The most recent (and one of the smallest) state to join the US, in 1959, Hawaii is an archipelago situated more or less in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Its origin is volcanic, the islands rising out from the sea after a series of eruptions. Today, Hawaii is a tourist destination preferred by American tourists, but not only. As a fun fact, one should know that the current US President, Barack Obama, represented the state of Hawaii for many years before he was elected to the White House. The archipelago is made of eight islands, with the island of Hawai’I as the biggest land spot and Oahu as the most populous island. Getting to Hawaii is fairly easy, despite its isolated position – flights from the US mainland and Japan come in every day. The typical time to visit the archipelago is during the winter months – December or January – when temperatures gravitate around a pleasant 25-28 degrees Celsius. Hawaii is sought mainly for its natural wonders and unique culture. Being under several influences in the past (it was colonized by the Spanish, became independent and then conquered by the Americans), Hawaiian culture is diverse and colorful – the local Hawaiian language can be heard today even. Sightseeing on the islands’ many volcanoes – some of which are still active – provides for a brilliant spectacle of fire and lava that can be seen in few other places in the world. Punalu’u Beach – or Black Sand Beach – is probably the most visited spot on the archipelago. As the name goes, the sand on this beach is black, because it’s made out of tiny volcanic rocks. Few hundred meters away, lava originating from Hawaii volcanoes meets the ocean, creating new land and… a lot of steam. Hawaii is an equally important destination for sports – it is dubbed the “World’s Surf Capital”. The Pacific waves make up a good ground for this difficult sport almost all year round. Also, some of the world’s best golf courses are located on the archipelago, attracting Tiger Woods and the like for major competitions. Taken all together, Hawaii is definitely a place worth visiting at least once in a lifetime. Its crystal-clear waters, adventurous jungles and “angry” volcanoes make it a destination unfit for the slow and scared. If you’re looking for adventure, then Hawaii is the place to go, especially when back home it’s snowing – Santa Klaus can come to exotic islands, even.