Hawaii is the youngest state of America, so U.S. citizens don't need a passport or a visa to visit. But because of its location and local culture, it's unlike any other State you've ever seen. In many ways, it's almost like visiting a foreign country. It has become such a popular place to visit that nearly 10 million tourists visited Hawaii in 2018. And lots of those visiting the state decide to stay - nearly one in five Hawaii residents is an immigrant. It is possible for these people to move to and live in Hawaii by filing a DS-260 form which, if accepted, will grant permanent residency.
The Aloha State has a multi-racial, multi-ethnic culture. Its society is a melting pot of the various races that have made their way to the islands: the Polynesians, the Caucasians, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Filipinos and many more.
Nowhere else in the America can you experience this wonderful mix of people, all living together in harmony. The native Hawaiian people, descendants of the ancient Polynesian voyagers, have a proud culture of their own, which has seen a rebirth in recent years, marked most excitingly by the re-emergence of the Hawaiian language in the schools and in everyday life.
Hawaiian music has never been stronger nor more popular world-wide. The aloha spirit is much more than just an expression. It is, for many, a way of life.
If you enjoy nature and the beauty of the earth, Hawaii and its eight main islands are the perfect destinations for you.
On the Big Island of Hawaii alone, you can go horseback-riding in the Valley of Kings - the Waipio Valley - in the morning, surrounded by thousand foot cliffs and waterfalls, and still have time to see a sunset from the summit of the tallest mountain on earth, Mauna Kea (when measured from it's bottom on the Pacific Ocean).
Each of the islands offers its own magical beauty: The Waimea Canyon - The Grand Canyon of the Pacific - on Kauai and Haleakala, The House of the Sun on Maui are just another two examples.
Hawaii is also a wonderful destination for those interested in ecotourism. Just take a drive on the Hana Highway on the island of Maui to really see the beauty that is Hawaii.
If you enjoy seeing historical sites, Hawaii has plenty to offer in that regard as well.
Oahu and the Honolulu area, in particular, have so much to offer. You'll not want to miss Pearl Harbor and the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial. This is where America's involvement in the Second World War began on December 7, 1941. The Battleship Missouri Memorial has also quickly become a must see.
On Oahu you can also visit the 'Iolani Palace, the only royal palace in the United States. Don't miss the Bishop Museum, the State Museum of Natural and Cultural History.
On Maui, you can visit the historic whaling town of Lahaina, the former capital of Hawaii.
If culture, nature and history are not your idea of a vacation, that's OK. Maybe you just want to relax and enjoy the sun, the waves, the trade winds and the swaying palms. Hawaii has many of the top beaches in the world. Hawaii's beaches even come in multi-colors. Hawaii has white sand, green sand, red sand and black sand beaches.
The weather is near perfect 365 days of the year. Hawaii also has some of the top rated resorts in the world, but it's also possible to save some pennies by careful planning of your trip. And, don't forget, Hawaii is top honeymoon destination in the world.
Well, we could go on and on... and we do! Come back often as we explore more of Hawaii each week. Whether you are planning a trip, reflecting on a past visit to the islands, or just dreaming of paradise, you're always welcome here.