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25 Interesting Facts about Hawaii

25 Interesting Facts about Hawaii

Photo: Shutterstock

Want to know more about Hawaii? Here are 25 Interesting Facts about Hawaii that you probably didn’t know before reading this!

To make this even more fun, I want to challenge you as well. How many of these Hawaii facts did you know before reading this? Share your result in the comment section!

There are 137 islands

While most tourists probably think of Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Big Island, there are actually 137 individual islands.

Most of these are uninhabited though, and the main eight islands are Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe and the Big Island (a.k.a Hawaii). 

The state of Hawaii is also known as the Aloha state

No building on Kauai can be taller than a palm tree by law

The Island of Kauai, also known as the Garden Island has some specific rules for how tall buildings can be. No building can be taller than a palm tree, so don’t expect any skyscrapers here.

There are only two exceptions, and that’s The Mariott, which was built before the law was passed, and then St Regis, which is built into a hillside. 

All Hawaiian beaches are public

Want to soak up the sun at some of the beautiful beaches of Hawaii? They are all public and can be enjoyed by anyone. 

Hawaiian beaches

Hawaii has the longest life expectancy in all of the US

Hawaiian residents can pride themselves of living a healthier life than the majority of other US residents. The life expectancy is highest in the Aloha State with 81.3 years on average. 

Definitely one of the most interesting facts about Hawaii!

The Big Island grows about 42 acres each year

Due to volcanic activity and lava, the Big Island is estimated to grow about 42 acres every year! That’s equal to about 40 American football fields. 

Big island

Photo: Shutterstock

Molokai doesn’t have any traffic lights and Niihau has no paved roads

The island of Molokai is only home to about 7000 people, and it’s a popular day trip from Maui. Expect a genuine island feeling with no traffic lights and an even more laid back atmosphere than the bigger islands. 

If you want to experience an even more wild island, you should go to Niihau, where there aren’t any paved roads. 

They grow coffee commercially

Hawaiian coffee is highly regarded, and there are farms growing coffee in Kauai, Maui, and Honolulu as well as on the Big Island.

Coffee berries

Photo: Shutterstock

It’s the only state that is not geographically located in North America

While Hawaii is a state in the US, and politically belong to North America, geographically it is located in Polynesia, a subregion of Oceania in the Pacific Ocean.

The island group is situated 2000 miles away from the nearest point of the United States. Hawaii is considered to be the most isolated population center in the world. 

Home to the world’s most active volcano

You probably already knew that there are several volcanoes here, especially since the islands were formed by volcanic activity. Kilauea volcano on Big Island is the world’s most active volcano, and it has been erupting continuously from 1983 until 2018.

However, the last active lava on the surface was reported in September 2018, and since then the Kilauea volcano has remained inactive. 

Kilauea volcano

Photo: Shutterstock

Hawaii has its own time zone

It’s the only state in the US with its own time zone. The Hawaiian standard time is UTC -10, and there is no daylight saving time. 

Mount Waialeale is one of the wettest places on Earth

Water is the reason for the lush nature in Kauai, and in Mount Waialeale, a lot of water falls from the sky in form of rain. 

In fact, the annual precipitation is 373 inches (9,500 mm). The wettest year that was ever recorded saw 683 inches (17,300 mm) of rain!

Mount Waialeale

Photo: Shutterstock

There is only one type of snake

The only snake that is entitled to call these tropical islands its home is the tiny Hawaiian blind snake. However, it is not a native species, and it is thought that it was brought along with plant soil from the Philippines in 1929. 

So, don’t worry, even though it’s very tropical here and that it would probably be ideal for a lot of snake species, there are none to look out for. The only other snakes in Hawaii, are the ones in zoos. 

There are only two native mammals

While there are lots of animals in Hawaii, there are only two mammals that are native to the Hawaiian islands: The hoary bat and the monk seal.

However, there are plenty of other mammals living on the Hawaiian islands today, such as the Indian mongoose, Pacific rat, European Rabbit, and Deer. 

Hawaiian monk seal

Photo: Shutterstock

Hawaii was the first state to ban plastic bags

In 2015, the Aloha state became the first state in the US to ban plastic bags. 

Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world

Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world if you don’t measure what’s under sea level.

Mauna Kea has a total height of 10 203 meters from the foot of the mountain on the ocean floor to the top. However, the surface height is just 4 207 meter. 

Mauna Kea

Photo: Shutterstock

5 x Cultural Facts about Hawaii

  • It’s considered rude to refuse to wear a lei flower if you’re offered one
  • Only people with Hawaiian ancestry are considered to be Hawaiians
  • The Hula was originally a form of worship performed by highly trained men. They learned the dance from the Hawaiian god Luka
  • Hawaiian natives are descendants of Polynesian voyagers
  • King Kamehameha united the Hawaiian islands in 1810 and he’s still being celebrated every year at King Kamehameha Day, the 11th June
Hula dancer

Photo: Shutterstock

5 x Hawaii Facts for Kids

  • The Hawaiian islands were created by under-sea volcanoes that erupted thousands of years ago
  • The Yellow Hibiscus is the Hawaiian state flower
  • Surfing and outrigger canoe paddling are the official state sports
  • Aloha means both hello and goodbye
  • Disney’s movie Moana is based on the legends of Hawaii

Photo: Sarunyu L /

General Facts about Hawaii

Below are some general info such as total population, land area, biggest lake, highest mountain and other general facts about Hawaii that might be interesting to know.

  • Total Population: 1,43 million people
  • Capital: Honolulu
  • State nickname: Aloha state
  • Country: United States of America
  • Life expectancy: 81.3 years
  • Highest Mountain: Mauna Kea, 13,796 ft (4207 meters)
  • Land area: 10,931 sq mi (28,311 km2)
  • Largest Lake: Halulu Lake is the largest natural lake 
  • Governor: David Ige
  • Currency: US Dollar (USD)
  • Official language: English and Hawaiian
  • Religion: Christianity
  • Member of Nato: Yes (USA)
  • National song: Same as the USA (Star spangled banner)
  • Time zone: Hawaiian Standard Time (UTC −10)

The Biggest Cities in Hawaii

If you’re looking for facts about Hawaii, it might also be interesting to know which are the biggest cities. Here’s a list of the top 10 biggest cities ranked after population.

Honolulu Pearl City
Hilo Kailua
Waipahu Kaneohe
Mililani Town Kahului
Ewa Gentry Mililani Mauka

Flag of Hawaii

hawaii flag

Map of Hawaii

Below you can see the main islands on the map.

Hawaii map

Photo: Shutterstock

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How many of these Hawaii Facts did you know beforehand? Share your result in the comment section below!

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