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Main Attractions in Honolulu

Updated on July 23, 2012

Honolulu is the capital of the U.S. state of Hawaii and means “sheltered bay” or “bay of shelter”. It is the most populous and largest city of the Hawaiian Islands. Situated on the island of Oahu, it is the island’s top tourist destination and offers plenty to see and do for all ages.

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Diamond Head

Diamond Head is the name of a volcanic tuff cone on the Hawaiian island, the shape of the ridgeline resembles the shape of a tuna's dorsal fin. Its English name was given by British sailors in the 19th century, who mistook calcite crystals embedded in the rock for diamonds. Diamond Head is estimated to be about 150,000 years old and extinct for 150,000 years.The volcanic tuff cone is a United States State Monument. While part of it serves as a platform for antennas used by the U.S. government and is closed to the public, the crater's proximity to Honolulu's resort hotels and beaches makes the rest of it a popular destination.

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Bishop Museum

The Bishop Museum was established to house the extensive collection of Hawaiian artifacts and royal family heirlooms of the Princess, and has expanded to include millions of artifacts, documents and photographs about Hawai‘i and other cultures. Today, the museum is the largest museum in the state and the premier natural and cultural history institution in the Pacific. It is recognized throughout the world for its cultural collections, research projects, consulting services and public educational programs. It serves and represents the interests of Native Hawaiians is a primary purpose of the Museum.

The museum is open Wednesday to Monday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. but closed on Tuesdays.

Honolulu Zoo

The Honolulu Zoo is the only zoo in the United States to be established by grants made by a sovereign monarch. The zoo is built on part of a 121 ha royal park in Waikiki and now features over 1230 animals in specially designed habitats. The zoo hours: 9:00 am to 4:30 pm daily.


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Iolani Palace

Iolani Palace is the official residence of Hawaii’s monarchy, is a marvel of opulence, innovation, and political intrigue. The palace was restored and opened to the public as a museum in 1978.

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Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor is a lagoon harbor on the west of Honolulu. The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan on December 7, 1941, brought the United States into World War II.

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Waikiki Aquarium

The Waikiki Aquarium offers exhibits, programs, and research focusing on the aquatic life of Hawaii and the tropical Pacific. They have over 3,500 marine animals in their exhibits representing more than 500 species of aquatic animals and plants. Every year, 320,000 people including 25,000 school age children visit the Waikiki Aquarium.

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Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach is basically a two mile stretch of coast fronted by hotels and tourism related facilities and the very beautiful Kapiolani Park. The beach is usually crowded but is a very nice area where one can swim, canoe, surf and snorkel. The areas towards Diamond Head are near to the expansive picnic and recreational facilities, including those of Kapiolani Park.

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Tourist Attractions in Honolulu

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    • SAFlights profile image
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      SAFlights 7 years ago from South Africa

      Hi Teegan. Thank you for your comment. It is highly appreciated.

    • Teegan E. Ross profile image

      Teegan E. Ross 7 years ago from Hovering over my keyboard.

      Gorgeous pictures! Oahu is amazing.... makes me want to return.

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