Explore America: Hawai'i

Hawai‛i is well known for its tropical beauty—its lush mountains and beautiful beaches. But take a deeper dive into the Smithsonian collections and discover more about its history and culture. It is the only U.S. state with a royal palace, ‛Iolani, the official residence and capitol of the last ruling monarchs of the Kingdom of Hawai‛i. In Many Voices, One Nation, learn how American business leaders overthrew Queen Lili‛uokalani of the nation of Hawai‛i, beginning a tumultuous transition that culminated in Hawai‛i becoming the 50th U.S. state on August 21, 1959.

Learn about the Hawaiian dance form hula, enjoy a playlist from Musics of Hawai‛i: Anthology of Hawaiian Music on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, and discover five things you probably don't know about the ‛ukulele

Hawai‛i also offers world-class surfing and some of the biggest waves in the world, including Pipeline, Waimea Bay, and Jaws (known locally as Peahi). The father of modern surfing, Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku (1890–1968), is celebrated with a statue in Waikiki and a commemorative postage stamp.