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Oahu is the most populous island in Hawaii, and it’s also the most densely populated state. More than half of all Americans live in Oahu. And with 32 million people living there at last count (just over a third of whom are Native Hawaiian), it’s easy to see why this island has become such an essential part of our nation and world—and why we’re so lucky to have it!
Oahu offers plenty for visitors who want to explore its many different attractions: beautiful beaches; world-class surfing spots like Sunset Beach or Waimea Bay; historical sites such as Pearl Harbor Naval Base; cultural attractions like Chinatown or Makapu’u Point Lighthouse State Historic Parks…the list goes on! If you’re planning your next trip or vacation right now, check out our guide below, where we’ll show off some fantastic things worth seeing while visiting Oahu.
Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian islands and is home to various plants and animals. The island has many beaches perfect for swimming or snorkeling and waterfalls flowing into the ocean.
Maui is known for its beautiful beaches and waterfalls.
Kauai is the third-largest Hawaiian Island and home to Waimea Canyon, an iconic national park. It’s also a popular tourist destination with its beautiful beaches and lush vegetation.
Kauai has some of the best hiking trails in Hawaii, including Waimea Falls (which drops 80 feet from a height of 150 feet). The trail leads through a tropical rainforest filled with ferns, orchids, and bamboo trees—and if you want even more adventure, several other hikes can take you to waterfalls like this one!
Niihau, a small island in the middle of the Hawaiian Islands, is not part of any of the main Hawaiian Islands. It’s located off Kauai and Oahu and has only about 500 residents.
Niihau means “the end” in Hawaiian.
Molokai is the largest of the islands in Hawaii, and it’s home to several nature preserves. It’s also known for its beautiful beaches.
Lanai is the third largest of the Hawaiian Islands and has an area of 3.2 square miles. It’s also home to about 2,700 people, making it one of Hawaii’s most populated islands.
Native Hawaiians once inhabited Lanai before being settled by Europeans in 1778 by American captain John Young who claimed it as part of his land holdings at that time; however, he never returned after leaving behind some settlers there due to bad weather conditions on other islands at that time. The island had remained uninhabited until recently when an influx of modern tourists began arriving after a new bridge connecting this island directly with Maui was opened for use last year (which we’ll talk about later).
Hawaii is an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean.
Hawaii is an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. It is a chain of islands between the international dateline and the United States west coast, including all but one of the Hawaiian Islands.
On March 22, the Department of Island Affairs published a report on the status of rail projects in Hawaii. The report states that “the State is unable to determine whether or not any specific railway project is financially viable and thus able to proceed.”
In response, Grant Colburn, chairman of the Association for Rail Development (ARD), issued this statement:
“This is an appalling situation,” said Colburn. “Rail development is essential for improving our transportation system, but to move forward, we first must determine what will go where. The state and federal governments must provide clear directions about our rail needs before we can build anything.”
The ARD consists of 10 active industry members who serve as critical decision-makers for coordinating rail projects across Hawaii. The association works with government agencies such as the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Hawaiian Home Lands Authority (HHLA). Additionally, ARD members represent subcontractors and suppliers, including steel fabricators and logistics companies. Together they are involved in critical decisions on all levels–from design standards down to the material used on each project. For example, each member supplies a range of products that make up the rails used on projects around the islands.
Colburn said he was disappointed but not surprised by this latest announcement from DOT’s Division of Planning and Programming intended to slow down local transportation infrastructure improvements. He stated: “We have serious concerns about this process since it puts private investment stands at risk if we don’t meet these conditions.”
“We’re supposed to be moving forward,” he added, “yet we have no way of knowing when federal support might come back into play.” Colburn points out that many important local issues are now being decided by administrative rule-making processes instead of through public hearings and votes by elected officials. These issues include everything from who gets access rights to private lands.