The Hawaiian Islands are easily the most unique place in America, if not the entire world, and that’s not just because it’s a tropical island chain. In addition to its fascinating, yet tumultuous, history and a unique culture that has been shaped and influenced by a variety of peoples over the course of several centuries, Hawaii is the most isolated population center on earth. And if that’s not enough to convince you that Hawaii is the most unique place on our beautiful earth, here are 13 things that will prove how distinct Hawaii truly is.
1. The Hawaiian Islands are home to incredible geology.
More than 2,500 miles from the nearest landfall and formed by a series of active volcanoes, the Hawaiian Islands are certainly unique in their geology. For proof, just take a look at Kauai's Na Pali Coast, Maui's Mount Haleakala, or Hawaii Island's Mauna Kea.
2. The culture is distinct.
Hawaii's culture is unlike anything in the world, and you will never truly understand what it's all about until you live here. From traditions that have been passed down for generations to relics of the Kingdom of Hawaii, the state's unbelievable culture is on display around every corner.
3. Hawaii has a fascinating history.
From the first Europeans visiting the islands in 1778 and the establishment of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1795 to the monarchy being overthrown and Hawaii’s admittance to the United States of America in 1959, the Hawaiian Islands are steeped in history. And because of that intriguing history, the Hawaiian Islands are home to some truly magnificent historic landmarks.
4. The weather is unbeatable.
While there are merits to having four distinct seasons, it is also pretty nice to never have to worry about the weather, because it is always approximately 70 to 90 degrees. If it's raining on one half of the island, you can bet that you can simply move to the other side to find sunshine.
5. Our language is incredible.
Hawaii is the only state in America with more than one official language. Many Hawaiian words and phrases are still used today, and when you mix that with Hawaiian Pidgin – an English-based Creole dialect – you’re left with a vocabulary unique to the islands. Not sure our language is distinct? Why not ask our humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa, Hawaii's state fish?
6. Hawaii’s beaches are second to none.
From pristine, white sand beaches with turquoise waters to black, green, and red sand beaches, and protected bays perfect for snorkeling to massive waves for surfing, Hawaii has the perfect beach for every occasion - and person. With 750 miles of coastline, and nearly 400 beaches, all of which are public, it's no wonder why our pristine white sand beaches and turquoise waters are constantly ranked among the best in the world. A Florida State University professor affectionately nicknamed Dr. Beach has chosen a Hawaii beach as the best 14 times in the last 25 years.
7. And our mountains aren’t half bad either.
Mauka: a word in the Hawaiian language, meaning “toward the mountain,” and most commonly used in giving directions. Mountains are an integral part of the Hawaiian landscape, and are full of endless hiking trails, incredible views, and unsurpassed natural beauty.
8. The Aloha spirit is unlike anything in the world.
Those who call Hawaii home believe in the Aloha Spirit – in welcoming everyone with open arms, and being friendly to anyone they encounter. The Aloha vibes surround you, and there is truly nothing better than the sense of community and love you will find in Hawaii.
9. Our coffee is the best in the world.
Hawaii is the only state in America that can grow coffee, and while Kona coffee may be world-famous, there are blends found across the islands sure to impress even non-coffee drinkers.
10. The natural beauty of the islands’ is unsurpassed.
From our incredible beaches and majestic mountains, to Kauai's striking Waimea Canyon and Oahu's Diamond Head, the Hawaiian Islands pack more natural beauty than anyone knows what to do with into a small, beautiful package.
11. Hawaii is a true melting pot - of everything from culture to climate.
The Aloha State is truly a melting pot of ethnic diversity; not only are the islands are home to the most multiracial residents in America, but the state has more than twice the diversity percentages of the second and third place states. Hawaii is home to the lowest percentage of white Americans in the country; only 24.7 percent of Hawaii residents are Caucasian, and 38.6 percent are of Asian descent, the highest percentage in the country.
And did we mention that you will also find ten of the world's fourteen climate zones without leaving the islands? That's pretty unique.
12. There are endless options for adventurers.
Living in Hawaii, or even vacationing on the islands, is truly an adventure in itself. From cage diving with sharks and tubing through the mountains in an old irrigation canal, to experiencing the beauty of the islands’ from an entirely new perspective, the Hawaiian Islands are full of adventures you simply have to experience.
13. Hawaii is uncomplicated.
From alarm-free mornings and relaxed schedules to an existence focused on ohana and surfing rather than the stresses of work and drama, life is slower in Hawaii, and that’s the way we like it. There’s no need to rush through anything in Hawaii – including that important work project, or a coffee date with a good friend. You’ll be much happier when you slow down, relax, and appreciate the uncomplicated lifestyle you've grown accustomed to.
What else do you think makes the Hawaiian Islands so incredible unique? Our residents are also quite unique, and here are
11 weird things they do to prove it.