Hawaii Travel Guide
Hanauma Bay, Oahu
Hanauma BayHanauma Bay (pronounced "ha-NOW-mah", in Hawaiian) is a marine embayment formed within a volcanic cone or crater and located along the southeast coast of the Island of Oʻahu (just east of Honolulu) in the Hawaiian Islands. Hanauma is a popular tourist destinations on the Island and has suffered somewhat from overuse (at one time accommodating over three million visitors per year). In the 1950s, dynamite was used to clear portions of the reef to expand the area available for swimming.
WaikīkīWaikīkī is a neighborhood of Honolulu, in the City & County of Honolulu, on the south shore of the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Waikiki Beach is the shoreline fronting Waikiki and one of the best known beaches in the world. The neighborhood extends from the Ala Wai Canal (a channel dug to drain former wetlands) on the west and north, to Diamond Head (Lēʻahi) on the east. Waikiki has long been a place of relaxation. In particular, the area was a retreat for Hawaiian royalty in the 1800s. Waikiki Beach is noted for its magnificent views of the dormant volcano Diamond Head, its usually warm and cloud-free climate and its surfbreak. The frequently visited tourist beach is actually fairly short, with half of it marked off for surfers. For some distance into the ocean the water is quite shallow, although there are numerous rocks on the bottom, so waders should watch where they put their feet. As with most ocean beaches the waves can have some force, particularly on windy days. The surf at Waikiki is known for its long rolling breaks, making it ideal for long boarding, tandem surfing and beginners. The beach hosts many events a year, including surf competitions, outdoor performances, hula dancing and outrigger canoe races.
The USS Arizona MemorialThe USS Arizona Memorial, located at Pearl Harbor, Hawaiʻi, marks the resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors killed on the USS Arizona during the Attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 by Japanese imperial forces and commemorates the events of that day. The attack on Pearl Harbor and the island of Oʻahu was the action that led to United States involvement in World War II.
The National Memorial Cemetery of the PacificThe National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (also Punchbowl National Cemetery) is a cemetery located in Honolulu, Hawai'i that serves a memorial to those men and women who served in the United States Armed Forces. It is administered by the National Cemetery Administration of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Thousands of visitors visit the cemetery each year, and it is one of the more popular tourist attractions in Hawai'i.
Iolani Palace, Oahu
Iolani PalaceIolani Palace, situated in the capitol district of downtown Honolulu in the U.S. state of Hawaiʻi, is the only royal palace used as an official residence by a reigning monarch in the United States and is a National Historic Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Two monarchs governed from ʻIolani Palace: King David Kalakaua and Queen Liliuokalani.
Diamond HeadDiamond Head is the name of a volcanic tuff cone on the Hawaiian island of Oʻahu and known to Hawaiians as Lēʻahi. Its English name was given by British sailors in the 19th century, who mistook calcite crystals embedded in the rock for diamonds.
North Shore (Oahu)The North Shore refers to the north-facing coastal area of Oʻahu between Kaʻena Point and Kahuku Point. The largest settlement is Haleʻiwa. This area is best known for its massive waves, attracting surfers from all around the globe. During the winter months on the North Shore, swells originating in the stormy North Pacific appear. Notable surfing spots include Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach. The spot of Ehukai Beach, commonly known as the Banzai Pipeline, is the most notable surfing spot on the North Shore, and is considered a prime spot for competitions. The North Shore is considered to be the surfing mecca of the world, and every December hosts three competitions, which make up the Triple Crown of Surfing.
Makapuu LighthouseThe hike to the lighthouse is filled with many spectacular views of the ocean along the way. The place is a dry area, so you don't have to worry about being soaked. The trail is paved, so you don't have to worry about mud.
Legislature State CapitolVisiting this place will be interesting if you are a visitor who enjoys looking at architecture. This building is very unique in that it has various Hawaiian motifs. For example, the House and Senate chambers are volcanoes, columns are coconut trees and the surrounding water symbolizes the Pacific Ocean. Other interesting sites nearby are the Iolani Palace, King Kamehameha Statue, Downtown and the Hawaii State Library.
Aloha TowerIf you are visiting Hawaii, you may want to stop by this place and take a look at Honolulu Harbor from the lookout on the top of the Aloha Tower (9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free). The view is a spectacular 360 degrees panorama. There are no large retail stores here. The parking lot is located behind the power plant. If you are staying in Waikiki, you can get here easily via Ala Moana Blvd. From here, you can get to Pearl Harbor in about 30 minutes via Nimitz going west. Aloha Tower was the tallest structure in Hawaii when it was completed in 1926 at a cost of $190,000. It is now the most recognized building in the state and second only to Diamond Head as Hawaii's most famous landmark. The only way up to the 10th floor observation deck is via a small, vintage elevator. Once at the top you’ll be greeted with sweeping views of Honolulu and signage which points out the various landmarks. The observation deck is open to the public daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Source: alohatower.com
Oceanarium RestaurantThis is one of the most interesting restaurants in Hawaii for its gigantic aquarium. Located within walking distance of many hotels in Waikiki, this place will keep you entertained during your meal with sights of interesting tropical fishes and other sea creatures. "... Oceanarium was built in 1979 and is the biggest of its kind located in a single hotel. The three-story, 280,000-gallon, larger-than-life aquarium pro- vides guests with incredible views of nearly 400 fish from more than 70 different species of Indo-Pacific marine life." Source: pacificbeachhotel.com
Dangers of the Ocean, Water Falls and StreamsHAWAII is the only state made up entirely of islands. The various islands of Hawaii all have natural beauty, warm climates, and inviting beaches. Only the Big Island has active volcanoes. Hawaii is one of the World's most popular travel places with millions arriving annually. The most serious issues for travelers are the dangers of the ocean, accidental deaths, and the large homeless population in Waikiki. Tourist regularly drown in the waters of Waikiki or other remote beaches. The beauty of the water is very deceptive. It can easily cause the death of weak swimmers. It is best to swim with a group or with an air filled device. There have been cases of people diving off water falls and falling off hiking trails to their deaths. On June 2010, a diver died after jumping more than 50 feet off the cliff at Spitting Caves in Honolulu. Also, storms will cause a sudden buildup of water in what normally is a small stream. A wall of water will come raging down and sweep away any person who is unlucky enough to be in its path to the ocean. Halona Blowhole is a rock formation off of Hanauma Bay that is the site of many deaths. On windy days when the tide is high, the ocean breeze sends the waves rolling on to the shore where the rock formation then shoots sea spray high into the air through the cave acting like a geyser. A tourist recently got too close, fell in the blowhole, became trapped and died.
Ala Moana Center, Oahu