America’s tropical paradise, Hawaii is more than just one island- it’s a whole group, each with its own thing to offer a visitor. From the surfing on Oahu, to the wonders of Maui, to the beauty of Honolulu, Hawaii is great escape for people wanting the tropics but not looking to leave America for it. Hawaii is a great destination for honeymooners, surfers, and families.
Size: 6,470 sq mi (16,758 sq km)
Power Outlets: 110V 60Hz
Official Languages: English
Currency: US Dollar
Time Zone: GMT -10
Calling Code: +1
Weather: The rainfall is the heaviest between December and March while June through October is the hottest time on the islands.
Cost and Budgeting for Hawaii
Hawaii can be expensive. Everything is imported and high shipping costs usually mean high prices. Expect to need at least US$70 dollars per day on a budget but more if you plan to do a lot of activities. Hotel prices on Hawaii are lowest during the spring and fall when there are less holidays. Prices rise during big holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and Easter. Visiting between mid-April and mid-November can be a bargain when hotel prices are lower due to the off season.
Hawaii was populated the 4th century by Polynesian settlers from the Marquesas. The 1778 arrival of British explorer James Cook is Hawaii’s first contact with Europeans. After Cook’s visit, the Hawaiian islands received many European visitors who found the islands a convenient harbor and source of fresh food.
In 1893, Queen Liliuokalani announced plans to establish a new constitution that would have restored power to the monarchy. But on January 14, 1893, a group of American and Europeans seized control of government. The monarchy was replaced by a Provisional Government . On July 7, 1898, Hawaii was annexed by the United States.
In March 1959, the US Congress passed the Hawaii Admission Act which allowed Hawaii to become a state. On June 27 of that year, residents of Hawaii voted on accepting the statehood bill and Hawaii officially became a state.
The native culture of Hawaii is Polynesian. While traditional Hawaiian culture remains only in small pockets, there are reenactments of the ceremonies and traditions throughout the islands, especially in resorts for tourists. The popularity of luaus and hulas has made there way into mainstream American culture.
In recent decades, the state government has created programs to promote local Hawaiian culture. The Hawaii Constitutional Convention of 1978 created the creation of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to promote indigenous language and culture.
Things to Do and See in Hawaii
Visit Diamond Head State Monument- This mountain was formed by a violent steam explosion beneath the surface and the crater is the site of Diamond Head State Monument. There’s hiking up to the crater summit but don’t expect an easy walk as it’s a fairly steep hike.
See Hawaii Volcanoes National Park- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park contains two active volcanoes and diverse terrain. The centerpiece is Kilauea Caldera, the still-steaming sunken center of Kilauea Volcano. Rangers can provide the lowdown on guided walks and trail conditions.
Helicopter Tours- Hawaii’s lush jungles, high mountains, and steep waterfalls provide a lovely backdrop for a helicopter tour of the islands. They may be expensive but these tours give you a breath taking bird’s eye view.
Horseback Riding- Nothing is more romantic than a horseback ride along the beach. There are a number of tour operators that can organize a sunset ride for the honeymooners.
Museums- Hawaii is steeped in history and there are a number of museums throughout the country. The most famous relate to the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Whale Watching- Whales often migrate past the islands and there are a wide variety of species that come through. The whales are friendly, sightings abundant, and tons of operators looking to take you out.
Scuba Diving/Snorkeling- The waters around the islands of Hawaii are teeming with life. The tropical waters provide excellent opportunities to take a look at under water life. The biggest marine preserve in America is located in here.
Surfing- Surfing is life in Hawaii and it’s famous North Beach attract some of the best surfers in the world. Waves here are extreme and not for amateurs. If you want to learn, there’s plenty of places around the islands with smaller waves and people who will teach you. If you’re a board surfer, you’ll find the biggest waves in winter. If you’re a wind surfer, the best wind conditions are in summer.
Hawaii is situated some 1,988 mi southwest of the United States. All of the islands were formed by volcanoes erupting from the sea. The volcanic activity and subsequent erosion created impressive geological features. Many eruptions still take place on the islands today. The islands are surrounded by a vast number of coral reefs and wild marine life. On the islands itself, there are dense jungles and mountains.