Famed for its beautiful horseshoe-shaped sandy beach and clear, calm turquoise waters, this natural marine sanctuary is home to thousands of colorful tropical fish. The waist-deep water inside the reef is perfect for novice snorkelers to explore. More experienced snorkelers might want to check with the lifeguard before venturing beyond to deeper waters to see sea turtles and other marine life. The Bay is least crowded in the early morning or late afternoon.
On December 7, 1941, the battleship USS Arizona was sunk, taking 1100 sailors with it. In 1961, a solemn white monument was erected above the midsection of the ship. The deck of the Arizona lies now six feet (1.83 meters) below the surface of Pearl Harbor and is clearly visible from the monument. Take the shuttle launch from shore to the monument and view the dark shape of a once-great ship with its silent crew. Free guided tours are offered 8a-1p daily. Visit the Battleship Missouri Memorial afterward.
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.
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.
Stand on the deck of this imposing old structure that has been painstakingly cared for and extensively renovated. The "Mighty Mo" is where General Douglas MacArthur proclaimed the end of World War II in September of 1945. The great vintage battleship now sits at permanent anchor across from the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. You can visit the Arizona Memorial first to get a sense of the complete story.
Tucked in the back of lush Manoa Valley is Manoa waterfall, which is commonly thought to be one of the most beautiful sights of O'ahu. It rushes over a precipice and drops 100 feet to the pool below. The briskly cold water makes a refreshing change from the Hawaiian air. The hike to the waterfall takes approximately an hour and is not particularly difficult. The trail can get slippery during the rain, but on sunny days, it's clearly marked and easy to follow.
A vision by the artist John Chin Young is now a reality, known as the John Young Museum of Art that is located on the University of Hawaii premises. The museum showcases tribal art and culture from Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands. If you are a culture art lover then you will surely enjoy the workshops that provide information about the art displayed in the museum and also general art information.
At this beach paradise, the Ala Wai Canal at Honolulu has its fair share of visitors too. It is an artificial water feature that was built with the purpose of draining off water to develop a tourist spot at Waikiki. You can enjoy paddling, boating or a leisurely stroll at this lovely canal.
Hanauma Bay boasts some of the best snorkeling in the entire world. You can see schools of exotic fish without even wading out past hip-level. However, if you're unfamiliar with the ocean or you've never tried snorkeling before, it's nice to go with an experienced guide. Hanauma Bay Dive Tours is a great option for that. The price of a snorkeling tour includes transportation, instruction and equipment. Depending on which package you choose, you can spend up to four hours at the bay.
Located at the edge of her fabulous and favorite estate, the statue of Princess Kaiulani pays homage to the aloha she has for her subjects. Historically, several Hawaiian royals maintained homes in Waikiki. None was more elaborate than that of Hawaii's beloved Princess Kaiulani. Her estate encompassed 10 acres as well as being filled with coconut groves ponds, gardens and the islands first Banyan tree. Moreover, there were many peacocks, descendants of which still roam through the Honolulu Zoo just blocks away. Ainahau was demolished to make way for the Princess Kaiulani hotel in 1955, but Hawaii's love for the young Princess still endures. - Lottie Tagupa
This Convention Center, the home of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, is essentially for tourists arriving in the enticing city of Honolulu. Be it restaurants, hotels, tourist attractions or recreational activities, it keeps you updated and plugged in with the latest information and happenings on the island. You will be amazed to see the wonderful exteriors of the building complex that comprises a rooftop tropical garden and surfboard shaped facades. Various events are also held in the premises. Check out the website for the latest events and tourist packages.
Guide Michael Walther has spent his life studying local flora and fauna, and he imparts his knowledge during these interesting eco-excursions. Invigorate yourself with an early morning hike to the 763-foot summit of the Diamond Head Crater. Visit magnificent waterfalls during the afternoon rainforest excursion in the Ko'olau mountains. There are several tours to choose from, as well as combination tour packages. Call for more details.