Tag Archives: Hawaii

Travel: Kauai

 

Kauai is sometimes called Hawaii's "Garden Isle," and every one of its 562 sq. miles gives this brand credibility. Uploaded by hawaiimagazine.com.

While all of the islands of the Hawaiian archipelago are beautiful and have their own attractions, Kauai might just be the most scenic of them all. It has mountains (the highest is Kawaikini at 5,243¬†feet), a canyon (Waimea Canyon, called “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific”), the dramatic Napali Coast,¬† and several gorgeous bays and beaches.

Uploaded by indigofoundation.com.

Oh, those beaches. On the island’s north side you’ll find Hanalei Bay Beach, a near-perfect two-mile semicircle of white sand. And Kee Beach, with a reef that provides some of Hawaii’s best snorkeling. On the east side there’s Kalapaki Beach, a favorite of surfers. Poipu Beach Park highlights the south shore, with its crystal clear waters and the occasional appearance of monk seals. And the west side offers Kekaha Beach, uncrowded and great for sunbathing.

Kauai has only about 60,000 residents, and more of them are involved in welcoming tourists than any other business. It’s the fourth largest of the Hawaiian islands, and is 105 miles northwest of Oahu. Whether you’re looking for an active vacation, with hiking and snorkeling, or a purely relaxing one, Kauai might be the Hawaii you’re looking for.

The Napali Coast. Uploaded by joshfriedmantravel.wordpress.com.

Waimea Canyon. Uploaded by alohaclubhawaii.com.

Hanalei Bay Beach. Uploaded by smashingusa.com.

Kee Beach. Uploaded by desktop2wallpapers.com.

Kalapaki Beach. Uploaded by gohawaii.about.com.

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History: The Arizona Memorial

More than 2,700 Americans died at Pearl Harbor. We're fortunate it wasn't a lot more. Uploaded by bergoiata.org.

Franklin Roosevelt said these memorable words: “Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”

Just over 2,400 Americans were killed at Pearl Harbor; 1,177 of them were crewmen on the Battleship Arizona. The eight battleships in port were the primary target, and all were seriously damaged or sunk. All but the Arizona and the Oklahoma were eventually repaired and returned to service, however.

Uploaded by battlestory.org.

In 1953, the Admiral in charge of the Pacific fleet ordered that a flagpole be erected above the sunken remains of the Arizona, and five years later President Eisenhower approved the creation of the Memorial. It was dedicated in 1962, and today hosts more than a million visitors each year.

Even today, a small amount of oil continues to rise from the wreckage to the surface of the water. Some call this “the tears of the Arizona.”

Food: Kona Coffee

It's easy to see why Kona berries are called cherries. Uploaded to Flickr by punawelefarms.

I was surprised to learn how small the Kona coffee-growing region actually is. It’s only in the state of Hawaii, only on the Big Island, only in its Kona District on the west side of the island, and only on the slopes of Mount Hualanai and Mauna Loa. No wonder it’s a bit pricey.

Uploaded to Flickr by mr tentacle.

At the risk of sounding like a commercial, it’s the unique climate and soil of this region that gives the coffee its richness. The Kona Coffee Council puts it this way: “Rocky volcano slopes nurture it. Sun-drenched mornings ripen it. Misty afternoons refresh it. Six hundred farmers meticulously handpick it.”

That’s right, six hundred farmers. There are no huge corporate farms on Kona. Only about 2,300 acres are available, and most local growers have less than five acres each. And because of the topography of the land and the uneven ripening rate of the “cherries” that hold the beans, Kona coffee is all picked by hand.

Uploaded by kona-coffee-council.com.

One word of warning before you buy – be careful of the wording on the package. Genuine Kona has a label with the words “100% Kona” on it. Be wary of “Kona Blend”, “Kona “Roast”, and “Kona Style.” Oh, and if you’re heading to Hawaii, how about bringing me back a couple of pounds? I’d be happy to put on a pot and share…

Travel: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Fiery lava cascades into the Pacific Ocean. Uploaded by ballslist.com.

You’ll find Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the island of Hawaii, home to one of the world’s most active volcanoes (Kilauea) and its most massive one (Mauna Loa). The Park spreads out over 520 sq. mi. of land, and goes from sea level all the way up to the rim of Mauna Loa at 13,677 feet.

The Park offers vistas unavailable anywhere else in the country. You can see flaming lava break off a cliff and fall into the Pacific Ocean. You can walk right up to slow moving floes of lava. You can – well, shoot, let’s see if these pictures don’t say all that needs to be said about this otherworldly location:

Uploaded by hugewallpaper.com.

Uploaded by vacationtravelclub.com.

Uploaded to Flickr by Madison 76

Uploaded by campingtourist.com.

Uploaded by LivingWilderness.com.

Uploaded by rainforestandreef.org.