About Hawaii
Hawaii is the homeplace of the world's most active volcanoes and the world's tallest sea mountain. Birthplace of surfing and the hula. Former seat of a royal kingdom. Hawaii is one of the youngest geological formations in the world and the youngest state of the union. But perhaps Hawaii’s most unique feature is its Aloha Spirit: the warmth of the people of Hawaii that wonderfully complements the Islands' perfect temperatures.
First settled by Polynesians sailing from other Pacific Islands between A.D. 300 and 600, Hawaii was visited in 1778 by British captain James Cook, who called the group the Sandwich Islands. Following annexation (1898), Hawaii became a U.S. territory in 1900. Hawaii, 2,397 mi west-southwest of San Francisco, is a 1,523-mile chain of islets and eight main Islands: Hawaii, Kahoolawe, Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai, and Niihau. The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, other than Midway, are administratively part of Hawaii.
The temperature is mild, and cane sugar, pineapple, and flowers and nursery products are the chief products. Hawaii also grows coffee beans, bananas, and macadamia nuts. The tourist business is Hawaii's largest source of outside income. Hawaii's highest peak is Mauna Kea (13,796 ft). Mauna Loa (13,679 ft) is the largest volcanic mountain in the world by volume.
Among the major points of interest are Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii), Haleakala National Park (Maui), Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park (Hawaii), Polynesian Cultural Center (Oahu), the USS Arizona and USS Missouri Memorial at Pearl Harbor, The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Oahu), and Iolani Palace (the only royal palace in the U.S.), Bishop Museum, and Waikiki Beach (all in Honolulu).
Hawaii Map
Location: Situated in the northern Pacific Ocean, about 2,400 mi (3,900 km) WSW of San Francisco

The green Islands of Hawaii are the visible tops of a chain of submerged volcanic mountains that stretch 3,100 miles from Hawaii, all the way to the Aleutian Trench in the North Pacific Ocean.
Land: 6,423 sq km
Water: 4,508 sq miles (the number shown for water is over 99% Pacific Ocean territorial waters)
TOTAL: 10,931 sq miles


The 8 major and 124 minor Islands that make up the State of Hawaii were formed by volcanic eruptions.
Mauna Loa, on the Island of Hawaii, is the world's largest active volcano, at a height of 13,675 ft (4,168 m). Kilauea, on the eastern slope of Mauna Loa, is the world's largest active volcanic crater.
Hawaii, Maui, Kauai, and Molokai are the most mountainous Islands. The highest peak in the state is Puu Wekiu (13,796 ft/4,208 m)


Average Temperature:
April- November: 75˚-88˚ F.
December- March: 68˚-80˚ F.
Average water temperature: 74˚ F.

Natural resources:

Major natural resources include pineapple, papaya, sugarcane, coffee beans, coconuts and macadamia nuts.

Natural hazards:

Volcanic eruptions and other natural hazards such as earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, and brush fires.


Largest county by population and area: Honolulu, 905,266 (2005); Hawaii, 4,028 sq mi.

Ethnic groups:

Highest percentage of Asian residents—41.6% in 2000
201,764 were Japanese, 170,635 were Filipino, 56,600 were Chinese, and 23,637 were Korean

Languages: French 61.1% (official), Polynesian 31.4% (official), Asian languages 1.2%, other 0.3%, unspecified 6% (2002 census)


In 2000, the largest religious group was the Catholic Church, with 240,813 adherents in 95 congregations
Languages: English, Hawaiian

Judicial System:

The supreme court, the highest in the state, consists of a chief justice and four associate justices, all of them appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate.

Government type:

Democratic comprising of both Republicans and Democrats.


Industries: Food and food products account for about one-third of the total annual value of shipments by manufacturers, including sugar and pineapples. Other major industries are clothing; stone, clay, and glass products; fabricated metals; and shipbuilding.

Tourism, travel, and recreation:

In 2002, there were about 6.4 million visitor arrivals to the Islands, with travel expenditures at about $10.3 billion dollars. A majority of visitors are from other US states. The largest international market (1.5 million visitors) is Japan.
Visitors come for scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, fishing, and sailing; for the hula, luau, lei, and other distinctive Island pleasures; for the tropical climate and magnificent scenic beauty; and for a remarkable variety of recreational facilities, including 7 national parks and historic sites, 74 state parks, 626 county parks, 17 public golf courses, and 1,600 recognized surfing sites.


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Credit Cards:

Credit cards are widely accepted. Traveler's checks are accepted at many businesses.

Sales Tax:

Hawaii does not have a sales tax; instead, there is a a general excise tax, which is assessed on all business activities. The tax rate is .15% for Insurance Commission, .50% for Wholesaling, Manufacturing, Producing, Wholesale Services, and Use Tax on Imports For Resale, and 4% for all others.

Telephone system:

The area code for all of Hawaii is (808). Cell phone coverage on most Islands is readily available if you're coming from the US. Check your carrier and calling plan for details.