By Dan Moore


Hawaii is home to some of the world's most famous and beautiful beaches, a balmy climate, fascinating volcanic landscape and of course, a whole lot of history.

We've narrowed it down to three reasons why you should head to Hawaii - but once you get there, you're bound to find countless more - so get ready to discover the spectacular islands of Hawaii for yourself.

Surf, sun and sand

It might seem obvious, but Hawaii's beaches are unparalleled. There are a ton of other activities to take advantage of on their beaches besides just swimming or sunbathing on the beach, even though that's a great way to pass the time. Surfing, stand-up paddle boarding and boogie boarding are just a few water sports you can pick up and learn on island.

Speaking of surfing, Hawaii is the world's premier surfing destination. Locals call the sport 'hee nalu' and you'll see and hear about it everywhere you go. If you're just starting out your fledging surfing career, head to Waikiki on Oahu Island - here you can take lessons and have a go at catching your first wave. Try a local favourite like Big Wave Dave for fair prices, friendly instructors and flexible schedules.

If you prefer to watch the pros surf instead of getting tossed in tide yourself, catch up with some of them on Makaha on Oahu's west shore, or at Waimea Bay or Sunset Beach on the North Shore - although you can be sure to find surfers heading out on the waves at any beach! Check out the biggest swells you'll ever see between November and February, when many competitions are also held. You might even spot your favourite surf star taking a turn in the waves!

Hiking off the beaten path

Hawaii's landscape is full of jagged green peaks, ethereal waterfalls, vast beaches and sheer cliffs.

Get a taste of nature's power and majesty up close by heading off the tourist circuit and going for a hike.

Fit and adventurous travellers should try a trek to the Kaupo Gap at Maui - this takes two days and is a strenuous, steep walk and you'll need to book your spot well in advance.

Follow the Kaupo Trail up into the centre of the Haleakala Crater and witness its greatly intriguing desert-like landscape, which stands in great contrast to Hawaii's usually lush and green views. The 'Kaupo Gap' itself can be found here – which is a gap in the crater wall that was caused by erosion.

For a walk with a more tropical and leafy landscape, travellers should try hiking the Pipiwai Trail. Here, you'll wind through forests, streams and beautiful pools and waterfalls, and the hike is less physically challenging.

Heritage and history

History lovers adore Hawaii, whether it's delving back 1,500 years when Polynesians arrived on the islands' shores, or paying respects to those who lost their lives in 1941's surprise attack on Pearl Harbour.

Explore Hawaii's past by witnessing the culture that has developed century by century. The sea and stars, hula, surfing, dance and song are all significant parts of Hawaiian heritage. With the arrival of Westerners in the 1700s, trading and whaling grew. Then, in 1898 Hawaii became a territory of the USA and finally, in 1959, Hawaii joined the US as its 50th state.

With the arrival of Westerners in the 1700s, trading and whaling grew and in 1898, Hawaii became part of the USA.

There are plenty of ways history buffs can learn about the events of December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Oahu's Pearl Harbour. Visitors may walk through sobering memorials and sites of various sunken ships, such as the USS Arizona, Battleship Missouri, USS Bowfin and USS Oklahoma. Then, discover even more in the Pacific Aviation Museum, complete with aeroplane hangar and antique planes, as well as interactive simulators and exhibits that help bring to life stories from WWII.

A holiday is to Hawaii is better when you can relax, let go of your worries and adopt the local, laidback way of life. Give yourself peace of mind with international travel insurance and say 'Aloha' to the islands.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and are meant as travel inspiration only. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Cover-More Insurance.