A state of the United States in the central Pacific Ocean comprising the Hawaiian Islands. The islands became a U.S. territory in 1900, which was admitted as the 50th state in 1959. Honolulu, on Ohau, is the capital and the largest city. Population, 1,115,274.
Hawaii(Hawaiian Islands), USA Tourist Attractions
Comprised of eight main islands, Hawaii is home of the world's most active volcano, the crater of Kilauea on Mauna Loa. Sandy beaches, towering volcanoes, and lush valleys lure thousands of tourists each year to this tropical paradise. World-famous Waikiki was once a playground for Hawaiian royalty. Known in Hawaiian as "spouting waters," Waikiki was introduced to the Hawaii Travel world when its first hotel, the Moana Surfrider, was built on its shores in 1901. Today, Waikiki is a vibrant gathering place for visitors from around the world. Along the main strip of Kalakaua Avenue you'll find world-class shopping, dining, entertainment, and hospitality.
At legendary Waikiki Beach, a statue of Hawaiian hero Duke Kahanamoku welcomes you with open arms. Regarded as the "Father of modern surfing," Duke grew up and surfed in Waikiki during the turn of the century. Discovered as a swimming sensation, the prodigious Duke won Olympic gold medals in the 100-meter freestyle in 1912 and 1920. The amiable Duke later went on to act in Hollywood and used his fame to spread the popularity of surfing and the spirit of aloha around the world.
From Hawaiian royalty to Hawaiian Regional Cuisine, Waikiki continues to be an evolving expression of the ancient spirit of aloha. On these famous shores, the past and the future are uniting in fresh and surprising ways.
Hawaii is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and in the middle of the Pacific Plate. In this Hawaii Attractions map the major tectonic plates are each given a different color. The Pacific Plate is blue. London
Hawaii is a unique archipelago (island chain) formed from a geologic 'hot spot' (see next section on Geology for details). It will always be changing over millions of years. Hawaii arises from the deep ocean floor of the North Pacific Ocean, right in the middle of the Pacific tectonic plate. Because of this, its mountain peaks are the highest on Earth - a total of close to 32,000 feet from bottom to top (rising from 18,000 feet below the surface of the ocean to about 14,000 feet above sea level). The Hawaiian island chain is composed of volcanoes in all stages - active erupting ones (sometimes making new acreage), dormant ones eroding away, and dead ones that may have subsided below the ocean. Hawaii is one of the most isolated of the islands on Earth - being over 3,000 miles from the closest continental land mass and 2,000 miles from the nearest island.
The four main Hawaiian Islands.
Today we know four main Hawaiian Islands - Kaui, Oahu, Maui, Hawaii. These formed about five million years ago or less. Originally the islands were devoid of any life forms.
Ocean currents brought marine creatures, in the form of microscopic planktonic larvae, that settled and grew into the bottom dwellers (coral, seastars, sea cucumbers, etc.). Once the bottom dwellers (benthos) became established, a whole ecosystem flourished. Many fish and large pelagic vertebrates found a niche in the Hawaiian waters, coming here to feed or reproduce during specific seasons.
Hawaii's typical vegetation on the wet sides of the islands.
On land seeds were brought by winds, currents, or transported on the feathers and feet of visiting birds. As plants grew on land any herbivorous (plant eating) animals could survive. Some of these animals arrived floating on logs or vegetation mats from the far away continents and flying species arrived by air. It was the rare arriving species that could find enough to eat in order to survive in the Hawaii Tourism early days of each island as the vegetation got established. In order for a species to continue to exist, these new arrivals needed to arrive with a mate or be a pregnant female. Over millions of years animals did arrive and the unique ecosystem of Hawaii's islands established itself.
Hawaiian petroglyphs near Waikoloa, Hawaii with the Kings highway (trail) in the background are well preserved and were made sometime between 1400 and 1800.
The first people believed to settle in Hawaii came sometime between 300 and 500 A.D. - probably from the Marquesas Islands (2,500 miles away). Around 1,000-1,300 A.D. another group of settlers arrived, this time from the Society Islands. The early settlers brought pigs, dogs, and their own edible plants that forever changed the native Hawaiian ecosystems.
One of the thick walls made of lava used by the early Hawaiians for protection (left). Closeup of the perfect fit of the lava rocks made by the early Hawaiians (right).
Captain Cook is believed to be the first European visitor. In 1778 he accidentally ran into the Hawaiian Islands while on his way to Alaska. The Hawaiians had an elaborate social class system and strict laws governing behavior. Much of this was documented by early visitors. The native Hawaiians used the abundant lava rocks to build walls for protection and religious purposes. Many of these walls still exist as historic sites. The lava rocks were fit together perfectly so there was little space in between.
In the 1800s Hawaii was discovered for its economic value (land, whales, people) and settled by peoples from all over the world. The United States annexed Hawaii in 1898 and it became a United States Territory in 1900. The islands became a center for pineapple and sugar production. In 1959 Hawaii became the 50th state in the United States of America.
Magic sands beach near Kailua-Kona Hawaii is a favorite local and tourist beach. The sand from this beautiful sandy beach dissappears occasionally in big storms but always returns thus the Hawaii Attractions name of the beach as "magic sands."
Hawaii is a popular vacation destination today and a location for unique studies in marine science. The Hawaiian customs of hula, luaus, ukulele music and the traditional lei remain as special memories to all who live in or visit Hawaii. The unique Hawaiian word 'aloha' is used for both a welcome and a good bye.
There's no place on earth quite like this handful of sun-drenched, mid-Pacific islands. The Hawaii of South Seas literature and Hollywood films really does exist. Here you'll find palm-fringed blue lagoons, lush rainforests, hidden gardens, cascading waterfalls, wild rivers running through rugged canyons, and soaring volcanoes. And oh, those beaches -- gold, red, black, and even green sands caressed by an endless surf. The possibilities for adventure -- and relaxation -- are endless. Each of the six main islands is separate, distinct, and infinitely complex. There's far too much to see and do on any 2-week vacation, which is why so many people return to the Aloha State year after year.
Unfortunately, even paradise has its share of stifling crowds and tourist schlock. If you're not careful, your trip to Hawaii could turn into a nightmare of tourist traps selling shells from the Philippines, hokey faux culture like cellophane-skirted hula dancers, overpriced exotic drinks, and a 4-hour time-share lecture before you get on that "free" sailing trip. That's where this guide comes in. As a Hawaii resident, I can tell the extraordinary from the merely ordinary. This book will steer you away from the crowded, the overrated, and the overpriced -- and toward the best Hawaii has to offer. No matter what your budget, this guide will help ensure that every dollar is well spent.
Hawaii(Hawaiian Islands), USA Tourist Attractions
Hawaii is the most ethnically and racially diverse state of any state in the union, a mix that includes Caucasians, Americans of Japanese descent, and Polynesians, among others. Native Hawaiians have held on to many of their customs and traditions despite the influx of non-natives over the years. Hawaii is the only state that has an official native language. Statehood had been proposed many times throughout Hawaii's history, but it was not until 1959 that Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States.