Two extremely different states, united by only one thing, and that is their admission to the Union in the same year – 1959. However, that is probably the only thing they have in common. While Alaska is the northernmost state, Hawaii is the southernmost. Alaska is the largest state in the area, Hawaii is almost the smallest. Alaska is known for its cold winters, while Hawaii welcomes its visitors with its tropical weather. What should you not miss on your way to adventure in these countries? Check out our tips.
Alaska is located in the extreme northwestern part of the North American continent, which is connected to the Pacific Ocean in the west and south, to the Arctic Ocean in the north, and is separated by a long border with Canada in the east. The Alaskan coast is the longest of all American states. What can Alaska offer you?
Watch the Tidewater Glacier crash into the ocean
If you ever want to be reminded of the power of nature, watch a five-story chunk of ice break off a glacier and explode right into the ocean below. Interestingly, a piece of ice from a glacier the size of a baseball weighs about half a kilo. Can you imagine how much the whole wall weighs?
Flying over Alaska
Flying over mountains, glaciers, and crevasses is an experience from another world. While sitting in the comfort of a plane or helicopter, you will see ice formations that have never been touched by humans. Enjoy the ride of your life – where else but in Alaska?
Watching the glacial river
Alaskan rivers are unique. Whether you decide to swim in the river or just stand on its bank, the idea of this huge amount of glacial water is simply overwhelming. Alaska’s more than 30,000 rivers have been flowing for thousands of years.
Whale watching in the ocean
It may not be that rare to spot whales during their annual journey of thousands of kilometers to Alaska. But it’s certainly exciting when you see how these enormous creatures throw their weight into the air with ease. Do not miss this magical experience.
Meet the people of Alaska
Author John McPhee described them best: “Ordinary people with extraordinary dreams.” They might be the friendliest and most trusting people in America. You will appreciate their simple lifestyle.
In addition to typical souvenirs in the shape of hula girls and pineapples, many adventures await you. Check out the best ones!
Watch for turtles at Punalu’u Black Sand Beach
The black sand of Punalu’u Beach, located on the Big Island, is the result of lava coming in contact with the ocean, which instantly cools it. This is a change from the standard white sand beaches. Another bonus is the sea turtles, which prefer to nest in the warmer black sand.
Experience the beauty of volcanoes up close
The Big Island and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are home to two active volcanoes: Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. If you have never seen a volcano before, this is the opportunity to explore its beauty. While you’re here, visit the summit of Kīlauea via the Crater Rim Drive or the Chain of Craters Road to see the East Rift and other coastal areas of the park.
There are many hiking trails and lava flows throughout the park. To see the power of a volcanic eruption up close, head to the rim of Kīlauea Iki Crater.
Dive into Hanauma Bay
Known as Oahu’s top snorkeling spot, Hanauma Bay is a curved stretch of beach and bay formed when part of a crater sank into the ocean. Today, it is home to many marine animals and divers in search of an exciting experience.
Don’t forget Pearl Harbor
While most of Hawaii is a complete dream, there are a few places on the islands that will amaze you in ways other than beauty. One such place is Pearl Harbor. This area is famous around the world for the devastating Japanese attacks on the U.S. in 1941. It is now a memorial site that you can visit to honor the memory of more than 2,000 fallen soldiers. Tours are organized every day.
Walk around the Waikiki neighborhood of Honolulu
Hawaii’s capital, Honolulu, is a must-see as it is the entry point to the other islands. Beautiful beaches await you, as well as great shopping and dining options in Waikiki. In the distance you can admire the crater of the Diamond Head volcano. If you have enough courage and want to experience a good dose of adrenaline, take a hike to the top of the volcano.