• Cover options Can Geo Fall Travel 2017

    The cover on the far right won 62 per cent of the vote for its authentic portrayal of the Hawaiian island of O'ahu. 

I just caught myself Googling “Flight + hotel deals, Honolulu.”

For the moment that’s just wishful thinking, but it’s easy to figure out what inspired me to spend lunch staring at Hawaiian travel packages. Here at Canadian Geographic Travel, we’ve been working hard on an international fall issue — our annual collection of places Canadians love to go.

And although it’s packed with both destinations I’ve explored and to which I’d return in an instant (the California side of Lake Tahoe and Scotland’s Isle of Skye, for example) and many other places on my “To visit asap” list (Taiwan, Kyoto, Japan, and Brittany, France, for starters), O‘ahu in particular has stuck. That’s thanks to a combination of writer Leslie Anthony’s excellent feature story “Komo mai e ai” — typically hospitable Hawaiian for “come in, eat” — and the evocative picture that just won our cover vote with 62 per cent of the total (option 3, above). (Before going to press on each issue, we solicit feedback from thousands of followers to help us choose the cover.)

Many of our readers, I think, will soon also be daydreaming of famed Waikīkī Beach, gorgeous Ka‘ena Point, north-shore surfing and the like. One voter commented that the Hawaiian Islands are known for their lush flowers, and that including them as part of the image was a must. Another said they liked how the striped boat sail carries the eye from the beach up to Diamond Head crater’s edge. Several people wrote that they had been to Hawaii, and that while the first two covers could be any lovely tropical place, the third captured O‘ahu’s essence — resplendent blooms, landmark volcanic craters, blue waters and bright beaches, energy and serenity all at once. In short, our winning image is everything a Canadian traveller to north Polynesia might dream of getting out of O‘ahu — save for, perhaps, a delectable meal of fresh ahi poke or a kālua (roasted) pig. Those, you’ll just have to go and taste for yourself.

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