Background: Hawaii Mokuaeae

Living in Hawaii

Hawaii - The Islands of Aloha

History, Geography, Homes, and State Resources of Hawaii

Hawaii USA Map
Hawaii USA Map

Relocating or thinking of relocating to Hawaii? It's a major decision when moving to Hawaii and is an aspiration shared by numerous people. If you’ve ever visited Hawaii, odds are you’ve dreamed of a move to the island of Hawaii also. You are not alone, hundreds, maybe even thousands, of visitors make a decision each year that Hawaii is going to be their future home.

You’re probably full of questions concerning the Aloha State along with exactly what entails moving to the Hawaiian islands. You may also want to take a look at the website of Michele Meyer, which contains huge amounts of information, much more than is available here. Be sure to take a look at How to Live in Hawaii. It is a fantastic resource for those thinking about relocating to the islands.

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.

Hawaii was a native kingdom throughout most of the 19th century, when the expansion of the sugar industry (pineapple came after 1898) meant increasing U.S. business and political involvement. In 1893, Queen Liliuokalani was deposed, and a year later the Republic of Hawaii was established with Sanford B. Dole as president. Following annexation (1898), Hawaii became a U.S. territory in 1900.


With its warm and gentle trade winds, mild temperatures and sunny skies, Hawaii is an ideal vacation destination throughout the year. Generally speaking, the state of Hawaii is tropical, but the temperature and climate can vary dramatically depending on where you are located on a particular island.


  • Hawaii Geography, Facts and History
  • Hawaii Facts & Trivia
  • Hawaii Flags
  • Famous People from Hawaii
  • Hawaii Timeline
  • Hawaii Official Song
  • Education

    Hawaii Colleges. Graduates from secondary schools in Hawaii often go directly into the workforce. Some attend colleges and universities on the mainland or other countries, and the rest attend a college in Hawaii. The largest is the system of the University of Hawaii, consisting of: the research university in Mānoa, two comprehensive campuses in Hilo and West O'ahu and seven community colleges. Private universities include Brigham Young University-Hawaii, Chaminade University of Honolulu, Hawaii Pacific University, and Wayland Baptist University. St. Stephen Diocesan Center is a seminary of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu. Kona is home to the University of Nations, which is not an accredited university.


    Tourism may come to mind when most people think of industries in Hawaii, and while it is the largest industry in Hawaii, the state's economy is rather diverse. Statewide, 641,400 people are employed in Hawaii, according to the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism.

    Flora and Fauna

    Hawaii State Flower - Hawaiian hibiscus
    Hawaii State Flower - Hawaiian hibiscus

    Hawaii State Tree (Candlenut Tree)
    Hawaii State Tree (Candlenut Tree)

    Because Hawaii is distant from other land habitats, life is thought to have arrived there by wind, waves (ocean currents) and wings ( birds, insects, and any seeds they may have carried on their feathers). This isolation, in combination with the diverse environment (including extreme altitudes, tropical climates, and arid shorelines), provided for the evolution of new endemic flora. Hawaii has more endangered species and has lost a higher percentage of its endemic species than any other U.S. state.

    The only land mammal native to the islands is the Hawaiian hoary bat, now endangered; there are no indigenous snakes. The endangered humpback whale migrates to Hawaiian waters in winter; other marine animals abound. Among the 44 animal species listed as endangered or threatened as of August 2003 were four species of sea turtle and humpback whale.

    Among threatened birds are several varieties of honeycreeper, short-tailed albatross, Hawaiian coot, and the Hawaiian goose (nene). The nene (the state bird), once close to extinction, now numbers in the hundreds and is on the increase. Animals considered endangered by the state but not on the federal list include the Hawaiian storm petrel, Hawaiian owl, Maui 'amakihi (Loxops virens wilsoni), and 'i'iwi (Vestiaria coccinea).

  • Hawaii Bird (Hawaiian Goose)
  • Hawaii Official State Flower (Hawaiian hibiscus)
  • Hawaii State Tree (Candlenut Tree)
  • Government

    Hawaii State Capitol
    Hawaii State Capitol
    The Hawaii State Capitol is the official statehouse or capitol building of Hawaii. From its chambers, the executive and legislative branches perform the duties involved in governing the state. The Hawaii State Legislature—composed of the 25 member Hawaii State Senate led by the President of the Senate and the 51 member Hawaii State House of Representatives led by the Speaker of the House—convenes in the building. Its primary occupants are the Governor of Hawaii and Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii, as well as all legislative offices and the Legislative Reference Bureau.

    The governor and lieutenant governor are jointly elected for concurrent four-year terms and must be of the same political party. They are the only elected officers of the executive branch, except for the 13 members of the Board of Education, who also serve four-year terms. The governor, who may be reelected only once, must be at least 30 years old and must have resided in the state for five years.

    Voters in Hawaii must be US citizens at least 18 years old; there is no minimum residency requirement. Restrictions apply to convicted felons and those declared mentally incompetent by the court.

  • Official State of Hawaii Website
  • Attractions

    Hawaii's tropical climate and laid-back Pacific Island atmosphere are just part of what makes the state so special. Occupying the tops of massive volcanic mountaintops jutting from the sea, these islands have a diverse and beautiful landscape that varies from the stark lunar surface of the Kilauea volcano to lush green forests filled with exotic flowers. Waterfalls stream down the mountain sides like tears on the dramatic Na Pali coast, while ancient rivers have carved deep into the rock of Kauai to create the Waimea Canyon. The Big Island is home to an active volcano, and Oahu is home to Pearl Harbor and its rich history. Surrounding them all, the mighty Pacific is home to a plethora of ocean life, providing endless opportunities to snorkel, scuba dive, surf, or simply go for a swim after sunbathing. Perhaps the most special part of the islands, however, are its people, whose welcoming attitude make you truly feel like you are in paradise.

    Diamond Head Lighthouse
    Diamond Head Lighthouse
    Lighthouses in Hawaii - List of all lighthouses in the state of Hawaii as identified by the United States Coast Guard and other historical sources. Fifteen lighthouses in Hawaii are associated with the U.S. Coast Guard. Including minor lights, there are 43 lights in total.

  • Hawaii Official Tourism Website
  • Amusement Parks

    Maui Golf and Sports Park, Wailuku
    Sea Life Park Hawaii, Oahu
      Sea Life Park Hawaii is a marine mammal park, bird sanctuary and aquarium in Waimānalo near Makapuʻu Point, north of Hanauma Bay on the island of Oahu in Hawaii The park first opened in 1964, and includes exhibits that let visitors interact with the animals by swimming with dolphins, sea lions, and rays, taking a sea safari in the aquarium, and feeding the sea turtles.

    National Parks

    Volcano National Park
    Volcano National Park
    Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail, the Island of Hawaii, HI
      Established in 2000 for the preservation, protection and interpretation of traditional Native Hawaiian culture and natural resources, Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail is a 175 mile corridor and trail network of cultural and historical significance. It traverses through hundreds of ancient Hawaiian settlement sites and over 200 ahupua'a (traditional land divisions).
    Haleakalā National Park, Kula, Maui, HI
      This special place vibrates with stories of ancient and modern Hawaiian culture and protects the bond between the land and its people. The park also cares for endangered species, some of which exist nowhere else. Come visit this special place - renew your spirit amid stark volcanic landscapes and sub-tropical rain forest with an unforgettable hike through the backcountry.
    Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, Hilo, HI
      Smiling rangers, beautiful weather and drinking water welcomed visitors back into Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park today, which closed May 11, 2018  after unprecedented volcanic activity threatened public safety and damaged park roads, waterlines, buildings and trails. Park rangers turned off the Park Closed sign on Highway 11 and replaced it with a new message: Welcome Back/Park Open. Rangers were able to open the park several hours ahead of schedule and the first vehicle – local Hilo residents – came in at 7 a.m Septermber 22, 2018. Although an official count wasn’t immediately available, an estimated several thousand people enjoyed the park under blue skies and cool tradewinds today.
    Kalaupapa National Historical Park, Kalaupapa, HI
      When Hansen's disease (leprosy) was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands, King Kamehameha V banished all afflicted to the isolated Kalaupapa peninsula on the north shore of Molokai. Since 1866, more than 8000 people, mostly Hawaiians, have died at Kalaupapa. Once a prison, Kalaupapa is now refuge for the few remaining residents who are now cured, but were forced to live their lives in isolation.
    Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park, Kailua-Kona, HI
      To survive in a hot and arid environment the native Hawaiians (kanaka maoli) used ancient fishing skills, including the building of fishponds, and the knowledge of the location of precious fresh water (wai) that flows into the many brackish pools throughout the park. The spirit of the people (poe) and the knowledge of the elders (kupuna) created a tradition of respect and reverence for this area.
    Pu`uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park, Honaunau, HI
      Imagine you had just broken the sacred laws, the kapu, and the only punishment was death. Your only chance of survival is to elude your pursuers and reach the Pu'uhonua, a place of refuge. The Pu'uhonua protected the kapu breaker, defeated warriors, as well as civilians during the time of battle. No physical harm could come to those who reached the boundaries of the Pu'uhonua.


    Surfing has been a central part of Polynesian culture for centuries. Since the late 19th century, Hawaii has become a major site for surfists from around the world. Notable competitions include the Triple Crown of Surfing and The Eddie.

    The only NCAA Division I team in Hawaii is the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors and Rainbow Wahine, which competes at the Big West Conference (major sports), Mountain West Conference (football) and Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (minor sports). There are three teams in NCAA Division II: Chaminade Silverswords, Hawaii Pacific Sharks and Hawaii-Hilo Vulcans, all of which compete at the Pacific West Conference.

    Notable college sports events in Hawaii include the Maui Invitational Tournament, Diamond Head Classic (basketball) and Hawaii Bowl (football).

    Notable professional teams include The Hawaiians, which played at the World Football League in 1974 and 1975; the Hawaii Islanders, a Triple-A minor league baseball team that played at the Pacific Coast League from 1961 to 1987; and Team Hawaii, a North American Soccer League team that played in 1977.

  • Hawaii Sports
  • Taxes

    Hawaii Tax Facts
    • Income tax: 1.4% - 8.25%
    • Sales tax: 0% with a general excise tax of 4% - 4.5%
    • Property tax: 0.27% average effective rate
    • Gas tax: 45.59 cents per gallon of regular gasoline, 48.54 cents per gallon of diesel


    Daniel K. Inouye International Airport
    Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport
    Hawaii Airports. People from all over the world flock to the picturesque islands of Hawaii. Even the airports in Hawaii are welcome with small exhibitions of the culture of the state. The airports in Hawaii are well connected with all islands, the mainland of the USA and also with many countries of the world. Most of the airports in Hawaii are also used for recreational activities such as hang gliding and parachuting.

    Hawaii attracts thousands of visitors every year for its beautiful tropical landscape. Hawaii has three international airports, Hilo International Airport, Honolulu International Airport / Hickam AFB and Kona International Airport in Keahole. These airports in Hawaii are modern in their amenities and technology. They combine state-of-the-art technology with the friendliest service. They are also equipped for disabled guests. Hawaii airports are well connected with all islands and traveling between islands is no problem. The airports in Hawaii also have all the amenities on their premises or right at the exits, making traveling easy for the weary traveler.

    Major airlines operating at Hawaii International Airports include Air Canada, Air China, Air Pacific, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Air, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Northwest Airlines, Philippine Airlines and Qantas. The tickets for these airlines can be booked online on their respective websites, and some airlines also offer online booking bonus points that can be redeemed against future travel with the airlines.


    Port at Kahului
    Port at Kahului
    There is a passenger ferry service in Maui County between Lanaʻi and Maui, which does not take vehicles; a passenger ferry to Molokai ended in 2016. Norwegian Cruise Lines and Princess Cruises provide passenger cruise ship services between the larger islands.


    At one time Hawaii had a network of railroads on each of the larger islands that transported farm commodities and passengers. Most were 3 ft narrow gauge systems although there were some 2 ft 6 in gauge on some of the smaller islands. The standard U.S. gauge is 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in. By far the largest railroad was the Oahu Railway and Land Company (OR&L) that ran lines from Honolulu across the western and northern part of Oahu. The OR&L was important for moving troops and goods during World War II. Traffic on this line was busy enough for signals to be used to facilitate movement of trains and to require wigwag signals at some railroad crossings for the protection of motorists. The main line was officially abandoned in 1947.


    A system of state highways encircles each main island. Only Oʻahu has federal highways, and is the only area outside the contiguous 48 states to have signed Interstate highways. Narrow, winding roads and congestion in populated places can slow traffic. Each major island has a public bus system.

    Hawaii Housing

    The median home value in Hawaii is $619,000. Hawaii home values have gone up 6.7% over the past year and predictions are they will rise 5.2% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Hawaii is $513. The median price of homes currently listed in Hawaii is $625,000. The median rent price in Hawaii is $2,300.

    Hawaii Cities & Towns

    The five counties of Hawaii on the Hawaiian Islands enjoy somewhat greater status than many counties on the United States mainland. No formal level of government (such as city governments) exists below that of the county in Hawaii. (Even Honolulu is governed as the City and County of Honolulu, The county government subdivides some areas to form elective districts of the county council. There are 36 census designated places on the island.
  • Hawaii Cities and Towns
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