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USA Radio
July 8, 2014

Hawaii's Hana Highway

For seven beautiful days, we swam, surfed, ate and hiked our way through Hawaii’s Hana Highway. We even bought the T-shirts to prove it! Every day, we fell deeper in love with the area (which wasn’t hard because it’s paradise!). We knew Hawaii had some beautiful sights and adventures waiting, but we had no idea how much was in store.

We started in Maui, one of Hawaii’s most famous islands, and went straight to lunch. It was our first time trying authentic Hawaiian food and to say we were blown away is an understatement. Hawaiian food is influenced by so many different cuisines, and the eclectic mix makes for an unforgettable taste.

The food alone is worth the trip, but we had places to go and sights to see, so we hopped on Highway 32 to begin our Hana Highway adventure. We quickly realized that everything is way better in Hawaii. Just driving down the highway was breathtaking thanks to the towering mountains, lush valleys filled with streams and waterfalls, and beautiful greenery as far as we could see.

Throughout the trip we tried to get the full Hawaiian experience, which meant a lot of hiking, swimming, luaus and surfing. We started at Hookipa Beach Park, a surfer’s paradise with white-sand beaches and bright blue waves. From there, we hiked the Waikamoi Ridge Forest Trail, which was full of rich foliage and breathtaking beauty. We also visited the peaceful town of Hana, Maui’s “fourth island” where old Hawaiian traditions are kept alive.

On our third day in Maui, we went horseback riding along the coast, took a dip in Hamoa Beach (a very popular spot for snorkelers, swimmers and sunbathers), and drove down to Makawo, a town that looks like it came out of a Hollywood Western. It even has its own cowboys known as Paniolos. The next day we watched the sunrise from the Haleakala Crater and drove along the edge of the mountain to visit the Alii Kula Lavender Farm.

After several wonderful days in Maui, we headed to Oahu. Of course, our first stop was Haleiwa Town for some delicious Hawaiian food. Afterwards, we traveled along Kamehameha Highway to Waimea Bay, famous for massive waves that surfers love. The waves were too big for us, so we went into Waimea Valley to swim in the waterfalls. Further down the highway, we found Sunset Beach and met some surfers who explained that it’s one of the world’s longest stretches of surf.

Since our trip was quickly coming to an end, we made the most out of our last days in Oahu. First, we experienced a real luau ceremony at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Then, we took our first surfing lessons and even got up a few times. And we visited Honolulu’s urban district, ‘Iolani Palace in the capitol area, and bustling Chinatown. On our very last day, we hiked up to Diamond Head State Monument and soaked in its 425 acres of beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and lush landscape one last time.

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