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Hawaii Kings Tour with 100.5 The River’s Andy Rent and YMT Vacations

The Kalalau Valley on Kauai is spectacular. (Photo: YMT Vacations)

100.5 The River‘s Andy Rent is touring Hawaii with YMT Vacations and about three dozen people for nearly two weeks.

They are all on the Hawaii Kings Tour, a 13-day Hawaiian escape. The trek includes explorations of the rich history and tradition of the Hawaiian Islands along with relaxation, entertainment, food, libations and culture.

A rainbow pierces the sky along the Kaanapali Parkway in west Maui. (Photo: Hawaii Tourism Japan/Hawaii Tourism Authority)

Highlights include historic Pearl Harbor, scenic Waikiki Beach, the “Garden Isle” of Kauai, cruising the Wailua River, venturing on Maui, exploring the Iao Valley and Lahaina, traipsing across the Big Island of Hawaii from Hilo, discovering the Mauna Kea and Kilauea volcanoes, enjoying the black sand beaches at Punalu’u and soaking in the rays of Kona, which gets 354 days of sunshine annually.

The trek started Wednesday by taking off for Hawaii from Gerald R. Ford International Airport via Delta. The Hawaiian explorations begin in earnest today when the group arrives in Honolulu.

Aloha!


Day 1

Fly to Hawaii
 
 

Arrive in Honolulu.

The aloha welcome included a beautiful flower lei and and transfer to the Ohana Waikiki East Hotel in Waikiki.

 
Hawaii's world famous Waikiki Beach (Photo: YMT Vacations)
Hawaii's world famous Waikiki Beach (Photo: YMT Vacations)

Day 2

Oahu
 
 

Tour Pearl Harbor and Honolulu.

At Pearl Harbor, take a U.S. Navy launch to the USS Arizona Memorial to pay tribute to the fallen heroes who lost their lives on Dec. 7, 1941, during the Japanese forces' attack to ignite U.S. participation in World War II.

Explore the visitor center, a 23-minute film and the museums' exhibits.

Next, head off to see the sights of Honolulu.

En route is Pali lookout for stunning views of the windward coastline of Oahu and once the scene of the greatest battle victory by King Kamehameha. Set foot in a dormant volcano, visit Punchbowl Crater and tour the National Cemetery of the Pacific before continuing to downtown Honolulu.

See the State Capitol and Iolani Palace, which is recognizable as police headquarters for CBS' "Hawaii Five-0." In reality, it was the residence of the last queen of Hawaii.

Drive through China Town and view King Kamehameha’s statue before returning to Waikiki.

 
The USS Arizona Memorial straddles the sunken hull of the battleship USS Arizona and commemorates the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. (Photo: Kirk Lee Aeder/Hawaii Tourism Authority)
The USS Arizona Memorial straddles the sunken hull of the battleship USS Arizona and commemorates the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. (Photo: Kirk Lee Aeder/Hawaii Tourism Authority)

Day 3

Oahu
 
 

Enjoy another day in paradise in Waikiki.

The famous Waikiki Beach and shopping on Kalakaua Avenue are within strolling distance.

Options over the next couple days include entertainment at Legends in Concert Waikiki Royal Hawaiian Theater at Royal Hawaiian Center; the spectacular Illusions of Polynesia; and Polynesian Cultural Center's diversity, history and tradition.

 
A couple strolls on Waikiki Beach. (Photo: Getty Images)
A couple strolls on Waikiki Beach. (Photo: Getty Images)

Day 4

Oahu
 
 

This is a leisurely day.

Spend the day in Waikiki.

Stroll Waikiki Beach. Do some snorkeling.

Visit the Hawaii Army Museum, which shares tells the military stories of Hawaii, from ancient times to the Gulf War and the War in Iraq.

 
Oahu offers tradewind-caressed white sand beaches and turquoise-colored bays that are perfect for snorkeling and other aquatic pursuits. (Photo: YMT Vacations)
Oahu offers tradewind-caressed white sand beaches and turquoise-colored bays that are perfect for snorkeling and other aquatic pursuits. (Photo: YMT Vacations)

Day 5

Kauai
 
 

In the morning, fly to Kauai.

The tropical island paradise is known as the “Garden Isle” because of its daily rainbows, lush forests, majestic mountains and emerald valleys.

Visit the magnificent Opaekaa Falls.

Then, head to Wailua River Marina, and take a leisurely cruise along the scenic Wailua River to the amazingly tropical and romantic Fern Grotto.

Arrive in early afternoon at the Courtyard by Marriott Coconut Kauai hotel.

 
Kauai is a lush Hawaiian destination. (Photo: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Kauai is a lush Hawaiian destination. (Photo: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

Day 6

Kauai
 
 

It’s no wonder that an impressive list of Hollywood productions have used this emerald island as a setting, including "Jurassic Park," "South Pacific" and "Fantasy Island."

Kauai is the oldest of the Hawaiian Islands, with tropical rain forests, forking rivers and cascading waterfalls.

 
Dusk at sea from the island of Kauai. (Photo: Miguel Pereira/Cover/Getty Images)
Dusk at sea from the island of Kauai. (Photo: Miguel Pereira/Cover/Getty Images)

Day 7

Kauai
 
 

If ever there was a place to have an experience of a lifetime, it's on Kauai.

The island includes spectacular scenery, waterfalls and the stunning Napali coastline.

An option: Take a helicopter sightseeing flight.

 
A long view of the Napali coastline. (Photo: Tor Johnson/Hawaii Tourism Authority)
A long view of the Napali coastline. (Photo: Tor Johnson/Hawaii Tourism Authority)

Day 8

Maui
 
 

In the morning, fly to the island of Maui.

Known as the Valley Isle, tour its stunning Iao Valley. The valley's spectacular waterfalls and lush tropical foliage surround the Iao Needle, a rock formation rising more than 2,000 feet. Stop at Iao Needle Lookout Trail, a paved loop trail through an ethno-botanical garden adjacent to Iao stream with a scenic viewpoint of the needle.

You can also explore the town of Lahaina, the picturesque old whaling capital of the Pacific. It looks much today as it did at the end of the 19th century.

Arrive at Kaanapali Beach Hotel in the resort of Kaanapali in the afternoon.

 
The Iao Needle rises more than 2,000 feet, and is a focal point on Maui. (Photo: Ron Garnett/Hawaii Tourism Authority)
The Iao Needle rises more than 2,000 feet, and is a focal point on Maui. (Photo: Ron Garnett/Hawaii Tourism Authority)

Day 9

Maui
 
 

Kaanapali is one of the best beaches in Hawaii.

From December to April, see whales swimming just off shore. It's an amazing natural sight.

 
Humpback whales swim in the waters off Maui, with the west Maui mountains in the background. (Photo: Tor Johnson/Hawaii Tourism Authority)
Humpback whales swim in the waters off Maui, with the west Maui mountains in the background. (Photo: Tor Johnson/Hawaii Tourism Authority)
 
 

In the morning, fly to Hilo on the Island of Hawai'i (the Big Island).

Head for the waiting motorcoach for a full-day sightseeing tour from Hilo en route to Kona.

First, make two short stops at a Macadamia nut factory and an orchid nursery, both important Hawaiian exports.

Then, head off to ascend the rugged countryside to Volcanoes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. See a smoking and steaming volcano as you look out across the Kilauea Caldera, within which lies the Halemaumau Crater.

Also vist Jaggar Museum & Visitor Center to learn about the geology and history of the volcano.

Next, take a walk through Thurston’s Lava Tube.

Before leaving the park, head for Kona to view the expansove Kilauea Crater and its steam vents.

Then, depart to Punalu'u's black sand volcanic beach.

After a lunch stop, journey across the island and arrive in Kona in late afternoon.

Check into Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel.

 
A couple overlooks Halemaumau Crater in Volcanoes National Park. (Photo: Tor Johnson/Hawaii Tourism Authority)
A couple overlooks Halemaumau Crater in Volcanoes National Park. (Photo: Tor Johnson/Hawaii Tourism Authority)
 
 

Nearing the end of your Hawaii stay in Hawaii, today relax by the beach or stroll along the bay to explore the quaint waterfront old town of Kona, with shops, galleries, restaurants and cafes.

It's a perfect way to spend your final full day in Kona.

 
A warrior marker and a church are landmarks in Kailua-Kona. (Photo: Tor Johnson/Hawaii Tourism Authority)
A warrior marker and a church are landmarks in Kailua-Kona. (Photo: Tor Johnson/Hawaii Tourism Authority)
 
 

Enjoy Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel amenities or the relaxed pace of this sleepy town on your last full day.

In the evening, hang out with your new friends at the optional farewell event of the King Kamehameha Feast.

 
Hawaiian dancers show off their native garb. [Photo: YMT Vacations]
Hawaiian dancers show off their native garb. [Photo: YMT Vacations]
 
 

Say farewell.

Transfer to Kona's airport to head to Honolulu, continuing your journey home.

 
The King Kamehameha statue stands sentry-like in Kapaau on Hawai'i. (Photo: Tor Johnson/Hawaii Tourism Authority)
The King Kamehameha statue stands sentry-like in Kapaau on Hawai'i. (Photo: Tor Johnson/Hawaii Tourism Authority)

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