Every year more than 300,000 people go from Puget Sound to the Hawaiian Islands, with 445 flights leaving Sea-Tac for the islands this month alone, making us the Aloha state’s second biggest U.S. travel market (after Californians, who frankly don’t need the sun as much as we do).

In some ways Hawaii is the opposite of Seattle, with its feral chickens and swaying palms, beaches you can walk barefoot and waves that don’t require a wet suit. There’s the ways it’s familiar; Hawaii has active volcanoes and miles of coastline, just like we do, a come-as-you-chill dress code, and a bewildering cost of living. Meanwhile census estimates tell us that 58,000 people of Pacific island descent live in Washington state. Here in Seattle, the rising popularity of poke and shave ice is evidence that Hawaii’s “expats” are bringing aloha stateside.

So come explore Hawaii’s four main islands with us. All have beaches and mai tais, but each enjoys its own distinct vibe worth exploring. As Northwesterners, we fit right in. Because it’s a completely different world.

In This Feature:

Hawaiian Language 101

The lingo, the language, and the pidgin dialect.

12/20/2016 By Ethan Chung

The Seattleite’s Guide to Kauai

What to do on the outdoorsy, green, out-of-the-way island

12/20/2016 By Allison Williams

How to Make A Hawaiian Mai Tai—From an Expert

A Hawaiian bartender breaks down the classic tropical drink.

12/20/2016 By Ethan Chung

The Seattleite’s Guide to Oahu

What to do on the urban, surf-crazy, history-up-close island.

12/20/2016 By Allison Williams

Where to Buy Hawaiian-Made Leis Right Here in Seattle

Plus seven things you probably didn’t know about floral neckwear.

12/20/2016 By Allison Williams

The Seattleite’s Guide to Maui

What to do on the sandy, relaxing, legendary island.

12/20/2016 By Allison Williams

The Push and Pull of Paradise

A Seattleite contemplates growing up in Hawaii and leaving it all behind.

12/20/2016 By Ethan Chung

The Seattleite’s Guide to the Big Island

What to do on the epic, volcanic, bigger-than-you-thought island.

12/20/2016 By Ethan Chung

The Poke Phenomenon

Seattle is crazy for the fish dish, but one version is best.

12/20/2016 By Ethan Chung

The Plate Lunch Breakdown

It's Hawaii in a single comfort-food dish.

12/20/2016 By Ethan Chung

Where to Find Aloha in Seattle

Get the Hawaiian spirit without boarding a flight.

12/20/2016 By Allison Williams

The Canlis-Hawaii Connection

Seattle’s fine dining has a tiki soul and an island past.

12/20/2016 By Allison Williams