As I was skimming my Facebook account today, I came across a post from the Hawaii Visitor’s Bureau mentioning a recently published article about the states in America with the highest wellbeing score. Surprise, surprise, Hawaii topped the list for the third year running. This got me thinking, what other prestigious awards have the state of Hawaii raked in. Let’s take a closer look.
Number 1 State for “Wellbeing”: Recording a Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index score of 70.2 out of 100, Hawaii was honored as the top U.S. state for overall well-being of its citizens. Now I am sure you are asking what does “well-being” mean? Well the annual survey polls locals with a series of questions that pertain to their work environment, life evaluation, physical heal, emotional health, and a few other criteria. Because of Hawaii’s strong and leading scores in emotional health and healthy behaviors, it raked in the top overall score. I was happy to see that Hawaiians were the most likely to say they have smiled or laughed a lot yesterday. To read the full report, follow this link.
Travel + Leisure Overall 2011 Best Islands in the World: In the 2011 survey that was voted on by Travel + Leisure readers, three Hawaiian Islands made the world top ten islands list. The Big Island, Kauai, and Maui raked in 7th, 8th, and 9th place. No surprise there, considering the three islands all made the same top 10 list the year prior, with Kauai actually ranking number two overall. To see the full list, follow this link.
Conde Nast Traveler Reader Choice Awards 2011 Best Island: Just like the Travel + Leisure awards, the readers of Conde Nast cast their vote for top hotels, airlines, cities, and islands. It would take forever to scan through all the Hawaiian hotels receiving high praise, but I like to shine the spotlight on the category called “best islands in the U.S.” Maui, Kauai, the Big Island, Oahu, and Lanai round out 5 of the top 6. Impressive, but when you look at the overall ratings for those islands and stack them up against the ratings of islands across the globe, and once again Maui and Kauai come in as number one and two. To see the full list, follow this link. This is no fluke either. Maui has earned Best Island in the World honors an unprecedented 16 times. Nothing brings a smile to my face more than the banner that hangs down from the ceiling of the Maui airport that broadcasts this honor. New York City can have their baseball pennants, Los Angels can have their Lakers championships, we’ll gladly take our Best Island in the World award.
Best Domestic Airlines: I would argue the best airline is the one flying to Hawaii, but the folks over at the Purdue University Department of Aviation analyze various aspects of airline performance such as on time performance, bumped passengers, baggage snafus, and customer complaints. Over the 16 airlines they analyzed, Hawaiian Airlines was second best. I was sad to see my favorite airline (yes I have a frequent flier account) bumped to second place, as Hawaiian had a streak going for holding the top spot in this analysis.
Golf Digest’s 2011 America’s Greatest Golf Course: Well Hawaii can’t win everything! With courses on the mainland like Augusta National, Pebble Beach, Pinehurst, and Spyglass, how could Hawaii compete? We don’t host PGA Major events on a regular basis. I was happy to see Maui’s Kapalua (Plantation Course) receive a ranking of 88. Plus, I will bet in five or ten years we will see a course on Kauai or Lanai make the list. After all, how many golf courses in the US include a ferry fee from a neighboring island in their green fees?! See the full list of top golf courses here.