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A Mini Guide to Honolulu
What can you Tell me About Honolulu?
You’d imagine that being Hawaii
, Honolulu would be a laid back town with great beaches, people in beachwear and wall to wall sunshine. Well some of that is true but Honolulu is a huge city which, with its metropolitan area, covers nearly all of the island of Oahu. It is much more laid back than the mainland cities but it is still a commercial city being the main financial centre for the Pacific. It does have great beaches too but it can rain as it is a tropical island despite the city being on the sheltered leeward side of the island.
How do I get to Honolulu?
Hawaii is very remote, despite being one of the US states. It’s over 2,000 miles from the coast of California
and flights to the islands almost all take off from western US mainland airports or from countries on the Pacific Rim. Travellers from Europe would have to first fly to a US city with connections on to Honolulu.
What are the Attractions of the City?
It’s not recommended as a place for a relaxing Hawaiian holiday but even close to such a big city, there are numerous unspoilt areas including remote white sandy beaches and lush green mountains. The Islands’ most famous beach, Waikiki, is found near Honolulu and it’s perfect for surfing despite being very crowded. The city is also home to Pearl Harbour, scene of the devastating Japanese attack in World War II. The harbour is still a US Navy base and has a museum and several memorials to those that died in the attack including one built over the wreck of the USS Arizona, now an official war grave. You’ll need to take the ferry out to the memorial but once there, you can look down upon the wreck. Related to the war against Japan is the Pacific Memorial Cemetery where tens of thousands of Americans who were killed in the conflict are buried. The cemetery is in a peaceful and attractive valley called the Punchbowl.
For an idea of what life was like before the islands became part of the US, visit the Bishop Museum, a huge campus of buildings detailing the island’s native people and their struggle to maintain their identity. Lots of their art and craftsmanship is on display there. They’ve also got exhibits about the islands’ volcanic history telling how some of them are still growing!