Hawaii is a Polynesian paradise. A word that immediately evokes turquoise oceans and the funny habit of riding its swells, a practice deeply rooted in Polynesian culture and which reached its pinnacle in Hawaii thanks to the regularity of the breaks and the leisure that the productivity of land and sea allowed the Hawaiians to enjoy. A practice that current thinking among historians dates back to early A.D.

That was what James Cook witnessed when he arrived on Hawaiian shores in 1778. In the 19th century, surf – and Hawaiian culture in general – was dealt some near fatal blows, starting with the diseases spread by white settlers that nearly decimated the local population, from 400.000 in 1778 to 40.000 in the 1890’s. They also introduced a new productive system that required intensive labor, notably in the sugar cane plantations, drastically cutting down the leisure time that the old ways granted to the islanders. Then was the impact of the Christian missionaries disapproval of surfing, seen as a sinful path to promiscuity and a waste of schooling time.

That ‘dark age of surf’ started to fade away with the shift of Hawaiian economy towards tourism and the cultural revival sparkled by King Kalakaua at the end of the 19th century and heʻe nalu started to get attention outside the islands, with the works of Mark Twain (Roughing It, 1872), Jack London (1907) and above all Duke Kahanamoku, multiple Olympic medalist swimmer and first ‘global’ surf icon. The rest is history, surf spread to California and the world; Hawaii’s cliff coasts, tropical forests, waterfalls and magnificent, multicolored beaches became the major touristic destination that we know today.

Kauna'oa beach, surfer and big wave
Kauna'oa Beach Surfer, Hawaii.

Best Beaches In Hawaii

Do Hawaii belongs to the US?

Hawaii, unified by King Kamehameha I, was an independent monarchy from 1810 until 1893, when a group of American and European business owners overthrew Queen Liliuokalani with the aid of U.S. marines. The U.S. then annexed the islands in 1900 and Hawaii became the 50th state in 1959.

Where is Hawaii located?

The volcanic archipelago that forms Hawaii, is located in the Central Pacific Ocean,  3,857 km/ 2396 mi West of California, 7,745 km/4,812 mi East of China and the most isolated in the world.

What is the best time of year to go to Hawaii?

Hawaii enjoys fairly pleasant temperatures year-round, between 23 ° C and 30 ° C. However, the Best months are from March to September, during the dry season, but the temperatures will be at their highest.

aerial view of Big Island, Hawaii

Which month is the cheapest to fly to Hawaii?

The cheapest months to fly to Hawaii, are from the end of April (end of Easter) to the last day of June. And from the second half of September to the first half of December.

What language is spoken in Hawaii?

Hawaii has 2 official languages, Hawaiian and English. Hawaiian is classified as critically endangered by Unesco despite efforts to revive it. Hawaiian Pidgin English is commonly spoken, with many local variations.

Hawaii city & beach
Hawaiian Waves

Which is better, Hawaii or Tahiti?

Both Hawaii and Tahiti are in the South Pacific, in Polynesia, Hawaii to the North and Tahiti, in French Polynesia to the South.

Both share the Polynesian cultural heritage, mixed respectively with U.S and French influence. Tahiti’s islands are much smaller and much more dispersed than Hawaii’s and their total land mass is nearly 7 times smaller. 

Comparable in term of costs to the traveler, Hawaii has a higher crime rate than Tahiti.

Is it safe to live in Hawaii?

Hawaii is actually safer than continental U.S., and the main concern for tourists is theft, notably from parked rented cars at beaches and trails.

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