I, like everyone else in the United States, had heard about Hawaii my whole life. For some reason, I was not driven to go there the way most people are. “I’ll be disappointed,” I thought. “It just really can’t be that great.” I was wrong; it really is that great. A little, remote paradise exists right in the middle of the Pacific—uprooted and set free “from the boundless deep” as James Michener so beautifully stated.
With an average daytime temperature of 85° F (29.4° C) at sea level in the summer, and 78° (25.6° C) in the winter, balmy breezes, and mornings which whisper one into wakening, Hawaii is somewhere everyone should visit at least once.
Oahu – The North Shore
A great place to start is the island of Oahu. On the beautiful North Shore which President Obama favors when he vacations in Hawaii, one can find gorgeous golf courses, stunning beaches, both private and public, and the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie amongst other countless destinations. Part of the Mission Statement of the Polynesian Cultural Center is to “preserve and portray the cultures, arts and crafts of Polynesia.” At the center, one can explore representative “villages” of Tonga, Tahiti, Marquesas, Hawaii, Fiji, Aotearoa, and Samoa. There is a luau buffet available, and the highly-acclaimed evening show will leave you breathless when “blazing fireknives” fly through the air from the skilled hands of the performers.
If you would like to stay on The North Shore, IVHE has a stunning property which looks a bit like Robin Masters’ estate on the 1980’s television show, Magnum P.I.; see this exclusive home swap
Oahu – The South Shore
For a change of pace, head down to The South Shore where Honolulu, the famous Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head, and the exclusive Waialae Country Club. While in Honolulu, a visit to the Ala Moana Mall is in order. The largest outdoor mall in the world, it features such exclusive shops as Chanel and Salvatore Ferragamo along with eclectic, foreign-based shops. Also in Honolulu, dinner at Michel’s is a culinary pleasure; the pineapple panna cotta is delectable—savor it slowly to take back a pleasant memory of the islands. While overlooking Waikiki Beach, there are picture-perfect moments at Michel’s like seeing children playing pleasantly until sunset.
The hike to iconic Diamond Head crater looming above Honolulu is well worth the somewhat steep hike; spectacular views wait at the top.
Hawaii is interesting—along with exclusivity, there is also an “of the people” feel to it. For instance, right next to elegant Waialae Country Club is a public beach; the state of Hawaii works very hard to be inclusive as well as exclusive. Perhaps it is the potpourri of people which inspires such a combination. The many cultures in Hawaii add to its richness; there is no other state like it in America.
If your tastes run toward the more exclusive in Hawaii, IVHE has several beautiful luxury exchange homes available. See how it works, and read testimonials
Learn as I did that Hawaii really does live up to the hype—visit at least once.
Thank you to Sona Schmidt-Harris – Follow me on Twitter @Sonag2000