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Facts & Information
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Hawaii Facts & Information

Location The Big Island
Climate Tropical, hot, humid
Land Area 4,028 square miles
Population 162,971
Persons Over 65 13.5%
Female Persons 49.9%
Ethnic Groups 31.5% white, 0.5% black, 11.2% pacific islander, 0.4% asian
Housing Units 65,605
Median Household Income $39,805
Description of Flag The flag of Hawaii consists of eight alternating equal sized horizontal stripes of white, red and blue. British Union Jack flag is positioned in the left quarter.
 Hawaii Flag Hawaii Flag

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Hawaii Culture

One of the many reasons why Hawaii is considered such an amazing place is because no matter what your religion, spirituality, or belief system is, Hawaii and its people will take you in with hospitality and lots of Aloha. Due to Hawaii’s cultural melting pot you will find various types of people living on the island, in addition to the native Hawaiian ancestry. Although pidgin English is commonly spoken in Hawaii, and there are still pockets of native Hawaiian speakers, English became the official language in 1898. It is used throughout schools, businesses, as well as throughout the entire state. In Hawaii, culture goes beyond the everyday luau and flower lei, it concentrates on family values, and the generosity towards people that live in Hawaii and to visitors.

It is not uncommon that someone visits Hawaii for a week long journey and 5 years later is calling it home. Often people come to Hawaii just to get away from their everyday routines, relax in paradise and take in some Hawaii activities, but they also become immersed in the culture whether they know it or not. It starts when the tropical air greets you as you step off the plane and, for most, it never leaves. The Hawaiian culture can be seen on the shores, where Hawaiians cast nets to catch fish and wave riders glide down the faces of the surf. You see culture in the talk-story circles around bonfires or picnic tables at “pau hana”. These talk-story sessions are reminiscent of traditional family gatherings and passing on of stories to new generations and learning Hawaiian history. Backyard bands gather to play traditional Hawaiian songs and family and friends dance impromptu hula.

While visitors can see a packaged version of Hawaiian culture at overcrowded luaus or on bus tours of historical landmarks; the best way to know Hawaii is to experience it. Take a deep breath when you step off the plane. Really stop and smell the flowers; the Hawaiian ginger, the Ohia blossom, the Bird of Paradise, the Hibiscus. Get a Hawaii car rental and tour the north shore with the top down. While it is exciting to try one of the Hawaii helicopters for a tour of the islands, and fine to attend a luau at a resort, try to visit a local hula halau (a halau is local group that practice and perform hula, usually more for personal enrichment and education than monetary gain) or hike to a waterfall to take a swim, not to take pictures.

When planning a Hawaiian vacation, most people often think of looking into different hotels, as they are often seen as easiest and most common form of accommodations. However, now more than ever many vacationers are seeing the benefits of a Kauai vacation rental, a Poipu Kai condo, an Oahu beach house or a rental on any of the islands. By getting out of the hotels you are often times living in neighborhoods with local residents, or even staying in a guest cottage with a family that lives in the islands. You can get insider tips on the best local grinds (food), private beaches, and cool places to enjoy Hawaiian music.

Besides being able to get a closer look at the Hawaiian lifestyle while staying in a vacation rental, there are also practical reasons for renting. Firstly there is the reduction in cost. Many companies who offer rentals include great packages which not only offer you savings, but you will be offered the chance to stay in some absolutely beautiful Hawaiian luxury vacation rental and truly will be getting good value for your money. Some hotels increase their prices depending on how many people are staying as opposed to staying in a rental that will allow for a many more guest than your average hotel room. Renting will also offer you much more living space than you would get from your typical hotel apartment. As your rental is your home away from home, it will offer you a much cozier and relaxing atmosphere than you would experience in hotels-perfect for those little ones who feel slightly unsettled being away from home. You will also have the added benefit of having your own kitchen which not only aids in providing a homely feel; it also reduces your costs as a whole as you will not need to eat out as often. It is much less of a hassle to jump into your car and go to a local market for groceries, than getting your car out of valet and having to lug bags of food through lobbies. The overall effect is that a visitor feels more in touch with the communities and feels much more at home, because they are staying in a home.

Hawaii Shopping

The best part of going on vacation is purchasing little knick knacks, souvenirs, and memorabilia that reminds you of where you were, and reminds others of how jealous they are of you for not being able to go. The Big Island has tons of shopping, anything from plastic leis, a key chain, to high-end fashion of Prada and Channel. For the conscientious consumer, Ali'i Gardens Market Place is a public market where you can purchase necklaces, hand made baskets,

woodcarvings, flowers, fruit, and traditional Hawaiian foods, for a bargain. Prince Kuhio Shopping Plaza, another great place to get lost in, is a modern mall that allows tired parents to take a breather at the family entertainment center near the food court where a variety of activities take place. Stores at the mall include Sears, Macy’s, and American Eagle Outfitters. Spend a little, and take a little piece of the Big Island back home with you.

Prince Kuhio Shopping Plaza
111 E Puainako St, Hilo, Hi 96720 (808) 959 3555

Keauhou Shopping Center
78-6831 Ali’I Dr. Kailua-Kona, Hi 96740 (808 ) 322 3000


Hawaii Big Island Restaurants

We’ve provided listings for some of the top restaurants in Hawaii including Hilo, Pahala, Kailua Kona, Waikoloa, and more. You’ll find lavish gourmet restaurants, affordable restaurants serving up good food, and everything in between. Sample traditional Hawaiian cuisine or other specialty cuisines that are sure to make your taste buds happy.

Read reviews entered by other patrons and be sure to return to our site to submit your own restaurant review.

  Choose a Big Island Restaurant Location  
  Hilo Kailua Kona Kamuela  
  Kohala Coast Pahala Volcano  


Hawaii Travel Guides
 Frommer's Hawaii
 Lonely Planet Hawaii
 Let's Go Hawaii
 Fodors Hawaii