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Hawaii (HI): State Guide and Fun Facts

When was Hawaii Founded?

Who Founded Hawaii?
Captain James Cook

First settlers:

Square Miles:

US Rank:

State Flower:

State Bird:

State Motto:
“Ua mau ke ea o ka ‘aina i ka pono”
The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness

Capital City

Honolulu – Honolulu is the most populated city in Hawaii. It is located on the island of Oahu. As of 2000, the city’s population was 371,657 in Honolulu proper. Including metropolitan areas around the city, the population reached 909,863. The city includes a variety of neighborhoods, much like any large city, which include financial sectors, arts districts, the Capitol District, an industrial district, the tourist district (Waikiki) and residential areas.


What is Hawaii Famous For?

1. Volcanoes
The island of Hawaii was created by the eruption of volcanoes over the past million years. The five volcanoes that created the largest island of Hawaii are Hualapai, Kohala, Mauna Koa, Kilauea and Mauna Loa. The largest of these is Mauna Loa (largest volcano in the world), which contributed to over 50% of the island’s formation. This island remains fairly active, and the island keeps a close watch over its activity to ensure that everyone will reach safety in the event of an eruption. Kilauea is the most active and destructive volcano. It has been in a constant state of eruption since 1983. It has destroyed many homes, businesses, highways and other manmade locations since 1983, and it continues to do so today.

2. Surfing
One of the first things that comes to mind when non-residents think of Hawaii is surfers riding giant tidal waves. The season for surfing comes in two waves. The northern shores of the islands host their largest and best-riding waves from November through March, while the southern shores of the island receive their best surfing waves from June through October. The island of Oahu has the best waves between October and March and is the host to many world surfing championships.

3. Beaches
Hawaii is highly traveled-to because of its beaches. Lanikai Beach, on the island of Oahu is a beautifully set white sand beach that offers excellent swimming (no giant surfing waves). It’s an excellent area for kayaking, paddle boarders and relaxing to one of the most scenic, mountainous backdrops of any beach in the world. Other beaches have coarser sand, better waves, or rocky terrain. Hawaii’s beaches are all spectacular destinations, each with their own unique makeup.

What is Hawaii’s Economy?

1. Tourism
Tourism is one of Hawaii’s top ranking income generators. Each year sees vacation-goers flocking to the islands for the state’s beaches, surfing, volcano hikes, gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, waterfalls, cities and nightlife.

2. Services Industry
The rest of Hawaii’s economy is primarily generated by the services industry, which includes community businesses, personal services, health care, law practices, accounting firms, engineering companies, hotels, restaurants and software development.

3. Agriculture
Although the services industry contributes to 90% of Hawaii’s GDP, the country produces some key agricultural products that are not grown in the rest of the United States. Hawaii’s main crops include sugar cane, pineapples, flowers, coffee, macadamia nuts, avocados, bananas, guavas, papayas, tomatoes, beans, corn, lettuce and potatoes.


Hawaii Historical Landmarks

1. Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor is located on the island of O’ahu. It is the location of a US Navy base and where the Pacific Fleet of the US Navy resides when not out at sea. The site is the location of the famous attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan on December 7, 1941, the day that the United States entered World War II. In 1964, the back was named a national historic landmark. The base remains active today.

2. Washington Place
This Greek Revival style home in Honolulu Hawaii was built in 1847 by the architect Isaac Hart for John Dominis, an American merchant. Unfortunately, Dominis died one year before the house was completed, and his wife, Mary, began to rent to rooms of the house out to boarders. Washington Place went on to be the home to William Little Lee, Lydia Kamakaeha Paki (Queen Lili’uokalani) and John Owen Dominis (Mary’s son). The house was left to the queen after the death of Mary in 1889 and John in 1891.

3. ‘Iolani Palace was built in 1879 in Honolulu Hawaii by architects Thomas J. Baker, Charles J. Wall and Isaac Moore. The style came to be known as American Florentine. It was built for King Kalakaua and Queen Lili’uokalani, who reigned until 1893, when the area was no longer a monarchy. The building became the state capitol building, and remained as such until 1969. Today is functions as a museum that houses exhibits about the history of Hawaii.