50 Fun Facts About Hawaii (That Most Visitors Don’t Know!)
Find out 50 fascinating facts about Hawaii if you’re homeschooling your children or conducting research and want to learn more about our 50th state.
When you hear the name “Hawaii,” visions of Waikiki Beach, riding the waves on the North Shore, the “Big Island” volcanoes, and luaus likely come to mind.
Are you familiar with the Hawaiian islands?
Even tourists who take a vacation to the Hawaiian islands often don’t know about the remarkable past of the region.
Kids might be amazed by all the fascinating facts about Hawaii!
I’ve collected 50 amazing facts about our fiftieth state. Scroll to the bottom for a free Hawaii trivia printable to test your friends’ knowledge!
Let’s discover some interesting information about Hawaii!
Fun Facts About Hawaii (bet you never heard of Hawaii)
1. Hawaii is made up of 132 different islands.
Out of 132 Hawaiian islands and 124 other islets, shoals, and reefs, the 8 main ones are Oahu, Maui, Kauai, the Big Island (Hawaii Island), Molokai, Lanai, Niihau, and Kaho’olawe.
2. The Hawaiian alphabet is made up of just 12 letters.
When going to Hawaii for the initial trip, some of the road names can be quite lengthy and a bit intimidating. Additionally, GPS systems always mispronounce them.
It’s remarkable that even though some of the words are quite lengthy, the Hawaiian language only has 12 characters. This is one of the most exciting Hawaii facts for children.
Vowels: A, E, I, O, U
Consonants: H, K, L, M, N, P, W
It’s usually better to break up long words into smaller sections to make them easier to pronounce initially. After some practice, they’ll soon come off your tongue naturally.
SEE MORE: Best Hawaiian Songs – 20 Most Famous Hawaiian Songs You Need to Hear (2023)
3. Hawaii is the second-largest state in the U.S. S.
Many people are unaware that the way the Hawaiian Islands are positioned causes them to be the second widest US state. This is one of the most interesting facts about Hawaii!
The distance between Niihau and the Big Island is 1,523 miles, whereas the widest state, Alaska, has a span of 2,700 miles.
4. On August 20, 1959, Hawaii was admitted as the fifty-first state.
On the fourth day of July in 1894, the Republic of Hawaii was constituted and Sanford Dole (relative of James Dole, founder of the Dole Plantation) was chosen as the country’s inaugural president.
In 1898, President William McKinley added Hawaii to the United States and it stayed a U.S. Territory until it was made a state almost 60 years later.
This is the only state in America that is composed of just islands and is also one of the most diminutive in size.
5. The only royal palace in the United States is Iolani Palace.
Hawaii is an exciting fact for children to learn, as it is one of the rare states that used to be its own independent country.
The Hawaiian islands were governed by ali’i (royal kings and queens) until 1893, when the monarchy was toppled.
King David Kalakaua constructed Iolani Palace in 1882 which served as the abode of the last monarchical rulers of the Hawaiian Islands.
In 1962, this site was designated as a National Historic Landmark and is now one of the top places in Hawaii to gain knowledge about the Hawaiian monarchy.
The tours they offer are really awesome, and Iolani Palace has been brought back to its former grandeur. Remarkably, they have even located items that were taken/sold a hundred years ago.
6. The United States forcibly removed the Hawaiian Monarchy.
In 1887, the US started leasing Pearl Harbor as a military installation. This prompted a coalition of non-Hawaiians, known as the Hawaiian Patriotic League, to instigate a revolt against the Hawaiian monarchy – the Rebellion of 1887.
King Kalakaua was coerced into signing the Bayonet Constitution which allowed non-Hawaiians in his cabinet and drastically reduced his power, or else face death.
The King’s actions caused quite a bit of political conflict with his new cabinet officials, leading to the Wilcox Rebellion of 1888. The insurrection had the intention of removing King Kalakaua from power and installing his sister, Princess Liliuokalani, in his stead.
Upon King Kalakaua’s passing in 1891 due to illness, Princess Liliuokalani succeeded him as Queen.
In 1893, a cabinet of non-Hawaiian males assembled The Committee of Public Safety and carried out a military coup to depose the Hawaiian Kingdom.
With assistance from U.S. Diplomat John L. Stevens and President Harrison’s Secretary of State John W. Foster, Marines were deployed to assist the military coup and compel Queen Liliuokalani to relinquish her throne.
Subsequently, the last Hawaiian princess, Princess Kaiulani, traveled to Washington D.C. To voice her dissent regarding the overthrow and even conversed with President Grover Cleveland, who supported the reinstatement of the monarchy.
William McKinley, who succeeded him, did not concur. He was embroiled in the Spanish-American War and perceived Hawaii as a vital position. Subsequently, he annexed the islands in 1898.
In 1993, the US federal government issued an apology for the ousting of Hawaii’s monarchy. This action provided impetus to the Hawaiian sovereignty movement steered by Indigenous Hawaiians.
7. The highest peak in the world is called Mauna Kea.
Mount Everest is widely thought to be the highest mountain on the planet, with its summit measuring 29,032 feet. However, this is only true if you don’t take into account the ocean’s base when calculating the peak’s altitude.
Standing at 33,496 feet, Mauna Kea (located on the Big Island) reaches from the summit to the ocean floor.
One of the most intriguing details about Hawaii is that!
8. Only 2% of the pineapples consumed worldwide are grown in Hawaii.
Hawaii is renowned for its pineapple, and in times gone by, there were numerous pineapple farms across the main islands.
In Hawaii, there remain only two commercial pineapple farms: Dole Plantation and Maui Gold Plantation.
It’s more cost-effective to cultivate pineapples outside of Hawaii, yet one can still purchase locally-grown pineapple across the islands and bring it back to the continental US as the only fresh produce item.
SEE MORE: Do’s and Don’ts in Hawaii – Planning A Trip to Hawaii 2023
9. Each year, 42 acres of the Big Island grow.
The youngest of all the Hawaiian islands, the Big Island is continuing to expand.
The Kilauea volcano has been in a state of eruption for the last three decades, causing it to pour out onto the sea, resulting in an accumulative gain of around 42 acres of fresh land annually.
I consider Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to be one of the most amazing facts!
10. A specific flower is used to represent each island.
It is interesting to note that each of the Hawaiian islands has its own flower associated with it.
Flowers from Hawaii’s islands.
- The island of Oahu is home to the Ilima flower.
- Kauai is known for its Mokihana Berry.
- Maui: The Rose of Heaven
- The large island of Lehua Ohia
- Molokai is renowned for its White Kukui Blossoms.
- Lanai: Kaunaoa Beach
- Kaho’olawe: Grayish-silver
- Niihau: Conch Shell
11. Additionally, each island in Hawaii has a designated color.
The eight major Hawaiian islands are each associated with a distinct color, which is often displayed at parades to celebrate the islands.
I consider this to be one of the most enjoyable facts about Hawaii for children!
Colors of the Hawaiian Islands.
- Oahu’s color is yellow.
- Kauai is of a purple hue.
- Maui’s hue is pink.
- The largest island in the chain is characterized by its red hue.
- Molokai is characterized by its lush green landscape.
- Lanai: The color orange
- Kaho’olawe: Color of Ash or Lead
- Niihau is referred to as “White”.
12. On Molokai, there are just 7,400 residents.
If you crave a place with fewer people, Molokai’s populace is roughly 7,400 inhabitants. It’s very simple to arrange a daytrip from Maui to Molokai to discover this isle.
Molokai is not the island with the fewest inhabitants; the neighbouring isle of Lanai has even fewer people living there.
13. Three records for natural wonders belong to Molokai.
Molokai boasts the highest sea cliffs on the planet, the longest waterfall in Hawaii, and the biggest white sand beach in the state.
Molokai is an essential destination to consider for your next trip!
14. The world’s most active volcano is Kilauea.
Kilauea is the most renowned of the numerous amazing volcanoes in Hawaii, primarily due to its offering of the most spectacular lava viewing experiences.
It has been erupting since 1983 and the most recent eruption was in October 2021.
You can behold the magnificence of Kilauea by visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
15. The world’s largest dormant volcano is Haleakala Crater.
Kilauea is the world’s most active volcano, while Haleakala on Maui is the greatest extinct volcano.
This colossal volcano is responsible for forming most of the island of Maui, accounting for 75%. It measures 10,023 feet in height and the interior of the crater measures approximately 7.5 miles in length and 2.5 miles in width.
The majority of the volcano is actually situated under the ocean, with a total height of 30,000 feet from the ocean floor to its highest point.
Haleakala has not erupted since the late 1700s. Tourists visit Haleakala Crater nowadays to witness the most stunning sunrise in Maui, as well as to go for a hike.
One of the many intriguing facts about Maui is that it is fun.
16. The only state that cultivates coffee for a living is Hawaii.
The renowned Kona coffee from the Big Island is a great beverage to enjoy in Hawaii, but coffee plantations can also be found on Kauai, Maui, and Oahu.
Hawaii is ideal for cultivating coffee due to its warm, tropical climate and nutrient-rich soil.
Hawaii is exclusive in the United States for cultivating vanilla beans and cacao on a commercial scale.
17. Hawaii provided the first home for an Asian American in the US Senate.
Hiram Fong was the offspring of Chinese immigrants who had arrived in Hawaii to labor on the sugar cane fields.
He fought to make Hawaii a part of the United States and in 1959, he was chosen to serve in the U.S. Senate.
Hawaii has never had a Senator from the Republican party, except for Fong.
18. 10 of the world’s 14 climate zones are present on the Big Island.
People tend to perceive Hawaii as a tropical paradise, yet the reality is that it has a wider range of climates than expected.
Take a trip to Akaka Falls to explore a tropical rainforest and then go to Hapuna Beach Park for a sunny, desert-like atmosphere.
At Mauna Kea, it can even snow on occasion!
19. Hawaii is not the home of macadamia nuts.
You can purchase boxes of macadamia nuts covered in chocolate from any gift shop in Hawaii.
A bizarre fact about Hawaii I recently became aware of is that the Hawaiian macadamia nut is of Australian origin.
The 1920s saw its introduction to Hawaii, where it quickly established itself as a crop to be harvested.
Nowadays, macadamia nuts are a common ingredient in many Hawaiian and Polynesian dishes.
20. In Hawaii, gambling is not allowed.
Hawaii and Utah are the only two American states where gambling is outlawed, which is among the strangest facts about the former.
It is not possible to go to a casino in Hawaii or gamble on cruise ships while in the state, nor is there a lottery in Hawaii.
Hawaiians are fond of gambling, but they must travel to the continental United States to take part in it.
Las Vegas is dubbed “Hawaii’s 9th island” by those who live in the area, for a purpose.
21. On Kauai, a building cannot be taller than a palm tree.
One fascinating fact about Kauai, which I discovered during my childhood, is that buildings cannot exceed the height of a palm tree (roughly 4 stories) due to a legal restriction.
Thanks to this law, Kauai has been preserved as an unspoiled paradise, free of tall buildings.
Kauai has no motorways and the fastest speed allowed is 50 miles per hour.
22. On Molokai, there are no traffic lights.
Despite the fact that Molokai is home to only 7,400 individuals, it has a much more relaxed atmosphere than what is commonly assumed.
Molokai has no traffic lights.
Due to the low population and vehicle count on the roads, traffic is almost nonexistent, thus eliminating the need for extra measures.
23. One of the wettest places on earth is Mount Waialeale.
Kauai is the place of residence for the world’s rainiest spot – Mount Waialeale – which is one of the most interesting facts about this Hawaiian island.
The annual amount of precipitation averages 373 inches, but in one particular year, an incredible 683 inches of rain fell.
Kauai is often referred to as the “Garden Isle” due to its profusion of verdant vegetation.
24. More wildlife species have been lost in Hawaii than any other state.
It is alarming to note that a whopping 70% of Hawaii’s native bird species have already been wiped out, and the remainder are at risk of extinction in the near future.
Hawaii has the most endangered species of any U.S. State.
25. In Hawaii, snakes are forbidden.
In Hawaii, it is forbidden to import any type of snake in order to prevent the risk of endangerment to the native birds.
Those caught illegally transporting snakes are met with harsh penalties, such as 3 years in prison and fines of up to $200,000.
If you are scared of snakes, then the zoo is a great place to visit because they don’t have them in all of them.
26. Only two native mammals can be found in Hawaii.
Hawaii is teeming with many remarkable creatures, such as bunnies, deer, porpoises, and cetaceans.
The Hawaiian Monk Seal and the Hoary Bat are the two types of mammals that are native to the islands.
27. The use of billboards is prohibited.
Hawaii offers a reprieve from the constant barrage of advertisements because there are no billboards anywhere to be seen.
Hawaii was the initial state to prohibit billboards, and Alaska, Maine, and Vermont have also followed suit.
Residents and visitors alike can take pleasure in the stunning scenic drives in Hawaii, even though they are prohibited.
28. Only one state—Hawaii—is actually situated outside of North America.
Astonishingly, although Hawaii is part of the United States it is not actually located in North America.
Hawaii is located a distance of 2,000 miles from the continental United States.
Hawaii is situated in Polynesia, a region that is part of Oceania.
29. Men were the only ones who performed the hula at first.
In ancient Hawaii, hula kahiko was a sacred dance that was only performed by those who had been rigorously trained in it and had received instruction from the Hawaiian deity Laka.
Subsequently, females were granted permission to study the dance too.
30. Hawaiians are those who have Hawaiian ancestry only.
An interesting point of distinction between Hawaii and other states is the way in which the inhabitants are addressed.
Residents of Washington are known as Washingtonians and those of California are referred to as Californians, but only individuals with Hawaiian heritage can be called Hawaiians, as they are the only ones with authentic Hawaiian lineage.
Those hailing from Hawaii who were born and brought up there are known as “locals,” and those who relocate to the island are referred to as “Hawaii residents.”
31. The state flower of Hawaii is the yellow hibiscus.
Although fragrant plumeria blossoms are often associated with the state of Hawaii, its designated state flower is actually the bright yellow hibiscus.
It’s amusing that the yellow hibiscus was not identified as the official flower of Hawaii until 1988. Thus, images of the red hibiscus can be found in items created before that year.
32. In the entire U.S., Hawaii has the highest average life expectancy. S.
It is remarkable that residents of Hawaii have a longer life expectancy than those in any other U.S. State.
As of 2020, the average life expectancy in Hawaii is 81.15 years, which is higher than that of California, New York, and a few other states at 80 years.
One more reason to relocate to Hawaii!
33. Hawaii has its own time zone.
No matter where you come from, you’ll have to adjust the time on your watch as Hawaii uses its own time zone called Hawaiian Standard Time.
Don’t forget that they don’t observe Daylight Savings Time, so it’s important to take that into account when figuring out the time difference.
Hawaiian Standard Time is behind Pacific Standard Time by a span of two to three hours and lags Eastern Standard Time by five to six hours.
34. Hawaii does not have any racial or ethnic majorities.
In Hawaii, everyone is a minority, and many of its inhabitants are of multiple races.
The census in 2019 provided the following statistics:
- White people: 25.5%
- The Asian population makes up 37.6% of the total.
- The Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander population constitutes 10.1% of the total population.
- The proportion of people belonging to two or more races is 24.2%.
- Ten point seven percent of the population is Hispanic or Latino.
- African American population: 2.5%
Hawaii is a prime illustration of the cultural diversity that exists in the American landscape.
35. Aloha is used to say both hello and bye.
The Hawaiian language is quite varied, yet the word most people recognize is “aloha”.
This term is a greeting and farewell, as well as an expression of affection.
Prior to organizing a vacation to Hawaii, it is highly advised to be familiar with this important term.
36. Hawaii has two recognized state sports.
Surfing was declared the official individual sport of Hawaii in 1998, and outrigger canoe paddling the official team sport since 1986. Both of these activities are recognized as the state sports of the islands.
It is possible to observe both sports at various beaches in Hawaii.
37. The largest pineapple maze in the world can be found on the Dole Plantation.
If you’re looking for a fun activity for kids on Oahu, why not visit Dole Plantation, the second largest attraction in Hawaii?
At this location, you can take a tour on a miniature train, get informed about pineapples, and sample Dole Whip.
You should definitely challenge yourself with the renowned pineapple-shaped maze that encompasses more than 3 acres, the biggest of its kind in the world.
A scavenger hunt for children is available, and a secret can be discovered in the heart of the labyrinth.
38. Aloha State is the state’s nick name.
The “Aloha Spirit” is a cinch to accept when journeying in Hawaii. It’s essentially centered around affection, deference, and collaboration.
Hawaii earned the title of the “Aloha State” after it became a U.S. State in 1959.
39. Hawaii has publicly accessible beaches.
In Hawaii, most beaches are open to the public; the only exceptions being those owned by the government.
Tourists and locals alike can take advantage of Hawaii’s beaches, including those located near hotels and resorts.
40. Only Hawaii pays homage to a monarch.
Given that Hawaii is the only US state to have a royal palace, it’s unsurprising that it is the only one to pay tribute to a monarch.
Every June 11, Hawaii commemorates King Kamehameha Day in his honor. He is renowned for having merged the Hawaiian Islands into one in 1810 (even though he did not take control of Kauai).
41. The biggest lake in Hawaii is located on Niihau.
Although it may not be something one would consider, Hawaii actually possesses lakes. The biggest of these is Halulu Lake, a natural body of water situated in the state.
During the wet season, the area is approximately 182 acres, though it significantly decreases in size during the dry season.
Visiting the island of Niihau in person won’t be possible, since it is a private island that does not accept tourists.
42. Hawaii is where surfing was first developed.
Surfing, a practice that has been around for centuries, was first invented by Hawaiians and has been an integral part of their culture.
Duke Kahanamoku is renowned as the greatest surfer of all time, having earned an Olympic gold medal for swimming in 1912.
It is said that stand-up paddling (SUP) was initially introduced in Hawaii many years ago by Waikiki beach boys, in addition to the surfing that was popular there.
43. Hawaii was the initial U.S. S. A state will outlaw plastic bags.
In July 2015, Hawaii prohibited the utilization of plastic bags, with other islands having done so prior.
However, they were the initial state to accomplish this.
If you plan to shop in Hawaii, remember to bring your own bags.
44. A coconut from Hawaii can be shipped.
If you’re looking to make an impression on your kids, why not suggest they send a genuine coconut to their pals or family members? It’s really that simple!
Obtain an undamaged desiccated coconut, let your children decorate it with paint, inscribe a message and an address on it, and then post it at the post office.
In lieu of seeking out and personalizing one yourself, it is possible to locate pre-decorated ones at specialty stores, certain lodgings, and a number of eateries.
This is something really special to experience in Hawaii!
45. Hawaii is the only U. S. Two-language official state.
English is the predominant language spoken in Hawaii, but the state also has Hawaiian as its official language.
In Hawaii, there are schools providing full immersion of the Hawaiian language, in which children gain fluency in both speaking and writing.
Pidgin is an unofficial form of communication which is similar to slang and includes terms taken from a variety of cultures.
46. Vog can be found in Hawaii.
Although some areas of the United States suffer from smog pollution, Hawaii is not one of them. Nonetheless, the Big Island’s Kilauea volcano regularly emits ash, resulting in vog that may reach other islands in the archipelago.
Generally speaking, it isn’t really hazardous. Nevertheless, it can be distressing for those with respiratory problems such as asthma.
Despite the smog-like vog, the result is some truly stunning Hawaiian sunsets filled with a kaleidoscope of colors.
47. Inside, nobody wears shoes.
It is customary to take off one’s shoes as a sign of respect when entering someone else’s abode.
You’ll usually find heaps of flip-flops outside the entrances of homes.
Many tourists also observe the custom of taking off their shoes before entering their holiday accommodation.
48. The Humuhumunukunukupuaa is considered the state fish of Hawaii.
The Hawaiian language is home to one of the lengthiest words, which accurately portrays an image. It describes a trigger fish with a nose resembling a pig’s. Isn’t that a vivid description?
It’s often remarked that the name of this fish is nearly as lengthy as its size. This is because it only grows to a maximum of 10 inches in length.
It’s unlikely you’ll find Humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa on the menu at restaurants in Hawaii, as it is not a conventional food.
SEE. MORE: Hawaii State Fish Humuhumunukunukuapua a – The Story Behind of Hawaii State Fish
49. The southernmost point of the country is actually on the Big Island.
Although Key West, Florida boasts that it is situated at the most southern point of the United States, this is only true if you are not including Alaska and Hawaii.
South Point on the Big Island of Hawaii is the most southerly point in the United States.
50. The biggest wind generator on Earth is located on Oahu.
An extraordinary fact about Hawaii is that the globe’s biggest wind turbine is situated on Oahu.
Perched atop a 20 story high rise, the windmill’s blades span an impressive 400 feet!
Starting in the 1980s, Hawaii began investigating wind energy, and presently, 6.4% of their electricity is created by wind turbines.
Printable Hawaiian Trivia is available for free.
Making it a game can be enjoyable, correct? This is why I formulated this Hawaii trivia game for families to have fun with and test each other’s knowledge of awesome Hawaiian trivia.
Don’t fret, you’ll have access to both Hawaiian trivia queries and their solutions.
Final Thoughts on Fun Facts About Hawaii.
It is my hope that you have acquired some new knowledge about Hawaii, both for kids and adults, from the amazing facts that were presented.
If you enjoyed these 50 facts about Hawaii, why not spread the word on social media?
Find out the biggest Hawaii tourist mistakes, the coolest facts about Oahu, fun facts for kids about pineapples, and the best Hawaii fruit if you enjoyed these fun facts for kids about Hawaii and want to learn more about the Hawaiian islands.
Topic: 50 Fun Facts About Hawaii (That Most Visitors Don’t Know!)
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By: Travel Pixy
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