The state of Hawaii officially recognizes 137 islands.

HAWAII, United States – With the ski season hitting its end, many of us will turn towards our preferred summer sport. Some people head towards hiking, some towards climbing, and some towards biking. There really isn’t one specific sport that acts as a summer alternative. But surfing certainly comes pretty close.

With people eyeing potential surf vacations, Hawaii is likely on the radar of many. The question, of course, is where to go in Hawaii? The eight major islands are where most are headed. But the state officially recognizes 137 islands as a part of the chain.

The US State of Hawaii lies on an island chain in the tropical North Pacific, and is the newest of the US’s 50 states. But there’s more to Hawaii than you probably realize – literally! We’re going to take a look at the Hawaiian islands that you won’t find on most maps, which extend more than a thousand miles out into the Pacific. Let’s explore!

A huge portion of Hawaii’s “forgotten islands” sit in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, the largest contiguous fully protected conservation area controlled by the United States. It takes up 582,578 square miles of ocean and contains over 1,000 miles of coral islands, seamounts, banks and shoals. An abundance of wildlife, significant cultural sites, and post-Western-contact sites sit within the monument.

Access into the National Monument is pretty heavily limited through a permitting system, so you probably won’t be getting onto the islands anytime soon. There are several virtual tours and online resources available to learn more, though.

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