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16 Dreamy Vintage Photos of Hawaii

By Sarah Purkrabek and Diana Smith

Jul 30, 2015

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What’s your idea of paradise? There’s one place that tops more lists than any other: Hawaii. It’s the number one spot for destination weddings, a favorite for vacationers, a surfing mecca, and perhaps the most well-known tropical getaway there is. But it’s not only the modern day sun, sand, and breathtaking views that make us swoon. Hawaii from decades past, even in faded color or black and white, is just as inspiring. Here, 16 vintage photos of Hawaii that prove it’s always been paradise.

Outrigger canoes and surfers at Waikiki Beach, 1941. Photo by Charles O’Rear.

Catching some rays and some waves at Waikiki Beach, 1941. Photo by Charles O’Rear.

Bishop Street in Honolulu, 1930s. Photo courtesy of Tropic~7.

U.S. Navy destroyer USS Blue, Pearl Harbor, 1969. Photo by CDR Pete Schonenberg, USN.

Haleiwa Hotel in Waialua, 1920. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Kekaaniauokalani Kalaninuiohilaukapu Pratt.

Waikiki Beach, 1941, “the most popular tourist spot on the island.” Photo by Charles O’Rear.

Merry Christmas from Naval Air Station Barbers Point. Photo, 1958, courtesy of Robert Huffstutter.

“U.S. Army Air Force Boeing SB-17G-95-DL Flying Fortress SAR-plane in flight over Diamond Head, Oahu,” circa late 1940s. Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force.

Kawaihae grass house, 1889. Photo by William T. Brigham.

Hula. Photo, circa 1890s, courtesy of Hawai’i Vintage Photos.

View of Waikiki Beach from the seat of a helicopter, 1941. Photo by Charles O’Rear.

Photo op in front of Waikiki’s Moana Hotel in Waikiki (currently the Westin Moana Surfrider hotel). Say cheese! Photo, circa 1905, courtesy of army.arch.

Hana school children at play,” 1941. Photo by Charles O’Rear.

Peace and quiet at the Kaneohe Bay fishponds, 1922. Photo by R.W. Perkins.
Aloha from Maliko Bay. Photo, 1941, by Charles O’Rear.

Top photo of surfer Duke Kahanamoku in Waikiki, 1910, by A.R. Gurrey, Jr

For more Hawaii love, check out 5 Signs you’ve Been to Kauai and Why Aren’t We All Living the Dream on Kauai.

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