Hawaii is the only U.S. state located in Oceania and the only one composed entirely of islands.
Also it is the only U.S. state located outside North America.
Situated nearly at the center of the north Pacific Ocean, Hawaii marks the northeast corner of Polynesia.
Hawaii, along with Alaska, does not border any other U.S. state.
As of 1 January 2018, the population of Hawaii was estimated to be 1.43 million. It is the 40th most populous state in the United States.
Hawaii is the 43rd largest state in the United States in terms of total area with 28,311 square kilometers (10,931 square miles).
Honolulu is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Hawaii. It is the most remote city of its size in the world and is the westernmost major U.S. city. It is one of the safest cities in the U.S. Honolulu means “sheltered harbor” or “calm port.”
The state encompasses nearly the entire volcanic Hawaiian archipelago, which comprises hundreds of islands spread over 2,400 kilometers (1,500 miles).
The Hawaiian archipelago is located 3,200 kilometers (2,000 miles) southwest of the contiguous United States.
There are eight main Hawaiian islands, seven of which are permanently inhabited. There are also several atolls, numerous smaller islets, and seamounts.
Hawaii’s tallest mountain Mauna Kea is 4,205 meters (13,796 feet) above mean sea level; it is taller than Mount Everest if measured from the base of the mountain, which lies on the floor of the Pacific Ocean and rises about 10,200 meters (33,500 feet).
The state’s coastline is about 1,210 kilometers (750 miles) long, the fourth longest in the U.S. after the coastlines of Alaska, Florida, and California.
Hawaii beaches are some of the best in the world.
Waikiki Beach is the most famous beach in Hawaii. This 3.2-kilometer (2-mile) stretch of white sand and calm turquoise blue ocean fringed by towering high-rises and boutique resorts. At the end of the beach is the extinct volcano known as Diamond Head, adding a spectacular backdrop to the incredible sun drenched beach.
Hawaii has 8 national park and 50 state parks.
Volcanoes National Park Located on the Big Island of Hawaii. The park was established on August 1, 1916. It encompasses two active volcanoes: Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and Mauna Loa, the world’s most massive shield volcano. The park delivers scientists insight into the birth of the Hawaiian Islands and ongoing studies into the processes of volcanism. In recognition of its outstanding natural values, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park was designated as an International Biosphere Reserve in 1980 and a World Heritage Site in 1987.
Haleakala National Park is located on the island of Maui. It was originally created as part of the Hawaii National Park along with the volcanoes of Mauna Loa and Kilauea on the island of Hawai’i in 1916. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park was made into a separate national park in 1961. The park features the dormant Haleakala (East Maui) Volcano, and offers spectacular sunrise views & glimpses of local endangered birds.
Diamond Head is one of Hawaii’s most famous landmarks. Known in Hawaiian as Le’ahi, so named by Hi’laka, the sister of the fire god Pele, because the summit supposedly resembles the forehead (lae) of the yellowfin tuna fish (‘ahi). It wasn’t until the late 1700’s, when western traders thought they had found diamonds on the slope of the crater, that they began to call it Diamond Head. In 1968, Diamond Head was declared a U.S. National Natural Landmark.
Waipi’o Valley is a valley located on the Big Island of Hawai’i. It was home to old Hawaiian kings and once upon a time was densely populated. Now however, Waipi’o valley is mostly wilderness interspersed with taro fields. It is surrounded by lush cliff walls and opens out to the ocean, where the black sand beach is met with white waves and blue water.
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is one of the most spectacular natural resources in Hawaii. It is located along the southeast coast of the Island of O’ahu. The coral of Hanauma Bay is home to over 450 varieties of fish, as well as octopus, crabs and eels. The bay is also known for its abundance of green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas, known as Honu.
The USS Arizona Memorial, at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii, marks the resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors and Marines killed on USS Arizona (BB-39) during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and commemorates the events of that day. The attack on Pearl Harbor and the island of O’ahu led to the United States’ direct involvement in World War II. The memorial, built in 1962, is visited by more than two million people annually.
The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) is a Polynesian-themed theme park and living museum located in Laie, on the northern shore of Oahu. Within eight simulated tropical villages, performers demonstrate various arts and crafts from throughout Polynesia. The PCC is one of the most frequently visited tourist destinations in Hawaii.
The history of Hawaii begins sometime between 124 and 800 CE, with some theories dating the earliest Polynesian settlements to the 10th or even 13th century.
Europeans led by British explorer James Cook arrived in the Hawaiian Islands in 1778.
European military technology helped Kamehameha I [image below] conquer and unify the islands for the first time, establishing the Kingdom of Hawaii.
American immigration began almost immediately after European contact, led by Protestant missionaries.
The native population succumbed to disease brought by the Europeans, declining from 300,000 in the 1770s over 60,000 in the 1850s to 24,000 in 1920.
The population of Hawaii began to finally increase after an influx of primarily Asian settlers that arrived as migrant laborers at the end of the 19th century.
Hawaii is the 50th and most recent state to have joined the United States of America, having received statehood on August 21, 1959.
The state of Hawaii derives its name from the name of its largest island, Hawai’i. A common Hawaiian explanation of the name of Hawai’i is that was named for Hawai’iloa, a legendary figure from Hawaiian myth. He is said to have discovered the islands when they were first settled.
Formerly the Hawaiian Islands was known to Europeans and Americans as the “Sandwich Islands”, a name chosen by James Cook in honor of the then First Lord of the Admiralty John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich.
Only people with native Hawaiian ancestry are called “Hawaiians”. No matter how old you are or how long you’ve lived in the state, people of non-Hawaiian ancestry – even those born and raised there – call themselves “locals”, or Kamaaina.
Hawaii’s diverse natural scenery, warm tropical climate, abundance of public beaches, oceanic surroundings, and active volcanoes make it a popular destination for tourists, surfers, biologists, and volcanologists.
Hawaii was characterized by Mark Twain as “the loveliest fleet of islands that lies anchored in any ocean.”
There are five active volcanoes in the state of Hawaii and four of them are on Big Island.
With rich volcanic soil and ideal farming conditions, Hawaii is the only U.S. state that grows coffee. In 2006, Kona coffee was named by Forbes.com as one of the world’s top 10 most expensive brews at around $34 per pound.
The Hawaiian alphabet has 13 letters: five vowels and eight consonants.