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As the most isolated major land mass in the world, Hawaii has flora, fauna and a culture like no where else in the world. Formed over 8 million years ago by still active volcanoes the geography is sheer and magical. Set near the equator but blessed with ever present slight trade winds, the islands have a near perfect climate that averages 80 degrees year round.
Comprised of seven major islands and hundreds of seldom seen small islands scattered to the North and West, Hawaii is a diverse and stunning place. Oahu is the primary economic center of the state and home to the state capital of Honolulu and well known Waikiki beach.
There are a great many kinds of accommodations in the islands, from giant villas in destination resorts to hotel room budget units in higher traffic spots like Waikiki. At Sunspots we have a nice range and specialize in vacation rental condos and homes.
Hawaii has a culture that many appreciate for its emphasis on the "Aloha," a true life style that embraces sensitivity for others, a love of the "aina" the land and respect for everything that surrounds us. The word itself can mean love, compassion and harmony and may be used as a casual greeting or as one of profound respect. Hawaiian's don't use Aloha as tourist slogan - although you will be greeted by it repeatedly - but instead as a genuine reminder of how people in Hawaii expect to live their lives.
In Hawaii cultural thoughts are interrelated. For example the Hula is a dance seen often at hotels, concerts and festivals. But it is also a genuine art form and a righteous craft taken very seriously by its practitioners. Adherence to Hula principals requires one to be "pono" to live and do right.
While most have heard some forms of Hawaiian music, in fact there is no single such thing. Slack key guitar playing is one skill as is "leo ki`eki`e" a kind of Hawaiian falsetto and one of its greatest contributions to culture. The list of well known Hawaiian songs is long and decades ago hapa-houle (part Hawaiian part non-Hawaiian) songs were all the rage on Broadway and in films.
But Hawaiian music is always growing. Today, contemporary artists are just as apt to take a Beatles song and make it Hawaiian as they are to incorporate other world music and especially Jamaican in their repertoire.
If you visit Hawaii, be sure to check for a listing of local concerts and events. Or keep an eye out at the beach or parks for adlib music get together. The level of musicianship is astounding because it stars early. Drive by any elementary school as it gets out for the day and I'll see every other child with an Ukulele over their shoulder. Music is way of life in Hawaii.
Hawaii is also rich in traditional hand arts such as weaving and chants.
There may be no place in the world that can compare with the variety of activities as in Hawaii. On the sea you can go whale watching, scuba diving or deep sea fishing. From shore you can swim, scuba or kit or wind surf. And don't forget just lounging in the sun, but be careful it burns quicker than you think due to the state's proximity to the equator.
In most areas you can rent bikes or long rides through the country side or, better yet, take an all down hill ride from the summit of a mountain to the beach. Due to the precipitous peaks and valleys, hiking is a favored activity and be sure to do some birding along the way. Hawaii is home to a dazzling array of bird life found no where else in the world.
From the air Hawaii is even more spectacular so consider a helicopter extravaganza to see what most folkswill miss. There are also small aircraft flights and even ultra light aircraft. Para-shooting too for the adventurous.
In recent years zip-lining and irrigation ditch float trips have become the rage because you can get back into ranch lands usually off limits for visitors. There you'll see pristine mountain rivers and deep jungle like locations.
Oh - and don't worry too much about pests - Hawaii has no snakes and fewer pesky bugs than other tropical climates. We do have, however, the ever present Geckos, a kind of small lizard that brings good luck because they eat bugs. You'll often find them perched next to the light outside your front door.
You can get most any kind of great food in Hawaii from Asian Fusion to European and Continental. But you'll definitely want to experience Hawaiian cuisine at one of the many visitor oriented restaurants and cafes. And be sure to spend an evening at one of the many sumptuous luaus. The food will be great as will the authentic entertainment.
Over seven million people visit Hawaii each year. And who can blame them. And they all have to stay somewhere. The majority arrives in Honolulu and stay in one of the many large and impressive resorts and hotels on Oahu especially in the Waikiki Beach area. Visitor to neighbor islands is growing even faster. Today, Maui is a hub of activity. The Big Island (Hawaii) and Kauai are also growing.
On each island you will find small lodges, bed and breakfast operations and a wide variety of private vacation homes for rent. These range from small budget oriented condos to expansive villas for the rich and famous. Picking a vacation rental home takes a bit of work. You must pick the island you prefer, the town or resort area, the management company to work with and the specific home you want to occupy. Finding your perfect place will be worth the effort.
Most visitors are surprised that Hawaii was a Monarch until 1893 when a group of haoule (those of European origin) entered the place and deposed Queen Lili`uokalani who stepped aside in a bloodless coup to avoid violence. Today certain Hawaiians are working to regain their independence and to preserve Hawaiian culture. Only time will tell the outcome of this struggle but it is being waged in a Pono manner which is sure to produce a viable and peaceful result.
Sunspots News & Events
Newly Renovated Beachwood Resort a Family Favorite (08/01/12) iLoveBeachwood.com — Beloved family friendly Beachwood has undergone major renovation of Bungalows, Clubhouse, infrastructure & landscaping. Enchanting tree tunnel entrance remains & now with a own towering light house. click to read story »
Sunspots President - 10 Things Vacation Rental Websites Won't Say (12/14/11) Smart Money Magazine — Since 2008, when Americans spent $24 billion on vacation rentals, the industry has undergone a veritable sea change, thanks to a new breed of travel-booking websites click to read story »
Skyo Lodge Mount Rainier Packwood Vacation Rental (11/13/11) PackwoodSunspots.com — For years Skyo Lodge in the shadow of Mount Rainier National Park, had been a favorite vacation rental. Now it has been updated, renovated and is under new management with Packwood Sunspot Managers. click to read story »
Sunspots Inns, Resorts & Vacation Rentals - Finito Services LLC PO Box 23039 Seattle, WA 98102-0339 USA Independent Members of the Sunspot Vacation Rentals Network
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