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Postcards from Muse: Hawaii Travel Diary [MUSE]

During the summer of 2023, my parents and I went on a vacation to Hawaii. I had an absolutely amazing time, and we visited three different islands. I want to take you through all of my experiences that I had in Hawaii so that you can experience it too!

I started my travel with a flight from Indianapolis to San Francisco. Unfortunately, there are no direct flights from Indianapolis, however, if you are willing to make a drive, you can get a direct flight from Chicago. After I landed in San Francisco, our next flight was delayed for at least two hours before we were able to board our plane. Depending on what airline you have, this can be common in flights to and from Hawaii. 

The first island we visited was Oahu, where we visited the city of Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii. This city gave me very similar vibes to places in Florida, such as Fort Lauderdale or Miami, and was entirely urban and had less natural views. If you do visit, make sure you try Paia Fish Market, they have amazing seafood. We were only in Honolulu for one night but still had a blast. In the morning before we left, we went to the Manoa Falls Trail and saw an amazing waterfall. Overall, Oahu was my least favorite island, simply because I didn’t even feel like I was on an island, and more just a regular beach in Florida. I personally would not recommend this island on your next trip to Hawaii. 

After a few more delayed flights, we landed on Big Island, Hawaii. Here we stayed in the city of Hilo. We had an amazing view from our hotel room and it was super cool to look out every morning and see it. We stayed in Hilo for three nights and it was absolutely amazing. The first thing that we saw was Rainbow Falls. These were incredibly interesting to me because inside the waterfall you could see a rainbow. After that, we went to Akaka Falls State Park. These are incredibly famous waterfalls in Hawaii, and we had to do a hike to get there. They were absolutely breathtaking, however, it was incredibly hot when we were there and limited our enjoyment, as my family personally hates the heat. One of my critiques about Hilo is that there wasn’t too much to do there. It was a very small town, with few restaurants or shops. The nature made up for this, and it was like everywhere you go is just stunning. I liked this island much more than Oahu, but it doesn’t even compare with the next one.

The last island on our journey was Maui. This is a very popular tourist destination and most people come here and now I see why. To start off, on our way from the airport to our hotel there was this incredible scenic lookout spot. The entire highway was like it was built right on the ocean and looking out the window was so much fun. Here, there was the perfect mix of urban tourist destinations and breathtakingly beautiful scenery. We visited the Maui Ocean Center Aquarium which was super cool to see all the different types of aquatic life here in Hawaii. We also spent a lot of time on Kaanapali Beach, which was where we were staying and I even saw a live sea turtle in the ocean. My favorite part of this island was the Road to Hana. If you ever go to Maui you have to do the Road to Hana. It is absolutely amazing. We started at around five a.m. and got on the road. We downloaded the Shaka guide, which I really recommend if you try to do this. It took us on around a three-hour road trip one way, and got to see things like the Black Sand Beach, and the many different waterfalls. We went all the way past the city of Hana to Haleakalā National Park. There we did a four-mile long hike to see probably the biggest waterfall I have ever seen. On the way up, there was bamboo which really surprised me. This place was just amazing. Overall, Maui Hawaii was definitely my favorite Island on this trip. 

Hawaii is a huge state with lots of different things to do and explore. If you ever do decide to go, make sure you bring proper hiking shoes and pack a lot of clothes as they can get dirty very quickly.

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