The definition of a tropical paradise is Hawaii. The blissful plush landscapes and blue skies to wave surfing and golden sunsets; the islands of Hawaii will certainly lure you in. The islands are a result of exploding volcanic and lava activity over millions of years. This lava land is what constitutes the stunning beauty accompanying the plush green valleys, forests, and white wash from crashing waves. It’s all a part of the magical attraction of Hawaiian culture.

Historic Hawaii and Whaling Visitors

The History of Hawaii Tourism

The magnificence of the Hawaiian islands is not the only draw that people travel here. In fact, during historical times, the islands are simply a stopover for business travelers. These travelers are primarily those people in the fur, sandlewood, and whaling industries. Meanwhile, with promoters and developers work together alongside Hawaii to develop the ultimate paradise. A paradise where one can experience the separation from the outside world and a utopia of comforts.

Paradise of the Pacific: How Tourism Began in Hawaii

The charm of these islands is really what began to allure visitors and travelers alike. Once the whaling industry declined, so too, a drop in foreign visitors. However, during 1870 and 1900, the population of California, Oregon, and Washington extensively increased to 2,416,692. This kind of population growth gave reason for Hawaii to attract and lure this exact demographic and draw them to the islands.

Visitor Tip: When enjoying the beaches and ocean, please remember to use Reef-Safe sun screen protection.

This is how some of the early periods of travelers and tourism started. And from here, the lodging and hotel accommodations begin into their evolution of growth, design, and a master planned destination resort.

The History of Hawaii Tourism

One of the primary enticements of Hawaii is that of a romantic image intertwining itself into visions and consciousness of the world as such. Its magnetism becomes almost as an exotic primitive experience with the comforts of modern living. Who wouldn’t want to indulge in this luxurious fantasy of paradise?

Now, Hawaii might be a total luxury for some people, for others it is a world of exploration. Exploring into an essence of nature like no other. Scientists and explorers from around the globe come here for research and experiments. This is why Hawaii is heavily involved with space research and has teamed up with NASA. Even the Space Force is here in Oahu.

U.S. Space Force Kaena Point Space Force Station

Hawaii Travel Guide from Eco Tourism to Surfing

In addition to science and exploration, the natural characteristics of Hawaii will captivate you as well. I am referring to the ocean and coastline of Hawaii! Moreover, the islands natural and plush landscapes offer unique experiences for all who visit. You will find several farmlands and nature communities that offer tours and other educational experiences. Hawaii has some of the highest endangered native plant and animal species in the world. In order visitors to travel responsibly, consciously, and respectfully; sustainable eco tourism is available in Hawaii.

Native Plants – Hawaiian Plants and Tropical Flowers

But another aspect that makes the Hawaiian islands so special are its people. One of the traditions about Hawaii is that you might hear about something called the “Aloha Spirit.” There is an actual Hawaii law that explains this tradition. Hawaii’s culture is known for the Aloha Spirit.

One of the most symbolic traditions of Hawaii is surfing. This water sport is ingrained deep throughout all of ancient Hawaiian culture. It is the locals who work hard to maintain and keep this special cultural activity and way of life alive. One of the ways that surfing is alive and thriving here is that the year 2023 The Eddie Big Wave Invitational finally occurred.

The Eddie Big Surf Invitational 2023 Hawaii

The Eddie Big Wave Invitational surfing competition comes around only few times in history. This year, the waves are huge and the Eddie makes waves in both the water and in history. The athletes showcase their skills for about 50,000 spectators all fitting on the beach and closing down roadways at the North Shore. And for the first time, women are invited to compete and yes, it was amazing to watch. The waves, water, and the vibe is electric!

The Brief History of the Hawaiian Luau and Other Local Faves

The feast and dining selections of the Hawaiian people go far beyond what you may think. It is not just about pineapples and coffee. However, pineapple, coffee, and macadamia nuts are still some of the states most cultivated crops. And these crops generate millions of dollars to the local economy.

Best coffee in Hawaii Oahu

The local economy also benefits from the most popular ancient event throughout the Aloha state. The Lu’au is one of the most celebrated cultural events that includes a festive meal and entertainment in Hawaii.

Did you know? Bruno Mars starts his career by being an opening act for the hotel’s Magic of Polynesia dinner show featuring hula dancing and fire shows.

Poi: a tara plant root pounded to create a starch to eat with anything.
Kalua Pig: pig baked in an underground oven and a main dish.
Haupia: Coconut pudding.

Other Hawaiian food favorites:

  • Malasadas: A delicious light Portugese delight of deep fried dough dipped in sugar.
  • Pork Hash: Dumplings made of pork, shrimp, and water chestnuts.
  • Spam Musubi: Piece of spam atop rice held together with seaweed wrap.
  • Loco Moco: A local favorite for lunch made of rice and hamburger, brown gravy with egg on top.
Leonard's Malasadas

Hawaii’s Spiritual Energy

The one thing that is also extraordinary about being up close to the big waves and coastline of the islands is that you can feel the “Mana.” This is a combination of a spiritual energy and universal life forces. The meaning of Mana is described in detail by the Manoa Heritage Center as “Mana is a concept that is vital to the understanding of Hawaiian religious beliefs and the structure and functioning of Hawaiian society.” So when visiting these amazing islands of beauty, please remember to respect and visit responsibly.

Waikiki Hawaii
Diamond Head Hawaii

The magic and attraction of Hawaiian culture can be experienced and had by all who visit. You may notice the skyline of Honolulu and all the design and architectural beauty of the hotels and lodging facilities. This is why it is truly extraordinary how this paradise of luxury has been developed from early beginnings of a few small hotels in the late 1880s to the luxurious magnificent resorts of today.

Luxury Resorts Make Hawaii History

One of the earliest official hotels in the Waikiki area is the Moana Hotel, opening in 1901. It is known that construction of this hotel ignited the beginning of tourism. So it is truly fascinating to walk through another historic hotel that is still open today at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. This iconic pink lodging hotel cost over five million dollars to build.

Opening in February 1927, its architecture design in Spanish and Moorish stucco influence is timeless. It also serves as the perfect retreat and the R&R Center specifically for the U.S. military during World War II. In addition to a masterpiece in both design and luxury, the Royal Hawaiian Hotel also at one time has its own off site golf course. Later, this course is now the Waialae Country Club which is where the Sony Open, the professional golf tournament held here for more than fifty years. (There has been name changes over the years).

The 2023 Sony Open, Waialae Country Club Hawaii

So, as you can see, Hawaii is a place that offers a wide array of adventure and unique experiences! It’s a place filled with uncharted territory that will inspire you to go the distance. The tastes, sounds, and sights will thrill you. No matter what your plans or reason of visit here, Hawaii will enrapture you with its Aloha Spirit and more!

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Frequently Asked Questions on Hawaii

What is the Culture of Hawaii? This answer might depend on who you ask. But mostly it consists of age old legends and superstitions. The legendary stories of gods and goddesses in reference to Maui: From the sea bed comes a demi who pulled up the island. Another one is about Pele: An evil deceptive volcano goddess.

What traditions do Hawaiians have? Greeting people is very important in Hawaii. So, they usually will offer a kiss on the cheek. Another tradition as well is when visiting at someones house, always remember to remove your shoes.

What is the best month to go to Hawaii? The Aloha state can have wonderful weather throughout the year. However, the opportunity to get the best weather and temperatures, you may find that the months of April, May, September and October. During the winter, the trade winds come in making for higher chances for showers, as well as high surf.

*NOTE: When visiting to the Hawaiian Islands please travel consciously, responsibility, and respectfully.

5 Beautiful Hikes to Explore in Hawaii

Adventurous Things To Do In Maui

Bucket List Travel Poll:

Sources and references: Hana Hou: Hawaiian Airlines magazine. Free Surf Magazine. Designing Paradise The Allure of the Hawaiian Resort.

This book is authored by adventure travel writer, Linda Ballou: Wai-nani: A Voice from Old Hawai’i.

If you need an extensive look at adventures and other things to do while visiting Hawaii, the books written by Andrew Doughty titled appropriately: Oahu Revealed. There are also additional guidebooks for Maui and Kauai as well. These authors explain several adventures in detail from their own local perspectives. They receive no payment or benefits from recommending or referring you to the prospective tour or business in Hawaii. They simply explain the experience they had while doing the activity or visiting the spot.

However, I recently came across a Tripadvisor review on the Maui Revealed book that points out some precautions to consider if you do purchase these guidebooks. However, in the end, the reviewer mentions that the book is terrific overall.


Thank you for being here. Welcome! FitLifeTravel is a lifestyle brand and shares travel inspiration and life's adventures. Sharing ideas for travel excursions and hiking adventures! Helping you adventure better, no matter where you are. Hoping to inspire an active lifestyle through adventure!

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  1. Hawaii really is magical! You’ve done a great job at capturing a variety of the tourism aspects. I want to go back now!

    1. Thanks very much! I am trying to capture and describe more of the traditions, feelings, and other things that make Hawaii unique and special.

  2. Even after visiting Hawaii multiple times your post was so awesome!! I had no idea that it was Hawaiian law for Aloha Spirit- no wonder everyone is so nice! And the Malasadas looked scrumptious 😋
    We have really enjoyed Hawaiian luau’s & the beautiful beaches & road to Hana was priceless!!
    Have to go back!

    1. Yeah, I thought that was pretty interesting to learn! So happy to hear that you did enjoy your experience in Hawaii,.. and yes, that Road to Hana is quite amazing!

  3. […] has penned three novels including “Wai-nani: A Voice from Old Hawai’i,” “The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon,” and “Embrace of the Wild.“ In Lost Angel in […]

  4. […] nowadays as I compare the different scenes from back then, to what I usually see today when I am in Hawaii. For example, I notice the amount of traffic, or a particular bar or hotel from the series and try […]

  5. Great post, Shannon. A number of Ellie’s and my friends currently seem to be enjoying visits to Hawaii and bombarding our social media timelines with the most outrageously beautiful pictures.

    How cool that there is a Hawaiian law explaining the Aloha Spirit. I would’ve loved to watch the Eddie Big Wave Invitational. To me it’s funny that locals are so into spam. Being married to an ethnic NE Asian lady, I have lots of spam enthusiasts as friends, even though I never understood the fascination of this canned food.

    A few nights at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel would suit me just fine. I can already feel the Mana just from reading your article.

    1. I know, the spam thing.. Lol! My dad actually made a guitar out of a spam can. Lol,.. if I can find the photo, I will add it into the article. He plays the spam guitar too. Ha lol. Thank you for such kind words and wonderful comment! You made my day Stefan! 🙂

  6. I really enjoyed this post.It was great to learn about Hawaii’s history, especially the Aloha Spirit law. And it’s always great to learn about foodie favourites.

    1. I know, I guess I wasn’t surprised to learn about the Aloha Spirit Law, because it really is a good concept to incorporate in life in general. 🙂

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