Hawaii is a place full of history, wonder, and amazing places to visit while on vacation. To get you ready for your trip, we’ve compiled a list of some interesting facts about Hawaii that you may not have known!
1. The Big Island is definitely living up to its name. Every year it gets bigger by more than 42 acres – wow! That’s because of Kīlauea Volcano which has been erupting for 30 years! Another one of the world’s largest volcanoes, Mauna Loa, is also on the Big Island. The 1960s, astronauts trained for moon voyages by walking on Mauna Loa’s hardened lava fields, which resemble the surface of the moon. And speaking of space voyagers, six NASA-funded researchers spent months on the northern slope simulating a Mars space station recently. Pretty cool!
2. Hawaii is the only state that is not geographically located in North America, is completely surrounded by water, and does not have a straight line in its state boundary. Hawaii is made up of eight main islands and 124 smaller uninhabited ones. And the Big Island, aptly named, is twice the size of all the other islands put together.
3. In Hawaii, you can’t go very far without seeing a lei. These beautiful flower garlands come with strict rules. For starters, it’s impolite to refuse a lei, remove it in front of the person who gave it to you, or wear one that you intend to give to someone else. And don’t even think about throwing it away! Instead, it should traditionally be returned to the earth. Back in the day, Hawaiians gave leis to their local alii, or chief, as a sign of affection and warring chiefs who wanted to make peace sat down to weave leis together. Neat!
Visiting Hawaii with your family? Download our Free Family Guide NOW!
4. Did you know that Hawaii is the only U.S. state that commercially grows coffee, cacao, and vanilla beans? And if you are a coffee lover, check out some of these coffee tasting tours – ummmmm.
5. There are only two types of mammals that are native to Hawaii: the hoary bat and the monk seal. If you’re lucky, you might even see a monk seal on our Dolphin tour!
6. From the sea floor, Mauna Kea, which is Hawaii’s tallest volcano, measures 33,476 feet, more than twice as tall as Mount Everest. At 13,796 feet it is now dormant. The summit is often snow-covered in winter.
7. Did you know that the southernmost point in the United States is in Hawaii? Ka Lae on the Big Island, aka the “South Point” is not far from Papakalea, the famous green sand beach, which gets its color from olivine crystals formed by volcanic eruptions. If you want to see some black sand beaches, check out our list here!
8. Want to see some waterfalls? Well then take a helicopter ride along the cliffs of the Big Island. There are so many amazing waterfalls, but they’re remote so they can be seen only from the sea or from the air. And the number of waterfalls fluctuates with the rainfall, so it’s a different view year round!
9. Ancient Hawaiian society was largely an oral rather than a written culture, so much of their values and history are passed down through generations of trained storytellers. Because the stories were considered sacred, listeners were not allowed to move once a story began.
10. And last, but not least, a fact about our favorite Dolphins! The spinner dolphins that congregate off our coasts are aptly named: they often leap out of the water and spin on their tails. About six feet long and less than 200 pounds, they live for 30 years, on average. Come see them on the Dolphin tour – it’s a memory you’ll never forget!