Hawaii is a state full of natural beauty, culture, and adventure. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it is the only U.S. state located outside of North America. Known for its volcanic landscape, tropical climate, and beautiful beaches, Hawaii is a popular destination for tourists from around the world.
Hawaii’s history began with the arrival of Polynesians in around 300 AD. These settlers brought with them their own language and culture which can still be seen today throughout the islands. In 1778, British explorer James Cook arrived at Hawaii’s shores and named it “The Sandwich Islands” after the Earl of Sandwich. In 1820, American missionaries arrived and began to spread Christianity throughout the islands. In 1848, Hawaii became an independent kingdom under King Kamehameha III until 1898 when it was annexed by the United States as a territory. It officially became a state in 1959 when President Dwight D Eisenhower signed the Hawaii Admission Act into law.
Today, Hawaii consists of eight main islands: Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, Kahoolawe, Niihau, and The Big Island (Hawaii). Each island has its own unique attractions such as volcanoes on The Big Island or stunning beaches on Maui or Kauai that draw visitors from all over the world each year to experience all that these islands have to offer.
Hawaii has a diverse population that reflects its rich cultural heritage with Native Hawaiians making up about 10% of its population followed by people with Asian ancestry at 37%, White at 24%, Hispanic or Latino at 10%, African American at 2%, and other ethnicities making up 17%. Hawaiian culture is alive throughout each island from traditional hula performances to luau feasts featuring local delicacies like poi (mashed taro root) or kalua pork (roasted pork cooked underground).
The economy of Hawaii is diverse but heavily reliant on tourism which makes up an estimated 20% of its gross domestic product (GDP). Other major industries include agriculture (including coffee production), military defense spending due to several military bases located on different islands, finance, technology, film production, renewable energy, and education.
The environment in Hawaii plays an important role in preserving its unique landscapes as well as providing sustainable sources of food and energy for future generations. The State government has taken action to protect native species by establishing several protected areas such as Haleakala National Park on Maui or Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park on The Big Island. Additionally, renewable energy sources such as solar power are being used more frequently throughout the state to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
Overall, Hawaii offers something for everyone whether you’re looking for adventure or just want to soak up some sun. From stunning beaches, volcanoes, lush rainforests, vibrant culture, delicious cuisine and so much more – there’s no shortage of things to do in this beautiful tropical paradise!
Main Counties in Hawaii
According to countryaah, the state of Hawaii has the following major counties:
1. Hawaii County: This county is located on the Big Island of Hawaii and is the largest in the state, covering an area of 4,028 square miles. It is home to many of the state’s most famous attractions including Mauna Kea and Kilauea volcanoes, Hilo Town, Akaka Falls, Rainbow Falls State Park, and Waipio Valley.
2. Honolulu County: This county is located on the island of Oahu and covers an area of 597 square miles. It is home to the state capital of Honolulu as well as Waikiki Beach, Ala Moana Beach Park, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Diamond Head State Monument, and Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve.
3. Maui County: Maui County is located on the island of Maui and covers an area of 2,366 square miles. It includes popular destinations such as Haleakala National Park, Kaanapali Beach, Iao Valley State Park, Makena State Park, Lahaina Town and Molokini Crater Marine Reserve.
4. Kauai County: Kauai County is located on the island of Kauai and covers an area of 552 square miles. Its attractions include Waimea Canyon State Park (the Grand Canyon of the Pacific), Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park (featured in Jurassic Park), Poipu Beach Park (great for snorkeling), Wailua River State Park (home to Fern Grotto) and Kilauea Lighthouse at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge.
5. Kalawao County: Kalawao County is a small county located on Molokai Island that consists entirely of Kalaupapa National Historical Park – a former leper colony that was established in 1866 by King Kalakaua to contain those afflicted with Hansen’s Disease (leprosy). Today it serves as a reminder of Hawaii’s past struggles with this terrible disease while also providing visitors with stunning views from its dramatic sea cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean below.