The Hawaii Guide

is your comprehensive guide to the world's favorite vacation spot. The draw of these islands transcends beautiful scenery and tropical drinks; there is a pulse, a certain rhythm to life in Hawaii that effortlessly seduces visitors. After a few days on the islands, travelers may find themselves filled with the spirit of aloha.
Hawaiian history begins with Polynesian settlers reaching the islands as early as 1,000 A.D. They occupied the islands until around the 15th century, when the islands were "rediscovered" by Tahitians. From Tahitian culture grew traditional Hawaiian society, which remained isolated from the rest of the world until Captain James Cook arrived in 1778. Cook named the islands the Sandwich Islands, and soon European and Asian trade with Hawaii began to flourish. As foreign influence increased, Hawaii's greatest leader, King Kamehameha I, united the islands under one rule. Hawaiian monarchy reigned until 1893, when Queen Liliuokalani was overthrown and Hawaii became a territory of the United States. For a detailed account of Hawaiian history, culture, economy and more, check out the Past and Present section of this Web site.
Dance:
The hula kahiko is an important part of Hawaiian culture to this day. This traditional dance style combines hula with mele, a combination of music, chanting, and song. Hula dances were often performed during rituals, and they expressed religious beliefs, local myths, and folk lore. However, this form of artistic expression was also occasionally used for sheer entertainment. Each hula tells a specific story that will give viewers a true appreciation for Hawaiian culture. More...

Culinary Styles:
The rich, volcanic soil of the Hawaiian islands provides prime conditions to raise a variety of plants and animals used in its cuisine. Hawaiian chefs create dishes with fresh, regional ingredients such as pineapple, ginger, macadamia nuts, local seafood, and meats like pork and beef. The many immigrant groups who have made their homes on the islands have added their own tastes to Hawaiian cooking. From Asian cuisine like sushi and dim sum to American canned Spam and local plate lunches, sampling Hawaiian fare adds unique flavor to every vacationer's palate. More...

Beverages:
In Hawaii, drinks are an enticing part of the cuisine. Tropical treats like guava and coconut not only flavor dishes, but add a delicious twist to a wealth of beverages. Visitors can also enjoy beers and wines made right in Hawaii. Wake up in the morning with a cup of Kona coffee, whose beans are grown on the big island of Hawaii. This bold, flavorful coffee is much sought after around the world. More...

Whether you're sticking to one island or traveling between several, our getting around guide has everything you need to know about transportation. From buses to boats, we'll help you decide your best means of getting from place to place.
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