Honolulu Tourist Attractions
Top Tourist Attractions in Honolulu
To help understand the layout of Honolulu the following general information is divided into the three neighboring areas - Pearl Harbor, Downtown and Waikiki.
Within these areas the places of interest are arranged alphabetically.The name Honolulu means "protected bay". The city's development first began around the port of Honolulu, Hawaii's safest because of an offshore reef.In 1792 the British seafarer William Brown was the first to land here and he named the port "Fair Haven", almost a synonym of "Honolulu". Unfortunately it was precisely in this "fair haven" that Brown met his death as a result of an attack orchestrated by King Kalanikupule of Oahu. After Kamehameha I conquered Oahu Honolulu began its rise to become the most important city in the Hawaiian islands. Kamehameha I used the port as a place of transfer and an important stop for Pacific steam ships. Kamehameha III finally declared Honolulu capital city of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1850.Pearl Harbor, today so important, was first developed in 1911. Its construction signaled a new phase in Oahu's development as a strategic military position.Waikiki's tourist development only became possible at the end of the 19th c. when the Ala Wai Canal was built to drain this previously marshy area. From then on, Waikiki's growth into a focal point for tourism began, reaching its zenith in the 1970s.Honolulu's modern development into a city of tourism was enhanced by the building of the airport, which is situated on a man-made platform in the lagoon between Pearl Harbor and the main part of Honolulu.Honolulu today is an extensive, but narrow, city whose topography is determined by the sea and the mountains. Koolau Range, stretching about 31 miles/50km from the south-east to the north-west, is not particularly high but difficult of access. This has hindered the city from spreading out into the mountainous area. Development has been dictated by the cramped terrain and has caused satellite towns (Pearl City and, on the other side of the Koolau Mountains, Kanehoe) to grow up around Honolulu, relieving the city of some of its population pressures.The dense population necessitated a correspondingly well-developed road network. The most important arterial roads to the north are Pali and Likelike Highways, to the west motorways H1 and H2. A third motorway (H3), between Honolulu and Kaneohe to the east coast, has been approved in principle but construction work has not yet begun.The city of Honolulu falls roughly into three areas - Waikiki, Downtown and Pearl Harbor.Waikiki, the main attraction, is a peninsula covering almost 1/2sq.mile/1.1sq.km bordered to the south by the Pacific Ocean and the man-made Ala Wai Canal in the other three directions. In this small area, one of the most densely-populated in the whole of the United States, more hotels, restaurants and shops can be found than in the rest of Hawaii.Downtown, the center and historical part of Honolulu, is not so easily defined. It is bordered to the south by the sea, to the east by Ward Avenue, to the north by Vineyard Boulevard and to the west by College Walk Mall. Most of the places of interest mentioned from now on are to be found here.In area Pearl Harbor occupies by far the largest part of the city, stretching for kilometers to the west. As well as naval bases, military bases and Honolulu Airport are located here.Two valleys adjoin the north and the north-west of Downtown. Manoa Valley, which houses the University of Hawaii and the East-West Center, and Nuuanu Valley. Punchbowl Crater and the National Cemetery of the Pacific are to be found here.
Waikiki is the famous beach resort of Honolulu. The wide, crescent shaped beach which is always packed with tourists is backed by numerous hotels, restaurants, and shops.
Pearl Harbor is one of Honolulu's biggest tourist attractions. Although it is home to the Navy's Pacific Fleet, visitors can take a tour to see the USS Arizona Memorial, and the USS Missouri.
Saturday Farmer's Market
The Saturday Farmer's Market is held in Parking Lot C of Kapiolani Community College. It features all Hawaii grown and produced foods including fruits, vegetables, flowers, beef, tropical jams and jellies, aqua cultured seafood, fresh baked goods, hand made pastas, snack foods, honey, and specialty seasonings.
Moanalua Gardens Park
Honolulu International Airport
Honolulu airport is the primary airport of Hawaii. It is located just west of downtown Honolulu.
Address: 300 Rodgers Boulevard, Honolulu, HI 96819-1880, United States
Pacific Aerospace Museum (closed)
The Pacific Aerospace Museum features exhibits dealing with aviation and aerospace technology and history. The main display is an Apollo Mission Lunar Landing module and a Space Shuttle cockpit mockup. Aviation connected with Pacific flight is featured.
More Honolulu Pictures
Map of Honolulu Attractions