By Ebony Simon
There are places you visit, and places you experience. One of my favorite places to experience is Hawai’i. When I first arrived I could smell the ocean and flowers, feel the calming energy, and giggle at the warm kisses from the sun. This was all while waiting for my luggage at the open airport. At night, the moon smiles down on the shore, satisfied with the melodic sounds of the rhythmic waves. There are early morning showers, great places to watch the stars, endless beaches and so much nature to explore. Below I have listed five of my favorite tips for experiencing Hawaii.
Top five tips for Hawai’i
Cue your mother’s voice or a vintage sunscreen commercial. The sun seems to be on steroids here, and since you will find yourself drawn to the beautiful weather and outdoor activities, it is important to protect yourself. Black peeps burn, too. I have the pictures to prove it.
4. Local Cuisine.
Let’s face it, not everyone is open to trying different kinds of food. Hawaii has something for everyone. When on Hawaii, leave your fast food fascination on the Mainland (Mainland is what Hawaiians call the contiguous United States. Simple, right?). The fish here will make your head spin. Try poke (pronounced poh-kay), artfully seasoned sectioned raw fish. As I am obsessed with spicy food, it was only a matter of time before I fell in love with the spicy Ahi poke. If seasoned raw fish isn’t your thing, there are tons of restaurants willing to cook your meal to your liking. I wasn’t prepared for the amazing Thai cuisine at a barely noticeable place called New Chiang Mai in Hilo.
3. Stay local, drive far.
If you are visiting the Big Island of Hawaii, Kauai, or Oahu, there are beautiful resorts that offer the best of Hawaii. These resorts offer guests a myriad of activities to keep you occupied on the property. It may also be a good idea to borrow some wheels and have a drive along the island. My best friend and I drove through the mountains on the Big Island from our resort, Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows, to one of the wettest cities on Earth, Hilo. It was like being transported to Thailand. Make sure to visit the Hilo Farmer’s Market for some of the freshest produce and fresh jams. Visit a macadamia plantation on Oahu or drive past the Dole Plantation and pick up a fresh pineapple.
2. Get active.
While it’s quite easy to find yourself relaxing on the beaches on Hawaii for hours, fight the trance and experience the nature of Hawaii. Waikiki has world famous beaches on Oahu – go for a short hike or take surfing lessons. During my first kayaking experience my best friend and I got stuck in the middle of the ocean during a rainstorm (not fun!). I hiked up mountains to view the best secluded beaches on Kauai, convinced myself that I was brave enough to swim in tide pools next to the ocean on Makapu’u Mountain, and watched a solar eclipse.
1. Island Hop!
I am sure you’ve noticed by now that I managed to find great things in different places. Because each island has something different to offer, it’s a great idea to visit at least two of the islands. Some flights are even as short as a New York City subway ride from Brooklyn to Midtown! Kauai is known as the “Garden Island” because of it’s breathtaking scenery and lush vegetation. Molokai is the “Friendly Isle” because it has the most Hawaiian natives; go for a truly Hawaiian experience. Lana’i is the “Secluded Island” and has two world class resorts. The Big Island has almost all of the major geological zones. Oahu is the “Gathering Place” and has famous places like Diamond Head, the North Shore, and Waikiki. Maui is voted the Best Island in the World. With so many diverse islands, it is quite easy to experience different parts of Nature’s Paradise.
Ebony is a Communication Professional who indulges in her wanderlust often. An avid adventurer, vegetarian, and junk foodie who loves a good book and laugh. Shopping and dancing are like breathing to her and hugs fuel her spirit. Ebony is originally from Louisiana and moved to Germany after loving life in New York City for almost 10 years. Ebony enjoys traveling alone or with her best friends- it's all about the journey. She is always dreaming up something fantastical.