What is Hawaii Famous For? The Top 20 Things You Didn’t Know About the Aloha State

boy over looking the beach of waikiki

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Aloha! If you’re thinking of Hawaii, the first things that come to mind are probably beautiful beaches, luxurious resorts, and stunning sunsets.

But there is much more to this island state than meets the eye! In a nutshell, Hawaii is known for its gorgeous beaches, volcanos, and history.

However, there is more than meets the eye when visiting Hawaii. It is when you learn more about the place you visit that gives you a deep sense of appreciation!

In this blog post, we will explore twenty things that you didn’t know about Hawaii.

From its fascinating history to its unique culture, there is a lot to discover about this amazing place.

So put on your sunscreen and get ready for an adventure!


20 Things Hawaii is Famous For

  • Did you know that Hawaii is home to the world’s largest telescope? Located on the summit of Mauna Kea, the Keck Observatory is one of the most important astronomical research facilities in the world.
  • With its twin telescopes, it has been responsible for some of the most groundbreaking discoveries in astronomy, including the first direct image of an extrasolar planet. You can find the giant telescope on the island of Hawaii, also known as the Big Island.
  • Did you know that Hawaii is the most isolated state in the US? It is also the most diverse state in the country, with over 120 different cultures represented.
  • Hawaii is also famous for its stunning natural scenery. From the dramatic cliffs of the Napali Coast to the lush rainforests of Kauai, there is no shortage of beauty to be found on these islands.
  • Let’s not forget about the beaches! With over 750 miles of coastline, Hawaii has no shortage of sandy beaches to relax on. It is the perfect place to wind down and relax, or to even take a summer vacation. Here, we talk about the best beaches for families to visit in Hawaii.
  • The Hawaiian Islands are also home to some of the world’s most active volcanoes. In fact, Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes on Earth!
  • The state is also home to a vibrant culture and rich history. One of the must-see places to learn about the history of the last Hawaiin princess called Kai’iulani. You can learn more by visiting the Iolani palace.
  • Hawaii was the first state in the US to legalize same-sex marriage.
  • The Hawaiian language is the official language of the state, along with English.
  • The capital of Hawaii is Honolulu, located on the island of Oahu.
  • Hawaii is home to two national parks: Haleakala National Park and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
  • More than half of the state’s population resides in Honolulu. According to the Office of Coastal Management, Honolulu carries 70 percent of the population.
  • Luau dance is the state dance of Hawaii. It is one of the most popular dances that attract millions of people year-round. This is one of the first things I saw when first visited Hawaii.
  • Four weather disasters affected the state of Hawaii in 2018, and a total of 10 between the years 2010 to 2018.
  • The state flower of Hawaii is the yellow hibiscus, also known as the pua aloalo. It is rare to see on many occasions so the ones that are seen in the wild are considered endangered species. It officially became the state flower of Hawaii in 1988.
  • The state bird of Hawaii is the nene, a goose species endemic to the Hawaiian islands.
  • Water activities are also famous in Hawaii such as surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, and kayaking. So if you are looking for a place to take your SUP, surfboard, or kayak, then this is the place!
  • The Ukulele is the official musical instrument of Hawaii. It was introduced by the Portuguese in the early 19th century.
  • Israel Kamakawiwoʻole was one of the most beloved Hawaiian singers of all time. After his famous hit ‘Over the Rainbow,’ His legacy grew stronger year after year.
  • Pearl Harbor is one of the most famous historical sites in Hawaii. It is also the largest natural harbor in the state.
  • In 2018, Hawaii was ranked as the happiest state in the US.

How to plan a trip to Hawaii

Now that you know a little bit more about what Hawaii has to offer, it’s time to start planning your trip! Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning your Hawaiian adventure:

When to go:

The best time to visit Hawaii is during the months of April, May, and June. These months offer the perfect balance of warm weather and low humidity.

How to get there:

Most people fly into Honolulu International Airport, which is located on the island of Oahu. From there, you can take a short flight or ferry ride to the other islands. You can start by checking prices on Expedia to get an idea of the flight costs.

What to pack:

Be sure to pack your sunscreen and swimsuit! Hawaii is all about enjoying the outdoors, so don’t forget to pack your hiking shoes and hat as well.

What to eat:

Hawaii is known for its delicious seafood. Be sure to try dishes like poke (a Hawaiian staple) and fresh fish tacos. Yum!

More Fun Facts About Hawaii

  • The island of Kauai is home to the wettest spot on Earth, Mount Waialeale. This mountain receives an average of 450 inches of rain per year!
  • The Hawaiian alphabet only has 13 letters: A, E, I, O, U, H, K, L, M, N, P, W, and a special letter called the ‘okina (‘)
  • Spam is so popular in Hawaii that it has its own annual festival! The SPAM festival happens every year in Waikiki.
  • Hawaii was once one of the only US states to grow coffee. Now more states are riding on the bandwagon and joining in growing their own coffee.
  • Pineapples are not native to Hawaii but were brought over by James Dole in the late 1800s.
  • Hawaii is home to the longest single-span suspension bridge in the US. It hangs over the Kaopala Gulch in Hawaii. You’ll see a gorgeous jungle and neighboring islands. It’s a must-see while visiting Maui.
  • The state fish of Hawaii is the humuhumunukunukuapua’a, which translates to “triggerfish with a snout like a pig.”
  • Hawaii is hoping to speed up the goal of having 100% renewable sources of energy, though it has been difficult and doing so slowly, according to the source.
  • Diamond Head, one of the most popular hiking trails in Hawaii, was used as a military lookout post during World War II.
  • And finally, Hawaii is the birthplace of hula dancing! Hula was originally used as a form of storytelling and communication. Today, it is performed all over the world as a beautiful art form.


What are Hawaiian known for?

Some of the things that Hawaii is known for include its sandy beaches, active volcanoes, vibrant culture, and rich history. Hawaii is also known for being the first state in the US to legalize same-sex marriage and for its beautiful state flower, the yellow hibiscus.

What are three things Hawaii is famous for?

Some of the things that Hawaii is famous for include its sandy beaches, active volcanoes, and vibrant culture.

What is the number 1 attraction in Hawaii?

The number one attraction in Hawaii is Pearl Harbor. This historic site is located on the island of Oahu and attracts millions of visitors each year. Pearl Harbor is famous for being the site of a surprise attack by the Japanese during World War II.

What makes Hawaii so popular?

There are many things that make Hawaii a popular tourist destination. Some of the most popular reasons include its sandy beaches, beautiful scenery, and vibrant culture. Hawaii is also known for being a relatively safe place to visit, as it has a low crime rate and is politically stable.

Do I need a passport to visit Hawaii?

No, you do not need a passport to visit Hawaii. However, you will need a valid government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport card.

What is the currency in Hawaii?

The US dollar is the official currency in Hawaii.

What language is spoken in Hawaii?

English and Hawaiian are both official languages in Hawaii. However, you will find that most people speak English.

What is there to do in Hawaii?

There are plenty of things to do in Hawaii! From relaxing on the beach to hiking through a national park, there is something for everyone.

How long should I stay in Hawaii?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It all depends on your personal preferences and travel style. If you want to pack a lot into your trip, we recommend staying for at least one week. This will give you enough time to explore multiple islands and experience all that Hawaii has to offer.


While there are many things Hawaii is famous for, the beautiful landscapes, beaches, and weather top the list for most tourists.

If you’re looking to experience all that Hawaii has to offer, be sure to add a visit to one of the islands’ amazing parks to your itinerary.

Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or just looking for a place to relax and take in natural beauty, Hawaii’s parks have something for everyone.

I wish when I had first gone to Hawaii, I would have known more about the gorgeous state. It gives more of a sense of appreciation for the locals and their culture.

Thanks for reading and we hope this has inspired you to start planning your Hawaiian adventure!

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Jess & Jeanette

Jess and Jeanette, two sisters who founded Unseen Beaches, were inspired by their family’s beach vacations while growing up.

Their passion lies in guiding you toward the most remarkable beach destinations across the U.S., while also protecting and preserving these beautiful coastal treasures! 🌊❤️

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