Hawaii is the youngest state in the United States. It joined the union in 1959. It is the only state to be made up primarily of islands. The Hawaiian Islands because of their location are a vibrant mix of North American, Asian, and native cultures. It comprises most of the Hawaiian volcanic chain that consists of hundreds of islands that are spread out thousands of miles. The main eight islands, however, are Hawaii or The Big Island, Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Kohoolawe, and Maui.
Each island has its own majestic history that has turned them into what they are today. Many of the islands were once settled by Hawaiian royalty. Several of them were named after the sons of Hawaiiloa, who discovered the islands. Many if not all of the islands were home to flourishing sugar, taro, or coffee plantations. Each provides its own beautiful sceneries as well as indulging in living in paradise.
Kauai is the oldest of the islands and is also located the most North. It has plenty of agriculture wonders, and some of the area is not allowed to be inhabited to protect the natural beauty of the island. Its most popular tourist destinations are the resorts of Poipu and Kapa’a. Many people who choose to find permanent residency on this island do so because of the many remote areas as well as the beautiful views.
Oahu is home to Honolulu, the state’s capitol. It is also the prime island tourists choose to visit. Much of the windward side is devoted to tourism. However, other parts of the island including the North Shore, which does get its own notoriety of travellers due to excellent surfing, has more of a country way of life. Homes on Oahu are around the most expensive in the state.
Molokai is different from many of the other islands. It is almost entirely inhabited by Native Hawaiians and has held on to its rich history. It is a great place to come to for an outdoor adventure or just to feel the calming of a simpler way of life.
Lanai is the sixth largest of the islands and is home to plentiful pineapple plantations. There is only one small town on the island, Lanai City. It is not called “The Most Secluded Island” for just any reason. Many people come to this island particular for romantic getaways.
Maui is the second largest island. It has more spectacular beaches than probably any of the other islands. It has the third largest population out of all the islands. Although it is a densely populated area there are still many small residential areas that overlook the best oceans and enjoy a more laid back way of life.
The Big Island or Hawaii is the largest out of the islands. It is the second most populated just behind Oahu, but is also the least densely populated island. It is possible to experience almost every climate at some point on the island. This island is so large it offers just about everything: resorts, golf courses, numerous historic sites, and many places for residents to find a home.
Niihau is the seventh largest of the islands. It is the home of an endangered bird species. The island is actually privately owned and is generally off limits to everyone but relatives. This gave the island its nickname “The Forbidden Isle”.
The last of the eight islands is Kahoolawe. It is also the smallest. This island has always been sparsely populated due to the lack of fresh water. The island probably only averages 65 inches of rain a year because of its elevation and location to the trade winds. Today the island is only used for Native Hawaiian spiritual, cultural, and subsistence purposes.