Hawaii vacations bring forth visions of a tropical paradise with palm trees swaying in the breezes and endless beaches. The culture is a combination of American and Polynesian cultures but the islands are so remote they have developed their own unique blend of these very different cultures. The main reason for Hawaiian vacations are usually focused on the volcanoes, the endless beaches and their own unique lifestyle, arts and food. Because of the mild weather, you can have a vacation in Hawaii at any time of the year. If you love the beach, a laid-back atmosphere, good food, nature, and fun under the sun, you can’t miss a trip to Hawaii!

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Hawaii Vacation Ideas

GEOGRAPHY OF HAWAII VACATIONS

The Hawaiian Islands are actually the visible tops of submerged mountains that were formed via volcanic activity thousands of years ago, making the geography of Hawaii quite unique in the United States. It is a group of islands in the North Pacific Ocean and not part of a huge landmass like the other states of the US. Aside from the largest ones, most of the Hawaiian Islands are atolls or huge volcanic formations that are encircled by coral reefs. Some of the volcanoes that helped create the Hawaiian Islands are still active to this day, like Kilauea in Volcanoes National Park and the snow-capped Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on the Big Island. Hawaii has no sizable rivers but what it lacks in rivers it makes up for majestic seaside cliffs, deep canyons, crystal-clear streams, volcanic craters, mesmerizing waterfalls, luscious mountains, and fertile valleys.

HISTORY OF HAWAII VACATIONS

Before Hawaii became a state of the United States in 1959, Hawaii was settled by the descendants of the Polynesians who first settled on the islands a few hundred years back from when Captain Cook arrived in Hawaii in 1778. The Hawaiian Islands used to be ruled by separate kingdoms that by 1810 were united under Kamehameha I. Kamehameha I adapted an open policy welcoming Western ideas and religion. The19th century brought with it landownership in the islands and the development of the Hawaiian sugar and pineapple industries. This was followed by the influx of Korean, Japanese, and Filipino immigrants. 1893 saw the disintegration of the Hawaiian monarchy and by 1900, the Hawaiian Islands were annexed as a US territory. 1959 was when the state of Hawaii was named as a US state.
Hawaii became an important military base of the US in the 20th century and is the home of the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet. Pearl Harbor is in Hawaii, as well as other US Navy and military sites. Today, Hawaii thrives in tourism as a favorite vacation spot by tourists and Americans alike.

CULTURE OF HAWAII VACATIONS

The present culture in Hawaii is very “Americanized” with influences of the indigenous culture in the way people talk, eat, dress, and welcome visitors. It is common to be greeted with “aloha” and a beautiful flower lei when you arrive for your Hawaii vacation. The best description of the current culture in Hawaii is “American urban chic with Polynesian roots”. The people are laid-back, warm, and welcoming.

LANDMARKS OF HAWAII VACATIONS

The landmarks in Hawaii are certainly not to be missed! Be sure to take time to see the beautiful Hawaiian landmarks below when you’re on vacation or just passing by.

* Iolani Palace
Located in Honolulu County, the 'Iolani Palace served as the royal residence of the royalties of the Kingdom of Hawaii before it was used as a capitol building from 1893 to 1969.

* Ala Moana Center
The Ala Moana Center in Honolulu has more than 290 shops and is the largest shopping mall in the state.

* Aloha Tower
Known as the beacon of the city of Honolulu, the Aloha Tower has long welcomed visitors to Hawaii.

* Byodo-In Temple Kaneohe, Hawaii, 96744
The Byodo-In Temple in Kaneohe is located at the Valley of Temples on O’ahu. The temple was dedicated to the 100th year anniversary of the Japanese immigrating to the islands.

* Dole Plantation
Established in 1950 as a fruit stand located in the midst of Dole’s original pineapple fields, the Dole Plantation in North Shore is now a plantation home and a tourist attraction.

* Hawai?i Volcanoes National Park
Two active volcanoes call the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park their home, the Kilauea and Mauna Loa.

* Hawai'i State Museum of Natural and Cultural History
The largest museum in Hawaii, the Hawai'i State Museum of Natural and Cultural History features science and natural history exhibits. It also houses the largest collection of natural history specimens as well as Polynesian cultural artifacts in Hawaii.

* Hawaii State Capitol
The Hawaii State Capitol replaced 'Iolani Palace as the statehouse on March 15, 1969. It was made in an architectural style that’s distinctly Hawaiian.

* Honolulu Museum of Art Honolulu, Hawaii, 96814
Founded by Anna Rice Cooke in 1922, the Honolulu Museum of Art is the largest museum of arts in the state.

* Honolulu Zoo
The Honolulu Zoo is a 42-acre (17 ha) zoo Located in Queen Kapi?olani Park, the Honolulu Zoo has more than 1,230 animals living in its specially designed habitats.

* Kilauea Hawaii
One of the 5 active volcanoes that formed the islands of Hawaii, Kilauea is still an active volcano despite its mesmerizing beauty

* Lanikai Beach Kailua, Hawaii, 96734
Named as the “heavenly sea”, Lanikai Beach is a half-mile stretch of beach that’s ranked as one of the best beaches in the world.

*Pacific Aviation Museum
The Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor showcases aviation exhibits, including some related to World War II and the attack on Pearl Harbor