20 Things Hawaii is Known and Famous For

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If you’re looking for an amazing travel destination that offers something for everyone, look no further than Hawaii. From amazing beaches and lush rainforests to its dramatic cliffs and active volcanoes, Hawaii is known for being a place like no other.

Hawaii is also home to a long history and culture that can be explored in depth while traveling through the islands. From the early Polynesians who first settled in Hawaii to the Koreans, Japanese, and Chinese who later arrived, each group has left its mark on the islands. As a result, Hawaii is a melting pot of cultures that provides visitors with a truly unique experience.

There’s no doubt that Hawaii is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. But what is it that makes this place so special?

What Is Hawaii Known For?

Hawaii is known for its stunning natural beauty, with towering volcanoes, pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters. But there’s much more to this fascinating country than meets the eye. Hawaii’s rich history and culture involves both modern day history and ancient traditions, giving the region a truly unique vibe that stands out from the rest of US.

From passionate hospitality to the delicious Hawaiian food, there is an interesting experience awaiting you and any visitors. Here are just some of the things that Hawaii is known for that will provide an an unforgettable travel adventure.

Famous Food In Hawaii


Poi is a traditional Hawaiian dish made from the cooked root of the taro plant. It is often steamed or boiled, then mashed into a sticky, pudding-like consistency. Poi is usually eaten with the fingers and has a slightly sweet, earthy flavor.

Poi is a staple of the Hawaiian diet and has been eaten by Native Hawaiians for centuries. It is often served as a side dish or snack, and can be found at many Hawaiian markets and stores.



Poke is a type of salad that originates from Hawaii. It is traditionally made with fish such as tuna or salmon that has been marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, and other spices, then mixed with seaweed, vegetables, and fruits.

Poke is a popular dish in Hawaii and is often served as an appetizer or main course. It can be found at most seafood restaurants and markets in Hawaii.

Poke is also becoming popular on the mainland United States, particularly in California, where it is often served as a healthy alternative to sushi.

Kalua Pig

Kalua pig is a traditional Hawaiian dish made with pork that has been cooked in an underground oven, or imu. The pork is rubbed with salt, wrapped in banana leaves, and slow-cooked for several hours until it is tender and juicy.

Kalua pig is often served at luaus, or Hawaiian parties, where it is often served shredded and mixed with rice. It can also be found at many Hawaiian restaurants.


Laulau is a traditional Hawaiian dish made with pork, fish, or chicken that has been wrapped in taro leaves and steamed. The more traditional cooking method is in an underground rock oven, creating a smokiness to the taste. Nevertheless, the taro leaves give the laulau a distinctive flavor and aroma.

Laulau is often served as a main course, and can be found at many Hawaiian restaurants. It is also a popular dish to take to potlucks and parties.

History, Culture, And Traditions


Aloha Shirts

Everyone has seen the Aloha shirt in almost movies involving Hawaii; and you will see lots of these in real life while in Hawaii.

An Aloha shirt is a Hawaiian casual shirt, usually with floral prints. It became popular outside of the islands in the 1930s when Duke Kahanamoku, who was an Olympic swimmer and one of Hawaii’s most famous citizen at the time, started promoting it on his travels around the US mainland.

The aloha shirt is now considered formal wear in Hawaii and is often worn to business events even. It is also the most popular souvenir for tourists to take home with them.



Another item that you would often see with an Aloha shirt is the Lei. Lei is a traditional Hawaiian garland or necklace made of flowers, leaves, seeds, shells, or feathers. You are bound to see lots of these beautiful handiwork in Hawaii.

Leis were originally given as a sign of affection and respect and were often exchanged between friends and family members. Nowadays, they are given to visitors as a welcome to Hawaii.

You will often see people wearing leis at Hawaiian festivals and celebrations, such as the Merrie Monarch Festival and the Aloha Festivals.


Luau Tradition

The Luau is a traditional Hawaiian party or feast that is usually accompanied by entertainment. It is also one of the most popular tourist activities in Hawaii.

A typical luau will feature a variety of Hawaiian food as well as traditional dances such as the hula. The Luau originated in ancient Hawaii, but it has since evolved and now includes many elements of Western culture.

The Luau is a great way to experience the culture and traditions of Hawaii. If you are planning a trip to Hawaii, be sure to check out some of the Luaus that are available.

The 50th State

Hawaii officially became the 50th US state on August 21, 1959. It was a long road to statehood for Hawaii. The first attempt was in 1849 but was unsuccessful. In 1900, Hawaii was annexed by the US as a territory.

In 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor which brought the US into World War II. After the war, Hawaii became a key strategic location for the US military. In 1959, a vote was finally held and Hawaii became a state.

Since then, Hawaii has been known as a vacation destination for many Americans and people from around the world. It is also known for its diverse culture and traditions.


Site Of Pearl Harbor

On December 7th, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, a naval base located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. The attack took place without a declaration of war and without any warning. 2,403 people were killed and 1,178 were wounded.

The United States declared war on Japan the following day and thus entered World War II. The attack on Pearl Harbor was a turning point in the war as it brought the United States into the conflict. The US had been supplying England and other countries with supplies but were not openly involved in the fighting.

After the attack, public opinion in the United States changed and there was a strong desire to retaliate. You can learn more about this major conflict event through an insightful historic tour or even visit the USS Arizona Memorial in Honolulu.

Hawaiian Language

The Hawaiian language is a Polynesian language that was once the main language of Hawaii. It is now considered to be endangered, with only about 1,000 native speakers remaining.

Most Hawaiians now speak English as their primary language, but there is a growing movement to revive the Hawaiian language. Many businesses and organizations in Hawaii use both English and Hawaiian in their names and signage.

The Hawaiian alphabet consists of 13 letters: 5 vowels and 8 consonants. The most common way to write Hawaiian is with the Latin alphabet, but there is also a traditional Hawaiian alphabet, which uses symbols to represent each sound.


Hawaii’s Beautiful Beaches

Of course, what would Hawaii be without its beaches? With over 100 different beaches to choose from, it’s hard to decide which ones to visit. Do you want to experience the big waves of the North Shore, go snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, or relax on the white sand beaches of Waikiki?

Each beach has its own unique characteristics, so it really depends on what you’re looking for in a beach experience. For example, the Laniakea Beach is famous for turtle sightings. There are beaches for surfing, swimming, sunbathing, fishing, bodyboarding, and more.

Here are some of the best Hawaii beaches for a sunny vacation when you visit.



Hawaii is home to the world’s most active volcano, Kilauea. The volcano has been continuously erupting since 1983 and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Hawaii.

Kilauea is just one of five major volcanoes that make up the Big Island in Hawaii, which is also home to Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Hualalai, and Kohala.

All of these volcanoes have played a role in the formation of the Hawaiian Islands and are considered sacred by many Native Hawaiians.

Sports And Dance


Surf Culture

With a coastline of stunning beaches, it is no surprise that Hawaii is known for its surf culture. Surfing was first brought to Hawaii by the Polynesians and it has been a part of Hawaiian culture ever since.

Today, surfing is one of the most popular tourist activities in Hawaii. Many people come to Hawaii specifically to surf the waves.

There are many different types of surfing that you can try in Hawaii. You can surf on a longboard, a shortboard, or a bodyboard. You can also try stand-up paddleboarding.

If you are interested in learning how to surf, there are many surf schools in Hawaii that offer lessons for beginners.



The hula is a traditional dance of Hawaii that was originally performed as a religious ritual. The modern version of the hula is mainly performed for entertainment purposes, but there are still many hula dancers who take it very seriously and practice the traditional dances and chants.

Hula dancing is a complex art form that includes the use of hand gestures, body movements, and expressions to tell a story. The stories are often about Hawaiian myths, legends, and history.

The hula is a sensual dance that is performed to music, typically with drums and guitars. Today you will often see it performed at luaus.

It is now a popular tourist activity in Hawaii. If you are visiting Hawaii, be sure to check out some of the hula shows that are available.


Hawaiian Music

Hawaiian music is very diverse and includes many different genres, such as folk, pop, rock, and hip-hop. The most famous type of Hawaiian music is probably the ukulele, which is a small string instrument that originates from Portugal.

Hawaiian music is often steeped in history and culture. Many songs tell stories about the Hawaiian Islands, their people, and their traditions.

If you are interested in learning more about Hawaiian music, there are many music festivals and concerts that you can attend while you are in Hawaii. You can also find many Hawaiian musicians performing in hotels, restaurants, and bars.

Cities And Travel Destinations



Honolulu is the capital and largest city of Hawaii. It is located on the island of Oahu. Honolulu is a major tourist destination, as it is home to many famous beaches, such as Waikiki Beach.

The city also has a rich history and culture. Honolulu’s Chinatown is one of the oldest in the United States and is a popular district to check out. Honolulu is a diverse and cosmopolitan city. It is home to people from all over the world.



Maui is known for its stunning beaches, lush rainforests, and dramatic cliffs. It is the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands and is often referred to as the “Valley Isle” due to its geographical formation.

The island of Maui is a popular tourist destination with many resort hotels. In addition to beautiful beaches like the Kaanapali Beach, the island is also a popular place to surf, with some of the best waves in Hawaii.

Boasting a rich history and culture, Maui’s Lahaina was once the capital of Hawaii. In addition to the amazing nature, you will also find many charming shops and restaurants for some urban indulgence.

Maui is also home to the Haleakala National Park, which is a popular spot for hiking and camping. The highlight here is obviously the Haleakala volcano and crater, which offers some of the most breathtaking views on the island.

Architecture And Landmarks

Hawaii has plenty of historic and natural attractions that makes it one of the most sought after destinations among travelers. Here are just some of the many famous landmarks in Hawaii to visit.


Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a popular landmark in Hawaii as it consists of two active volcanoes, Kīlauea and Mauna Loa.

The park was established in 1916 and is home to a diverse ecosystem. There are many different types of plants and animals that can be found in the park.

The park is also features many different lava flows. These lava flows have created a unique landscape that is unlike any other place on Earth.

If you are interested in learning more about volcanoes, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a great place to visit. You can take guided tours of the volcanoes, hike through the lava flows, and learn about the history of the park.


Diamond Head

Diamond Head is a volcanic crater that is located on the island of Oahu. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Hawaii.

Diamond Head is best known for its scenic views across the ocean. From the top of the crater, you can see stunning views of Waikiki Beach and the city of Honolulu.

If you are looking for a challenging hike, Diamond Head is a great place to hike. The trail to the top of the crater is about 1.6 miles long and is considered to be moderate but strenuous because of the steepness. When you reach the top of Diamond Head, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views.

Many More Things Hawaii Is Known And Famous For

Hawaii is known for its beautiful beaches, its laid-back lifestyle, and its delicious food. From traditional Hawaiian dishes like poi and laulau to modern favorites like poke and Kalua pig, you are in for a treat after exploring the mountains or surfing the waves.

However, these are just a few of the things Hawaii is known for. From its stunning landscapes and its unique culture, there is something for everyone to enjoy and discover first hand in Hawaii.



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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