Tourist Attractions And Places In Honolulu, Hawaii
Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii, is a popular vacation spot for tourists. It offers a unique culture, historic sites, and beaches. The most prominent attraction in the city is Waikiki Beach.
This two-mile stretch of sand is the perfect place to swim, surf, snorkel, or enjoy a boogie boarding session. Many resorts offer surfing lessons and rent surfboards for visitors. Another famous site is Pearl Harbor.
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This military port was the scene of a 1941 attack, and the memorials here are a somber reminder of the many lives lost. Today, there are several museums here. You can visit the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center to view free exhibits about the attack.
The Bishop Museum, Hawaii’s state museum, has an extensive collection of historical and natural artifacts. Visitors can see kahilis, Hawaiian feathered capes, and historical helmets. There is also an exhibit on Kai Akea, the birthplace of Hawaiian culture.
Another great place to learn about Hawaii’s history is at Iolani Palace. Formerly a royal residence, the palace has been restored and now serves as a museum. The palace’s interior is decorated with elaborate wood paneling and stained glass.
Ala Moana Beach Park is another popular tourist destination in the city. The park has half a mile of crescent-shaped beach. It is a beautiful, shady oasis with shallow water, and there are plenty of trees to shade you from the sun.
The Koko Head Crater Botanical Garden is located in the Honolulu Botanical Gardens. It features 60 acres of rare plants. It also offers a spectacular view of the volcano.
The Polynesian Cultural Center
The Polynesian Cultural Center is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Oahu, Hawaii. It features a 42-acre goldmine of culture and history. With several Polynesian villages, workshops, exhibits, and other fun activities, it’s easy to see why.
Located in Laie on the northern shore of Oahu, the Polynesian Cultural Center offers a variety of things to do. Visitors can take in a luau, watch a Polynesian show, or go on a ukulele lesson.
You’ll even find Polynesian-inspired Asian cuisine at the Polynesian buffet. The Polynesian Cultural Center is a non-profit organization that employs islanders, many of whom are students at Brigham Young University Hawaii.
Their mission is to preserve Polynesia’s cultures. They offer visitors a chance to step back in time and experience the traditional lifestyles of six different island nations. Among the various Polynesian activities at the Polynesian Cultural Center is the Ha: Breath of Life Show.
Featuring stunning special effects and more than 100 performers, the show tells the story of chief Mana and his wife Lani. As a young boy, Mana travels from one Polynesian culture to another. While he tries to learn more about them, he comes to understand the importance of respect.
You can also enjoy the Luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Taking part in the festivities is easy. During the Luau, you’ll experience a Polynesian-inspired meal, including Kalua pig imu. After the feast, you can buy souvenirs, including a ukulele.
The Polynesian Cultural Center provides numerous entertainment options for families. In addition to the theaters and shows, the center is home to museums and stores.
Pearl Harbor is a historic naval base in the Hawaiian Islands. It is located west of Honolulu on the island of Oahu. The United States acquired the site from the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1875.
In the years following, the military made a number of improvements to the base, including a drydock, which was finished in 1919. On December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the US Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, causing the United States to enter World War II.
The attack severely crippled the US’s naval strength in the Pacific. After the initial wave of attack, Japanese bombers attacked the American ships in the harbor. A number of warships were sunk. Six battleships and three cruisers were damaged.
Battleships and ships that survived were repaired. However, the losses were extensive. Between 29 and 60 aircraft were destroyed. The US military was not prepared for such an attack. The War Department did not believe that the Japanese would strike Hawaii.
Instead, they believed that Japan would attack the nearby European colonies in the South Pacific. The Japanese were surprised when their naval vessels were attacked by the United States. They believed that the US Navy’s only real threat was the Pacific Fleet.
The main target of the attack was the backbone of the Pacific Fleet, which was headquartered at Battleship Row in Pearl Harbor. This included the battleships USS Nevada, USS Arizona, and USS Oklahoma.
The attack began around 8:50 a.m. On December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed the US battleships in the harbour. Several naval planes were also attacked.
Diamond Head State Monument
Diamond Head State Monument is one of the most iconic landmarks in Hawaii. Located on the island of Oahu, it is a 760 foot tuff crater. It was created by a single explosive eruption.
The crater’s rim has been enhanced by anti-aircraft batteries. Visitors can take a walk up to the observation level and enjoy the view. There is also an interactive kiosk with souvenirs and information.
For the adventurous, there is a hike to the summit. This trail was originally built as part of the island’s coastal defense system. Soldiers were able to reach lookouts and bunkers by using the trail.
If you’re not a hiker, you can also opt for a self-guided audio tour. These tours are $4 and highlight the historical and ecological significance of Diamond Head. You can purchase a ticket at the Visitor Center or through Pacific Historic Parks.
During certain times of the year, Diamond Head can get crowded. In order to avoid this, visit in the morning or early afternoon. If you are a non-resident of the State of Hawaii, you will need to pay an entrance fee. Non-residents must also purchase a parking pass.
Entry is free for residents. But if you wish to make a reservation, you must do so at least 30 days in advance. Otherwise, you may be turned away. Parking is $10. You can also use the Waikiki Trolley to access Diamond Head. Alternatively, you can drive through the Kahala Tunnel.
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is one of the most beautiful natural sites in Hawaii. It is located on the southeastern coast of Oahu, Hawaii. Visitors to this park can explore the unique marine life in the crystal clear waters of the bay.
This is an important site to protect, as it is home to over 400 species of fish. The marine life at Hanauma Bay is protected by the city and county of Honolulu. There are also conservation efforts underway to preserve the reef.
In the 1980’s, Hanauma Bay suffered from overuse. Uninformed visitors tramped over the reef, leaving trash on and around the beach. As a result, the City & County of Honolulu instituted restrictions and a program to educate visitors.
This program is administered by the University of Hawai’i Sea Grant College Program. They educate visitors on the history of the Bay, and the delicate ecosystem.
Hanauma Bay has become a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Visitors can rent snorkeling gear at small shacks on the beach. Guests can also enjoy food concessions and showers.
In order to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable visit, the park’s entrance fee covers lifeguards. Children under 12 are free. A tram service is included with entrance.
Each ride costs $1.25 and runs continuously. However, visitors should plan to arrive early in order to avoid the crowds. Guests can make reservations online up to 48 hours before their visit. Reservations for groups of five or more can be made.
The USS Arizona Memorial
The USS Arizona Memorial honors the crew members of the USS Arizona, a battleship that sank during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. It is the final resting place for more than 900 crew members who were killed in the attack.
The memorial was designed by Alfred Preis, a naval architect from Austria who was detained in Hawaii during the attack. Despite being detained, he never felt any animosity towards Hawaii. During his time in Hawaii, he had the opportunity to visit Pearl Harbor, where he did radio broadcasts from the scene.
The structure of the USS Arizona Memorial consists of three main sections: the assembly room, the shrine room, and the entry room. Each of these three parts symbolizes a different aspect of the Pearl Harbor attack.
The central portion of the structure features a marble wall engraved with the names of the crew members who were killed during the attack. Seven large windows in the assembly room, for example, symbolically represent the 21-gun salute.
Unlike the other two, the USS Arizona Memorial does not touch the wrecked vessel. However, the ship’s remains have protruded from the water’s surface. This is because of the high salt content in the seawater.
The USS Arizona Memorial is located in the World War II Valor in the Pacific Park. There are several other World War II monuments here. Among these, the USS Arizona Memorial is the most popular.
Iolani Palace is a National Historic Landmark. It was built for the Hawaiian monarchy and served as their official residence. The palace was built in the American Florentine style, a hybrid of Italian Renaissance architecture and Hawaiian style.
After King Kamehameha IV passed away, his brother and successor, King David Kalakaua, lived in the palace. He was known for his interest in technology. He traveled around the world to meet with leaders and inventors.
A number of royal gifts from other countries were also collected. The palace includes many original furnishings. There are tours available to help visitors learn more about the palace. They can visit the first and second floor of the palace. These tours last about 60-90 minutes.
You can also take an audio tour. These are offered in English, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, and Hawaiian. Kids 5-12 years old can take a self-guided audio tour for $10.
If you are interested in learning more about the palace, you can take a docent-led tour. This is a more interactive tour and allows visitors to ask questions and interact with a guide. Docent-led tours cost $30 for adults and $12 for kids.
For additional information about Iolani Palace, you can visit the Palace’s website. You can find out more about the different tour options, including docent-led tours, self-guided tours, and 3-D virtual tours.
The Palace is open Wednesday through Friday. During holidays, it is closed. Visitors can make reservations for tours online.
USS Missouri Battleship
The USS Missouri Battleship is a ship that is a huge part of history. It has been a part of three major wars and is a powerful vessel. If you are looking for a unique experience, you should consider a tour of this battleship.
In World War II, Missouri fought alongside the United States Navy in naval battles against enemy aircraft and vessels. She also served as the flagship of the 7th Fleet. During the Korean War, the ship provided support for the invasion of Iwo Jima.
In 1991, the ship conducted attacks against Iraqi targets and provided support for Operation Earnest Will. It was one of the first ships to fire Tomahawk cruise missiles during combat.
Throughout its years of service, Missouri earned eight battle stars. The ship also earned three battle stars during World War II. Missouri was decommissioned in 1992, but remained in reserve for almost three decades.
In 1998, the Missouri was donated as a museum ship. It is not difficult to understand why Missouri is known as the Mighty Mo. This battleship is large and powerful, and she has a massive armament.
A full broadside of guns can be fired against the enemy, causing heavy damage. USS Missouri is one of the largest battleships built by the U.S. Navy. Her hull is surrounded by 13.5 inch thick armor plating.
The battleship’s decks are 52,000 square feet, and she measures over 100 feet wide. Each link in the anchor chains weighs 100 pounds.
The Aloha Tower
The Aloha Tower in Honolulu, Hawaii is a landmark that is one of the most recognizable features of the city’s skyline. This structure has a ten-story clock tower that is 184 feet high. With an observation deck on the tenth floor, the tower offers visitors a bird’s eye view of the city and the surrounding neighborhoods.
It was the first building most tourists saw when they arrived in Honolulu. For decades, the tower was the tallest structure in the islands. However, it has since been overshadowed by more developed metropolitan areas.
The building was constructed in the Hawaiian Gothic style. It is one of the tallest buildings in the state, and has four observation platforms. Visitors can go to the top of the tower for free. Those who visit can also enjoy a variety of shops and restaurants.
The tower is an important part of Hawaii history. After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, it served as a military signal for ships in the harbor. In addition, it was the control hub for American military convoys in the Pacific.
After the war, the tower remained under the control of the United States Navy. During the nighttime, it was painted camouflage to keep it from being recognized.
The tower is still used as a docking port for cruise ships in Oahu. It is the second most popular landmark in the Honolulu skyline. A free elevator ride to the top of the tower is available.
Ala Moana Center
Ala Moana Center is one of the best shopping and dining destinations in Hawaii. The mall has more than 350 shops and is home to more than a dozen restaurants. It is also the world’s largest open-air mall.
Ala Moana Center is a large and luxurious shopping center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Located across from Waikiki Beach, the mall is an ideal destination for shopping and dining.
Designed with native landscaping, the shopping center features a long koi pond and ferns. On the first level, there is a Japanese Village food court. You can also find a variety of international cuisine at the Makai Market Food Court.
The mall is home to several high-end brands, including Versace, Prada, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel. There are also numerous department stores. In addition, the center offers an arcade and a nightclub.
A shopper can enjoy live Hawaiian music and hula performances throughout the center. There is also a play area for children.
One of the most popular attractions is the Ala Moana Center Stage. Known as Hawaii’s premier public amphitheater, it hosts performances from local and international artists.
Another great attraction is the Tsukiji Fish Market and Restaurant, which features a sushi bar and yakitori and robatayaki bars. Also, the Ala Moana Mall has a wine tasting bar, a shave ice station, and a Naples Pizza Style Station.
Another famous place to eat in Oahu is the vintage cave, a restaurant that has won many awards for its authentic and delicious food.
FAQs about Honolulu, Hawaii
What is Honolulu Hawaii known for?
Honolulu, Hawaii is known for its breathtaking beaches, vibrant culture, and diverse landscape. The capital city of Hawaii is situated on the island of Oahu and is the most populated city in the state. Honolulu boasts miles of sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and a variety of activities and attractions for visitors to take advantage of. From visiting the famous Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona Memorial, to shopping, dining and nightlife in Waikiki, to hiking up Diamond Head or exploring the tropical rainforests, Honolulu has something for everyone.
Do I have to be vaccinated to fly to Honolulu?
The answer is yes. All travelers arriving to Honolulu from out of state must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before departure, or proof of full vaccination. The only exception to this requirement is for travelers under the age of 5. If you have not been vaccinated, you must take a COVID-19 test before flying to Honolulu.
Is Honolulu always warm?
Honolulu, Hawaii, is known for its warm temperatures year-round. The average temperature in the summer is around 80°F (27°C), while the average temperature in the winter is around 75°F (24°C). Honolulu does experience some rain during the winter months, but rarely does it get cold enough for snow. With its tropical climate and warm temperatures, Honolulu is the perfect destination for those looking to escape the cold winter months.