What to know about Hawaii before you visit, Honolulu, Hawaii
Reviews > North America > United States > Honolulu > What to know about Hawaii before you visit
Many people are surprised to learn that Hawai‘i actually consists of 137 islands stretching across more than 6,400 square miles in the North Pacific Ocean. The eight major islands commonly referred to as the Hawaiian Islands are Ni‘ihau, Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Moloka‘i, Läna‘i, Kaho‘olawe, Maui, and the Big Island of Hawai‘i.
Hawai‘i was first inhabited by voyaging Polynesian settlers sometime between the 3rd and 7th centuries as they made their trek eastward from the South Pacific across the vast uncharted seas. However, Hawai‘i was unknown to Westerners until 1778 when British Captain James Cook discovered the islands.
Today, Hawai‘i is a modern, cosmopolitan, diverse, multi-cultural society. It is home to 1.2 million residents and welcomed nearly 7 million visitors in 2004. No other state is so closely associated with its native heritage, ancient traditions, and ethnic diversity. Notably, it is the only state with its own language, music, and dance.
Some of the more revered traditions are the Aloha Spirit hospitality, the dancing of hula, the everyday attire of aloha shirts and flower print dresses, the giving of a fresh flower lei for greetings and celebrations, and feasting at a lü‘au.
Especially popular with residents and visitors alike is the outdoor-inspired, tropical lifestyle and the spectacular year-round weather, averaging a sunny 77 degrees and marked by cooling trade winds.
Hawai‘i became the 50th state on August 21, 1959. The state flower is the yellow hibiscus; the state bird, nënë or Hawaiian goose; the state tree, kukui or Candlenut; the state song, Hawai‘i Pono‘ï; and the state seal and motto, Ua mau ke ea o ka ‘äina i ka pono, which translates in Hawaiian to, “The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.”
Honolulu, the state capitol, is located on the island of O‘ahu, home to nearly three-quarters of Hawai‘i’s residents and the destination for most visitor arrivals.
Things about Honolulu you may be interested in
Read about Honolulu in our travel-guide
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Recommended Honolulu Guide
The second half of the 19th century did not prove very favorable for Honolulu (rather, for Hawaii as a whole) politically, although it continued to develop in other areas. The century ended with the abolition of the Hawaiian Monarchy (1893) and eventual annexation of Hawaii by the United States (1898) following a short period when it was an independent republic. (Hawaii was as a US-territory and remained so for 60 years). Honolulu History – 20th Century to Present Times Honolulu’s history in the 20th century was quite interesting – the US-takeover proved quite positive for Honolulu becoming an important US military-base. Of... Read more »
Recent reviews for Honolulu
What to know about Hawaii - Mar 7, 2008, by lindamura
Population: 1,211,537 Major Airports: Honolulu International Airport - Oahu (HNL), Kahului Airport - Maui (OGG), Kona International Airport - Big Island/Hawaii (KOA), Hilo International Airport - Big Island/Hawaii (ITO), Lihue Airport... Read more »
Welcome to Hawaii! - Mar 5, 2008, by lindamura
Your Pacific Paradise. Aloha! Hawai'i. Hawaii, everyone first thinks of it as the island of paradise and it is! The warmth of the islands invites you to start off by taking in a deep breathe of the fresh air, admire the cascading... Read more »
Travel adventures in Hawaii - Dec 6, 2009, by islandhopper
Adventure Travel Hawaii is a really great web guide for people interested in travel to, and outdoor activities in Hawaii. The listings provide detailed descriptions, photos, and links. They have listings on all sorts of tours, activities,... Read more »
Explore the volcanos of Maui, HI - Jul 28, 2007, by lindamura
A spectacular dormant volcano, 10,023-foot Haleakala erupted five million years ago to create the 279-square-mile island now called Maui and is the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands located midway between Oahu and Hawaii. The island... Read more »
Snorkeling and jetski in Honolulu - Nov 24, 2009, by MadSuh
Visiting Honolulu is in many ways very much similar to visiting other large cities. Honolulu is a large city with traffic, tall building, and all the pros and cons of a large metropolitan area. I enjoyed Honolulu, but of course the rest of... Read more »
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