Saturday, December 16, 2006

Hawaii's OTHER Islands

If you're like me, you probably weren't very familiar with Hawaiian geography until you actually decided to vacation there. Since our honeymoon in September was our first trip to the state, I knew little about the distinctions between the islands. We learned a lot from our travel agent and decided to visit two islands, Kauai and Maui.

Oahu is the most popular of the Hawaiian islands, with a population of around 900,000. It is home to the capital city of Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, and Waikiki. We haven't been there yet, but have been told it's very urban - like New York on an island.

The Big Island (also named 'Hawaii') is bigger than all of the other Hawaiian islands combined, although its population is only around 150,000. It boasts a variety of landscapes, including beautiful beaches, mountains, desert, waterfalls, and the only active volcano in Hawaii.

Maui is a popular island to visit, with a population of about 118,000. Its gorgeous landscapes attract tourists to areas like Lahaina, Hana, and Wailea. It also features the world's largest dormant volcanic crater, the 10,023 foot Mount Haleakala.

Molokai is only 250 square miles and has a population of 7,500. It offers agriculture, ranching, tourism, and the world's highest sea cliffs. The island of Lanai is even smaller, at only 140 square miles and a population of 3,200. It used to be known as the 'Pineapple Island' when the entire island consisted of a Dole Pineapple plantation. Currently it is phasing in tourism and is home to two world class resorts.

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