Facts about Hawaii for each letter of the alphabet.
Click on highlighted word for more information
A IS FOR AGRICULTURE, AQUARIUM, & ARCHAEOLOGY
Most of the larger Hawaiian Islands have an AQUARIUM. The aquariums include live coral habitats and the world's only wholphin. The Maui Ocean Center is the largest tropical reef aquarium in the country. Waikki Aquarium is the third largest aquarium in the country. The The Mokupapapa Discovery Center features a 3,500 gallon saltwater aquarium, interactive educational exhibits, and more. The Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument is the largest contiguous fully protected conservation area in the country, and one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world. It is also a World Heritage Site.
Hawaii has many ARCHAEOLOGY sites and some are designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark and/or a National Register of Historic Places. The state has archaeological events and programs throughout the year. The Bishop Museum conducts archeological research in the state. The University of Hawaii specializes in underwater Archeology. The Kaunolu Village Site is the largest surviving ruins of a prehistoric Hawaiian village. Honolulu Community College has a dinosar exhibit. A variety of Fossils have been found in Hawaii.
Many varieties of
BIRDS are found in Hawaiia and there are several
Birding Trails. The State Bird is the
Nene Bird - a variety of goose that lives and breeds on land. It is endangered and protected by law. The
Honeycreeper Bird is unique. the
Laysan Albatross is the 2nd most common seabird in the Hawaiian Islands. Many of the birds in Hawaii are
endangered, and there is a
Hawaii has over 1,000 county and state
BRIDGES including 2
Suspension Bridges. The longest bridge is the Airport Viaduct, and The Nanue Bridge is the highest. The
Admiral Clarey Bridge has the largest openable span in the world. On the Island of Maui, the
road to Hana has 59 bridges.The
Hanapepe Swinging Bridge was originally built for residents to cross the river. A few of the bridges are on the
National Register of Historic Places in Hawaii.
Hawaii has over 1,000 county and state BRIDGES including 2 Suspension Bridges. The longest bridge is the Airport Viaduct, and The Nanue Bridge is the highest. The Admiral Clarey Bridge has the largest openable span in the world. On the Island of Maui, the road to Hana has 59 bridges.The Hanapepe Swinging Bridge was originally built for residents to cross the river. A few of the bridges are on the National Register of Historic Places in Hawaii.
Hawaii has all forms of communication including newspapers, radio, and television, telephone, and internet. The Telephone Area Code for Hawaii is 808. There are several Internet Service Providers, and Webcams throughout the state provide beautiful scenic pictures as well as traffic conditions.
Hawaii has 5 official COUNTIES. The largest county in size is Hawaii and is the most multicultural county in the country. Kalawao is the smallest county. Honolulu County has the largest population and Kalawao has the smallest and is the second smallest county in the country.
Hawaii has a cowboy culture. COWBOYS in Hawaii became known as paniolo Mexican-Spanish vaquero (cowboys) began working there. Makawao is famous for its Hawaiian cowboys and has a rodeo on the 4th of July. You can take a tour of Kahua Ranch and Anna Ranch Heritage Center a former cattle ranch. The Parker Ranch is a working cattle ranch on the Island of Hawaii and one of the oldest ranches in the country. The Ponohol Ranch on the Big Island has open range horseback riding.
The Hula is a traditional Hawaiian folk DANCE and reflects the ideas and events of Hawaiian history and culture. It integrates poetry, movement, and rhythm which tell a story. The patron of the hula is the Goddess Laka. The grass skirts worn by the dancers were brought to Hawaii from the Gilbert Islands. Many old chants and dances survive.
Hawaii has an extensive Public School EDUCATION system and provides free education for Kindergarten through 12th Grade. There are public schools and private schools and homeschooling is popular. Special program include Special Needs, Gifted/Talented, and ESL. There are also community schools for adults. The Hanauma Bay Marine Education Center has a nature preserve and beach park and the state has a Hunters Education Program. The Kamehameha Schools are private schools for children of Hawaiian ancestry. Information about schools in Hawaii is available at GreatSchools and SchoolBug.
Hawaii celebrates a variety of EVENTS including the Merrie Monarch Festival and King Kamehameha Day. May 1st is Lei Day. The Chinese celebrate Buddha's birthday and the Chinese New Year. The Japanese celebrate the birth of the Shakyamuni Buddha. There is a Cinco de Mayo Festivalin May. The Aloha Festivals are celebrated on 6 islands between August and October. It is the only statewide cultural festival in the country. Hawaii also has State & County Fairs. Hawaii observes Fixed Public Holidays and many other holidays.
The Hawaii State FLAG has eight stripes representing the major islands. The flag resembles the Union Jack of Great Britain because many of King Kamehameha's advisors were British and Hawaii was once under British protection. There is a Historical Hawaiaan Flag, and there is a flag of the independent and sovereign Native-State Hawaii. The State Seal has King Kamehameha the Great on one side and the Goddess of Liberty holding the flag on the other side.
The Hawaii State FLOWER is the yellow hibiscus. A special red day lily has been named King Kamehameha. Lili'uokalani Park and Gardens Gardens on the island of Hawaii features a Japanese pagoda, arched, bridges, and a teahouse. Hawaii is the worldwide leader in the production of orchids. Each island has a flower, and color. Oahu - lima, yellow; Maui - lokelani, pink; Hawaii - lehua ohia, red; Kauai - mokihana, purple; - Lanai - kaunaoa, orange; Molokai - white kukui Blossom, green; Niihau - pupu shell, white.
The FOOD Timeline of Hawaii dates back to the arrival of the first humans, probably around the 3rd century. Until then it was one of the most isolated sets of islands in the world and contained essentially nothing edible on land. Food of Hawaii can be separated into 2 categories: Hawaiian food (the food of the native islanders), and local food (the blend of the food of later settlers). The Luau is a famous Hawaiian ritual which is the way the people celebrate special occasions. It is usually eaten at a low table and traditional dishes are served. Dancing and music accompany the feast and each person is given a lei. The Hawaii Food Bank provides food so that no one goes hungry.
Hawaii has had a variety of FORTS and Reservations. Most of the Forts have been destroyed. The Russian Fort Elizabeth is a National Historic Landmark and is administered as the Russian Fort Elizabeth State Historical Park. Fort Shafter is the focal point for command, control, and support of Army forces in the Asia-Pacific region.
Hawaii has many GHOST TOWNS and all of the sugar mills and plantations in the state are official ghostsites. Kalaupapa has some residents. Apua is now a park. Keomuku has a few small buildings. Halawa has a few ruins among newer homes.
The GLOBAL POSITION of Hawaii is approximately longitude 154 to 161 west and latitude 18 to 23 north. Hawaii is located about 2,400 miles southwest of the continental United States. It is the only state that is not in the North American continent. The geographic center of the state is off the southwestern shore of Molakai west of Lanai. The Topography of Hawaii varies from island to island. The highest point is Mauna Kea volcano. The lowest point is sea level. Ka Lae is the southernmost point in the United States and believed to be where the original Polynesian settlers first landed. From east to west Hawaii is the widest state in the United States. Geocaching is a high tech treasure hunt using a Global Positioning System, and Hawaii has many Geocaches.
The HISTORY of Hawaii dates back over a thousand years and there are many myths and legends. The original inhabitants of Hawaii were Polynesians and there is a Polynesian Cultural Center on the Island of Oahu. The Polynesian Voyage Society researches how Polynesians discovered and settled islands in the Pacific Ocean. The state participates in National History Day.
Hawaii has over 10,000 INSECTS and most of them are found no other place on earth. The state has more endangered and threatened insects than any other state. Hawaii has a variety of Butterflies. The State Butterfly is the Kamehameha butterfly - 1 of only 2 butterflies that are native to Hawaii. There is a Butterfly Ranch on the Island of Maui. Hawaii is home to the Happy Face Spider.
Hawaii is the only state that is made up of ISLANDS and is the longest island chain in the world. The island of Hawaii is the largest island. Each island originated from a hot spot on the ocean floor where magma broke through the crust of the earth. The archipelago that forms Hawaii is 1,600 miles in length and is made up of 8 major islands, more than 100 minor island, and many shoals and islets. The Gardner Pinnacles are the most westernly of the Hawaiian Islands. The highest sea cliffs in the world are on Molokai Island.
The Waipio Valley and the Kohala Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii each have a lush JUNGLE. The Valley is also known as "The Valley of the Kings". Near the Coast are remnants of Dry Forests, and near the summit is a Cloud Forest. The Alakai Swamp at the base of 2 high peaks on the Island of Kauai is a jungle-like area, and many of Hawaii's rarest trees and birds are found there.
The JUDICIAL System is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The Hawaii State Judiciary System is composed of the Supreme Court, Intermediate Court, Land Court, Tax Appeal Court, Circuit Courts, Family Courts, District Courts, and Office of the Administrative Director of Courts.
Hawaii is the only state that was once a KINGDOM with its own Monarchy & is the only state ever governed by Monarchs who were recognized by International Law. King Kamehameha I was the first king of Hawaii and there are at least 5 statues of him around the world. Queen Liliuokalanii was the last of the Hawaiian Monarchs. In 2000 postage stamps were issued on the 125th anniversary of the birth of Princess Kaiulani, heir apparent to the kingdom of Hawaii.
Hawaii has Public LIBRARIES and Academic Libraries. A regional library serves the blind and physically diabled and bookmobiles serve remote location. Most libraries have storytelling sessions, library orientations, and special events. Hawaii has many Myths and Legends. The Goddess Pele is a popular figure in Hawaiian mythology. In 2012, Kealoha was named the first Poet Laurate and the state celebrates National Poetry Month.
Hawaii has many LIGHTHOUSES. Fifteen are associated with the U.S. Coast Guard. Including minor lights, there are 43 lights in total. The Lahaina Lighthouse is the oldest in the Pacific. Nearly all the islands have a lighthouse. The Kilauea Point Lighthouse and Molokai Lighthouse are open to the public, and several lighthouses are considered historic. The Aloha Tower overlooks Pier Number 9 and is a welcoming beacon for visitors traveling to O‘ahu. The most important aspect of a lighthouse is the light that comes from the tower.
MUSIC is an important part of Hawaiian life. The State Song is Hawaii Ponoi meaning Hawaii's Own. The Royal Hawaiian Band was the first brass band in the Pacific and the only full-time municipal band in the country. Many Music Festivals are held in the state. The World Invitational Hula Festival is held in Honolulu. The Hawaii Opera Theatre has programs and lectures for all ages. The ukulele is a well known Hawaiian instrument - the name means "jumping flea".
Hawaii is located in the middle of the Pacific OCEAN half way between the continents of Asia and North America. The state has many ocean activities and celebrates World Oceans Day. Maui Ocean Center is a Coral World park. Many Shipwrecks are on the ocean floor surrounding the state. NOAAprovides information about why the ocean is Salty.
Hawaii is part of the Old West and the Island of Hawaii has a rich Cowboy Culture. Several rodeos are held throughout the state including a rodeo during the Koloa Plantation Days Celebration. The largest rodeo in the state is held on the Island of Maui and Makawao is one of the top 10 cowboy towns in the United States. Horseback riding is popular and the state has many Horseback riding opportunities.
Over one million PEOPLE live in Hawaii, and it is the most isolated population center in the world. People who live in the state are called Hawaiians. Famous people include a King and a Queen. Native Hawaiians make up a little more than 20% of the residents. Chinatown in downtown Honolulu is a colorful and eclectic blend of Southeast Asian cultures and is the oldest Chinatown in the country. The Japanese The Japanese in Hawaii are the second largest ethnic group in the state. Hawaiian religion encompasses the folk religious beliefs and practises of the Hawaiian people. Hawaii is over 2,000 miles from the nearest continent and is considered the most isolated population center on earth.
POLYNESIA is generally defined as the islands within the Polynesian triangle a subregion of Oceania made up of more than 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. Hawaii is part of the Polynesian Triangle. The most numerous Polynesian peoples are the Maori, the Hawaiians, the Tongans, the Samoans, and the Tahitians.
Take a QUIZ about Hawaii.
Hawaii has several varieties of REPTILES and amphibians and many species of invertebrates. Three species of Sea Turtles are native to Hawaii. The Gold Dust Day Gecko is the unofficial reptile. The only snake found in the wild in the state is the Hawaiian Blind Snake.
Hawaii has many RIVERS and streams. The major rivers are the Wailuku on the island of Hawaii and the Anahulu on the island of Oahu. The Wailuku River is the longest river in the state and marks the approximate boundary between lava flows of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa volcanoes. The Hanalei River is designated an American Heritage River.
Hawaii has many types of SPORTS. Water sports are very popular and surfing was invented here. Quicksilver Big Wave Invitational is a surfing tournament held on the north shore of Oahu. Other sports include horseback riding, running, hiking, and mountain climbing. Hawaii has public and private golf courses and it is truly a golfers paradise. The Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame records outstanding accomplishments of athletes in the state. The University of Hawaii has sports and The Oahu Interscholastic Association serves the youth in the state.
Hawaii has a variety of TRAILS including walking, hiking, biking and horseback riding and participates in National Trails Day. The Kalalau Trail is said to be one of the most beautiful in the country. In 2000, the Hana Highway was designated as the Hāna Millennium Legacy Trail with the trail start designated in Pāʻia. The state has several several Scenic Byways and Scenic Drives and many Roadside Attractions.
Hawaii has all forms of TRANSPORTATION. The Hawaiian Department of Transportation is responsible for all transportation including air, water, and land. There are Interstate highways and freeways. The license plates have a rainbow. In 2002 Matchbox Cars issued a vehicle for each state and the one for Hawaii was the Jeep Wrangler.
Hawaii has a wide variety of TREES including many fruit and nut trees. The State Tree is the Kukie tree. The flowers of the tree are very fragrant and are often used in making leis. The east end of the island of Molokai is a tropical rain forest. Hawaii is the only state that has a Tropical Rain Forest. The Hawaiian Tropical Garden has a variety of palm trees.
Two ships of the United States Navy have been named USS HAWAII. The 1st USS Hawaii (CB-3) was launched but never commissioned. The 2nd USS Hawaii (SSN-776) is a Virginia-class submarine and the 1st commissioned warship of the United States Navy to be named for the 50th state. The Bowfin was a Balao-class submarine. She now serves as a memorial at Pearl Harbor and Audio Tours are available to the general public. The state has 3 underwater submarine tours - Oahu, Maui, and Kona.
Hawaii has several VOLCANOES and 3 are active. Mauna Loa means White Mountain and often has snow. It is the highest mountain in the world from base to summit. The summit of the Wai'aoe'ale Volcano is one of the rainiest places in the world. Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and has been erupting for years. Volcanoes National Park includes Mauna Loa, Kilauea crater, a forest of giant ferns, and the Jaggar Museum. Astronauts trained for moon voyages by walking on Mauna Loa's hardened lava fields. The National Memorial Cemetery - Punchbowl - is an extinct volcano. The Mauna Kea volcano has been extinct for thousands of years and has many Polynesian shrines on its slopes. Lo ihi is an active submarine volcano.
The moderate WEATHER of Hawaii is influenced by the ocean and the prevailing northeasterly trade winds. It is the only state with a tropical climate. Hawaiian waters are inviting year-round, averaging 74 degrees F. The summit of Mt. Waialeale is the rainiest place on earth. Hilo is the rainiest city in the United States. In 2018, a cyclone hit Tonga. The Hawaii State Climate Office provides information about the weather in Hawaii. The Environmental Protection Agency provides information about Global Warming .
The only WILDLIFE native to Hawaii are the hoary bat, the Hawaiian monk seal, and the Polynesian rat. Wildlife refuges are located on many of the islands. The Division of Forestry and Wildlife has a Youth Conservation Program.Hawaii has a Defending Wildlife Program. Some of the wildlife is threatened or endangered. Hawaii has 10 wildlife refuges
YMCA/YWCA organizations are located on 6 islands. Scouting in Hawaii dates back to the 1900s serving thousands of youth in programs that suit the unique environment in which they live. Hawaii also has Boys & Girls Clubs, chapters of Future Farmers of America, and 4-H Clubs.
Hawaii has several ZOOS. The Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo on the Island of Hawaii is the only zoo in the country situated in a tropical rain forest. The Honolulu Zoo has an African Savanna, South American Aviary, and a Childrens Zoo. Kualoa Ranch on the Island of Oahu has a petting zoo and museum. Under the waters off the islands of Hawaii there is a giant natural aquarium.