20 Interesting And Fun Facts About Hawaii [Explained]

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One of the known facts about Hawaii is that it is among the top vacation destinations for holidaymakers. Each year it draws millions looking to have a good time away from home, including family, couples, and fun seekers.

Despite being one of the smallest states in the U.S., it is brimming with sights, rich cultures, and heritage. Hawaii is known for many exciting activities that keep visitors coming back.

The state is home to people from many different races who have migrated to the region over the years. This is one of the interesting Hawaii facts responsible for its diverse culture and adds to the overall fun experience.

Here are some useful and fun facts about Hawaii regardless if you are planning a trip or want to learn more about this fascinating state.

Quick Facts And Statistics About Hawaii

  • Capital: Honolulu
  • Population: 1.4 Million (13th Populous State in the U.S)
  • Land Area: 10,931 sq mi / 28,311 km² (42nd Largest in the U.S)
  • Nickname: The Aloha State
  • Abbreviation: HI
  • Statehood: August 21, 1959 (50th U.S State)
  • State Bird: Nene (Hawaiian Goose)
  • State Flower: Yellow Hibiscus

Historical Facts About Hawaii

The Luau Practice

One of the interesting facts about Hawaii is that back in the late 1810s, the Hawaiians began a feast called Luau.

Luau was tailored to create an opportunity for men and women of the land to eat together. Before that, women were prohibited from eating with men according to the religious laws of the land.

Additionally, certain meals were exclusively for men in certain positions, and women were prohibited from participating. The abolition of this practice happened under the reign of King Kamehameha II after his mother, and a group of other women forced his hands.

Today Luau feasts are hosted for important and special occasions in Hawaii and have expanded to include other people’s traditions.

That said, make sure you don’t miss out of all the scrumptious traditional Hawaiian food that the state has to offer!

Hawaii Island Formation

One of the lesser-known facts about Hawaii is that the Hawaii Islands weren’t always in existence. Based on the records available, it is believed that the Hawaiian Islands were formed due to several volcanic eruptions over an extended period.

Hawaii has some active volcanoes even to this day, the most notable ones being the Mauna Loa (largest) and Kilauea volcanoes. The volcanoes erupted at a hotspot on the seafloor, causing the Pacific plate to move, thereby forming the island.

The Pearl Harbor Attack

The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, by the Japanese forces, was significant and is one of the important Hawaii facts. It was the event that got the United States involved in World War II. Thousands of American citizens, civilians, and members of the American Navy lost their lives in the attack.

Additionally, thousands were also left wounded, and lots of naval vessels were destroyed. To commemorate the event, the Pearl Harbor Memorial was erected, and the authorities designated Dec. 7th as its remembrance day.

You can visit the related landmarks in Hawaii to uncover more details about the incident and how people still reflect on it today.

Sovereignty Movement

In 1893, the monarchy system in Hawaii was overthrown after a coup d’etat against Queen Liliʻuokalani. The coup was organized to spearhead the annexation of Hawaii to the United States. The annexation plan was finally carried out in 1898, much to the displeasure of residents of the area.

After about 5 years, the American congress apologized for its part in overthrowing the Hawaiian monarchs and proposed a bill with incentives. However, this was also met with opposition, and certain people rose and created the sovereignty movement.

Now among the many interesting Hawaiian facts is the not-so-hidden goal of some to campaign for Hawaii’s return to independence.

The End of Hawaiian Monarchy

One notable thing about Hawaii is that monarchs once ruled the state for over 7 decades. Hawaii was a kingdom ruled by Kings and Queens from 1810 until the coup which forced its Queen to forfeit her title played out.

Since then, Hawaii has experienced many changes that a more significant percentage of the locals do not fully appreciate.

Cultural Facts About Hawaii

Hawaiian Language

One of the fascinating cultural facts about Hawaii is the State’s language, Ōlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian).

The language is an offset from Polynesian and Tahiti languages and was commonly used among those working on plantations. Hawaii is filled with people from various tribes and regions, and they needed a way to communicate.

Many believe that Hawaiian is the language that the people from all the different countries who ended up in Hawaii came up with as a means of communication.

Although the language is becoming endangered, efforts are being made to preserve it. However, there is an Island in Hawaii, Ni’ihau, that still uses Hawaiian as its primary language while English is secondary.

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Hula

Hula is one of the most fun Hawaii facts that would interest visitors who are dance lovers. The two Hula dance forms, Auana and Kahiko, took on aspects of the Polynesian dance styles with some influences from the western world.

At the onset, Hula was created as a dance to show honor to Hawaii’s last King, David Kalākaua. However, Hula has grown to be so much bigger, and the annual Hula festival, Merrie Monarch Festival, draws visitors worldwide.

Deities

Hawaiian culture is rich and broad, encompassing so many things from religion to music and lots more. Native Hawaiians believe in various gods and deities, and this may have been toned down a lot since foreigners began to settle in their lands.

However, they worship gods like Lono, Pele, Kāne, Kū, Maui, and Kanaloa, who control various natural elements, create things, and control war and peace.

Additionally, there’s a belief that if you take something off the island, like rocks and other parts of the land, you will experience some form of ill luck.

Interesting Facts About Hawaii For Kids

Hawaii Has A Unique Standard Time

Sitting high on the list of fun facts about Hawaii is that the State does not use the commonly used Daylight Saving Time. Hawaii uses Hawaii Standard Time and has not changed or adjusted its daylight time since September 1945.

This practice always causes the time zone differences between Hawaii and other states that adjust their time when needed to fluctuate. Knowing the unique nature of Hawaii’s timing is one of the most intriguing facts about Hawaii for kids and travelers to know.

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Hawaii Is Home To The Largest Active Volcano In The World

The state has lots of volcanoes, both active and inactive. One of the facts about Hawaii’s volcanoes is that they have erupted several times in the past millennia. This led to the formation of the State of Hawaii.

Additionally, with volcanoes sprinkled on almost all of Hawaii’s 100+ Islands, it is not surprising that the region is also home to the largest active volcano in the world. Mauna Loa reportedly erupted in November and December 2022.

In addition, the Haleakala volcano that Maui is known for is also a tourism magnet that draws nature lovers.

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You Can Mail Your Friend A Coconut

One of the weird facts about Hawaii is that they have Post-A-Nut services that allow anyone to send coconuts from Hawaii to anywhere in the world. The practice is encouraged because people are given coconuts for free. Their only requirement is to pay for the shipping.

Tancayo started the service in 1991, and since then, thousands of people have used the service till date. Using the medium to send well-decorated coconuts to friends and family around the globe.

Tancayo must thoroughly scrutinize coconuts and ensure they are safe before sending them out. However, some countries like Australia still have restrictions that prevent this activity.

Fun Hawaii Facts For Travelers

Surfing Started In Hawaii

Surfing is a widely loved activity worldwide and is even done on professional levels, with competitions being held annually. One of the well-known facts about Hawaiian islands is that it is where surfing originated.

Surfing was an activity that was practiced exclusively by Hawaiian monarchs until Duke Kahanamoku exported it to the world. He is considered the father of modern-day surfing.

mauna-kea-mountain-in-hawaii

Hawaii Is Home To One Of The World’s Tallest Mountains

One exciting and unknown piece of information about Hawaii is that the tallest mountain in the world is actually in the State. Mount Everest is known as the tallest mountain even in space, but that’s only if you consider the height above sea level.

When the total height is taken into consideration from the base of the mountain to its summit, the Mauna Kea mountain in Hawaii is considerably taller. Mauna Kea stands at about 33,500 feet, while Mount. Everest is approximately 29,035 feet.

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Lots Of Movies Are Shot In Hawaii

When one thinks of beautiful and scenic locations, Hawaii always comes out on top. This is perhaps one of the good Hawaiian facts to consider when planning your next sightseeing trip.

Many Hollywood producers and those in the movie biz think so, too, seeing that lots of your favorite movies have Hawaiian backdrops. Doubtful? Check out Jurassic Park, and Jurassic World had more of its scenes filmed in Hawaii.

Common Facts About Hawaii

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Hawaii Is One Of Two States In America That Grows Coffee For Commercial Use

Besides its beauty and unique looks, Hawaii has individual soil components that allow certain crops to thrive. One of the crops that do well in the region is coffee, and it’s been cultivated there since the 1820s.

Although the State’s coffee farms generate much income, especially recently, productivity is still disturbed by pest attacks.

The other state that grows coffee on a commercial scale is California.

Hawaii Is One Of The Top Tourist Destinations In The United States

Hawaii has a rich culture, history, top-tier climate, and numerous pristine Hawaiian beaches. there are many other activities and sights to entertain and enrich any visitor properly.

Tourism facts about Hawaii will show that every year millions of tourists visit the Islands, contributing billions to the economy. This is far more than most other states in the US.

READ MORE:

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Hawaii Is The 50th State in The United States

Hawaii had an 80-year existence as a kingdom which ended in the late 1890s after it was overthrown. Afterward, attempts were made to reinstate the monarch back into power, which was futile.

Finally, in 1959 after years of dealing with opposition from locals, lots of political and racial issues. However, one of the notable facts about Hawaii is that a lot of resistance to this move by the US still exists today.

Other Interesting Facts About Hawaii

Hawaii’s Land Mass Keeps Increasing

Amongst the many interesting Hawaii facts is a tiny detail that the State doesn’t have a definitive land mass like other states in the US.

Volcanic eruptions and some associated factors resulted in the formation of the Hawaiian Islands. Since the volcanoes keep erupting to this day, the landmass keeps increasing little by Little.

Hawaii Has A Special Greeting

In most places, everyone reaches out for a quick handshake when exchanging pleasantries. However, this is not the norm in Hawaii. One of the cultural facts about Hawaii that visitors might want to know beforehand is that Hawaiians have numerous ways of exchanging greetings.

One of the most common is the Shaka, which involves raising the pinky and thumb in a salute to show solidarity. While the official traditional way of saying hello is called Honi Ihu, two people are expected to rub noses to exchange breath as a way to relay a message of a strong bond.

caldera-of-the-haleakala-volcano

Hawaii Is One Of The Most Isolated Places On Earth

Hawaii is unique for several reasons, one of which is how isolated the island is from other states in the United States. Its population center is considered one of the most isolated on Earth.

One primary reason that people of this claim is because it’s nearly 2400 miles from the United States. The closest place to Hawaii is Japan, and it’s over 3000 miles away, showing how far away the island is from other habitations.

Discovering More Fun Facts About Hawaii

If you’re trying to learn all about Hawaii, it’ll likely take days to even cover a quarter of the Island’s deep and diverse history, culture, religion, etc. There are lots of other interesting facts about Hawaii that haven’t been listed here, like why Hawaii is also known as Sandwich Island.

However, most fun facts about Hawaii are best experienced by exploring the area and discovering all you want to know firsthand. There is no better way to know a place than being physically present. Plan a trip to the Hawaiian Islands, and find out all the state has to offer.


PIN THESE FUN FACTS ABOUT HAWAII FOR LATER

PLANNING YOUR TRIP? CHECK THESE RESOURCES!

Book Your Flight

I usually use a combination of 2-3 of the following search engines to find cheap flights: Skyscanner, Momondo, Google Flights

Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

For more travel resources, check out my resources page for best platforms and companies to use when you travel.

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.

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