Hawaii is an isolated archipelago in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, approximately 2,550 miles southwest of Los Angeles and about 3,900 miles southeast of Tokyo. It's comprised of 8 major islands (Oahu, Hawaii, Maui, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe, and Niihau) and a series of smaller ones. Hawaii is the world's longest island chain. In fact this Archipelago consists of over 130 scattered points of land stretching 1,600 miles from the Kure Atoll in the north to the Island of Hawaii in the south.
Politically Hawaii became part of North America as the 50th US state on August 21, 1959 but geographically, because of its isolated location, it is not considered part of any continent.
The islands were first settled by Polynesians, possibly from the Marquesas, between 300 and 600 AD. In 1778 Captain James Cook, astonished to find high islands this far north in the Pacific, landed on the south coast of Kauai. He named the islands, the Sandwich Islands, after the First Lord of the Admiralty, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, John Montague.
Today the islands are one of the premier travel destinations in the world, and to quote Mark Twain, "The loveliest fleet of islands that lies anchored in any ocean..."
State Capital Honolulu: 876,260 on Oahu, Hilo: 40,760 on the large Island of Hawaii. These are the only large metropolitan centers.
Entire state, 1,264,887.
Hawaii County: 148,677
Maui County: 128,241
Kauai County: 58,436
Land Area: 4, 028 square miles.
Flight times: Tokyo- 9hrs., New York- 11hrs., Los Angeles- 4.5 hrs., Chicago- 8hrs
There are only 2 seasons in Hawaii: the summer months (called Kau in Hawaiian) are from May to October and the winter months (Ho'oilo) from November to April. The average daytime summer temperature at sea level is 85 F. (29.4 C) while the average daytime winter temperature is 78 (25.6 C). The highest temperature ever recorded was 96' F (13.3C) at Honolulu Airport, but temperatures over 90F (32C) rarely occur. The lowest temperature (under 3000 feet altitude) ever recorded was 56F (13C). Temperatures under 60F (15C) may occur but rarely more than once a year.
Most locals and visitors use air travel for inter-island and in some instances intra-island commuting, therefore airports, airplanes and jetliners are essential to all the islands. Since public transportation (at least outside Oahu) is limited, renting a car is necessary if you want to enjoy more than one area of this paradise.
Honolulu International Airport is the primary hub for domestic overseas and inter-island flights and is currently one of three State airports accommodating international flights. (808) 836-6413
Kahului Airport is located on the northern edge of the land bridge between Haleakala and the West Maui Mountain Range on Maui. It offers direct Flights to many US mainland cities and some international destinations. Also provides aircraft facilities for domestic overseas carriers, inter-island carriers, commuter/air taxi, air cargo, and general aviation activities. (808) 872-389
Kona International Airport and Hilo International Airport (southeast of Hilo, Hawaii's second largest city) are on the large Island of Hawaii. These airports offer flights to some mainland cities and a few international destinations. It provides aircraft facilities for domestic overseas carriers, inter-island carriers, commuter/air taxi, air cargo, and general aviation activities. (808) 934-5840
Lihue Airport is 1.5 miles east of Lihue, on the southeast coast of Kauai. The airport provides passenger and aircraft facilities for domestic overseas carriers, inter-island carriers, commuter/air taxi, air cargo, and general aviation activities.(808) 246-1449
Lanai Airport is about three miles southwest of Lanai City on Lanai. The airport has a single runway that primarily serves scheduled inter-island some and commuter/air taxi traffic. Lihue Airport offers passenger and aircraft facilities for domestic overseas carriers, inter-island carriers, commuter/air taxi, air cargo, and general aviation activities.
Molokai Airport (www.state.hi.us/dot/airports): primarily serves scheduled inter-island and commuter/air taxi traffic. (808) 567-6361.
The Bus (www.thebus.org): One way fares: Adults-$2, Seniors and Disabilities-$1
Taxis: #3.10 for first 1/8 of mile, each additional 1/8 or fraction thereof $.040.
On the Big Island:
Percy's Taxi (808) 969-7060
Ace One Taxi (808) 935-8308
AA Marshall's Taxi (808) 936-2654
Central Taxi (808) 926-0161
City Taxi (808) 524-2121
Pony Taxi (808) 944-8282
City Cab (808) 245-3227
Scotty Taxi (808) 245-7888
Star Taxi (808) 652-3269
Island Taxi (808) 667-5656
Rainbow Taxi (808) 661-0881
Classy Taxi (808) 665-0003
The USS Arizona Visitor Center is located on the Pearl Harbor Naval Base adjacent to the sunken remains of the USS Arizona. The center is operated and maintained by the National Park Service in a use agreement with the U.S. Navy. Everyone visiting is encouraged to view a 20 minute film documenting the attack on Pearl Harbor. The film is presented by the park service, prior to a shuttle boat trip to the Memorial itself. Be prepared to wait. The Memorial is a very popular site and the crowds at all hours can be overwhelming. Visitors are issued free tickets for the film and the shuttle to the Arizona upon arrival at the center on a first come, first served basis, but waits of one hour or more are commonplace. The center is open from 7:30 am to 5 pm. (808) 422-0561. Free admisison.
Polynesian Cultural Center (www.polynesia.com): Located in Laie, Oahu.
Hawaii Children's Discovery Center (www.discoverycenterhawaii.org): 111 ‘Ohe Street, Honolulu, (808) 524-5437. Open Tuesday-Friday 9 am-1 pm, Saturday-Sunday 10 am-3 pm. Admission: General-$8, Children-$6.75, Seniors-$5.
Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park (www.hawaiianwaters.com): 400 Farrington Highway Kapolei, HI, (808) 674-9283. Admission: Adults-$37.99, Children-$27.99, Seniors-$16.99.
Kokee Natural History Museum (www.kokee.org): Located at Kokee State Park at the top of Waimea Canyon Road, (808) 335-9975