The Hawaiian islands offer upscale fun in the sun for a destination vacation, and you have several islands from which to choose as you plan your getaway. Hawaii vacations tend to go down in the record books as the best ones ever, thanks to the miles of sand, pristine waters, waterfalls and volcanoes.

The Different Islands

The island chain contains eight islands, several of which are ideal for vacationing. Oahu is the busiest of the Hawaiian islands, and this is where Honolulu sits. Shopping is extensive on this well-developed island, but you’ll also find pristine beaches and natural areas. Maui’s pace is a bit slower, but this island is well equipped for tourists. Maui is home to lush valleys, volcanic mountain tops, rain forests and beaches. The big island of Hawaii is where to go when you want to see volcanoes. Kilauea is the active volcano on this island, and it continues to erupt to this day. Kauai is a quieter island, offering delightful scenic vistas and waterfalls. You’ll find generous beaches on this island, and the hiking opportunities are ideal.

The Scenery

Many areas of the islands are virtually untouched by civilization and remain secluded and pristine. You can venture out on hiking expeditions on the islands, taking in breathtaking views of both mountains and ocean. The sunrises and sunsets, both of which happen over the water, are simply picturesque.

The History

The chain of islands is rich in history. King Kamehameha I united the islands in 1795, but this lasted for a relatively short time before his reign was overthrown by planters and businessmen who instituted the Republic of Hawaii. The United States stepped in and annexed Hawaii in 1898, and Hawaii became a state in 1959. Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 was the event that led the United States to enter World War II. Touring all of the islands promises to be a live history lesson, but be sure to spend time touring Pearl Harbor and the USS Missouri and USS Arizona as well.

The Beaches and Ocean

With all of the islands together, the state of Hawaii boasts more than 750 miles of shoreline. Visitors also have plenty of beaches from which to choose when it’s time to spend the day on the sands. The beaches range from pristine white sand to yellow, red, black and even green. Many of these areas offer ideal surfing conditions.

It’s hard to think of an island in Hawaii that wouldn’t be the perfect destination for a beach vacation. You might even plan a trip that includes staying on several islands over the span of a week or so.