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Few beaches have been as fabled as Waikiki. Since the 1950s, this beach has been a tourist destination. Upon seeing the white sand beaches and crystal blue waters, there won't be any question why this beach is so popular. If that wasn't enough, the beach is also one of the best places to surf on the island. During the night, visitors strut their clubwear on the beachwalk, and lovers find peaceful little nooks under the cover of sweeping palm trees. Affording scenic views of the Diamond Head, the beach exists quite in tandem with Hawaii's laid-back spirit.
Just steps from the shoreline of the world famous Waikiki Beach, this statue commemorates the greatness of Hawaii's most famous waterman, Duke Kahanamoku. The shy pure-blooded Hawaiian lived a life that included Olympic gold and silver medals, life saving water rescues and movies. He is also known as one of the greatest surfers of all time and the founder of the Hui Nalu Canoe Club, that still competes in state wide races to this day. He was christened as Duke by Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop and grew up on land that is presently the Hilton Hawaiian Village. He died on January 22, 1968 and his ashes were scattered just beyond the surf break at Waikiki.
Also known as Le'ahi, this crater of an extinct volcano got its name when Western explorers mistook calcite crystals they found there for diamonds. Framing the fabric of the island, the crater is riddled with a tracery of vents and volcanic remnants. The historic trail to the 761-foot (231.9 meter) summit starts inside the crater and is an easy, but steep, 0.8 mile (1.3 kilometers) hike to the top. Adorned with craggy corrugations and tufts of sun-bleached grass, Diamond Head affords astounding views of Oahu's charming landscape, including some exceptional views of its beaches and locales.
Located near the intersection of South Beretania and Lauhala Streets in the heart of Honolulu, this bell is a memorial and a symbol of peace. Mounted on the grounds of the Frank F. Fasi Civic Center, it is a replica of the bell of Nagasaki at Urakami Cathedral in Japan. The bell was given to the city of Honolulu from survivors of the atomic bombing at Nagasaki. Furthermore, the memorial consists of simple modern lines, a sundial and is topped with a crane. The Nagasaki Peace Bell is also part of the annual ceremonies that commemorate the atomic bombings and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
This graceful pink, tile-roofed California-Spanish mission style structure was built in 1929 and now serves as Honolulu's City Hall. Hale (pronounced HA-lay) means "house" in Hawaiian. The open interior courtyard is patterned after the Bargello, a 13th-century palace in Florence, Italy. Public space in the high-ceilinged lobby is often used for art exhibits, concerts and other public events. Between mid-December and the beginning of January, huge statues of Santa and Mrs. Claus in Hawaiian attire, penguins, reindeer and other winter decorations cavort across the expansive lawn and fountains. Admission is free.
Dedicated just two months after the attacks on 9-11-01, this simple but prominent memorial is located at the corner of Punchbowl and South King Streets fronting Honolulu Hale. Topped off by an eternal gas lit flame, the memorial was designed by City Managing Director Ben Lee and lit by Laura Brough's daughter Georgine Corrigan, along with her husband and two sons, who was killed in the air disaster of United flight 93 at Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The simple black three-sided memorial is etched with two grey towers and an inscription honoring all those who were sacrificed that day.
The bronze statue by Marisol Escobar stands at the center of the main entrance of the Hawaii State Capitol Building. Joseph de Veuster is celebrated as the selfless Belgian Catholic priest who is most noted for providing care to many who suffered from Hansen's disease and banished to the remote Kalaupapa along the north shore of the island of Molokai. Father Damien gave selflessly and eventually became a victim of the disease from which his congregation suffered. He was canonized as a saint on October 9, 2011 during a mass at the Vatican and remains Hawaii's only saint. - Lottie Tagupa
Wedged between the Hawaii State Library and the Iolani Palace, the original archives building was the first building in the USA to be solely dedicated to archival purposes. Designed by architect Oliver Green Traphagen and completed in August 1906, it still is the repository dedicated to collecting and preserving government records that include many documents from the Hawaiian monarchy to present legislative sessions. There is an invaluable collection that includes photographs, documents on Hawaiian history, royal documents and even logs of Pacific Ocean voyages. The building is a reflection of Hawaiian renaissance revival architecture that includes a 30x40 foot fireproof steel vault. - Lottie Tagupa
Located on the grounds of Iolani Palace near the intersection of Richards and South King Street, The Keli'iponi (as it's historically known), was the centerpiece of the Hawaiian Monarchy. It was completed in 1883 especially for the coronation of King David Kalakaua and has been the site of several ceremonies, including the inauguration of the Governors of the State of Hawaii. Originally located between the Palace and the King Street entrance, the domed roof is adorned with the seal of the Hawaiian Kingdom. It was moved closer to the southwest corner and rebuilt in 1910 to make room for vehicle access to the Palace grounds.
Designed by American artist T.R. Gould, the King Kamehameha Statue sits in front of Aliiolani Hale in the heart of historical Honolulu. This statue is the more popular of four, two of which are located on the big Island of Hawaii and another in Statuary Hall in Washington D.C. The Honolulu statue was dedicated in 1893 as a part of King David Kalakaua's coronation ceremonies that took place just across the street on the grounds of Iolani Palace. The statue pays homage to King Kamehameha the Great, who unified the Hawaiian Islands under the Kamehameha dynasty that continued uninterrupted until overthrown in 1893. - Lottie Tagupa
Located just a few steps from the Iolani Palace, this classic medieval fortress was originally built in 1871 on the grounds of where the Hawaii State Capitol Building is. Halekoa (as it is historically called) was the home of the Royal Guard of the Hawaiian Kingdom until the overthrow in 1893. In the post monarchy years, it was the headquarters of the Hawaii National Guard. It also served as an annex for government offices and disaster shelters. In 1965, the building was moved stone by stone to the Palace grounds. Today, the building is home to the offices for the Friends of Iolani Palace, a gift shop, visitors and ticket office of the Palace Grounds.
Built in 1882 by Hawaii's last king, David Kalakaua, this stately three-story building is a real treat to explore. After the overthrow of the King's sister Queen Liliuokalani in 1893, the structure served as the territorial and state capitol until 1969. The Palace Galleries showcase jewels and regalia from the days of Hawaiian royalty. Guided tours are offered every 30 minutes and reservations are suggested.