and activities that are usually by-passed by the visitors, but are equally great for your serene joy and exotic experience.

Take a break from the crowded streets and beaches and enjoy a pristine and amazing atmosphere with this guide:

1. Pow Wow Hawaii Festival

Kaka’ako is a small town, situated between the Honolulu’s downtown and Waikiki. It is a historically significant industrial district. The festival of Pow Wow Hawaii held each year in February is a great convergence of artists from around the globe. Here you will get to experience a different world of murals, engulfed in a sea of colors. The unique thing that you will get to see is that the painters and artists paint the area’s walls with distinctive and large murals, which remain till the succeeding year festival.

2. Kaka’ako Farmers’ Market

The weekly Kaka’ako Farmers’ Market is a paradise for all those travel enthusiasts who are looking to indulge in the local and exotic, fresh Hawaiian produce.

3. Honolulu Night Market

Who says that amazing night life is inside the clubs? Head over to Auahi Street and experience the amazing vibe and energy of the Honolulu Night Market, held once a month, filled with stalls all over the street selling delicious locally produced food, along with fashion and art items.

4. Honolulu Museum of Art

This is one place, which you cannot afford to miss. It has a highly impressive collection of arts and paintings. Along with the main building, the two other attractions in the vicinity are:

Spalding House – Situated in Makiki Heights, this is a museum of contemporary art, constituting of local artist’s flavors.
Shangri La Museum – This museum is located in Black Point neighborhood, on the eastern side of the Diamond Head. The museum constitutes impressive collection of Islamic artwork, new and old, collected and brought by the wealthy heiress, Doris Duke.

5. Food

Hawaii is praised by visitors from across the globe for its authentic and exotic cuisines. In Waikiki, you will find several, affordable restaurants serving local and global food produce, made in delicious manner, and served with gracefulness. From upmarket dishes, to poolside snacks, authentic Hawaii dishes, amazing Japanese cuisine to re-invented Asian food, there is no lack of scrumptiousness.

Make sure that when you book your Hawaii travel package, you include your itinerary with all these amazing experiences, which will provide you with lasting memories for lifetime.


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Explore the Beautiful Hawaiian Islands in your Next Vacation

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For decades, the “Sandwich Island,” has been revered by travellers from around the world. It’s natural landscape is second to none in beauty. Now known as Hawaii to many, this archipelago of heaven has radiated love and Aloha ever since its discovery by Captain James Cook in 1778. Palm trees swaying and white sandy beach creates a paradise feeling that cannot be replicated unless experienced first-hand. Each island is gifted with beauty that comparing them would be injustice. But to fully appreciate what they can offer, one has to visit it themselves. Whether it is for short or long-term, it will only take a day to understand why words cannot express the uniqueness of its mana (spiritual power). But if you have to start somewhere, let it be Waikiki.

Waikiki, Oahu

Sunset

Sunset symbolizes the end of another sunny day; in Waikiki it demonstrates the amazing colours of Hawaii’s heaven and its golden skies. A moment mostly enjoyed in peace as the calm ocean reflects the last rays of the day’s sun. As the sun set, Waikiki springs into life on the stretch. Solo artists show off their art on the street or on stage. There is a dinner show guarantee you will enjoy and also fit your budget.

Surf and Water

He’enalu or surfing as now known was once a privilege reserved just for the Ali’i or chiefs of Hawaii. What is a vacation to these islands and try surfing? Well Waikiki is the best place to learn because of its gentle small waves that allows a beginner to catch their first taste of this addiction. You can borrow a board from a friend or use board rentals located along the beach. It needs a lot of fall until you get better at it and then it’s a never ending hobby. But if balancing is not your thing, there are sail canoes that take you out towards Diamond head and just enjoy the wind through your hair. Or you can catch a wave with an outrigger canoe with your friends. They also offer this on the beach for a small price.

Shopping and Things-to-do

Waikiki is small and big enough that it’s the perfect place window shop. With the varieties of store to choose from, you will find a store that meets your budget. From Louis Vuitton to the numerous ABC stores, you will find a souvenir for yourself, a relative or a friend at home. There is also the trolley that goes around Waikiki and ends at the Alamoana Shopping Centre where there are more shops to choose from. The Honolulu Zoo and Aquarium is at the end of the stretch for a small entrance fee. Diamond head hike is a ten minute taxi ride from your hotel and takes 35 minutes to hike up to the summit for some breathtaking views of Kahala and Waikiki.

Waikiki have a lot to offer for your trip. Take advantage of our 7 day packages for a quick escape from life. Treat yourself to a vacation and zip a mai-tai on the beach a enjoy the glamorous beauty of this island. Waikiki is ready anytime; it’s just waiting on YOU.

Whether you wish to have lifetime memory of your honeymoon journey or wish to spend splendid time with friends and family, Hawaii is a vacation destination for all. It is important to do some research or seek advertise from tour agencies to make a better choice whether you want to include few or all Hawaii vacation deals.


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Hawaii – Island of Romance

Island of Romance, Fantasy Island, or Paradise, every visitor has endowed Hawaii with endearing and enchanting titles after falling in love with the people, culture and traditions of Hawaii. The most isolated chain of islands that floats in the Pacific Ocean like a flower lei. Each island has its own unique tale and character. Your trip and memories depends on which of these islands you visit. But one thing they all have in common, “you will fall in love” anyhow no matter which one you choose.

Oahu

Oahu, also nickname as the Gathering Island is full of life. If you like the outdoors, there is plenty of short and long romantic hiking trails with phenomenal views of the island and nature. Numerous water activities vary from snorkeling in the north shore, to fishing the open oceans, sunset dinner cruise, parasailing or even swimming with the dolphins. The Polynesian Cultural Center for a day full of learning about the native Hawaiians but don’t forget to visit the number one tourist attraction on the island, Pearl Harbor Memorial. Waikiki is also full of excitement at night. Night clubs with different style of entertainments and glamorous dinner shows to liven up your night.

Maui

Maui, also known as the Magic Isle has plenty of beautiful landscapes and cascading waterfalls to relax your senses. Some of the top beaches in the world are found on Maui. Just relax on the white sand and enjoy the stunning shorelines. Outdoor activities range from hiking Iao Valley to biking down Haleakala. But if you like the water, Molokini is the best island for snorkeling with sea turtles, colorful lagoon fish and rich coral reef.

Kauai: The Garden Isle

The northern most island is Kauai. Being the oldest of the Hawaiian archipelago, it is the most green and lushes. Its rich volcanic soil attracted agricultural companies both in the past and the present. Hollywood and the filming industry have also featured the island multiple times in academy winning films. The island just shouts relaxation. Days are longer and time seems to stand still here in the green Garden Island.

Hawaii: The Big Island

Hawaii, also known as the Big Island is almost twice the size of all of the other Hawaiian Islands together. Most popular attractions of the Big Island includes colored-sand beaches at Papakolea (green) and Punalu’u (black). The Volcano National Park for a whole day learning about volcanoes, or swimming with the majestic Manta rays at night. The historic town of Kona is perfect for a romantic getaway.

So whether you want to spend your whole trip on one, or share your time among all islands, you are sure to call this place your second home. Whatever you are looking for, romance, excitement, fun or just relaxation, these islands will sure deliver.

If you have just made your mind and looking for lucrative last minute deals to Hawaii, you will get plenty of options. Being a popular holiday destination, most of travel agencies offer an array of Hawaii vacation packages for all wishes and budget.


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Escorted Tours to Hawaii

Hawaii is a mountainous island state of the U.S. It is a perfect example of the amalgamation of nature’s best elements- hills, beaches, calmness and adventure- all in one place. Hawaii comprises of a number of islands, the most famous ones being the Big Island, Oahu, Kauai, Maui, and the neighboring Samoa. Every year, Hawaii attracts thousands of tourists from all across the world, who have a gala time here.

More often than not, people make self-guided tours to Hawaii. But little do they know that escorted tours to Hawaii are better package deals, and offer you more than a self guided tour would. Escorted tours have the following benefits over self-guided ones:

  • Since tour planners negotiate for larger group of people, everything from hotels to car rentals to sightseeing cost you lesser. Sometimes, you end up saving up to 30% of the cost you would incur had you opted for a self guided tour.
  • If you are visiting Hawaii for the first time, you would be spending a lot of your time on research about the place, how to get there, the best places to stay at, must-visit sightseeing locations, bets restaurants to eat at, etc. An escorted tour provides you ready itineraries which are prepared with years of experience of travelling around, so you save yourself the extra effort.
  • You don’t have to worry about the logistics of your travel. If you have booked an escorted tour, you can be rest assured that you will thoroughly enjoy your vacations without any hassles or other tension.
  • Last, but not the least, your tour guide will be accompanying you throughout the trip. Imagine getting lost in a new place and not having anyone to help you out! The escort offers you any kind of help that you might need during the course of your stay in the Hawaii and helps you enjoy the environment and culture of the place in a better way.

SIT vacations offers both self-guided and escorted tours to Hawaii. There are tour packages starting from 5 days to 14 days, with prices varying from $695 to $2895. Depending on your convenience and budgets, you can visit only one, two or more of the islands- Big Island, Oahu, Kauai, Maui and Samoa.

Though tourists might want to explore the Hawaii all by themselves, it is always advisable to take escorted tours to Hawaii to maximize your enjoyment during the trip.


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Experience the Beautiful Samoa Vacations

Category : Hawaii

Do you love the idea of being in a faraway land where no worries can touch you? A place surrounded by pristine oceans on all sides, amidst the beauty of nature, and having your partner by your side- this combination seems unreal, right? Visit Samoa and experience it for yourself!

Samoa is a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, and has countries like Hawaii and New Zealand for company. Upolu and Savai’i are the largest islands of Samoa, accompanied by 8 smaller islands. What is interesting about the Samos islands is that they have been formed as a result of volcanic eruptions, except Savai’i, which houses active volcanoes.

Some of the most amazing aspects of nature would await you at Samoa. For instance, a major tourist attraction in Upolu is the To Sua Ocean Trench, which is a giant swimming hole and can be accessed only through a long ladder. The ocean is overlooked by white sand beach, making it a romantic getaway for visiting couples.

For those of you who love water or adventure sports, the Palolo Deep Marine Reserve cannot be given a miss. Walking in the water towards the other end of the coral reef when there is a low tide, with beautiful, cute little fish swimming around you, is definitely an experience worth the effort!

Your trip to Samoa would be incomplete if you missed the Fiafia Night, a place of cultural celebration. You would be blown away with the singing and dancing, especially the Fire Dancing, taking place in the true Samoa cultural style.

SIT Vacations offers Samoa travel deals at budget prices. A 7 day trip to the Samoa islands would cost around $1195 per person (taxes extra). For someone who would want to explore part of the Hawaii islands along with Samoa, a 12 day package would be charged at $2895 per person (taxes extra).

Samoa Travel Deals by SIT Vacations include the following services:

  • Option of choosing a self guided or escorted tour
  • Hotel accommodation for 5 nights
  • Round trip shuttle to the airport
  • Everyday buffet breakfast

Escorted tours and Samoa travel deals by SIT Vacations ensure that you enjoy every bit of your trip to this natural wonderland. Your personal guide will be there with you so that you don’t get lost in a new place. Also, all the travel arrangements and itineraries are pre-planned for your comfortable stay.

Book a Samoa travel deal right away to experience this paradise on earth!


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Vacation Deals to Samoa

Category : Hawaii

The Earth is too big to be explored in a lifetime. There are plenty of famous locations across the world because of their natural beauty, and even more locations which are equally enthralling but not quite famous. Your vacations would be much more interesting if you explored these destinations which are far away from the hustle bustle of the city life. One amongst these is Samoa in the South Pacific Ocean.

Lying roughly halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii is the Samoa archipelago, which is a group of ten islands, the largest of which are Upolu and Savai’i. Interestingly, these islands have been formed as a result of volcanic activity, since they lie close to the Pacific Tectonic Plate. Each of the ten islands comprising the Samoa archipelago is unique in its own natural way and has something different to offer to its tourists.

SIT Vacations offers vacation deals to Samoa so that more and more people visit this place and experience this piece of paradise themselves. A self guided tour to Samoa would cost you around $1195 plus taxes (per person) for a time period of 7 days. This would include the following:

• 5-night accommodation in the hotel

• Round trip shuttle to the airport

• Daily buffet breakfast

• A tour of the Fiafia Night

If you are not content with a trip to only Samoa, you could get a combined package of the nearby Hawaii islands along with Samoa Island. Plan a 12-day trip for $2895 plus taxes (per person) and you could see around Oahu, Savai’i and Upolu.

Getting around in Samoa is pretty easy as there are plenty of rental cars, taxis, buses, ferries and flights which cater to the transportation needs of the people. Some of the popular attractions of the place include:

 Surfing- Experience the exciting waves of the ocean through waves like Dragon’s Breath, Pudding Rock and Devil’s Island.

 Apia Market- You can find the most exotic tropical fruits, hand crafted wooden items and fresh fish in this market.

 Rainforests- With a climate like the one Samoa has, combined with the fertile soil; there could not be anything better than rainforests to enjoy!

 Swimming with turtles- Experience the feeling of swimming with green turtles at the wetland sanctuary of Savaii’s Satoalepai Village.

 Robert Louis Stevenson Museum- One of the most famous tourist attractions, it carries the personal belongings of Stevenson’s for public display.

Book a vacation deal to Samoa now and enjoy with your family and friends!


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Cheap Vacation Packages

Category : Hawaii

One of the most romantic ways to celebrate your anniversary is to spend quality time alone in a faraway land – a place where you could just not worry about your everyday chores and tensions, rather relive those moments when you committed yourself to each other. And imagine a backdrop of vast stretches of water, with white sand beaches and thick groves of palm trees to make the experience more surreal?

All this can become possible if you book cheap vacation packages with SIT Vacations. It provides an entire package of sightseeing in Hawaii and the neighboring Samoa Island if you wish to visit it. SIT Vacations is a trusted traveling and vacation provider, making it a preferred option when it comes to booking vacations to the Hawaii.

SIT Vacations has cheap vacation packages which start from as low as $695 per person (plus taxes) for a five day trip to the Kauai Island of Hawaii. Prices of packages go up to $2195 per person (plus taxes) for a two week trip to all the four major islands of Hawaii. Between this price range, there are variations in the options of islands you visit and the number of days that your vacation lasts. Add the neighboring Samoa Island to your Hawaiian trip, and you could spend approximately $2895 per person (plus taxes).

For a place like Hawaii, which boasts of nature’s bounty, this amount is quite reasonable and affordable, considering the facilities provided in these packages. Where else can you whole heartedly enjoy pristine beaches, white sand, clear blue water, the shades of palm trees and the special hula dancing at prices lower than these?

Not just these, SIT Vacations offers the following incentives to travel with them:

  • Group leader– By inviting at least 20 of your friends or colleagues to book their travel with SIT Vacations, you could travel for free as the 21st member of the group. Not to mention, your entire gang would be there so multiple the fun.
  • Group travel– Get at least six people from your family and friends circle to travel with you, and you could earn them an opportunity to obtain a cash back of $200 per traveler.
  • Refer a Friend– Each time you a refer SIT Vacations to a friend and they book with the site, you can win back $100, only when the booking does not qualify under an existing promotional deal.

So get yourself into action and earn cheap vacation packages for your dear and near ones.


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Budget Holidays to Hawaii

Category : Hawaii

Hawaii is a tiny little island in the masses of land across the world, yet it is one of the most famous tourist destinations which come to mind when you think of beaches. The land of palm trees, irresistible cocktails and the hula dancing is a nature’s beauty in the true sense.

SIT Vacations offers affordable packages for those wanting to go on budget holidays to Hawaii. Starting at $695 per person (taxes extra) for a tour of 5 days, there is no better deal you could get to spend your vacations in a place like Hawaii. Budget holiday packages to Hawaii vary depending on the number of islands you would like to visit. 1- island, 2- island, 3- island and 4- island packages to Hawaii are ideal for people conscious about budget holidays to Hawaii.

For a weeklong trip to any two islands of the Hawaii, you would have to shell out anything from $995 to $1195 per person (plus taxes). Extend it to 10 days, add an island to the package, and the cost per person could go up to $1695 plus taxes. A long vacation of 14 days could cost you $2195 per person (taxes extra) for a tour of all the four islands of Hawaii.

These budget holiday packages to Hawaii include hotel accommodation, airport shuttle, inter-island flights (wherever necessary) and Lei greeting. Visitors can choose to make their trips self guided or escorted, though it is always recommended to choose escorted trips as they allow you to enjoy more and worry less about various arrangements during the course of your vacation.

There is so much to do while you are in Hawaii that you will be tempted to make frequent trips to the islands till you actually get bored of them, which will rarely happen. If you are looking forward to doing something more interesting than just sun bathing at the beaches, then whale watching is a good idea. Playing with dolphins is fun but a bit clichéd, so watching whales would be a welcome change.

People visiting the Maui Island would be delighted as golf championships are held regularly and you could spend your vacations playing your favorite sport with the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. You could also sit back on the white sand beaches and enjoy the beauty around you.

There is so much about Hawaii which cannot be penned down, so you better book budget holidays to Hawaii and experience it yourself.