1) The Hawaiian Climate
Hawaii has almost every climate region on the planet on the islands. Whether you are looking for jungle or desert, there is an area for you. Enjoy exploring the climate and Hawaiian variety, just be sure to be respectful of native plants and animals, many of which are endemic or endangered.
2) The Hawaiian Language
Locals in Hawaii often speak an English/Hawaiian based creole called Hawaiian Pidgin. For the most part, you just need to know that “Mahalo” means “thank you,” and “aloha” means “love/hello/goodbye,” and “da kine” means anything and everything.
On a side note, you should also know that people in Hawaii give directions based on landmarks, not street names.
3) The People of Hawaii
Compared to many areas of the world, Hawai’i’s ethnic and cultural make-up is a mix and match of dozens of different cultures and countries, and it’s not uncommon for locals to claim Asian, Polynesian, Caucasian, and Latin ancestry. Locals know that everyone has a culture and heritage, and that Hawaii has welcomed them with open arms. Some customs, such as taking off your shoes when entering a house, are common in Asia, while others are more Western. Be prepared to stretch a little culturally if you step out of the more tourist-y areas and activities.
4) The Food of Hawaii
Speaking of stretching, Hawaiian food is some of the best on the planet for simple flavor, comfort, and price. While Hawaii is home to some top-tier restaurants and chefs, be sure to also eat some of the local foods Hawaii has to offer. Because of it’s rich cultural history, local food (as opposed to native Hawaiian food) has elements of every country its immigrants came from. Malasadas from Portugal, musubi from Japan, lau lau from Hawaii… you get the picture.
5) The Aloha
Beyond the food, the language, and the beautiful weather, Hawaii is known for its Aloha spirit. While you’re here, embrace the giving culture and enjoy the slower pace of life. Take time not only to take family photos, but to smile at the sunset. Everyone who is blessed enough to call Hawaii home knows that the Aloha Spirit is something you carry with you, and its the best thing you can bring back from your trip for your friends, family, and relatives.