After reading this article and learning some more interesting tidbits about this real-life dreamland, your mental image of the place will be so solid you might not even need to actually visit! Though, who are we kidding, a trip to Hawaii sounds like a good idea even if you’ve just come back from there.
Barron Mamiya Makes Hawaiians Proud
Because surfing is such a big part of Hawaiin culture, it's only reasonable some notable surfers will be Hawaiians. Barron Mamiya is one of them.
Born in Oahu, Hawaii, he started surfing at the age of 11. He won the Men's Pro Junior Vans Open of Surfing in 2018 and started competing at a very young age. He's known for his effortless curving and for getting past even the highest of waves. He's the all-around package when it comes to surfing and his desire to compete is unparalleled.
Honolulu Is Not Affordable
While most of the time it is literally all sunshine and rainbow in Hawaii, Honolulu has actually lost 11.1% of its population, according to the 2018 census. It’s believed that the main reason why so many people are leaving Hawaii’s famous city is due to its rising living costs.
With the estimated living cost in Honolulu considered to be almost 30% higher than living in Austin, Texas, there are many cheaper alternatives elsewhere in the US. It’s easy to understand why people are leaving Honolulu for more affordable cities.
Doris Duke's Honolulu House Is Now a Majestic Museum
Tobacco heiress Doris Duke and her husband were travel fiends, and after traveling the world, they made their final stop in Hawaii, where they fell in love with the beautiful culture and scenery.
In fact, they loved it so much that they bought a plot of land on the Honolulu waterfront, and they had a custom home built decorated with Islamic art. Now, the house has transformed into a museum showcasing Middle Eastern art that she collected throughout her lifetime.
China in Hawaii?
The China Walls are a place in Hawaii, who knew? This place is known for two things. It’s the ideal location to watch the sunset in Hawaii Kai, and a popular spot for cliff jumping.
At any time of the day, you’ll find a younger crowd hanging out there with lounge chairs, a cooler, and maybe some snorkel gear. This is considered one of Hawaii's most beautiful places, but alas, also one of the most dangerous ones.
Cliff Diving Is a Thing
Cliff diving? What will those extreme sports fanatics come up with next? Ocean Flying? In Hawaii, a popular location for this ludicrous activity is Spitting Caves.
Sadly, taking part in such a sport can lead to some unfortunate accidents. The strong waves have no mercy, but what can we do? The ocean is known for many things, but compassion isn't one of them. Still, many come to Hawaii because they enjoy the thrill and rush of doing the unbelievable.
"Lost" Was Filmed in Hawaii
Popular among both tourists and locals, the Spitting Caves can be found in Honolulu, Hawaii. It’s located just below a high cliff where waves are known to crash, shooting into the cave and creating something that looks like a reverse blowhole.
The public trail is relatively short but hidden in a wealthy residential area. In addition to the phenomenal views, people love to go there and check out where some scenes from the popular show “Lost” were filmed.
Hawaii Has More Than Just Beaches
Hawaii isn't just about beach life. Pa’ia is a stunning town full of a rich plantation past. It boasts an array of surf and sweets shops, alongside plenty of art galleries, restaurants, and clothing boutiques. Simmer Hawaii is said to be one of the best shops in the area for both men and women. Paia Bay Coffee on Hana Highway is famous for its iced latte.
If you’re on the prowl for something a bit more substantial, check out Mama’s Fish House for some delicious local seafood.
A National Park... of Volcanos
Believe it or not, there are virtual tours of Hawaii Volcanoes that explore lava tubes. They explain the geological processes that have created more than 500 acres of new land and follow rangers as they describe the beauty of the park's volcanic coastal cliffs.
You can virtually fly over the active Kilauea volcano and be instantly reminded of the mighty forces of nature. This type of experience must be really impactful!
Harvard Out, Hawaiian Colleges In
It may seem like an absolute dream to go to college in Hawaii. After all, many Hawaiian college campuses are near the most beautiful scenery you’ll ever see in your life. Surprisingly, the state that is solely associated with pleasure has a total of 19 colleges and universities.
Ten of them are public! Do you think you can major in surfing? We bet a show about college kids in Hawaii would make a great Netflix hit show!
Kaimu Beach used to be a famous black sand beach in Hawaii and was the home of 150 families. Up until the early nineties, people enjoyed visiting it. Because of a volcano-related disaster, it is now impossible to access this beautiful black beach.
But, that just makes it all the more special, doesn't it? The eruptions continue to this day, but the silver lining is that so far over 500 acres of land have been added to Hawaii’s Big Island.
Hawaii Is Home to Many Volcanos
Many know that Hawaii has 6 active volcanos. Not everyone understands that the whole state actually sits on top of active volcanoes. Hawaii is also the home of the most massive Volcano.
This means any moment, the whole of the island state could be completely devoured by the Pacific Ocean. The lava doesn't care what is in its way, it just wants to live its lovely lava life.
A Beach for Danger Lovers
Located on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, you can’t take a car to Hanakapi’ai Beach. You have to first take the Kalalau trail, which is known for being dangerous and difficult. The beach can be found approximately two miles into the hike and offers little relaxation for those who make the journey.
The waters are known for being deadly, as the strong current and large waves make them impossible to maneuver. A sign cautioning tourists to stay out of the waters indicates that people have lost their lives taking a dip in these waters.
Located on the edge of Kailua, Hawaii is the Ulupo Heiau State Historic Site. This heiau is also associated with Hawaiian mythology and legends of the Menehune, a mythological creature who lives in the deep forests and valleys of the Hawaiian Islands. The site is also associated with high chiefs like Kakuhihewa and Kuali’i.
Ulupo Heiau became a park that is made up of a stone platform that measures 140 by 180 feet and has 30-foot-tall outer walls.
Hawaii Is a Hot Wedding Destination
It should be a surprise that many people fly to Hawaii just to get married. The breathtaking views are the perfect background for a celebration of love.
This trend did not skip celebrity couples. In 2000, Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor tied the knot at a beautiful oceanfront ceremony in Hawaii. Sharon and Ozzy did so in 1982 at a beautiful Hawaiian wedding on the island of Maui. The list goes on and on.
What Happened to the Coco Palms Resort?
The Coco Palms was at one point one of the most sought-after stays in Hawaii. Located in Wailuā, it is apparently located on the ground that belongs to ancient Hawaiian royalty. The first hotel on site started operating there in the 1950s, but it didn’t become very popular until 1953 when it was being run by Island Holidays Limited.
People used to come from all over to get married on the site and enjoy the tropical grounds. Sadly, in 1992, the area was hit by Hurricane Iniki and they were forced to shut their doors.
Also known as the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, the Honolulu Airport is located on the island of O’ahu. In case you went on a vacation to Hawaii or are blessed enough to call this place home, there is a good chance you've boarded a Hawaiian Airlines flight and landed with a lei around your neck.
Hawaiian Airlines is the largest carrier in Hawaii and uses this airport as its main hub. There are currently dozens of the airline’s airplanes parked on the asphalt of one of the airport’s runways. Unexpectedly the island-based airline is the 10th biggest in the US.
What's Up With 'Ulu?
Have you ever heard of Breadfruit? It's a thorny oval-shaped fruit native to tropical areas, Hawaii included. The idea of a bread-flavored fruit may sound far-fetched, but it tastes just like a cross between freshly made bread, plantains, and potatoes.
This starchy crop is a mainstay in the paradise of the pacific. It is called 'ulu in the local language. Despite having Bread in its name, it takes more after its other half, Fruit — it is both tasty and nourishing.
Hawaii Is Home to Many Sacred Sites
Sacred sites or heiaus are prevalent in the wonderful islands of Hawaii. In Hawaiian culture, it is extremely important to honor and preserve these sacred sites. Called "heiau" in Hawaiian, they have a variety of purposes, including treating the sick, offering harvest, starting rain, stopping the rain, increasing the population, and achieving success in war.
However, many were destroyed during the 19th century. The sites that do remain date as far back as the 13th Century.
The King's Residence
The former residence of King Kamehameha I is an important Hawaiin site. It's located at the north end of Kailua Bay on the Big Island. Kamehameha was the first ruler of Hawaii and the founder of the Kingdom of Hawaii after he unified the islands.
He is the ancestor of Kamehameha V, the chief who sold Ni’ihau to the Sinclair family. The site where he lived is now a lighthouse. It is also the land where part of King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel is located.
Hawaii is rich with its own mythology and has various stories surrounding its particular gods, especially the goddess Pele.
There is a sacred site is where Pele, the goddess of Volcanoes fell in love with Lohi'au. Lohi'au, the chief of Kaua’i, was actually laid to rest at the site of this temple. Legends say that the chief Lohi'au died upon falling in love with Pele. Pele will always be a huge part of Hawaiin culture, as this beautiful mural of hers shows.
Honolulu Has a High-End Urban Edge
Hawaii makes us think of extraordinary beaches, white sands, and blue oceans. But it's not the only thing you can find there. In urban Honolulu, it's an entirely different story.
You can pay over $500,000 for a one-bedroom apartment if you want. You can also enjoy their great nightlife. It's safe to say the urban side of Honolulu is not the best place to raise a family. Its target audience is more rich singles.
What's Papaya Gotta Do With It?
The only place where papayas are commercially farmed is, you guessed it, Hawaii! This fantastic fruit found its way to the island in the early 1800s. The papayas you can find there are small and melon-flavored.
After pineapples, papayas are the most lucrative Hawaiian fruit crop. If you have never tried papaya, Hawaii is a great place to try one! If it is soft to the touch and smells slightly sweet it means it's good to go!
The Largest Temple
Hale O Pi’ilani Heiau is located outside of Hana. It is one of the best-preserved sacred sites and actually dates back to the 13th Century.
The site is like a labyrinth with more walls inside including enclosures, platforms, and pits. Historians posture that it was actually designed as a residence. Others believe it was part of a kingdom. The structure is located in the Kahanu Garden and Preserve, a botanical garden along the Hana Highway.
The War Temple
This temple sits atop a hill and is located on the island of O’ahu. It's called Pu’u Mahuka Heiau which roughly translates to “hill of escape.” Not much has remained from it, but trust us when we tell you that it was constructed as a war temple.
Historians have dated the temple’s early construction to the 17th century though they have found that more construction was done on the temple in the 18th century.
Kill Time With Killer Whales
If you find yourself in Oahu, you'll get a chance to see these wonderful and rare dolphins up close. Unlike actual killer whales, false killer whales are friendly and approachable. These amazing dolphins have actually been known to catch food and bring them as gifts to humans who are in the process of diving or boating!
However, they also are known to take fish off of hooks, which can lead to injury and is actually one of the main causes of decline in the false killer whale population around the Hawaiian Islands.
Hawaiian Killer Whales Are Not Killers. Or Whales.
There are three different populations of false killer whales that swim in the warm waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands. If that fact makes you want to change your vacation plans and fly to Europe instead — think again. Though their coloring resembles that of a killer whale, these sea mammals are actually the third-largest type of dolphin.
These special dolphins are pretty sparse and rare in other parts of the world. For this reason, they are the type of dolphins that are sought out most for observation.
Hawaii Wasn't Alway a Holiday Destination
Following World War II, Hawaii entered the vacation destination scene and quickly became known as one of the most popular getaways, especially for people living in the US. This illustration of a guy suffering and enjoying himself is a prime example of the press Hawaii got.
This photo is actually one of the first examples we have of marketing surf culture to the general American public. Though surf culture wouldn’t become a huge craze until the 50s and 60s in America.
Extra Special Shells
In all of the islands of Hawaii, shells are used to make intricate, beautiful shell leis. Typically, three different kinds of shells are used to make these leis. Many island inhabitants are artists and craft makers. These residents love crafting beautiful shell leis that can be found in stores on each of the Hawaiian Islands.
The price of each lei is dependent on what shells are used, and how common each shell is. So if you want one of those extra special leis, be prepared to shell out the cash!
It is said Niihau's owners have set out numerous rules for their islanders to live by. Though it can’t be confirmed, such rules include not being allowed to keep any firearms or drink liquor. It is said they are required to attend church each and every Sunday. This picture of the very private residents was taken in 1885.
One former resident even claims that men on the island aren’t allowed to have long hair or wear earrings. Whether this is true or not will remain a mystery.
The island of Niihau was purchased in 1864. The buyer was a woman named Elizabeth Sinclair, a plantation owner in New Zealand and Hawaii. She bought Niihau for a mere $10,000 from the Kingdom of Hawaii. The island was later passed on to her descendants. This picture was taken by her son Francis Sinclair.
Wow, if island prices were like this today, wouldn't you want to own a private one as well? We know that next time the island buying market crashes, we're getting one.
Hawaii’s Soil Is Worth More Than You Think
Countless people wake up every morning, get dressed, go to work, and think nothing of soil. Well, why should they? The dirt on the ground doesn't seem important to those who work as lawyers or teachers, but for farmers, rich soil can be a goldmine. Out of all the different natural sources Hawaii holds, the soil is one of great significance.
Why? Well, macadamia nuts, pineapples, coffee, sugarcane, and more can all grow on the isles thanks to it.
Don't Touch the Seals
We all love petting animals, especially ones we don't get to see that often. Hawaii is home to many monk seals, and who wouldn't want to take a selfie with a seal? Well, even if you see a monk seal laying on the beach, or swimming in the ocean — please don't touch it.
It's 100% illegal. Sadly, despite being the cutest of crimes — it comes with a cost. You can get fined or face time on the inside, so keep your distance.
Seal Monks Do More Than Just Molt
Just like snakes, Hawaiian seal monks shed! Instead of shedding their skin, they shed their fur, it's called a "catastrophic molt." While the process isn't really fun for them, you can compare it to a deep facial or maybe to washing dirty clothes.
After they're done they are as good as new and ready to tackle their life under the sea and above the land again. If you see a seal with green skin, know that it's time for them to molt.
The Hawaiin Ohelo plant is the one responsible for the delicious Ohelo berry. Despite growing alongside volcanos, the berry is edible and is said to have a similar taste to that of a cranberry.
Early Hawaiians did not touch a berry without offering it to the gods first. Today they make jams and pies with it. The Nene geese practically binge on them and also help disperse their seeds — everybody wins.
The Resilient Ohelo Plant
The Ohelo plant is endemic to the islands and it used to be considered sacred. Today, it has a sizzling story to tell you — it likes the altitudes and can even grow on volcanic ash and lava flows.
This is one determined plant, in order to adapt to its chaotic, often volcanic lifestyle, it can even survive a 25 cm ash fall!
Hawaii Is the Perfect Place for Hermits
Alone but definitely not lonely, those who live in Hawaii have the dubious privilege of being the most isolated people on earth.
Located 4000 miles away from Japan as well as 2,400 miles away from the continental US, the eight islands of Hawaii are like the loner kid in high school who wants to go against the grain and off the grid. Recluses and hermits are always welcome in Hawaii.
What's the Deal with Hawaiian shirts?
You have seen these shirts, mostly, but not exclusively, worn by men. Also named aloha shirts, you can count on them to always be colorful. They usually feature a pattern inspired by nature, and many tourists wear them daily when visiting Hawaii. The shirt was used to be worn in situations a tad more formal than just going to the beach.
Hawaiians wore it to a nice restaurant or to for a day the office. Today, aloha shirts have become something else — a symbol of the laid-back Hawaiian lifestyle.
One State, Four Climate Zones
What's a climate zone? The Koppen climate system distinguishes between five different climate zones. The five are tropical, continental, mild, dry, and polar. We'll let you figure out what each one means by yourselves.
The paradise of the pacific has four out of the five, only missing the Continental one, which requires at least one month of freezing cold as well as one month of temperatures being above 50 °F. The eight islands are overachievers — they also have eight out of the thirteen climate sub-zones.
Like Seals Underwater
Seals have the ability and the advantage of living both inside and outside the water. Just like Hanna Montana, they get the best of both worlds! We, humans, find it hard to keep our heads underwater for more than a few seconds, but Monk seals can do so for 20 minutes!
They also enjoy diving and walks on the beach. They can dive deep, reaching 1,804 feet, but most of the time they are really all about the shallow water.
Monk Seals Are Real Sleepy
We hope that every Hawaii resident feels grateful knowing that they share a home with Monk Seals. They can live up to 30 years, and they also got the honor of being chosen as the state's animal! It's no surprise that the Monk Seals stole this title, they are of only two mammals that are native to Hawaii, but also hella cute!
Walking the beaches of the islands, you might come across seals sleeping in the sun for a couple of days straight.
The Hoary Bat
The Hoary Bat and the monk seal are the only two mammals that can be naturally found in the paradise of the pacific. These fellows like to explore and because they have wings, they have never been limited only to the islands. In fact, the hoary is the most widespread bat in America.
Like all of us, they love their beauty sleep. When they call it a day, they wrap their tail around their body and create a little sleeping bag for themselves. Adorable.
The Nene Goose
1957 marked a big year for Hawaii when it finally decided on its state bird and declared it... a goose! But not just any goose, the Nene goose, who is endemic to Hawaii. Ende-what? Well, it just means that these beauties can't be found anywhere else in the world (unless humans transport them.)
The Nene is the rarest goose in the world, and some Hawaiians believe that they are the guardian spirit of the islands.
Is the Hawaiian Flag Plagiarized?
Looking at the state's flag, you have to admit it feels a bit familiar, maybe even, too familiar. This is because it incorporates elements from two other well-known flags - The US and The UK. This wasn't just a case of someone running out of ideas and deciding to plagiarize the flag.
The flag honors the relationships that Hawaii has. The Union Jack symbolizes the friendship between Hawaii and the UK. The eight horizontal lines represent the eight islands, while their colors are a nod to America.
Surfing in the 12th Century?
Everything about Hawaii just screams and shouts "We LOVE surfing." Just take a short look at anything around you in Hawaii and you'll see it — from the lifestyle to the fashion and the souvenirs.
A cave painting from the 12th century, showing people surfing, was found in Polynesia, making us about 99% sure that the sport was actually invented there, and has existed for like, a thousand years at least.
Kaho’olawe Is Tiny and Non-Commercial
Kaho’olawe is the smallest volcanic island out of the eight that make up the state of Hawaii. This cute little baby isle measures 11 miles. There's also one fascinating law you should know about — the land and waters of Kaho’olawe can only be used by native Hawaiians.
Nothing that can constitute a commercial activity is allowed on the island. Still, you can visit and enjoy the non-commerciality of it all.
Run and Ruled by Tourists
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that The Aloha State's economy is practically ruled by those of us who go there to relax in the sun. Hawaii does have more than one thriving industry. Coffee definitely helps the state rake in some big bucks, but everyone knows that it is us, the tourist, who run the show!
Tourism makes up more than 20% of the state's economy and every year more than nine million people come to visit paradise.
Minorities Are the Majority
It sounds like a contradiction, right? But this peculiar, fun fact about Hawaii actually makes perfect sense. Basically, in most states and countries there is at least one group of people that makes up at least 50% of the population.
When it comes to Hawaii there is no one prevalent group of people living on the island, making it heavenly diverse. Only 10% of those residing in paradise are actual Native Hawaiian.
The Shortest Alphabet (Almost)
The Hawaiian alphabet is only made up of 13 letters. They only have five vowels and seven consonants. It almost won the peculiar title of the world's shortest alphabet, but alas, The Rotokos language has only 12 letters.
You can't win them all. Could this be the reason why Hawaiin words are always long, hard to read, and hard to pronounce? Yes, it is.
Coffee, Cocoa, and Vanilla
Ask almost any person you know what is something they enjoy and there's a great chance their answer will be directly or indirectly connected to coffee, cocoa, or vanilla. Lovers of all of the above will be thrilled to hear that Hawaii is the only state in the US that has the right soil and climate to grow all three.
The coffee industry specifically is a big moneymaker for the state, and in 2019 alone, coffee made $102.91 million for the islands.
The Riveting Wailua River
Located in the Wailua River Valley on the eastern side of Kauai, the Wailua River State Park is home to the only navigable river in Hawaii. People who visit the park can take advantage of the lovely river and engage in activities such as kayaking, river boating, and exploring the rainforest.
Within the park is an important site, the Wailua Complex. This complex is made up of a series of temples and was once the center of chiefly power on the island of Kauai.
Hawaii's Four Ice Ages
The sea-locked land of Hawaii never ceases to amaze and astonish us. While most of us associate the place with the sun and hot temperatures, it actually went through four different periods of Glaciers over the last 300,000 years.
In simple language, it means it found itself in an ice age four times. We are not sure why, but we sure do hope it'll never go past four, as we like our Hawaiin beaches hot and sunny.
The Largest Tree in the World
Hawaiians are always very proud to talk about the different wonders that can be found in their home state. One of these wonders is the world's largest banyan tree.
The tree was planted in 1873 and has since grown to be over 60 feet tall. It can be found in Lahaina's Banyan Tree Park. Now, get this, the tree is so big that in itself, it makes for the whole park!
Pineapples Are Not Hawaiian!
When you think of Hawaii, you think about coconuts and pineapples. Funnily enough, pineapples are not actually originally from Hawaii.
The tropical fruit pretends to be a native, but just like any other con artist, it's hiding who it truly is. The fruit is originally from South Africa, still, it fooled all of us. Maybe it's because it has found its way into Hawaiin culture, symbolizing happiness and hospitality.
Hawaii Is Still Growing!
Hawaii has many volcanos, some of which are active, which means the islands experience volcanic eruptions from time to time. But don't worry, there's a very cool side effect that comes along with that — the state's landmass keeps on growing.
The eight islands were actually all created because Hawaii is a geothermal hot spot. Lava from the latest eruption gets to sea level and then it creates more land!
The Garden of the Gods Is a Place on Earth
What is the garden of the gods? We are glad you asked. We're gonna try and answer as best as humanly possible. It's a breathtaking lava formation that looks like rocks dropped from the sky. Who can throw rocks from up above if not the gods?
The garden is one of the most visited places on the island of Lanai. If you wanna see this natural wonder — and trust us, you do — make sure you have a car or a bike.
No Daylight Savings
Hawaii Standard Time is the state's special time zone. Most countries and states like to adjust their clocks twice a year, in winter and in summer, to make sure they make the best out of the day. But, in the enchanting eight isles, there is no need for that.
Unlike other areas, Hawaii's sunset and sunrise times don't change that much throughout the year so changing the clock is redundant.
The World's Tallest Mountain
Isn't that Mount Everest? You might be asking. Well, yes and no. Everest holds the record of the loftiest mountain above sea level but Hawaii is home to the actual highest mountain. The mount is a dormant volcano named Mauna Kea.
Just for comparison, Mauna Kea measures 33,500 feet, while Everest is estimated at 29,000 feet. If that isn't cool enough for you, the volcano is most likely over a million years old.
The King Kamehameha Golf Club
Fans of architecture know of American architect and designer Frank Lloyd Wright. As one of the most influential innovators of the 20th century, Wright was inspired by the harmony of the natural world, so it's no surprise he chose Maui as the location of a clubhouse he build in 1949.
At first, the design was actually meant to become the house of Marilyn Monroe. Today it is a private Golf Club, but you can still come in a take a look at this 74,000-square-foot masterpiece.
Fresh, Free Fruit for Everyone!
In an island filled with so much great, fresh produce, sharing is caring. Hawaiians don't like to see food go to waste, which means that if they find out their tree gave them more fruit than they can (literally) chew, they give it away.
Walking around the islands, you will be able to find fresh fruit for free all around you. Still, there is one rule everybody follows — don't be greedy, take what you need, but no more than that.
There was a time when this beautiful land was known as the Kingdom of Hawaii, and at that time, they had kings and queens. Lahaina, which is located in West Maui, was the capital city. What ended up terminating the monarchy?
Well, it was overthrown in 1893 by none other than businessmen and sugar farmers. Today, there are still two state holidays to celebrate the kings and princes of the past.
Every Beach Is a Public Beach
Looking for a beautiful beach to lay on? Don't! Between Hawaii's eight islands, you are totally covered. You can even choose which color of sand you want your feet to walk on. Be it black, green, white, or red sand, this state has it.
And, you don't have to worry about accessing these shores, as all of them are public. This was a decision made by the Hawaii Supreme Court and we totally approve.
Hawaiians Are Obsessed With Vegas
There is a very simple explanation for their obsession with the city of sin. Gambling is 100% illegal in Hawaii, which means that if Hawaiians want to wager their money, they have to travel elsewhere. You know what it's like, the minute something is forbidden it becomes more enticing.
They even refer to the gambling capital of the world as the 9th island. There is only one other US state in which gambling is illegal — Utah. There is even a Hawaiian marketplace in Vegas!
Only Two Native Mammals
An island's defining quality is that it's surrounded by water. For Hawaii, this means not many animals had the chance to find their way there and set up their camp, which is a shame, if you think about it, as Hawaii is as close to heaven as it gets. We bet many animals would have loved to live there.
Alas, there are only two mammals that can call themselves true native Hawaiians, the hoary bat, and the monk seal.
Hawaiians Love SPAM
Who likes SPAM? Most of us are not huge fans of this canned meat brand, not because we have anything against it, but because we'd rather eat meat that's, well, not canned. One of the most peculiar things about Hawaiians is that they just love SPAM.
A classic local dish you can find on the island is rice served with fried SPAM on top. Try it at your own risk.
Billboards Are Banned
If you have visited Hawaii, you may have noticed, or maybe haven't noticed, the absence of any billboards.
This is because commercial billboards were banned from the island over a century ago, in the 1920s, it was a conscious decision made in order to make sure there is nothing that can distract you from the natural beauty and the heritage sites that are all around you.
Lilo and Stitch Creators Were Inspired by Hawaii
Disney's 2001 Lilo and Stitch is a film that takes place in Hawaii. The film has many different nods to Hawaiian culture, but at first, it was meant to be set somewhere else.
After they took a trip to Kauai, creators were motivated to incorporate the idea of "Ohana," into the movie. The idea that family can be chosen fits perfectly with the story. The Hawaiians who voiced Nani and David also made sure Hawaiian slang was included.
Jurassic Park, Hawaii
The island's stunning beaches and mountains can serve as a beautiful backdrop to any film, and directors and writers understand that. Hawaii is a popular film location, and some of the famous movies that have been shot there are "Jurassic Park," "Godzilla," and "Tropic Thunder."
Another notable Hawaiin film is Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore's "50 First Dates." If you are interested in a tour inspired by Spielberg's "Jurassic Park" you can visit Kualoa Ranch.
One of the Eight Isles Is Private
Hawaii is made up of eight islands, but one of these stands out. Not only does it not have any running water or electricity, but it also only has around 50 residents.
Niihau is the name of that island, and as you can imagine, there's not a lot to do there. Niihau is privately owned, and if you want to visit it, it is possible to take a helicopter, but you can't spend the night or contact the locals.
Mail a Coconut For Free
Next time you're in Hawaii, you can skip the postcard you wanted to send to your in-laws and go straight for a real coconut! Hoolehua Post Office offers coconuts you can mail to your loved ones all over the world.
They call it the Post-a-Nut program and it started in 1991 and still going strong today. If that doesn't sound good enough for some reason, let us add that the coconuts are 100% free!
Beware of Jaws
Spielberg's iconic movie takes place on a fictional island, thank god, but if you left the film feeling like you were about to faint — you should know that Hawaii isn't the best place for you to visit. In the last decade, the eight isles were second only to Florida in their number of shark attacks.
Still, don't let this frightening fact get in the way of your fantasy vacation, remember that shark attacks are incredibly rare. Just be aware and beware of these large toothy fish.
Aloha Is a Feeling
Aloha is the one Hawaiian word everybody knows. As it is a popular greeting on the island, you might have been tempted to think that it simply means hello, but the word actually has a nuanced ever-changing meaning, and it actually describes of type of feeling, more than anything else. Aloha is a way of life that champions compassion and love.
Tourists use the term lightly but it has a profound cultural significance and natives prefer to only use it when it comes from the heart.
No Snakes Allowed
If you can't stand the thought of coexisting around slippery snakes, you can consider relocating to Hawaii. The isles are isolated and there's no way for snakes to get to them, except for if humans transport them. But, it is completely illegal to bring a snake into Hawaii.
This isn't because the Hawaii government hates snakes as much as we do, but because there aren't any natural predators on the island, which means if they get there and procreate, it can turn into a horror film real fast.
Hawaiians Gave Us Poke
The native Hawaiian dish is pronounced poh-KAY and rhymes with okay. The native Hawaiian meaning of the name is 'to slice'. It's a dish of raw marinated fish that's cubed and layered up with a satisfying serving of rice and vegetables.
The zesty flavor reminiscent of the sea has old roots that began a long time ago, when local islanders would rub sea salt, seaweed, and traditional relish onto their fresh catches.
What's the Lei All About?
You probably think of a lei when you think about Hawaiian culture. The lei is a potent symbol of Hawaiian culture and the welcoming “Aloha” they give to all those who enter the islands. It is important to remember that you must always accept a lei when offered one.
Furthermore, it is important not to take off the lei in front of the person who gave it to you. This is very rude and disrespects Hawaiian cultural practices.
Hawaiin Leis Are From Tahiti?
Pictured below are two Hawaiian teens making a lei. They thread beautiful, bright flowers together on a string in order to form vibrant floral wreaths for visitors to wear upon their entrance to Hawaii.
Polynesian voyagers who traveled all the way from Tahiti originally brought the tradition of creating lei necklaces to the Hawaiian Islands. The leis can be made with flowers, leaves, seashells, seeds, nuts, feathers, and even animal bones and teeth!
Obama Is From Hawaii
Nothing can make a state feel more pride than an elected president they can call their own. Barack Obama's parents met at the University of Hawaii.
They later got married in Wailuku, and six months later little Barack was born in the capital, Honolulu. He didn't spend all of his life in Hawaii, but he did go to Punahou School, as you can see from his yearbook photo from 1979.
Jason Momoa Is Hawaiian!
When you think of Hawaii, it's hard to believe that people were born and raised there. Especially when it comes to big Hollywood stars, right? Well, The Aloha state was actually home to many celebrities, including Aquaman himself, Jason Momoa. The actor was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, but after his parents split, he moved to Norwalk, Iowa, where he was raised.
This didn't stop him from returning to Hawaii after college to reconnect with his father. After being spotted by a modeling agency in 1999, he was named Hawaii's Model of the Year, and the rest is history!
So Many Species of Sea Turtles
There are a total of seven species of sea turtles in the world. Fans of turtles will be delighted to hear that Hawaii has five of the seven. There's even a beach in Maui that is often referred to as "Turtle Town" and yes, it's as cute as it sounds!
You can snorkel with sea turtles and pretend to be one of them, just remember — you can look but not touch!
There's Snow in Hawaii
Known for its beaches and beautiful sun, it can be hard to imagine any type of cold or bad weather ever plagues Hawaii. But, the fact is that the Mount Haleakala summit is chill at best and it measures at around 45 degrees.
It also snows every year in Hawaii and if you wanna catch the snowfall, you can visit the summits of the isle's tallest volcanos; Haleakala, Mauna Kea, and Mauna Loan.