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Article Source: Copyright © 2012 by Fodor’s Travel, a division of Random House Inc. All rights reserved.
An aerial tour of the Islands opens up a world of perspective. Looking down from the sky at the outline of the USS Arizona where it lays in its final resting place below the waters of Pearl Harbor or getting a glimpse of how Mother Nature carved a vast expanse of volcanic crater are the kinds of views only seen by an "eye in the sky." If you go, don't forget your camera.
Island-style shave ice (never shaved ice—it's a pidgin thing) is said to have been born when neighborhood kids hung around the ice house, waiting to pounce on the shavings from large blocks of ice, carved with ultrasharp Japanese planes that created an exceptionally fine-textured granita.
Kailua is the beach you came to Hawaii for: wide and gently sloped, glowing golden in the sun, outfitted with a couple of well-placed islets to gaze at, and fronted by waters in ever-changing shades of turquoise. The waves are gentle enough for children. Kayakers are drawn to the Mokulua Islands offshore. Small convenience stores and restaurants are within walking distance. And there's just enough wind to keep you from baking. It's paradise, but civilized.
Waves: Boogie board or surf some of the best breaks on the planet.
This 25-acre family attraction has waterslides, water cannons, and waterfalls. www.wetnwildhawaii.com. COST: $42. OPEN: M, Th, F 10:30--3:30; weekend 10:30--4.
Stories to inspire your own adventures at Outrigger's travel blog.