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.
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.
This Pearl Harbor memorial park is dedicated to World War II submarines and their valiant crews. The park takes its name from a particularly distinguished sub, the USS Bowfin SS-287. Tour the narrow corridors and compartments where the crew worked, ate, and slept on nine hazardous missions. In addition to the Bowfin exhibit, there is a waterfront memorial. Also visit the Battleship Arizona and Missouri memorials.
When an unexpected military attack initiated by the Japanese Navy Air Service on America's naval base in Pearl Harbor jolted the entire nation, it spurred the United States' entry into World War II, thus changing the history of the world as people knew it. The attack caused subsequent world-changing events, and rendered this naval base in Hawaii a crucial part of American history and heritage. Today, Pearl Harbor is dominated by five historic sites that serve as solemn reminders of this day in American history. The USS Arizona Memorial, Battleship Missouri Memorial, USS Bowfin Submarine Museum Park, USS Oklahoma Memorial and the Pacific Aviation Museum are all part of the site of this war incident. The USS Arizona Memorial in particular pays homage to the sunken vessel.
All that is left of the vast Dole Plantation is a pictorial display of the pineapple's history and a country store that offers fresh pineapples and gifts. In the back, nearly two acres of rich, red earth have been turned into one of the world's largest mazes with a path 1.7 miles long. It is built from 11,400 tropical plants, including hibiscus and fragrant plumeria; in the center is a garden in the form of a golden pineapple. Try their fresh pineapple ice cream on your way out.
Built by the late heiress Doris Duke, this mansion is located in a gorgeous setting near Diamond Head. Influenced by Islam and other prevalent cultures from all across the globe, Shangri La is filled with items Duke collected over her life from the countries she visited with her husband, American diplomat James Cromwell. Now owned by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art (DDFIA), you can take a guided tour of the five-acre complex. Please check the website for further details.
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.
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.
Located on the second floor of the Chinese Cultural Plaza, this place is a bit of a hidden treasure. Several exhibits of Chinese art are displayed, ranging from traditional formal dress to ornate screens. Films play in a room to the side. The staff here consists of one mild-mannered security guard whose job it is to sign people in and out. Any questions can be addressed to the tourism office, located a few doors down.