The gateway to the tropical paradise of Hawaii, Honolulu is the state’s largest and capital city as well as the entry point for most tourists. Located 3,800 km (2,400 miles) west of California on the Hawaiian island of Oahu in the Pacific Ocean, Honolulu is best known for its top destination, Waikiki Beach, and for the historical Pearl Harbor, which was attacked by the Japanese on December 7, 1941.
Like most major cities, Honolulu is a fast-paced, crowded metropolis with modern high rise buildings, hotels, shopping malls and various districts all featuring their own dining, shopping and nightlife. What a majority of tourists come here for are the beaches, known for their water sports, soft sands and beautiful backdrop of lush scenery, exotic flowers and magnificent volcanoes.
Honolulu is rich in history and features many historic sites ranging from the former Hawaiian king’s residence, the Iolani Palace, to WWII memorials like the USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Bowfin and the Battleship Missouri Memorial. Several museums, including the vast Bishop Museum, offer excellent insight into the city’s Pacific history, culture, art and the Pearl Harbor attack. Honolulu has a thriving arts and culture scene with theaters, concert halls and traditional hula and luau shows. Families can enjoy fun together at the city’s zoo and aquarium, which are located at Kapiolani Park.
A number of scenic drives and hiking trails offer some of the city’s most stunning natural attractions including volcanic craters like Diamond Head and Punchbowl Crater, formations like the Halona Blowhole, and incredible views of waterfalls, the ocean, dolphins and whales.