Hawaii's diverse natural scenery, warm tropical climate, abundance of public beaches, oceanic surroundings, and active volcanoes make it a popular destination for tourists, surfers, biologists, and volcanologists. Because of its central location in the Pacific and 19th-century labor migration, Hawaii's culture is strongly influenced by North American and Asian cultures, in addition to its indigenous Hawaiian culture. Hawaii has over a million permanent residents, along with many visitors and U.S. military personnel. Its capital is Honolulu on the island of Oahu.
Hawaii is the 8th-smallest and the 11th-least populous, but the 13th-most densely populated of the fifty U.S. states. It is the only state with an Asian plurality. The state's coastline is about 750 miles long, the fourth longest in the U.S. after the coastlines of Alaska, Florida, and California.
The Hawaiian archipelago is located 2,000 mi southwest of the contiguous United States. Hawaii is the southernmost U.S. state and the second westernmost after Alaska. Hawaii, along with Alaska, does not border any other U.S. state. It is the only U.S. state that is not geographically located in North America, the only state completely surrounded by water and that is entirely an archipelago, and the only state in which coffee is commercially cultivable.
In addition to the eight main islands, the state has many smaller islands and islets. Kaula is a small island near Niihau that is often overlooked. The Northwest Hawaiian Islands is a group of nine small, older islands to the northwest of Kauai that extend from Nihoa to Kure Atoll; these are remnants of once much larger volcanic mountains. Across the archipelago are around 130 small rocks and islets, such as Molokini, which are either volcanic, marine sedimentary or erosional in origin.
The last volcanic eruption outside Hawaii Island occurred at Haleakala on Maui before the late 18th century, though it could have been hundreds of years earlier.
Hawaii's climate is typical for the tropics, although temperatures and humidity tend to be less extreme because of near-constant trade winds from the east. Summer highs usually reach around 88 °F during the day, with the temperature reaching a low of 75 °F at night. Winter day temperatures are usually around 83 °F; at low elevation they seldom dip below 65 °F at night.