The Island of Hawaii

Historians believe that the first South Pacific islanders to reach the Hawaiian islands landed their boats on Hawaii's South Point. Other important historic sites include the birthplace of King Kamehameha I, thousands of petroglyphs etched by the island's first settlers, and Kealakekua Bay, where Captain Cook was killed. Also notice the sugar, coffee, and macadamia nut plantations, which have been a mainstay of Hawaii’s agriculture for generations.

In addition to U.S. federal holidays, Hawaii observes a unique calendar of state holidays that honor the history and culture of the Hawaiian people. Parades and festivities mark Kamehameha Day, Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day, and Statehood Day. The Island of Hawaii hosts the Merrie Monarch Festival to honor King David Kalakaua with music, a parade, local crafts, and an internationally acclaimed hula contest. If you're on the island in October, don't miss the annual Ironman World Championship, held in Kona.