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Hawaii Local Business Directory

Composed of hundreds of small and large islets and islands located in the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii was the last of the 50 states to join the Union and the only state located outside North America. A part of the Polynesian island chain, Hawaii boasts a number of active volcanoes and features a warm tropical climate that attracts millions of visitors each year. As a result, tourism is the primary source of income for many residents of these beautiful islands; nearly 25 percent of Hawaii's economy is tourism-based. Agriculture, fishing and clothing make up much of the remainder of the state's economic activities.

Prior to its admission to the United States in 1959, Hawaii was an independent nation with a king and a hereditary monarchy form of government. It was founded by Polynesian settlers and visited on several occasions by the English, the Chinese and the United States before it was annexed as a territory by the U.S. Military air bases were built on Oahu and were the target of Japanese warplanes during World War II. The attack on Pearl Harbor prompted the entry of the U.S. into that conflict and may well have been the turning point in the war.

Hawaii residents must face a relatively high cost of living, especially in terms of housing costs. Visitors and natives of Hawaii can enjoy a wide range of cultural events and outdoor activities; surfing, swimming, ecotourism and hiking are among the most popular activities. The Merrie Monarch Festival allows hula experts from around the world to compete for top honors. On the Big Island of Hawaii, the Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival and Hilo Chinese New Year Festival provide insights into the diverse influences that have shaped this multicultural state.

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