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The State of Hawaii (Hawaiian: Mokuāina o Hawaii) became the 50th state of the United States of America on August 21 1959. The archipelagic state is situated in the North Pacific Ocean, 2,300 miles (3,700 km) from the mainland, at . In the 19th century, Hawaii was also known as the Sandwich Islands.

In dialects of American English, Hawaii is pronounced at least three different ways: (IPA pronunciation: [2], [3], [4]). In the Hawaiian language, there is also some variation possible, but the most general pronunciation is [5] or [6]. This last Hawaiian pronunciation is often used by native English-speaking Hawaii residents as well.




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Great dive locations in Hawaii:


Understand


Where tourism is concerned, Hawaii has something for everyone. The island of Oahu, the most populous and home to the state capital and largest city of Honolulu, is great for people who wish to experience the islands and still keep the conveniences of a large city. Rainforests and hiking trails are located just minutes from Waikiki Beach, one of the world's best tourist destinations. In the winter, large waves on Oahu's north shore turn the normally sleepy area into the surfing capital of the world.

On the other hand, those who wish to experience Hawaii at a slower pace would do well to visit one of the Neighbor Islands (the other, less populated islands around Oahu). All the neighbor islands offer opportunities to relax and enjoy the sun and scenery. Many of the natural wonders of the Islands are located on the Neighbor Islands, from Waimea Canyon on Kauai, to Haleakala on Maui, to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii. Numerous waterfalls and rainforests evoke memories of what the islands might have looked like before major corporations set their sights on Hawaii.

History

Polynesians migrated to, and established communities on, the islands of Hawaii before the arrival of Captain James Cook in 1778, who is widely credited as the first European visitor to the islands. At that time, each island was a separate kingdom. With the support of western advisors and weapons, Kamehameha I of the island of Hawaii conquered all the islands except Kauai, which acquiesced to his rule in 1810.

After Kamehameha II abolished the kapu (taboo) system, American missionaries came to the islands to spread Christianity. Their children would later become successful businessmen in the Islands. Pineapple and sugar cane plantations were established, and workers from other countries were imported as contract laborers. Later, their descendants would also become established as successful professionals.

The Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown in 1893 by a group of American businessmen. While the U.S. administration at the time refused to annex the former sovereign nation, in 1898 the United States did annex the islands, which became a territory in 1900, and a state of the United States in 1959.

Over the years, many major retail chains have expanded their presence in Hawaii, making the Islands look more and more like the continental United States, often at the expense of local businesses. Nevertheless, Hawaii remains culturally vibrant. Its population, descended both from the original plantation workers and from more recent arrivals, and in which no one group has a majority, is often cited as an example of multiculturalism at its best. There is a strong commitment to perpetuating native Hawaiian cultural traditions, as well as the cultural heritage of Hawaii's many immigrant communities from the Pacific, Asia and Europe. And certainly the environment is conducive to longevity...Hawaii has the longest predicted life expectancies of any U.S. state.

Weather

Depending on where you're located in Hawaii, the weather can be very different over even short distances. On the same day, on Oahu you might find sun over...

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