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.
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.
Koko Crater Railway Trail is a trail for every nature enthusiast. The old railway tracks here, which were used once for transporting goods, are now defunct and used as stairs to head up to the mountain. The trail covers a large part of the Koko Head and offers spectacular views of the Honolulu shoreline. The panorama is a major highlight and is definitely worth the challenging climb. Visitors can also explore the Botanical Garden located at the top of the Koko Crater.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977, Makapu'u Point is the southeastern most point of Oahu. The Makapu’u Lighthouse was constructed in 1909 and automated in 1974. A cylindrical brick tower, with a balcony and a lantern, the lighthouse has a masonry basement foundation. Equipped with a hyper radiant Fresnel Lens, it has the largest lens of any lighthouse in the United States. Sitting atop a volcanic point, the lighthouse is ideal for whale watching. The surrounding rocky cliffs are popular with hang gliders.
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.
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.
Makiki District Park has something for almost everyone. It features four public tennis courts, basketball courts, a community garden, grassy patches, a playground, skateboard ramp and a giant pool. Its a nice spot to play, walk your dog or just relax with a book in hand.
People both young and old love to visit this age old park that attracts hordes of visitors year after year. This lush green park is the largest of its kind in the city and finds itself hosting a variety of special games, events and shows from time to time. Thus, you will be able to witness a wide range of social, community and sports events at Kapiolani Regional Park. Take long leisurely walks as you take in the breathtaking sight of sprawling green lands cocooned by gigantic trees and enjoy the bounty of nature. It houses the Honolulu Cricket Club, the only such club in Hawaii and consequently holds a large number of cricket events as well. Heading further south along the park will lead you to the beach park by the same name.
Named after the illustrious mayor of Honolulu, Frank Francis Faci, this splendid park lies at the heart of the city's historic district. Historic edifices, like the municipal building and the city hall,, watch over this lovely patch of greenery. The Frank F. Fasi Civic Center Grounds were laid out on the behest of the mayor himself, who replaced the parking complex that previously stood here with this lovely community space. The park is a great place to simply relax beneath the cool shade of the trees, or to enjoy a picnic with family and friends. As you stroll through the park, you will encounter several pieces of public art. Cultural and community events, like the annual City of Lights displays, fairs and concerts are often hosted here as well.
Children are encouraged to learn about a diverse range of subjects at this busy, colorful facility. It offers a number of fanciful interactive displays and learning toys. Every subject from physiology to sociology is explored. Tour the 'Global Village' or play a game of volleyball...with a robot! The 37,000 square foot space offers several hours of entertainment for kids and parents. The center has been open since late 1998. It's geared toward children aged 3-13.