Welcome to Hawaii, America’s paradise. Since Hawaii became the US’s most exotic state in 1959, millions of people have been allured by the islands’ charm—they’ve sunbathed on its spectacular white, black, golden, green, and red sand beaches, become smitten with Hawaiian culture and the forgivably tacky aloha shirts, felt the awesomeness of active volcanoes, and succumbed to the 50th state’s laid-back lifestyle. Hawaii’s six major islands have so many facets that it is impossible to explore them all in one trip.
The beauty of the remote trails, verdant wilderness, and dramatic cliffs of Kauai—Hawaii’s oldest and arguably most majestic island—is unrivaled. Maui unveils its elegance on the road to Hana, one of the most beautiful drives in the world, or from the lonely summit of Haleakala National Park. The Big Island brandishes its raw and rugged side at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the Waipio and Pololu Valleys. On Oahu, tan or learn to surf at Waikiki’s wide beaches; at night, hit up the glamorous clubs and free beachside hulas and movies. Oahu’s North Shore, the domain of professional surfers, serves as a pleasant escape from the touristy areas elsewhere on the island. Molokai and Lanai remain a Hawaii without stoplights or many paved roads, where street addresses are largely irrelevant and life is best taken slowly.
Even without the historic temples and palaces to see, the legends to absorb, the waves to surf, the bays to snorkel in, and the whales to watch, the essence of Hawaii’s appeal may still be that it’s accessible, yet exotic, paradise: part of the US, yet decidedly independent. You will come back for the beaches, lava, hula, hikes, and, above all, for the intangible allure of the islands. Along every coast there is a more secluded stretch of sand, and beyond each stunning vista an even more breathtaking view. The diversity of land, people, and culture ensures that, in Hawaii, the journey never ends.
Facts And Figures
State Population: 1,275,194.
Lowest Recorded Temperature (Under 3000ft. Altitude): 56?F.
State Motto:Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono. (The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.)
Ethnicities: Hawaii is one of only four US states in which non-Hispanic whites do not form a majority. It is also the state with the largest percentage of Asian Americans and people of mixed race.
Total Number Of Islands And Atolls: 137.
Official Languages: English and Hawaiian.
Unofficial State Fish:Humuhumunukunukuapuaa (Hawaiian triggerfish).
Major Exports: Coffee, macadamia nuts, pineapple, and sugarcane—yum!
State Spam Consumption Rate: Over 18,000 cans per day.
Passport Required: Yes, for citizens of all foreign countries.
Visa Required for Stay Less than Three Months: Yes, but it can be waived.
Phone Numbers: 911 for emergencies, 411 for local directory assistance,
Currency: US dollars (US$)
Time Zone: Hawaii Standard Time (HST), 10 hr. behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Hawaii does not observe Daylight Saving Time.
Sales Tax: 4%, not usually included in the display price.
Drinking Age: 21.
Driving: To drive in Hawaii, you must be over 18 and have a US driver’s license or an International Driving Permit. To rent a car from most establishments in Hawaii, you need to be at least 21 years old and have a major credit card.
Aloha: Means affection, love, peace, compassion, mercy, goodbye, and hello among other sentiments of a similar nature in the Hawaiian language.
How soon can you leave? With year-round temperatures rarely straying far from 80?F, Hawaii’s climate is always welcoming. Even the hotter summer months are cooled by trade winds, and the ocean averages ...more
Oahu is where old meets new. Known as “the gathering place,” this island joins natural wonders with modern luxuries, a storied past with a bright, productive future. This juxtaposition between the ...more