Everyone is aware of Hawaii and all the things that make it a top vacation destination: its tropical forests, soft beaches, unique wildlife, and outdoor activities. However, not many people know much about the geography, culture, and history of Hawaii. It is a shame because Hawaii is actually a really fascinating place to learn more about whether you visit or not. Here are some interesting things you may not know about it.

It Consists of Over a Hundred Islands

When you take a Hawaii cruise, you visit at least some of the eight major islands. These include the islands whose names everyone knows, including Kauai, Maui, Oahu, and Hawaii Island, often referred to as the Big Island to avoid confusion. However, Hawaii is an archipelago that includes about 130 islands, most of which are small and uninhabited. From the north end of the island chain to the south end, the Hawaiian Islands stretch over 1,500 miles.

It Used To Be a Kingdom

Hawaii used to be a monarchy ruled over by a royal family. The last Hawaiian monarch, Queen Liliuokalani, was overthrown in a military coup in 1893. Soon afterward, it was annexed by the United States because of the strategic advantages it offered during the Spanish-American War. It became the 50th state in 1959. Though the monarchy is no more, the royal residence, Iolani Palace, still stands in Honolulu as a historic landmark open to visitors.

It Is Getting Bigger

While the size of most U.S. states is fixed and finite, Hawaii continues to grow. It is home to multiple active volcanoes because of its location over an undersea geothermal hot spot. Lava from beneath the earth’s surface turns into volcanic rock as it cools at sea level, adding to the landmass.

It Doesn’t Observe Daylight Savings Time

Hawaii has its own time zone, Hawaii Standard Time, but it doesn’t go through the same process of springing ahead and falling back that most states on the mainland do. There is little change in the number of daylight hours in Hawaii from season to season because of its location near the equator. Observing Daylight Savings Time would be an unnecessary inconvenience there.

It Has a Varied Climate

Hawaii is best known for being hot and tropical, and in many areas it is. However, because of its geography and topography, Hawaii is actually home to almost the full spectrum of climate zones, 10 out of 14. You can visit arid deserts, snow-capped mountain peaks, tropical forests, and more all within the same state, and possibly even all on the same island.

It Is Very Diverse

As with most Indigenous people, exposure to diseases brought by explorers severely decreased the population of Native Hawaiians. Fortunately, however, their culture continues to thrive. For decades, Hawaii was a center of the sugar industry which attracted people of all races, particularly from Asia, to work in sugarcane fields. Today Hawaii is the most diverse state in the country in terms of race and ethnicity. A quarter of its people claim mixed-race heritage, and no single group is the most dominant.

Its Beaches Are Public

With the exception of a few set aside for government use, all beaches in Hawaii are open and accessible to the public. Even if a beach or cove seems secret and secluded, you are free to visit and enjoy it. Attempts to block public access to Hawaiian beaches, whether by businesses or residents, can incur significant fines as a penalty.

It Is the Most Southern State and Has the Biggest Mountain

South Point on Hawaii Island is further south than Key West, the southernmost point in the continental United States. Also, the base of Maunakea on the Big Island is beneath the ocean. When measured from the base to the peak, Maunakea is not only the tallest mountain in the United States but in the entire world. However, because mountain height is measured from sea level, it comes up short compared to other mountain peaks.

These are only a few of the fascinating facts about Hawaii. Traveling there gives you the chance to learn more from firsthand experience.


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