Kitch ‘n Cook’d Maui Potato Chips and Sam Sato’s Dry Noodles are two
must-haves while visiting Maui.. not to forget Tasaka Guri Guri!
U.S. News just published the results of a 2014 survey on the top 20 best places to visit in the U.S.A.. The rankings were based on a formula combining online reader votes, along with the opinion of reputable travel writers.
With that, Maui came out number #1 “No ka oi!” , where U.S. News summarized The Valley Isle as such:
“Maui is not nearly as large as the Big Island, nor is it as small as Lanai, as bustling as Oahu or as quiet as Kauai. For many Hawaii vacationers, Maui is just right — offering a taste of just about everything the Aloha State has to offer, from impressive wildlife to intriguing history and culture. While on a visit here, you can shimmy alongside professional hula dancers, golf along coastal fairways, snorkel alongside five different types of sea turtles or simply lounge along some of Hawaii’s most notable beaches.”
I couldn’t have described it better, and very well deserved pick for the top spot… I LOVE Maui!
Puna the traveling Tiki Gnome is happy to be lounging on the beach
at the 8th best place to visit in the U.S.
Honolulu – Oahu made it within the top 10 of those 20 as the 8th best place to visit in the U.S., where U.S. News summarized The Gathering Isle as such:
“Oahu blends cosmopolitan luxury and breathtaking scenery more than any other Hawaiian island. The state’s capital city, Honolulu, showcases the island’s urban appeal. Nearby you’ll find a host of cultural and historical sites, from the austere USS Arizona Memorial to ornate ‘Iolani Palace. In the nearby Waikiki neighborhood, a skyline of high-rises and resort hotels contrasts with sprawling white-sand beaches. For a taste of rural Hawaii, visit the North Shore. Here, you’ll find the most brilliant blue waters and meandering hikes. But those three spots aren’t all Oahu offers. Its high-class restaurants, vibrant cultural events, and wild nightlife further showcase this island as a “Gathering Place” of Hawaiian culture.”
Again, I couldn’t have described Oahu better. They also made this footnote:
“Oahu is a foodie’s paradise From celebrity chef steakhouses to mom-and-pop joints, the island’s restaurants serve up varied and delicious cuisine.”
And it’s only getting better, as our talented local chefs take Pacific Rim Cuisine to the next, next level with new restaurants such as James Beard nominated M&W near Ala Moana and Town in Kaimuki. While old school mom ‘n pop classics dust off the cabinets and rejuvenate themselves by opening fresh new locations, as did Highway Inn at Kaka’ako, Kamehameha Bakery at City Square, and coming soon, Liliha Bakery at Nimitz.
Not to mention the influx of specialty ethnic cuisine that’s making a big splash in Honolulu, such as the scores of new ramen shops from Japan, along with the already well established eateries serving up the best Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Okinawan, Taiwanese, Thai and Vietnamese dishes you can find this side of Kaena Point.
Being this is about best places to visit in the U.S.A., Oahu is also an excellent place to discover top notch all American steak houses served with an island touch, such as BLT Steak, D.K’s, Ruth’s Chris and Wolfgang’s in Waikiki, and Morton’s and Signature Steak & Seafood at Ala Moana. Burgers are also making waves here with “enthusiasts” burger joints popping up all over, including Honolulu Burger Company, Kua Aina, The Counter and Teddy’s.
Vegetarians and health fanatics visiting Oahu will also find tasty options, including the incredible Greens ‘n Vines Raw Vegan Gourmet Restaurant in Kaka’ako, along with excellent vegan and organic deli delights at Down To Earth at University and Kapolei, and of course Whole Foods in Kahala and Kailua.
U.S. News 2014 readers and critics choice survey:
20 Best Places to Visit in the U.S.A.
#3. Washington D.C.
#4. San Francisco
#5. New York City
#6. San Diego
#8. Honolulu – Oahu
#9. Orlando – Walt Disney
#10. U.S. Virgin Islands
#12. Cape Cod
#14. Jackson Hole
#15. Grand Canyon
#17. Las Vegas
#18. New Orleans
While I agree any of the main Hawaiian islands deserves a spot in the top 10, I find it hard to believe Las Vegas, New Orleans, Seattle and Aspen are at the bottom of the top 20 list. You can vote whether you agree or not with each choice at the U.S. News story page on this. There’s some interesting comments there as well.
There’s also some interesting comments in CNN’s report on this article here. One reader says they’ve “never been to Kawaii” (Kauai). lol