Surfing Off Oahu

Hawaii in Color: Vintage Photos From Another Time

See the Aloha State in glorious mid-century color.

Was there ever a more luscious, glamorous moment captured in color than mid-century Hawaii? These photos make the case that, for locals and visitors alike, Hawaii back then was the perfect spot to saturate your senses with beauty and wonder.

Say it with Flowers, 1954 B. Anthony Stewart/National Geographic/Getty Images Say it with Flowers, 1954 A woman makes intricate floral lei, a traditional gift for island visitors. Poolside Glamour, 1975 Robert Madden/National Geographic/Getty Images Poolside Glamour, 1975 Vacationers get some rays. Synchronized Swimming, 1969 Bates Littlehales/National Geographic/Getty Images Synchronized Swimming, 1969 Dolphins make a splash in Oahu. Natural Beauty, 1945 Eliot Elisofon/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images Natural Beauty, 1945 The Good Life, 1960 Ralph Crane/The LIFE Premium Collection/Getty Images The Good Life, 1960 Reunited, 1969 Bates Littlehales/National Geographic/Getty Images Reunited, 1969 A wife embraces her husband who is on leave from Vietnam duty in Honolulu.

More Stories From FOTO

Lush Life, 1973 NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images Lush Life, 1973 Surfs Up, 1938 Toni Frissell Surfs Up, 1938 A photoshoot for Vogue Magazine. Nature's Classroom, 1959 Ralph Crane/The LIFE Premium Collection/Getty Images Nature's Classroom, 1959 Students learn the traditional Mamala paddle dance at the Kamehameha Schools in Honolulu. Grill Masters, 1954 B. Anthony Stewart/National Geographic/Getty Images Grill Masters, 1954 Cooks prepare pork Laulau, a native Hawaiin dish, by putting hot stones in pig carcasses and wrapping them in giant leaves.
Fisherman casts large fishing net, Hawaii
Smiling man holds up unicorn fish caught in net, Hawaii
B. Anthony Stewart/National Geographic/Getty Images Life Aquatic, 1959 Paul Zahl/National Geographic/Getty Images Life Aquatic, 1959 Checking out sea urchins off Coconut Island. Blue Crush, 1963 George Silk/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images Blue Crush, 1963 Legendary surfer Nick Beck catches a wave. Through the Looking Glass, 1954 B. Anthony Stewart/National Geographic/Getty Images Through the Looking Glass, 1954 Meet the Neighbors, 1954 B. Anthony Stewart/National Geographic/Getty Images Meet the Neighbors, 1954 Waterfall Trail, 1960 Walter Meayers Edwards/National Geographic/Getty Images Waterfall Trail, 1960 Island Vista, 1960 Ralph Crane/The LIFE Premium Collection/Getty Images Island Vista, 1960



For more FOTO stories directly in your inbox, sign up for our free weekly newsletter.