Places to Visit in Honolulu
Honolulu: Place that Promise Exotic Escape
The capital city and main point of entry for many visitors traveling to Hawaii, Honolulu is state’s largest city and gateway to tropical paradise of Hawaii. Located 3,800 KM west of California, it is best known for its historical Perl Harbor and top destination- Waikiki Beach. It is a fast-paced metropolis with world-class hotels, high rise buildings, shopping malls and various districts featuring shopping, dining and nightlife. Majority of tourists come here for beaches, soft sands, water sports, exotic flowers, beautiful backdrop and magnificent volcanoes. It is rich in history and has many historic sites from Hawaiian king’s residence to WWII memorials. Below given is rundown of places to visit in Honolulu:
- Ala Moana Park
Tucked between Waikiki and Honolulu, Ala Moana Park and beach provides good view of Waikiki. The park is a playground that offers something for everyone, including beach stretch of white sand. The beach offers picnic tables, shady trees and more. There are tennis courts, 3 concessions stands, yacht club and half crescent beach known as Magic Island. The beach is good for swimming with man-made reef protecting it from sea. On its western end, Kewalo Basin, also known as Fisherman’s Wharf, is beautiful port where visitors can hire boat to go fishing.
- Lyon Arboretum
Spanned in 200-acre, Lyon Arboretum is a botanical garden in a rainforest, featuring collection of more than 5,000 tropical plants from Polynesia and Hawaii. Its botanical collection has artificial lowland tropical rainforest with various trails. Visitors will find large collection of gingers, palm trees, Heliconias and other tropical plants. There are number of themed gardens here, such as Native Hawaiian garden, Herb and Spice garden, Ethnobotanical garden and more. At the end of main trail, there is Aihualama Falls which is small and beautiful and is worth the trip.
- Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor is one of the biggest attractions of Honolulu. In the massive attack on this harbor, USS Arizona was one of the ships that sank. More than 75 years after attack, the site is most visited on island of Oahu and there are many exhibits, memorials and other historic sites to explore. Home to Navy’s Pacific Fleet, visitors can take a tour to see USS Missouri and USS Arizona Memorial.
- Iolani Palace
Built in 1882, Iolani Palace was the royal residence of the rulers of the Kingdom of Hawaii. It is an impressive neo-classical building and has been restored to its former glory. It is great place to experience Hawaiian history. The palace is now National Historic Landmark listed on National Register of Historic Places. It is the only royal palace on US soil and was opened to public as museum in 1978. The interior boasts wood paneling and carving of native woods.
- Foster Botanical Garden
Established in 1853, Foster Botanical Garden spreads in 13.5 acres and is one of five public gardens on Oahu. It is oldest botanical garden in Hawaii and listed on National Register of Historic Places. Prehistoric Glen is main highlights here with its cycads and ferns. Other highlights include Lyon Orchid Garden which is oldest section and is known as Main Terrace, and number of exceptional trees spread throughout the property.
- Queen Emma Summer Palace
Built in 1848, Queen Emma Summer Palace is white colonial mansion has served as retreat for Queen Emma of Hawaii, her husband and son. It is now historic landmark, tourist site and museum. The museum has koa furniture, quilts as well as Emma’s wedding dress. It has six rooms and one room has Gothic curved glass cabinet given by Queen Victoria. This cabinet was made in Germany from Koa logs and shipped from Hawaii. Three rooms across middle house showcases Hawaiian feather capes containing 100,000 feathers, glass, wooden bowls, glass, jewelry, silver and tapa cloths.
- Waikiki Beach
Waikiki Beach is the most famous beach in the world and is first beach to come in mind when people of think of Hawaii. With mesmerizing views of volcano Diamond Head, it is known for its large crescent shaped beach, where visitors come to swim, lie in sun and learn to surf. Hotels, restaurants and stores line up the oceanfront street. Additionally, it is also most crowded due to number of resort hotels. The beach is divided into 8 main sections, which are different from one another.