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Joelle's Geography Lesson

    Okay, maybe I've been wrong.  I just assumed everyone knew the lay of the land in Hawaii.   I know, "What happens when you assume?"  But hey, it is one of the 50 states, and we did all learn about it in grade school.  I was recently trying to explain (as I love to), where to go and what to do there.  My friend, Joelle, seemed a bit confused, and had to ask several times which things were on what island.  Now, don't feel bad if you have the same problem.  You're not alone.  Joelle is a person of reasonable intelligence, and is even married to an educator.  And she still had a problem with it.   I seem to hear the same confusion from a lot of first timers.  

So, here's Joelle's geography lesson, and you can use it too. 
(She's such a good sport.)


 I think some of the trouble stems from labels these places have had hung on them over the years.  Names like, the Main Island, the Big Island, the Gathering Place and the Valley Isle have added to the confusion.  I hear it a lot, that Honolulu is on the Big Island (Hawaii). 
No, Honolulu is in Hawaii.  See, isn't that better?  Of course not. 

As you'll see on the map, starting from the west, 

the four major islands are:  Kauai, Oahu, Maui and Hawaii.
Honolulu is the state capital, and the biggest city on the islands, by far. 
It is also located on the island of Oahu.  Which, in Hawaiian, means the gathering place. 
Some people call it the main island, which might lead you to mistake it for the Big Island. 
It's not.  The Big Island, home to the only active Volcano in the state, is the island of Hawaii.  

So, for a moment, let's forget the state is called Hawaii.   

The islands by their nicknames: The Garden Isle, the Gathering Place, the Valley Isle and the Big Island.  There are other smaller islands in the chain.  But, just concentrate on these four.
As you decide on which islands are for you, keep it simple.  Don't do more than two islands on one trip.  You'll spend too much of your priceless island time hopping between them.  Every time you switch islands, you pack, check out, turn in your car, wait for your flight, fly, get your bags, your car, check in, unpack.  Unless you're planning on a 3 or 4 week vacation, limit your islands. 
Of course, Maui should be one of them. (This is Jim's MAUI Guide)
And, if you're going to do another, only do one other.

    I'm going to furnish you with a cheat sheet which you can copy, paste and print out to keep with you while you plan your trip.  Here are the main attractions on each island listed separately.

Of course, there are many more things to see and do on each island.  

This is just a guide to help your memory.

If you came to this page by clicking a link on Maui: No Ka Oi, here is the LINK to return.

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