Hawaii and its capital city of Honolulu are extremely well known and well regarded as superb vacation destinations, and deservedly so. There is so much to see and do here that visitors return time and time again.
Al Awai Canal (photo courstesy of Wikipedia)
For first-time guests, the opportunity to explore a wealth of natural wonders, remarkable cultural heritage sites and fabulous regional cuisine is matched only by the exhilarating activities to enjoy on the beach, including snorkeling and surfing, plus a vibrant nightlife scene.
O’ahu is usually the first island of the Hawaiian archipelago that visitors experience. The third largest island, it is where the majority of Hawaii’s people live. Honolulu International Airport is located on the southeast coast of O’ahu about 20 minutes from Waikiki, the former playground of the Hawaiian royals. With its many hotels, fine restaurants and resorts, O’ahu absolutely lives up its traditional name of “gathering place.” Eminently accessible, the island is a major hub for many international and all major domestic flights.
Ala Wai Canal
Waikiki as it is today would not exist if not for the Ala Wai Canal, an artificial waterway created in 1928 for the purpose of providing drainage facilities to create this Mecca for tourists. The canal makes up the northern boundary of Waikiki and starts just northwest of Kapahulu Avenue, running along the length of Waikiki, then turning southwest to flow into the Pacific Ocean.
There are bridges across the canal at Ala Moana Boulevard as well as at McCully Street and Kalakaua Avenue. In Waikiki, the wonderful Ala Wai Promendae is home to a lively dining, shopping and resort area close to the fabulous Waikiki Beach and the exotic Sheraton Waikiki hotel.
Diamond in shape and diamond in quality, O’ahu is a stunningly beautiful island and a filming destination for many movie and television productions. The famous Sunset Beach on the northern shore is a surfer’s paradise in the winter, with huge waves of up to 30 feet. In the summer, the long sandy beach is a popular spot for collecting shells, while its clear, placid waters are ideal for snorkeling and swimming.
Marine enthusiasts will be interested in visiting Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, where the ecosystem has been gradually restored to provide protection for various species of fish. On O’ahu’s northern shore, visitors can observe sharks in their natural habitat – an unforgettable experience!
Besides Waikiki, there are many prominent sights to see in Honolulu, including Pearl Harbor and Makapuu Point. Historical places to visit while vacationing in the Ala Wai Canal area include the Kawaiahao Church, Iolani Palace and the Mission Houses. Cultural icons found on the island include the Hawaii Theatre as well as several fine art galleries and museums.
Other landmarks abound, such as the Aloha Tower and the Duke Kahanamoku Statue. As if the opportunities to enjoy the beaches and the remarkable cultural history of O’ahu were not enough, Honolulu also throws great entertainment events. Visitors can enjoy live music and energetic nightlife both in Waikiki and in Chinatown, plus lively festivals and events all year round.