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30 Fascinating Facts About Hawaii

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Do you want to learn about some fascinating facts about Hawaii? Maybe you’re living in Hawaii, or you’re about to visit as a tourist; whatever the reason – you have come to the right place to learn some facts!

Known mostly for the surf culture and aloha shirts, Hawaii is one of the most refreshing and thrilling states in the western United States. And I mean, it has every reason to be one as it has these gorgeous, scenic islands with a lot of adventure waiting for you.

In this article, I will share 30 fascinating facts about Hawaii and how you can have the most out of your next visit there. And I bet you might have never heard about fact number 5!

So, without wasting any time, let’s surf into these facts.

1. Home to a Monument Larger than US National Parks Combined

This is definitely one of the most surprising facts about Hawaii, at least for me. Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument has an area of 1,510,000 km, which is more than twice the size of Texas. And even if we combine the US national parks, it would still have more area. However, due to its distant location to the northwest of Kauai, I doubt that tourists might seldom visit this huge site.

2. Hawaiian Alphabets Consists of 12 Letters

Hawaiians do not use our 26-letter alphabets. Instead, they have their own alphabets that are 12 in number. These include the vowels; A, E, I, O, and U, along with the consonants; H, K, L, M, N, P, and W. Some other elements that a friend told me about are the Okina (Apostrophe) to indicate a sound break and the Macron (straight bar).

facts about Hawaii

3. Hawaii has Two Official Languages

I have been hearing out that around three languages are spoken in Hawaii. But they actually have 2 official languages: Hawaiian and English. And turns out the third one is Pidgin or Hawaii Creole English, which is their informal language. Well, it originated from the blend of different languages including communication between native Hawaiians and the immigrants — Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Portuguese, and some Asians. So, it’s a diverse mix of these languages.

4. Hawaii is the Only US State with a Royal Residence

Among the most fascinating facts about Hawaii is that the state has an official royal palace. The Lolani Palace is the single official royal palace in the United States. I haven’t been there yet, but I can guess this gorgeous and wide historical place has a lot to offer — from the Grand Hall with its stunning koa staircase to the Throne Room and more.

5. Hawaii has 137 Islands in Total

This is one of my favourite facts about Hawaii! I have always thought of Hawaii as a vacationing spot, and its numerous islands, picturesque landscape, and attractive spots make it worth the visit. Hawaii actually has 137 islands, with 8 being the main ones. Only six of them—Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Hawaii island AKA the Big Island, Lanai, and Molokai—are accessible to tourists. While Kahoolawe and Niihau are out-of-bounds.

Among many Hawaii islands, it can be challenging to find the best one for your friends or family trip. But I hope this read might help!

6. Surfing was First Invented In Hawaii

When it’s Hawaii, obviously, we go surfing or stand-up paddling (SUP). This is among the most common facts about Hawaii that is deeply rooted in their culture. However, what many people don’t know is that Hawaiians were the first to come up with surfing hundreds of years ago, and it is among the state’s official sports. Besides surfing, some believe that stand-up paddling was also first initiated in Hawaii.

7. The Statue of King Kamehameha isn’t Original

Just in front of the Honolulu Supreme Court is the statue of King Kamehameha. However, one of the least known facts about Hawaii Honolulu is that this statue isn’t the real one. The authentic one got lost while traveling from Europe, where it was originally sculpted.

facts about Hawaii

8. Largest Dormant Volcano in the World is in Hawaii

Hawaii, as a state, has a lot of volcanoes. And one of the shocking facts about Hawaii is that it is home to the largest dormant volcano in the world. Haleakala Crater is known to cover an area of three-quarters of the island of Maui and rises up to 10,023 ft.

But, researchers found that most of the volcano is below the surface of the ocean. It’s about 20,000 feet rooted deep inside the ocean, as the rest of 10,023 ft lies up on the surface till its highest peak.

If we go into its history, it turns out that Haleakala last erupted in the late 1700s. Now, people from all over the country head to visit the best sunrise scenes in Maui and to have fun hiking.  

9. You Can Mail a Coconut from Here

Another exciting fact about Hawaii includes mailing coconuts from there to wherever you want. Your kids can paint them, or you can even wrap them up in gift papers, write addresses on them, and maintain them at the post office. This is literally on my bucket list, so cool!

10. You Can Wear White Pants After a Labor Day

I still do remember when my mum used to teach me not to wear white pants after labor day. Guess that rule doesn’t apply in Hawaii, as the weather is warm and everything works there.

11. Hugs for Greetings

One of the most friendly facts about Hawaii is that people like to greet each other by hugging instead of shaking hands. Whether it’s just saying “hello” or “goodbye” people love to hug. Even if you want to say “I’m sorry” or “I love you” or “Nice to meet you” people would prefer a hug. However, during COVID-19 the practice was prohibited for a while, but now again, people seem to hug more often.

12. Signs with Misspelled Words

In Hawaii, you will find most of the sign boards with words misspelled and mostly miss the letter “D.” As they would just say Shave ice or Smoke fish.

13. Hawaiians Live Longer than Other US Citizens

Yes, it’s no wonder that Hawaiians live longer than other states’ nationals. And the reasons could be fresh & clean air and weather, more natural resources and greenery, low smoking rates, and people enjoying a fun and thrilling life with more demand for healthy food. Moreover, if I talk about life expectancy in Hawaii, its average is 81.3 years. This number is higher than any other US state. So, this really is one of the exciting facts about Hawaii.

Life expectancy in Hawaii is at 81.3 years, which is higher than in any other US state. The previous fact about Hawaii might have something to do with that.

14. Aloha!

Aloha is one of the widely used Hawaiian words. This word can be used to say both ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye.’ Additionally, it also means love. In fact, you’ll often see people using this word alternatively during your visit to Hawaii.

facts about Hawaii

15. No Shoes Inside Homes Rule

A friend of mine who visited Hawaii told me that Hawaiian people do not enter someone’s home with shoes. They consider this as a sign of respect. However, it’s quite interesting to know that even tourists remove their shoes before entering their vacation rental resorts or homes.

16. The Hawaiian Islands were Ruled Under a Monarchy

Previously, a monarchy with kings, queens, princes, and princesses governed the Hawaiian islands.

17. Somewhat British-Hawaiian Flag

Looking at a Hawaiian flag, you will notice 8 horizontal stripes representing 8 of the main Hawaiian islands. The Union Jack here refers to the friendship between the UK and Hawaii. While the striped one is to the friendship between the USA and Hawaii.

18. Hawaii Doesn’t Have any Snakes

There are no native snakes in Hawaii. The islands forbid keeping snakes as pets, and incoming ships and flights are thoroughly investigated for them. That is to protect the state’s native birds in jeopardy of becoming extinct. But they still do have some snakes in the zoo.

19. Every Island has an Official Colour and Flower

Another tongue-twisting fact about Hawaii includes each island’s designated flower and colour. Pink is the official colour of Maui, while the yellow hibiscus is the state flower of Hawaii.

20. Sharing is Caring!

Another one of my favorite facts about Hawaii is the way people share nature’s bounty. If someone has a lot of fruit trees, they distribute them among their colleagues, friends, and neighbors.

21. Gambling is Illegal Here

Any sort of gambling is illegal in the state of Hawaii. Residents who are huge fans of gambling visit Vegas for vacation. And there’s why Hawaiian locals call Las Vegas their 9th island.

facts about Hawaii

22. Largest Banyan Tree in the World is Here

One of the biggest banyan trees in the world is in Lahaina’s town square. When it was planted, the banyan tree stood eight feet tall. It remains an amazing sight with many interwoven trunks and branches a quarter-mile in circumference.

23. 2nd Widest State in the US

Hawaii remains the second widest state in the United States, with numerous species. The state is home to wild animals because of its special geographic location. However, Hawaii has lost almost 70% of its native birds. While the rest also seem to be extinct in the near future.

24. Hawaii is Free of Rabies

Unfortunately, this might be among the saddest facts about Hawaii. Pet owners won’t be able to bring their dogs or cats to this island for a brief stay. The state holds a strict law to remain rabies-free.

25. Molokai is One Calm Island

Want to enjoy island life without getting into a big crowd? Then head over to the Molokai island. Because this is one calm island with a population of around 7,400. A trip to Molokai is mandatory to explore this heaven!

26. Big Island Grows Every Year

One of the most shocking facts about Hawaii that I came to know now is that the Big Island grows around 42 acres yearly. The major reason behind this is the Kilauea volcano eruption.

facts about Hawaii

27. Hawaii has Some Great Coffee Farms

This is one of the most exciting facts about Hawaii for coffee lovers. Hawaii remains to be the only state that grows coffee commercially. That’s because the state has the appropriate tropical climate for growing coffee. Also, it has got rich soil. If you visit Hawaii, try out the well-known Kona coffee on the Big Island. It’s a popular one there!

28. Hawaii has the World’s Most Active Volcano

The Kilauea volcano is the youngest and the most active volcano in the world and is located on the Big Island. It’s seen that it has erupted consistently from 1983 to 2018. If I talk about the recent activity, it lastly erupted in October 2021.

29. Kauai Prohibits Buildings Taller than a Palm Tree

One of the strange facts about Hawaii is that the island of Kauai doesn’t allow buildings taller than a palm tree. The palm tree is about 4 stories tall. It means a building can only have 4 floors, not more than that. However, only two buildings are excused from this rule because they were built before the rule was regulated officially.

Furthermore, Kauai doesn’t have a freeway and you can’t exceed the speed limit of more than 50 MPH. It’s the maximum you can go for!

30. Macadamia Nuts Do Not Belong to Hawaii

If you ever visit a souvenir shop in Hawaii, you’ll find boxes of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts. Eh, and not to forget, these are just way too delicious! These macadamia nuts are actually Australian and not Hawaiian. 

Bottom Line- facts about Hawaii

Hawaii holds a diversified and welcoming culture and is a popular tourist spot — people from all over the world come to enjoy its amazing tropical weather and beautiful resorts. From Big Island’s volcanoes, eye-pleasing scenery in Maui and Kauai, awe-inspiring beaches and breathtaking nature, and a laid-back lifestyle.

So, when are you booking your trip to Hawaii? Because I have already planned to book my trip and pack my bags. Hopefully, my list of 30 fascinating facts about Hawaii has been helpful to you. If you are looking for quick tips and tricks for your next vacation, read these articles.