Few places on earth are as secluded, yet as accessible as the lush tropical jungles and pristine beaches of Hawaii. Home to Mount Waialeale, one of the rainiest places on earth and the only nation with an increasing land area (due to continuous volcanic eruptions), this little piece of heaven offers new experiences and surprises behind every palm tree.
Whether you choose to study in Hawaii, or simply visit, in between riding the waves and learning to hula, here are a few things you have to check out while in paradise:
- Waimea Canyon State Park—Hawaii has a number of stunning state parks and visiting as many as possible is a fun and affordable way to see the most of the islands. But if you only have time for one, Waimea Canyon is especially breathtaking. Formed by erosion and the collapse of a volcano, the rim of the canyon looks over a deep and colorful gorge, creating a unique hiking experience. As if that wasn’t enough, there are wilderness areas, pig and seasonal goat hunting nearby and as with everywhere in Hawaii the beach is only a hop skip and a jump away.
- Waikiki Aquarium—this aquarium has been called one of the finest in the world, with unique local marine animals as the major attraction. The aquarium features a coral farm, Hawaiian monk seal habitat and classes about the species in exhibit. And the best part: it’s cheap, costing about $10 for each adult!
- Washington Place—built in the 1840s by a wealthy sea captain, this was the mansion of Queen Liliuokalani, the last reigning monarch of Hawaii. After the monarchy was overwhelmed by military forces who wished to be annexed by the United States, Liliuokalani was placed under house arrest for an entire year before being freed and pardoned. Today, the house serves as a museum and offers Hawaiian history tours.
- Hawaiian Shave Ice—shave ice isn’t as beautiful as a canyon, wondrous as marine wildlife, or as important as a historic landmark, but it is delicious! A distant descendant of a Japanese delicacy, Hawaiian shave ice (not shaved) has a slightly different texture than other shave ice and is made with local fruits like guava, pineapple, coconut cream, passion fruit, lycee, kiwi and mango.
If Hawaii sounds like where you want to study, see what colleges and universities are in Hawaii.