An oasis seemingly adrift amongst the vast expanse of the Pacific, Hawaii is well removed from the life and times of the mainland United States. So much so, it’s easy to feel like you’ve entered a whole new world with your first steps on the islands—some far away planet of tropical foliage and pristine coasts, picture-perfect sights that somehow have come to life all around you. While all of Hawaiian paradise is serene and beautiful, there are a few sections you absolutely don’t want to miss—check them out below.
Tucked away on the Southern tip of Honolulu is Shangri La, a hidden Islamic-style mansion that feels like it was plucked up from the Middle East and placed down on the scenic Hawaiian coastline. Constructed in the 1930s by the heiress Doris Duke (she had an enchantment for the Middle East after spending her honeymoon there), the house-turned-museum accumulated over 2,500 objects within her lifetime. Today, these artifacts make for an engaging museum of Islamic art—the backdrop of Hawaii’s rolling mountains and rich blue waters proves to be the perfect frame for the enthralling collection.
Perhaps no location on the Hawaiian Islands looks as quintessentially like Hawaiian paradise as the ‘Ohe’o Gulch. Found on the island of Maui, the ‘Ohe’o Gulch Pools (or “Seven Sacred Pools” as they’re commonly known) make for a serene sight: pools seem to stack one on top of the other like a stairway of lagoons, with tropical waterfalls threaded between them. Though swimming is not possible due to flooding and rockfall, the area is ripe with hiking and camping.
Volcanoes and their lava are common occurrences on the islands, accounting for everything from some black sand beaches to the island’s mountains to the actual islands themselves. But, as commonplace as these are, what about lava tubes?
Subterranean tunnels form when molten magma has burrowed underneath solidified lava and then subsequently drained, leaving behind a hollow passageway into the Earth. Finding these tunnels can be tricky, and finding ones not swarming with tourists harder still, but the Kaumana Lava Tubes sit untouched by both sunlight and heavy foot traffic. Located on the Island of Hawai’i, these tunnels make for a hike you’ll never forget. When exploring, make sure to be properly equipped with hiking shoes and a flashlight!
Looking to set out and discover these patches of Hawaiian paradise for yourself? There’s no better way to island hop than onboard a cruise. To make sure you make the most of your vacation, give one of our travel agents a call. Their skills, knowledge and close relationships with industry-leading cruise lines, like Princess Cruises®, take all the difficulty out of planning a picture-perfect vacation.