Explore Sensational San Francisco

Explore the hills of San Francisco, one of the most popular destinations in the US. The "City by the Bay" is steeped in history and has an endless array of things to do.

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The Iconic Hula Girl
The Iconic Hula Girl

The Iconic Hula Girl

Hula has become a worldwide symbol of Hawaii’s beautiful culture and people. Legend has it hula originated on the islands of Molokai and Kauai. 960 1280

  

The Lei

The Lei

In Hawaii, visitors are welcomed with a warm “aloha” and adorned with beautiful, fresh leis. The affectionate greeting is usually accompanied by a kiss. 960 1280

  

Surfing in Hawaii

Surfing in Hawaii

Once a sport reserved only for the alii (Hawaiian royalty), surfing is often called “the sport of kings.” Big wave surfing also originated in Hawaii when surfers began to ride powerful winter waves of Makaha in the 1950s. 960 1280

  

The Luau

The Luau

Hawaii's signature dance is often performed at luaus, which are traditional Hawaiian feasts. The Paradise Cove Luau, the Alii Luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center, both on Oahu, and the Old Lahaina Luau on Maui come highly recommended. 960 1280

  

A Hawaiian Tradition

A Hawaiian Tradition

The lei, a necklace of beautiful fresh flowers, has become a universal symbol of Hawaii. However, traditionally only women would wear flowers -- men would wear a lei of beads. 960 1280

  

Hula Auana

Hula Auana

A style of hula, hula auana is danced to western-inspired music and has a more modern, fluid style. Hula kahiko, also known as ancient hula, is danced in more traditional costumes to dramatic chants and percussion and less familiar to tourists. 960 1280

  

What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name?

Originally Hawaiian feasts were called pā‘ina or 'aha‘aina. The newer name comes its main dish known as Luau, young and tender leaves of the taro plant are combined with chicken and baked in coconut milk. 960 1280

  

The Feast

The Feast

The traditional luau feast was eaten on mats the floor and often featured poi (a Polynesian staple starch made of taro), poke (a raw salad of ‘ahi tuna), lomi salmon, opihi and haupia. 960 1280

  

Polynesian Culture

Polynesian Culture

In addition to hula, many luaus also feature Samoan fire dancers and Tahitian dancers. Don’t be surprised if you’re invited on stage to show off your moves in front of the crowd. 960 1280

Polynesian Culture  

Kālua Pig

Kālua Pig

Roasted pig is always the star of the Hawaiian luau. Kālua is a traditional Hawaiian cooking method and means, literally, “to cook in an underground oven.” 960 1280

  

Traditional Luaus

Traditional Luaus

Three things are fairly standard at traditional luaus: they’re always held at sunset, they’re usually on the beach, and everything is eaten with ones fingers. 960 1280

  

A pond with harp-playing angels at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. 960 1280

Missouri Botanical Garden  

An 18-foot model of the Titanic at the Titanic Museum in Branson. 960 1280

Titanic Museum Attraction  

Stingrays at the St. Louis Zoo. The 90-acre zoo is home to over 5,000 animals. 960 1280

St. Louis Zoo  

The American Jazz Museum located in Kansas City. This is the only museum in the world solely focused on the preservation, exhibition and advancement of jazz music. 960 1280

Scott Reynolds  

The GIANT Swing at Silver Dollar City theme park in Branson. 960 1280

Silver Dollar City Attractions  

Lurking on the front lawn of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, this giant bronze spider was designed by Louise Bourgeois. 960 1280

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Arts  

This 300,000-square-feet Bass Pro Shop is the largest store in Springfield. 960 1280

Bass Pro Shops  

The Anheuser Busch Brewery bottling plant at in St Louis. 960 1280

Tom Bastin - http://www.flickr.com/photos/16801915@N06/  

An antique horse carriage at the Museum of Westward Expansion in St. Louis. 960 1280

Tyson Blanquart - http://www.flickr.com/photos/binkle76/  

A night view of the Bloch Building at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. 960 1280

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art  

The Showboat Branson Belle, on beautiful Table Rock Lake in Branson, offers 3-course dinners and a variety show. 960 1280

Silver Dollar City Attractions  

The St. Louis skyline along the Mississippi River. St Louis is also known as "Gateway City" because it was located at the end of the first leg of the Oregon Trail and considered the dividing mark between the Eastern and Western US in the 1800s. 960 1280

iStock photo  

The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Independence, MO. 960 1280

Truman Library Institute  

Located near Van Buren, MO, Big Spring is one of the largest springs in the US. It originates at the base of a bluff on the west side of the Current River Valley in the Missouri Ozarks. 960 1280

Sharon Day