Somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, you will find over a hundred islands which make up what is known as the Hawaiian archipelago. These islands were formed millions of years ago by erupting volcanoes beneath the ocean floor. Today, there are eight of these islands which are collectively known as the Hawaiian Islands.
Kingdom to Statehood
The islands were first discovered around the year 400 by the Marquesasians and later around the year 1200 by the Tahitians. It is believed that the Tahitians were the first to establish the cultures of early Hawaii.
Captain Cook sailed upon the islands in 1778 giving them the name of “Sandwich Islands.” After becoming known across the world, the Europeans helped the Hawaiians conquer the islands and establish it as a Kingdom. The name was changed to “Hawaii” and finally became official when it was written into the Kingdom’s first Constitution in 1840.
Hawaii was later annexed into the United States in the year 1900 and became the US 50th state in 1959. Now it has become a popular vacationland among tourists. And with advances in airline travel, it has never been easier to visit this exotic location known as “Hawaii.”
There are eight main islands which make up the State of Hawaii. Each one has its own name and nickname.
The largest island has the same name as the state but is oftentimes just called Big Island to avoid confusion. Maui is considered the Valley Isle due to its numerous valleys covering the island. Oahu is the Gathering Place because it’s where most imports come to before disbursing to other islands. Kauai is the Garden Isle due its luscious green forests, jungles, and gardens. Molokai is the Friendly Isle for the people who live there. Lanai is the Pineapple Isle because that’s where most of the states pineapples were being grown. Niihau is the Forbidden Isle due to its preservation of Hawaiian culture and restriction of general public access. Kahoolawe is the Target Isle due to its use as a training ground by the U.S. Military.
We will be exploring each of these islands in more detail in the coming weeks. We will take a look at a bit of history, things to do, and places to stay. You can look forward to a new post each week covering a different island. This is the beginning of our new “Featured Islands Summer Series.”