With palm trees galore and more than 100 beaches (plus more than 100 volcanoes!), Hawaii’s islands are a playground in paradise. But there’s a lot more to love about the 50th state than its splash-worthy waters and lush hiking trails.
Settled by sea-faring Polynesians in the 4th century, the islands meld the cultures of native Hawaiians, American mainlanders, and Japanese, Filipino, Korean, and Chinese immigrants. All of which is shorthand for ‘fascinating people, delicious food, and irresistible music.’
A visit to Hawaii pretty much requires you to swim and paddle around in the Pacific. You can also trek on volcanoes, stroll through the rainforest, learn to surf, meet the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle (honu) and the Hawaiian Monk Seal (llio holo I ka uaua), dance the hula, and pay tribute to the mighty Pele, goddess of fire.
In this episode, we marvel at the Polynesian settlers, learn about a forbidden island, sway to Hawaiian music, and enjoy a virtual luau on the beach. Then we recommend five books that transported us to Hawaii, including a snarky exploration of Hawaiian history, a stunning short story collection, a family saga tinged with magical realism, a white-knuckle report on the hunt for giant waves, and a techno-thriller that makes the most of Hawaii’s flora and fauna. (show notes / transcript)
Top image courtesy of Christian Joudrey/Unsplash.
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