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    5 Places to Experience Hawaii on the Mainland
    Sometimes, you just need to escape to Hawaii for a little while. But when you factor in flight costs, hotel availabilities, and vacation days, that much-needed trip isn’t immediately feasible. Luckily, you don’t have to actually be on the islands to get on island time. Here, five places on the mainland United States where you can experience the island lifestyle.

    Photo by Alan Light
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    1. Lake Tahoe, California
    North Lake Tahoe restaurant Jake’s on the Lake prides itself on its “mountain aloha” spirit. From its perch overlooking Lake Tahoe, Jake’s serves fresh and local California fare, including some dishes with a Hawaiian flair, such as the ahi poke bowl.

    Down on the shore, Tahoe City Kayak offers lessons in stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), a sport that has its modern roots in Hawaii. Duke Kahanamoku (credited with bringing surfing to the mainstream) and others used to stand up and paddle their surfboards in the waves in order to better see the wannabe surfers they were instructing in the water. Nowadays, courageous paddlers can even take yoga lessons on their boards.

    Photo by Reno Tahoe/Flickr
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    2. Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho
    Hawaii was formed by volcanic activity, and the natural power of lava over land is a huge part of Hawaiian culture—the Hawaiian goddess Pele is said to control wind, fire, lightning, and volcanoes. There’s even a national park dedicated to the fire-spewing mountains: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Island of Hawaii.

    Thousands of miles away in Idaho, the mainland has been distinctly shaped by its own volcanic activity. At Craters of the Moon National Monument, you’ll see volcanic cones, which are basically craters formed due to volcanic activity. Plus, the national monument has dozens of solidified lava flows—freeze-frames of a time long ago when small volcanoes erupted in the area.

    Photo by Bureau of Land Management/Flickr
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    3. Brooklyn, New York
    Crystalyn Costa grew up in Hilo on the Island of Hawaii. After moving to Brooklyn, she started to miss the authentic Hawaiian dishes she used to cook with her grandma back home—things like Kalua pig and shoyu shrimp skewers. So she started cooking, and sharing, those meals in her adopted home. It was no surprise that when she opened her restaurant, Onomea, in 2013, all the dishes were based on family recipes. There’s no better place in New York to get traditional Hawaiian fare.

    Courtesy of @onomeanyc
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    4. West Palm Beach, Florida
    If you’ve traveled to Hawaii before, you’ve probably seen a sea turtle. Unafraid of humans, they swim alongside snorkelers and scuba divers, skirt around surfers and stand-up paddlers, and lay on the shore just feet away from humans’ cabanas. West Palm Beach, Florida, has similarly chill aquatic reptiles. In fact, five of the seven sea turtle species in the world live in West Palm Beach, and local diving outfitters such as Walker’s Dive Charters or Jim Abernethy’s Scuba Adventures will be able to take you out to sea to swim alongside them.

    Photo by opacity/Flickr
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    5. Monterey Bay, California
    Another marine animal that’s a Hawaiian must-see? Humpback whales, which make the water surrounding the islands home during the winter months. These whales can also be seen from boats in Monterey Bay from April through December, as their migration path passes right along the California coast. Companies like Monterey Bay Whale Watch will get you on the water, and veteran staff will keep a keen eye out for humpbacks—once you spot one, you’ll be able to follow it, and watch it dive and resurface for as long as you like.

    Photo by J. Maughn/Flickr
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    Courtesy of Pixabay

5 Places to Experience Hawaii on the Mainland

Get into the aloha spirit without crossing the Pacific.