9 Nicknames for Hawaii and the Reasons for Them

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Blue water with white waves next to a shoreline with trees, a mountain, and buildings
Hawaii gets its monikers from its breathtaking scenery and rich culture

The state of Hawaii brings to mind images of sun-soaked beaches, palm trees, and warm ocean waves. Hawaii is also home to dense green rainforests and the breathtaking Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Interestingly, it is the only state composed entirely of an archipelago with 137 islands.

Due to this region's unique makeup, many nicknames for Hawaii have been created. Some reflect the area's tropical vibes, such as the Paradise of the Pacific and the Pineapple State. Other nicknames speak about Hawaii's history, culture, and geography. To find out more about all the alternate names for this stunning state, keep reading!

9 Hawaii Nicknames

Paradise of the Pacific is one of many nicknames for Hawaii
One of the most popular nicknames for Hawaii is Paradise of the Pacific

Paradise of the Pacific

The Hawaii state nickname Paradise of the Pacific alludes to its beautiful natural landscapes. Hawaii is renowned for its sandy beaches, clear blue seas, and abundant ocean life. It's also home to the West Maui Mountains, where visitors can find breathtaking waterfalls and iconic black sand beaches.

Tourists have long flocked to Hawaii to relax and enjoy the laid-back island feel and delicious regional cuisine. You will find your own version of paradise here, whether you prefer snorkeling in the ocean or taking in the sweeping views from Hawaiian landmark Mauna Kea. The Paradise of the Pacific nickname also adorns a short film and several books about the island.

Crossroads of the Pacific

Hawaii's nickname as the Crossroads of the Pacific arises from its location. Its position between the mainland and U.S. territories in Guam allowed a natural stopping point for the military in the early 1900s. The state's central spot in the Pacific Ocean also makes it a popular area to stop for boats along international shipping routes, especially since the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914.

The Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce promoted this idea of Hawaii by naming its early 1900s publication "Honolulu at the Crossroads of the Pacific." You can even see an homage to the nickname through a directional sign on Oahu. If you are visiting Pearl Harbor, check out the Crossroads of the Pacific sign with arrows pointing to the state and other landmarks.

An aerial view of trees and waterfalls with a small rainbow on top of the water
Hawaii is called the Rainbow State due to the many rainbows seen across the islands

Rainbow State

Hawaii is known as the Rainbow State due to the prevalence of vivid rainbows occurring over the islands. Head to the island of Kauai if you are interested in a sighting, as this area receives more rainfall than any other part of the state.

The notorious Hawaiian tradewinds and mountain ranges play their part in forming rain clouds necessary for rainbows. In addition, the rainbow offers particular significance as a symbol of transformation in Hawaiian culture. A rainbow is seen on license plates and state identification cards. Even the University of Hawaii football team is named the Rainbow Warriors.

The Fiftieth State

Another Hawaii name, the Fiftieth State, might be easy to guess. Hawaii was the fiftieth and final state to join the union upon President Eisenhower's signed proclamation in 1959.

Hawaii also has a pivotal role in the shaping of the U.S. flag. When Hawaii joined the United States, the president mandated a new flag design. It highlighted the 50 states through brilliant white stars on a blue background next to the original red and white stripes. The new flag was officially recognized on July 4, 1960.

A sign that says "Pineapple" next to a pineapple crop under a blue sky with clouds
Hawaii has a history of pineapple growing, leading to the Pineapple State nickname

Pineapple State

The Pineapple State nickname dates back to the late 1800s. The Hawaiian Pineapple Company was formed by James Dole on the islands in 1899. At its height, most of the world's pineapples were produced in Hawaii.

The Dole Company relocated from Hawaii in the 1980s, and production diminished substantially. Despite this, the majority of the U.S.-grown pineapples still come from Hawaii.

However, the amount of the world's total pineapple production connected to the state has dropped drastically compared to previous decades. Although people still think of Hawaii when they hear the name Pineapple State, the economy has shifted its focus to tourism.

The Aloha State

Hawaii may best be known by its official state nickname, the Aloha State. In 1959, the state legislature adopted the slogan due to the Aloha Spirit embraced by its residents. It can now be seen widely on state license plates, too.

An interesting Hawaiian fact refers to the meaning of aloha. The word is frequently used to express greeting and goodbye on the islands. The Spirit of Aloha, however, includes the values native Hawaiians hold dear.

To have aloha means to have warmth of spirit, love and affection for others, and a deep respect for the people and the land. The Aloha State is a fitting tribute to this cultural importance.

A large bay with clear blue waters and a white sandy beach next to a hill
The Islands of Aloha moniker connects to the numerous islands that make up Hawaii

The Islands of Aloha

The Islands of Aloha unites the state's spirit and connection to the meaning of "Aloha." This moniker derives from the official state nickname of the Aloha State, with a nod to the numerous islands that form its borders.

The Islands of Aloha also reflect some of the larger islands' official mottos. For example, Oahu is known as "the gathering place," and Molokai is often called "the friendly isle." These mottos are fitting tributes to the spirit of aloha that imbues the islands and its residents.

The 808 State

The 808 State Hawaiian nickname is taken directly from its area code. The 808 area code was assigned on January 1, 1957. It continues to cover each of the state's over one million residents, ranging from Honolulu to Hilo.

The 808 State has become a popular slogan, encompassing the sense of community that Hawaiian culture is known for. Interestingly, an NFL quarterback might have introduced this nickname to the rest of the nation.

When Marcus Mariota played in college, he customized his face mask with the 808 area code in honor of his home state. He has continued to use this mask design while playing in the NFL, extending the 808 moniker to even more of the United States.

An aerial view of an island with many green mountains and a sandy coastline
Kauai island is the oldest island of Hawaii at around five million years old

The Youngest State

Another Hawaii nickname that won't surprise you is the slogan the Youngest State. Hawaii was the last state to enter the union and is considered the youngest state. It narrowly beat out another region to earn the title, as Alaska became the 49th state about eight months earlier.

This title may also refer to Hawaii's geography. The islands are among the youngest land masses on earth. The Big Island is the youngest of the islands, with many parts of its land mass being only 400,000 years old. Kauai is the oldest sibling at about five million years of age.

In Summary

Some nicknames for Hawaii bring to mind sandy beaches and warm ocean waves. Others, such as the Fiftieth State and the Youngest State, speak to its history in the United States.

Additionally, the Spirit of Aloha lends its name to the official state slogan. No matter which nickname you feel describes the state best, you will feel the Aloha Spirit through everything that this island nation has to offer.

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Written by Jodi K Monroe

jodikmonroe FORMER WRITER Jodi is based in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, within easy reach of the beaches, mountains, and airport. Journal in hand, she has explored North America and parts of Europe so far.

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