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Taking a Day Trip to An Outer Island - Part 2

1. Big Island Helicopter Tour of Volcano Eruption
Book this in advance and let the helicopter company help you with some of the planning. You won’t be the first outer island daytrippers they will have served. Some visitors travel from all over the world just to see the longest-erupting volcano in the world. The Big Island, which is about the size of all the other islands combined, is amazing in its own right, but the jewel in the crown is Kilauea volcano.

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You, no doubt, have seen photographs of lava pouring down crevices in the mountain, but until you see rock so hot that it has turned into a river, or hovered over a hidden waterfall of lava deep inside the mountain’s core, you will have missed one of the great sights on the planet. I prefer the helicopter tour because the volcano is not easily accessed by foot, and even if you do end up driving a couple of hours to the volcano and then hike over an hour of cooled lava, you will never see anything close to what you will see in a helicopter. Do this. And then, if you are still playing with “one up” currency watch the reactions of your friends when you say “we took a daytrip to see the volcano and went up in a helicopter over the flowing lava...” That should be enough to get the attention back on the person you love the most. Seriously, this is a great day trip.

Kilauea Lava Lake

2. Honolulu: Pearl Harbor Cruise and City Tour
As you can imagine, with over four million tourists who only come to Oahu, you will find a pretty sophisticated tourist scene with dozens of major companies packaging all kinds of day tours for people who are on that island. You can consult with your resort’s Concierge or do a little online research yourself to coordinate your arrival time.

Pearl Harbor Memorial

The Pearl Harbor tour is a tear jerker and very memorable even if you’re too young to have been impacted personally by World War II. It’s Ground Zero for another major attack on the United States, and while New York will have a great stone monolith to help you grieve, Pearl Harbor will provide a whole other experience as you stand on a platform on the water or a boat deck and look down at the battleships still lying on the bottom of the ocean full of young men who gave their lives for their country.

And then, you can climb aboard a bus and process your shock and grief while a Hawaiian tour escort points out the sights of Honolulu, a city of a million residents and a completely different tourist population. I know it sounds like a weird daytrip, but anything that touches our heart and reminds us of the price others have paid to make our lives safer and our textbooks full of English instead of Nazi quotes seems important.

If Pearl Harbor wasn’t on the agenda I don’t think I would spend the money for just a Honolulu daytrip. While Honolulu is almost ten times the density of Maui we have almost all of the quality shopping without all of the people, lines, noise and city energy...

...unless of course I was a history and culture buff.

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