Honolulu is known for its beaches, museums and war memorials. It is remembered for the tragic attack on Pearl Harbor, where thousands died, and it is also home to a remarkably laidback and peaceful culture. Carefree surfers ride the waves near poignant memorials of different times.
Honolulu is the economic and political hub of Hawaii and sits in the south eastern section of the island of Oahu. Summer months offer the best weather, as they are hot and dry. It remains warm in winter with a slightly higher chance of rain.
Honolulu is the infamous home of a surprise military strike from Japan in 1941, which caused the deaths of thousands of Americans. The attack thrust the United States into the conflict and changed the course of World War II.
You can visit the Pacific National Monument to learn about the significance of that day for both the world and Hawaii. The USS Arizona Memorial has displays of bravery, sacrifice and patriotism. You can take a guided tour of the fascinating memorial, which is only accessible by boat. See the names of the sailors and marines killed on board. Nearby are the equally awe-inspiring memorials of the USS Utah and the USS Oklahoma.
For a lighter experience, there is plenty of entertainment in the Waikiki region of Honolulu. You’ll find the majority of hotels, restaurants, boutiques and beach activities in this area. Watch or join talented Hawaiian surfers out on the waves. Jog past sunbathers at Ala Moana Beach Park where a protective reef keeps the water calm. Make the most of the weather at Fort DeRussy Beach Park for a tranquil afternoon with the family.
Throughout the city you’ll find hints of its historic ties with several cultures. Honolulu cuisine blends styles from American, indigenous Hawaiian and Portuguese traditions. Enjoy succulent seafood and tropical fruits. Take part in a traditional luau, which is a buffet-style feast with a carnival atmosphere. You can try salmon, beef, pork, chicken and tuna mixed with a range of vegetables and seasoning. Beer is the alcoholic beverage of choice among locals.
Just outside the city, explore spectacular natural wonders. For a special treat, visit the Koko Head Crater Trail Hike for breathtaking views of Hanauma Bay and the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail. There is also Diamond Head – a famous crater that has been dormant for over 150,000 years.
Shuttle buses and taxis service the Honolulu International Airport that is about 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) west of the city. For a relaxing arrival, take a cruise ship from mainland United States. Once on the island, navigate the twists and turns of the quaint streets and alleyways via taxis, buses or car rentals.
Relax on a beach after learning about World War II history in Honolulu, an American city on a tropical South Pacific island.