Also known as the Aloha State, the Hawaiian Islands' archipelago lying in the central Pacific Ocean is the southernmost part of the USA, lying 2500 miles from the mainland.
Hawaii includes eight major islands Kahoolawe, Hawaii, Lanai, Maui, Nihau, Oahu, Kauai and Molokai, and many islets. These islands were united under King Kamehameha the Great.
They were called the Sandwich Islands (named by the British explorer, Captain James Cook) and became U.S. territory in 1900.
Hawaii was incorporated as the 50th State in the United States of America on 21st August 1959.
The two main languages spoken in Hawaii are Hawaiian and English, while tourism is the State's largest industry, contributing to more than 75% of its economy.
Honolulu: the capital city
The capital of Hawaii is Honolulu. Located on Hawaii's Oahu Island, Honolulu is full of attractions and activities to do. Dominated by the impressive Diamond Head volcano, Honolulu is known for its tropical landscape, harbor, and the Mamala Bay, where visitors can practice a wide range of water sports.
Honolulu's main tourist hot spots are the downtown district – the Pacific Region's leading financial and business center - and Waikiki, known for its narrow sandy beach area, one of the world's most renowned beaches.
But Honolulu isn't just sandy beaches and water sports. It can counts on several monuments, historical museums, contemporary art galleries, must-see sights, and a large variety of recreational activities.
Top attractions include Aloha Tower Marketplace, Honolulu Zoo, Iolani Palace, the Aloha Tower, Diamond Head Lighthouse, the State Capitol Building, Hawaii Maritime Center, the Hawaii State Art Museum, and the Battleship Missouri Memorial at Pearl Harbor.
The island of Oahu, where the capital city Honolulu is located, is the most inhabited and modern of the Hawaiian Islands and has a vibrant nightlife to offer.
Each one of the Hawaiian Islands is unique in its own way.
Big Island is renowned for its colored beaches, the green sand beach, and the black sand beach (Punalu'u), which is Hawaii's most famous black sand shore. Volcanos fans must visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park while animal lovers can't miss the visit to the Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm in Kona.
Kauai, the garden isle, is the oldest tropical island with spectacular surroundings and breathtaking nature. It houses Mount Wai'ale'ale, the wettest spot on earth, Bali Hai and Hanalei.
Maui, also known as the valley islet, has glamorous golf courses, and it's an excellent spot for whale watching and the vast and famous Haleakala Crater.
The Hawaiian islands' are famous for their coral beaches, cloud-shrouded volcanic peaks, palm trees, lush green vegetation contributing to their name of "Paradise of the Pacific."
Some of the major attractions in the Hawaiian Islands are:
- The Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail
- The Haleakala National Park and the Haleakala Wilderness
- The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
- The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary
- The James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge
- The Kalaupapa National Historical Park
- The Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park
- The Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge
- The Kona Historical Society
- The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve
- The Oahu Forest National Wildlife Refuge
- The Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site
- The USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor
- The Akaka Falls
Vacation rentals in Hawaii
A holiday in Hawaii can be remarkable but at the same time expensive if not organized well and in advance.
Hotels in Hawaii can be costly, but several options can provide a family or a group with more suitable accommodation and good facilities included.
For those who have just started planning a holiday, vacation rentals in Hawaii usually include stand-alone houses or apartments provided with full amenities and functional kitchens.
Most vacation rentals in Hawaii are located right on the beaches. Many also possess private swimming pools, Jacuzzis, and tennis courts. An average staying period at a vacation rental is one-week minimum.
Vacation rentals allow the tourists to stay in luxurious beach home rentals or condos for a fraction of a hotel's cost.