Thanks to our friends over at Elite Traveller for providing this article, we asked them if they wanted to guest post on our site after reading the Top 5 things to do in the Maldives over there. We hoped some of you guys would find this alternative destination, Hawaii, equally as impressive, and depending where you are located, more accessible!

The lush greenery and colourful flowers set against the backdrop of black volcanic rock extending from the crystal blue waters below is a scene unlike anywhere else on earth. Hawaii is a brilliant location for a tropical getaway, thanks the diversity of scenery and activities the state has to offer.

The availability of cheap flights to Hawaii means this is a fairly inexpensive trip to make as well. Whether you are seeking unparalleled surfing, one-of-a-kind volcanic beaches, or one of the numerous outdoor activities on offer, this is one trip everyone should make at least once. Of course, after you experience its beauty in person, you will want to return again and again.

The state of Hawaii is composed of six volcanic islands, each offering its own vibe and special characteristics, but all recognisable as a single entity. While a lot of holidaymakers opt to visit just one island, you’d be crazy not to take advantage of your time there and explore others.

If you’re considering heading to Hawaii, you really can’t go wrong with any of the islands. Here is a closer look at three of the most popular choices. Pick one and off you go!

Maui

Maui is probably the most obvious choice as a honeymoon destination, an honour bestowed upon the island not only by virtue of its romantic scenery, but as a result of its magical atmosphere also. There’s something special about the air here; from the scent of orchids and plumeria wafting through the breeze, to the dozens of rainbows that seemingly pop up at every corner after the light afternoon showers that occur almost daily.

You can find accommodation in a posh resort in Wailea, or more traditional Hawaiian lodging in Hana. Food lovers flock to Lahaina to feast on the fresh seafood and other culinary treasures that boast the plethora of local ingredients.

Somewhat off the beaten path is the road to Hana – an undulating road with over 600 curves and hairpin turns. This is where you’ll want to pull out your camera, because the views here are simply breathtaking.

The terrain, you ask? Weaving through the stunning tracks you can’t help but feel like a rally driver, while heart-stopping sheer cliffs drop off the side into the Pacific in picturesque fashion. Luxury car rental is popular throughout the island, so folks – it’s definitely a drive you can make in style. There are plenty of interesting stops along the way, allowing you to take in the beauty of the rainforests and waterfalls that you pass.

Oahu

Oahu is home to Hawaii’s capital city of Honolulu, and is the centre of its commercial and political activities. You’ll find most of the state’s inhabitants on this island, and the cultural diversity of Hawaii is nowhere more apparent than in Oahu. Honolulu International Airport is the entry point of most international flights to Hawaii.

Nearby Pearl Harbor, an important historical landmark, is filled with museums and memorials that are interesting as well as educational. Even visitors who aren’t too keen on history will enjoy walking through the authentic USS Bowfin submarine and exploring everything from the sleeping area to the engine room to the torpedo area. Okay, so this isn’t the romantic part of your holiday, but hey – this will keep the boys happy!

Hiking you say? Diamond Head State Monument is probably going to be your best bet. Christened “Diamond Head” by British sailors who mistakenly thought crystals in the area were in fact the precious gems, the journey is more than just a traditional hike. The trail includes abandoned military bunkers and underground tunnels that’ll have you reaching for a torch. If all this sounds too hard, don’t worry – you’re rewarded with breathtaking views and incredible scenery at the top of the crater.

Kauai

The North Shore of Kauai is perhaps one of the most picturesque locales in all of the islands; the mountains, cliffs, and beaches are so beautiful that they almost seem unreal. The nearby Kilauea Lighthouse is an ideal lookout point for whale watching, and nearby you’ll stumble across several botanical gardens in the area to meet your ‘holiday snaps’ quota!

Arguably, Kauai’s gem is the quaint Hanapepe Town – a village dotted with plantation-style buildings that house art galleries, boutiques, and eateries. This place oozes charm, and is a great change of pace from the excitement of the islands if you feel like taking a stroll.

Thanks again to the Elite Traveller travel blog for this post