Honolulu: Wikis


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Honolulu, Hawaii
—  CDP  —
Aerial view of downtown from Honolulu Harbor
Nickname(s): Crossroads of the Pacific, Sheltered Bay
Location in Honolulu County and the state of Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii is located in Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii
Location in Hawaii
Coordinates: 21°18′32″N 157°49′34″W / 21.30889°N 157.82611°W / 21.30889; -157.82611Coordinates: 21°18′32″N 157°49′34″W / 21.30889°N 157.82611°W / 21.30889; -157.82611
Country United States United States
State  Hawaii
County Honolulu
 - CDP 105 sq mi (272.1 km2)
 - Land 85.7 sq mi (222.0 km2)
 - Water 19.3 sq mi (50.1 km2)
Elevation 0 ft (Sea Level 0 m)
Population (2000)
 - CDP 371,657
 - Estimate (July 2006[1]) 377,357
 Metro 909,863
Time zone Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time (UTC-10)
Zip Code 96801-96825
Area code(s) 808
FIPS code 15-17000
GNIS feature ID 0366212

Honolulu is the capital of and the most populous census-designated place (CDP) in the U.S. state of Hawaii. Although Honolulu refers to the urban area on the southeastern shore of the island of Oahu, the city and the county are consolidated, known as the City and County of Honolulu, and the city and county is designated as the entire island. The City and County of Honolulu is the only incorporated city in Hawaii, as all other local government entities are administered at the county level. The population of the CDP was 371,657 at the 2000 census, while the population of the City and County was 909,863. In the Hawaiian language, Honolulu means "sheltered bay" or "place of shelter."



View of Honolulu Fort - Interior, c. 1853, painting by Paul Emmert

Evidence of the first settlement of Honolulu by the original Polynesian migrants to the archipelago comes from oral histories and artifacts. These indicate that there was a settlement where Honolulu now stands in the 12th century.[citation needed] However, after Kamehameha I conquered Oʻahu in the Battle of Nuʻuanu at Nuʻuanu Pali, he moved his royal court from the Island of Hawaiʻi to Waikīkī in 1804. His court later relocated, in 1809, to what is now downtown Honolulu.[citation needed]

In 1795, Captain William Brown of Great Britain was the first foreigner to sail into what is now Honolulu Harbor.[citation needed] More foreign ships would follow, making the port of Honolulu a focal point for merchant ships traveling between North America and Asia.[citation needed]

Queen Street, Honolulu, 1856, by George Henry Burgess
Upper Fort Street, Honolulu, 1867, by George Henry Burgess

In 1845, Kamehameha III moved the permanent capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom from Lahaina on Maui to Honolulu. He and the kings that followed him transformed Honolulu into a modern capital[citation needed], erecting buildings such as St. Andrew's Cathedral, ʻIolani Palace, and Aliʻiōlani Hale. At the same time, Honolulu became the center of commerce in the Islands, with descendants of American missionaries establishing major businesses in downtown Honolulu.[citation needed]

Despite the turbulent history of the late 19th century and early 20th century, which saw the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, Hawaiʻi's subsequent annexation by the United States, and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Honolulu would remain the capital, largest city, and main airport and seaport of the Hawaiian Islands.[citation needed]

An economic and tourism boom following statehood brought rapid economic growth to Honolulu and Hawaiʻi. Modern air travel would bring thousands and, as of 2007, 7.6 million visitors annually to the Islands.[2] Of these, about 62.3% in 2007 entered the state at Honolulu International Airport. Today, Honolulu is a modern city with numerous high-rise buildings, and Waikīkī is the center of the tourism industry in Hawaiʻi, with thousands of hotel rooms. The UK consulting firm Mercer, in a 2009 assessment "conducted to help governments and major companies place employees on international assignments", ranked Honolulu 29th worldwide in quality of living; the survey factored in political stability, personal freedom, sanitation, crime, housing, the natural environment, recreation, banking facilities, availability of consumer goods, education, and public services including transportation.[3]

Great Honolulu Chinatown Fire of 1900

Great Honolulu Chinatown Fire of 1900
Location Honolulu, Hawaii
Date January 20-February 6, 1900
Burned area 38 acres
Land use urban
Fatalities 40 (all from plague)

Witnesses said that a batch of bubonic plague was introduced to Honolulu on October 20, 1899 by an off loaded shipment of rice which had been carrying rats from the America Maru. At that time, Chinatown’s residences were in close proximity to each other were subject to poor living standards and sewage disposal. Plague infected 11 people. The response by the Board of Health included incinerating garbage, renovating the sewer system, putting Chinatown under quarantine, and most of all burning infected buildings. 41 fires were set, but on January 20, 1900 winds picked up and the fire spread to other buildings which was undesired.[4] The runaway fire burned for seventeen days and scorched 38 acres (15 Ha) of Honolulu. The fire campaign continued for another 31 controlled burns after the incident. The 7,000 homeless residents were housed in detention camps to maintain the quarantine until April 30. A total of 40 people died of the plague.

Wo Fat Building is an example of post-fire architecture, built 1900 after the fire

Critics accused the government of being driven by Sinophobia; regardless of the fire most likely being an accident, an exodus occurred. While the people rebuilt, they began to live in suburbs while continuing to work in Chinatown, to avoid going homeless if another disaster occurred. In addition the post-fire architecture began using masonry rather than wood, since the stone and brick buildings proved much more fire resistant during the fire.


Honolulu is located at 21°18′32″N 157°49′34″W / 21.30889°N 157.82611°W / 21.30889; -157.82611 (21.308950, -157.826182).[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 105.1 sq mi (272 km2). 85.7 sq mi (222 km2) of it is land and 19.4 sq mi (50 km2) of it (18.42%) is water.

The closest location on the mainland to Honolulu is the Point Arena, California Lighthouse, at 2,045 nautical miles (2,353 statute miles) or 3,787 kilometers.[6] (Nautical vessels require some additional distance to circumnavigate Makapu'u Point.) However, part of the Aleutian Islands of Alaska are slightly closer than California.


Honolulu is in a Wet and Dry Tropical zone (Köppen classification As) with a dry summer season. Nonetheless, its annual precipitation is low, bordering on a semi-arid climate, and the city receives plenty of sunshine throughout the year.[7] Despite its location in the tropics, the climate (temperature, precipitation and humidity) is moderated by Hawaii's mid-ocean location.

Temperatures vary little throughout the months, with average high temperatures of 80-89°F (27-32°C) and lows of 65-75°F (19-24°C) throughout the year. Temperatures rarely exceed 90's°F (32°C), with lows in the upper-50's°F (~15°C) occurring once or twice a year. Waters off the coast of Honolulu average 82°F (27°C) in the summer months and 77°F (25°C) in the winter months.[8]

Annual average precipitation is 18.3 inches (460 mm), which mainly occurs during the winter months of October through March, with very little rainfall during the summer. Honolulu has an average of 270 sunny days and 98 wet days a year.[9]

Climate data for Honolulu
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 88
Average high °F (°C) 80.4
Daily mean °F (°C) 73.0
Average low °F (°C) 65.7
Record low °F (°C) 52
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.73
Avg. precipitation days 8.8 7.9 9.0 8.6 7.3 5.8 7.2 5.4 6.9 7.3 9.1 9.7 93
Source: The Weather Channel[10] September 2008


Completed in 1928, Honolulu Hale is the city and county seat

The municipal offices of the City and County of Honolulu, including Honolulu Hale, the seat of the city and county, are located in the census-designated place.[11] The Hawaii state government buildings are also located in the CDP.

The Honolulu District is located on the southeast coast of Oahu between Makapuu and Halawa. The district boundary follows the Koolau crestline, so Makapuu Beach is in the Koolaupoko District. On the west, the district boundary follows Halawa Stream, then crosses Red Hill and runs just west of Aliamanu Crater, so that Aloha Stadium, Pearl Harbor (with the USS Arizona Memorial), and Hickam Air Force Base are actually all located in the island's Ewa District.

The United States Postal Service operates post offices in Honolulu CDP. The main Honolulu Post Office is located by the international airport at 3600 Aolele Street.[12] Federal Detention Center, Honolulu, operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, is in the CDP.[13]

Diplomatic missions

Several countries have diplomatic facilities in Honolulu CDP in the City and County of Honolulu. The Consulate-General of Japan in Honolulu is located at 1742 Nuuanu Avenue.[14] The Consulate-General of South Korea in Honolulu is located at 2756 Pali Highway.[15] The Consulate-General of the Philippines in Honolulu is located at 2433 Pali Highway.[16] The Consulate-General of the Federated States of Micronesia in Honolulu is located in Suite 908 at 3049 Ualena Street.[17] The Consulate-General of Australia in Honolulu is located in the penthouse of 1000 Bishop Street.[18] The Consulate-General of the Marshall Islands in Honolulu is located in Suite 301 at 1888 Lusitana Street.[19]


Panorama of Honolulu's waterfront.

Most of the city's commercial and industrial developments are located on a narrow but relatively flat coastal plain, while numerous ridges and valleys located inland of the coastal plain divide Honolulu's residential areas into distinct neighborhoods: some spread along valley floors (like Manoa in Manoa Valley) and others climb the interfluvial ridges. Within Honolulu proper can be found several volcanic cones: Punchbowl, Diamond Head, Koko Head (includes Hanauma Bay), Koko Crater, Salt Lake, and Aliamanu being the most conspicuous.


View of downtown from Punchbowl Crater
Honolulu as seen from the International Space Station
Downtown at Bishop and King streets, with First Hawaiian Center building (left) and Bank of Hawaii (right)
  • Downtown Honolulu is the financial, commercial, and governmental center of Hawaii. On the waterfront is Aloha Tower, which for many years was the tallest building in Hawaii. Currently the tallest building is the 438-foot (134 m)-tall First Hawaiian Center, located on King and Bishop Streets. The downtown campus of Hawaii Pacific University is also located there.
  • The Arts District Honolulu in downtown/Chinatown is on the eastern edge of Chinatown. It is a 12-block area bounded by Bethel & Smith Streets and Nimitz Highway and Beretania Street - home to numerous arts and cultural institutions. It is located within the Chinatown Historic District.[20]
  • The Capitol District is the eastern part of Downtown Honolulu. It is the current and historic center of Hawaii's state government, incorporating the Hawaii State Capitol, Iolani Palace, Honolulu Hale (City Hall), State Library, and the statue of King Kamehameha I, along with numerous government buildings.
  • Kakaʻako is a light-industrial district between Downtown and Waikīkī that has seen a large-scale redevelopment effort in the past decade. It is home to two major shopping areas, Ward Warehouse and Ward Centre. The John A. Burns School of Medicine, part of the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa is also located there. A Memorial to the Ehime Maru Incident victims is built at Kakaako Waterfront Park.
  • Waikīkī is the world-famous tourist district of Honolulu, located between the Ala Wai Canal and the Pacific Ocean next to Diamond Head. Numerous hotels, shops, and nightlife opportunities are located along Kalakaua and Kuhio Avenues. Waikīkī Beach attracts millions of visitors a year. Just west of Waikīkī is Ala Moana Center, the world's largest open-air shopping center[citation needed]. A majority of the hotel rooms on Oahu are located in Waikīkī.
  • Manoa and Makiki are residential neighborhoods located in adjacent valleys just inland of downtown and Waikīkī. Manoa Valley is home to the main campus of the University of Hawaiʻi. President Barack Obama lived in Makiki with his maternal grandparents until graduating from Punahou School, apart from four years in Indonesia with his mother and stepfather.
  • Nuʻuanu and Pauoa are upper-middle-class residential districts located inland of downtown Honolulu. The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific is located in Punchbowl Crater fronting Pauoa Valley.
  • Palolo and Kaimuki are neighborhoods east of Manoa and Makiki, inland from Diamond Head. Palolo Valley parallels Manoa and is a residential neighborhood. Kaimuki is primarily a residential neighborhood with a commercial strip centered on Waialae Avenue running behind Diamond Head. Chaminade University is located in Kaimuki.
  • Waialae and Kahala are upper-class districts of Honolulu located directly east of Diamond Head, where there are many high-priced homes. Also found in these neighborhoods are the Waialae Country Club and The Kahala Hotel & Resort.
  • East Honolulu includes the residential communities of ʻĀina Haina, Niu Valley, and Hawaiʻi Kai. These are considered upper-middle-class neighborhoods. The upscale gated communities of Waiʻalae ʻiki and Hawaiʻi Loa Ridge are also located here.
  • Kalihi and Palama are working-class neighborhoods with a number of government housing developments. Lower Kalihi, toward the ocean, is a light-industrial district.
  • Salt Lake and Aliamanu are (mostly) residential areas built in extinct tuff cones along the western end of the Honolulu District, not far from the Honolulu International Airport.
  • Moanalua is two neighborhoods and a valley at the western end of Honolulu, and home to Tripler Army Medical Center.


State of Hawaii's Capitol building

As of the census[21] of 2000, there were 371,657 people, 140,337 households, and 87,429 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 4,336.6 people per square mile (1,674.4/km2). There were 158,663 housing units at an average density of 1,851.3/sq mi (714.8/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 19.67% White, 1.62% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 55.85% Asian, 6.85% Pacific Islander, 0.89% from other races; and 14.93% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.37% of the population.

There were 140,337 households out of which 23.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.5% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.7% were non-families. 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size is 3.23.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 19.2% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 24.1% from 45 to 64, and 17.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 96.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.5 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $45,112, and the median income for a family was $56,311. Males had a median income of $36,631 versus $29,930 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $24,191. About 7.9% of families and 11.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.6% of those under the age of 18 and 8.5% of those 65 and older.

As of the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, White Americans made up 22.2% of Honolulu's population; of which 20.5% were non-Hispanic whites. Blacks or African Americans made up 2.3% of Honolulu's population; of which 2.2% were non-Hispanic blacks. American Indians made up 0.2% of Honolulu's population; of which 0.1% were non-Hispanic. Asian Americans made up 52.3% of Honolulu's population; of which 51.6% were non-Hispanic. Pacific Islander Americans made up 5.9% of Honolulu's population. Individuals from some other race made up 0.8% of the city's population; of which 0.2% were non-Hispanic. Individuals from two or more races made up 16.3% of the city's population; of which 15.0% were non-Hispanic. In addition, Hispanics and Latinos made up 4.5% of Honolulu's population.[22]


Go! Mokulele,[23] Hawaiian Airlines,[24] Island Air,[25] and Aloha Air Cargo are headquartered in the CDP.[26][27] Prior to its dissolution, Aloha Airlines was headquartered in the CDP.[28]


Honolulu International Airport reef runway
Aerial view of H-1 (looking east) from Honolulu Airport heading into downtown Honolulu


Located on the western end of the CDP, Honolulu International Airport (HNL) is the principal aviation gateway to the state of Hawaii. Kalaeloa Airport is primarily a commuter facility used by unscheduled air taxis, general aviation and transient and locally-based military aircraft.


Honolulu has the nation’s second highest metropolitan travel time during peak commute hours, second from Los Angeles. The following freeways, part of the Interstate Highway System serve Honolulu:

Other major highways that link Honolulu proper with other parts of the Island of Oahu are:

Like most major American cities, the Honolulu metropolitan area experiences heavy traffic congestion during rush hours, especially to and from the western suburbs of Kapolei, Ewa, Aiea, Pearl City, Waipahu, and Mililani.

There is a Hawaii Electric Vehicle Demonstration Project (HEVDP).[29]

Public transportation


Established by former Mayor Frank F. Fasi, Honolulu's TheBus system has been twice honored by the American Public Transportation Association bestowing the title of "America's Best Transit System" for 1994–1995 and 2000–2001. TheBus operates 107 routes serving Honolulu and outlying areas on Oahu with a fleet of 531 buses, and is run by the non-profit corporation Oahu Transit Services in conjunction with the city Department of Transportation Services. Honolulu is ranked 4th for highest per-capita use of mass transit in the United States.[30]

A ferry linked to TheBus began service in September 2007 known as TheBoat. Fare for TheBoat is $2.00, and ran from Barber's Point to Aloha Tower Marketplace daily. But on July 1, 2009, TheBoat service was discontinued.[31]


Currently, there is no urban rail transit system (whether a subway/elevated line or suburban commuter trains) in Honolulu. Electric street railways were once used during the early days of Honolulu's history. The first major attempt to establish a rapid transit line was called the Honolulu Area Rail Rapid Transit (HART) project. Originally proposed in 1968 by Mayor Neal S. Blaisdell and supported by his successor, Frank Fasi, HART was originally envisioned as a 29-mile (47 km) line from Pearl City to Hawaii Kai. By 1980, however, the project's length had been shorten to just an 8-mile (13 km) segment between the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Honolulu International Airport.

In the wake of proposed budget cuts by President Ronald Reagan, newly elected Mayor Eileen Anderson cancelled the project in 1981 and returned grants and funding to their sources,[32][33] arguing the project would break her vow of fiscal responsibility.[34][35]

After defeating Anderson in 1984 to regain the mayorship, Fasi started plans to revive the HART project. Funding avenues that Fasi explored included a substantial (66 percent) increase in the gasoline tax and diversion of money earmarked for then-stalled Interstate H-3 to be used for the project. In 1990, Governor John Waihee proposed allowing counties to collect a 0.5% increase in the excise tax to be used for transportation projects, and the state legislature approved the plan in May 1990. The counties would have until October 1, 1992 to enact the increase.

In October 1991, the Fasi administration chose Oahu Transit Group to develop the rail line, which was based on cars by AEG Westinghouse similar to those used in the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit system. The U.S. House amended a transit bill to include $618 million for Honolulu's project, about one-third of the cost, and the Council in November entered into a joint funding agreement with the state.

On September 23, 1992, the city council voted 5-4 against enacting the tax increase, which effectively destroyed the project. Fasi made unsuccessful attempts to have a rail referendum (which was struck down by the courts), and to have private investors fund part of the line. The House revoked funding for the project on May 11, 1993, citing lack of guaranteed local funding.

In 2005, under the administration of Mufi Hannemann, the city, county and state approved development of an action plan for a unspecific rapid transit system, known as the "Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project", to be built in several phases. The initial line proposed linking Kapolei in West Oahu to the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Then on December 22, 2006 the city council approved a fixed-guideway system meant to accommodate a rapid transit system of rail or buses, running from Kapolei in West Oahu to Ala Moana, with spurs into Waikiki and Manoa.[36]

Opponents of the proposed rail system attempted to place a measure on the Honolulu ballot which would have prohibited any rail system from being used, but failed to gather the required signatures in time. In response, the Honolulu City Council voted to put a question on the Honolulu ballot which would direct the city transportation department to create a steel-wheel-on-steel-rail transit system.

On November 4, 2008, the residents of Honolulu voted to allow the process of developing the rail project to continue. The trains will be approximately 200 feet (61 m) long, electric, steel wheel to steel rail technology and will capable of carrying more than 300 passengers each.[37][38] The measure passed with 52% of the vote.[39]

The line is scheduled to open in five phases between 2012 and 2018:[40]

The rail line, as currently planned, will be built starting from suburban areas in Kapolei and Ewa, and progressing towards the urban center in Honolulu. This is because the first phase includes a baseyard for trains, and a planning decision by the city to delay the major infrastructure impacts associated with construction in the urban center to later phases of the project.[41]

Cultural institutions

With symbolic native-styled architectural features, First Hawaiian Center is the tallest building in Hawaii and home to one of two Contemporary Museum galleries

Performing arts

Established in 1900, the Honolulu Symphony is the oldest US symphony orchestra west of the Rocky Mountains. Other classical music ensembles include the Hawaii Opera Theatre. Honolulu is also a center for Hawaiian music. The main music venues include the Neal Blaisdell Center Concert Hall, the Waikiki Shell, and the Hawaii Theatre.

Honolulu also includes several venues for live theater, including the Diamond Head Theatre.

Visual arts

There are various institutions supported by the state and private entities for the advancement of the visual arts. The Honolulu Academy of Arts is endowed with the largest collection of Asian and Western art in Hawaii. It also has the largest collection of Islamic art, housed at the Shangri La estate. The academy hosts a film and video program dedicated to arthouse and world cinema in the museum's Doris Duke Theatre, named for the academy's historic patroness Doris Duke.

The Contemporary Museum is the only contemporary art museum in the state. It has two locations: main campus in Makiki and a multi-level gallery in downtown Honolulu at the First Hawaiian Center.

The Hawaii State Art Museum is also located in downtown Honolulu at No. 1 Capitol District Building and boasts a collection of art pieces created by local artists as well as traditional Hawaiian art. The museum is administered by the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts.

Natural museums

The Bishop Museum is the largest of Honolulu's museums. It is endowed with the state's largest collection of natural history specimens and the world's largest collection of Hawaiiana and Pacific culture artifacts.[citation needed] The Honolulu Zoo is the main zoological institution in Hawaii while the Waikiki Aquarium is a working marine biology laboratory. The Waikiki Aquarium is partnered with the University of Hawaii and other universities worldwide. Established for appreciation and botany, Honolulu is home to several gardens: Foster Botanical Garden, Liliuokalani Botanical Garden, Walker Estate, among others.


Honolulu's climate lends itself to year-round fitness activities. In 2004, Men's Fitness magazine named Honolulu the fittest city in the United States.[42] Honolulu is also home to three large road races:

Ironman Hawaii was first held in Honolulu, it was the first ever Ironman and is also the World Champs.

Fans of spectator sports in Honolulu generally support the football, volleyball, basketball, and baseball programs of the University of Hawaii at Manoa.[citation needed] High school sporting events, especially football, are especially popular.

Honolulu has no professional sports teams. It was the home of the Hawaii Islanders (Pacific Coast League, 1961–1987), The Hawaiians (World Football League, 1974–1975), Team Hawaii (North American Soccer League, 1977), and the Hawaiian Islanders (af2, 2002–2004).

The NCAA football Hawaii Bowl is played in Honolulu. Honolulu has also hosted the NFL's annual Pro Bowl each February since 1980, though the 2010 Pro Bowl was played in Miami.[43] From 1993 to 2008, Honolulu hosted Hawaii Winter Baseball, featuring minor league players from Major League Baseball, Nippon Professional Baseball, Korea Baseball Organization, and independent leagues.


Venues for spectator sports in Honolulu include:

Aloha Stadium, a venue for American football and soccer (football), is located in the Halawa CDP.[44]


Honolulu is served by two daily newspapers, Honolulu Magazine, several radio stations and television stations, among other media.

Tourist attractions

See also Oahu tourist attractions
See also Sites related to President Obama in Honolulu


Colleges and universities

Colleges and universities in the Honolulu CDP include Honolulu Community College, Kapiolani Community College, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Chaminade University, and Hawaii Pacific University.[27]

Primary and secondary schools

Hawaii Department of Education operates public schools in Honolulu. Public high schools within the CDP include Wallace Rider Farrington, Kaimuki, Kalani, Moanalua, William McKinley, and Theodore Roosevelt.[27]

Private schools such as Hawaii Baptist Academy, Iolani School, Kamehameha Schools, Mid-Pacific Institute, and Punahou School also exist.

Public libraries

Hawaii State Public Library System operates public libraries. The Hawaii State Library in the CDP serves as the main library of the system,[45] while the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, also in the CDP, serves handicapped and blind people.[46]

Branches in the CDP include Aina Haina,[47] Hawaii Kai,[48] Kaimuki,[49] Kalihi-Palama,[50] Manoa,[51] McCully,[52] Salt Lake-Moanalua,[53] and Waikiki.[54]


  1. ^ http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/15/1517000.html
  2. ^ "2007 Annual Visitor Research Report". Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism, State of Hawaii. 1 July 2008. http://hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/visitor-stats/visitor-research/2007-annual-research.pdf. Retrieved 2009-05-30. 
  3. ^ "Quality of Living global city rankings 2009 – Mercer survey". Mercer. 28 April 2009. http://www.mercer.com/referencecontent.htm?idContent=1173105. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  4. ^ www.hawaiiforvisitors.com
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ Microsoft Streets and Trips 2007 Software, Copyright 2006 by Microsoft Corp. et al. Kilometers converted to nautical and statute miles by figures given in The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2007, Copyright World Alamnac Education Group, p.350-353
  7. ^ "Monthly Averages for Honolulu, HI". Weather.com. http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimatology/monthly/USHI0026. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  8. ^ www.weather.com
  9. ^ http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weatherall.php3?s=28119&refer=&units=us
  10. ^ "Monthly Averages for Honolulu, HI". The Weather Channel. 2008. http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/USHI0026?from=36hr_bottomnav_undeclared. Retrieved 2008-09-19. 
  11. ^ www.honolulu.gov
  12. ^ "Post Office Location - HONOLULU." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on May 21, 2009.
  13. ^ "FDC Honolulu Contact Information." Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved on December 30, 2009.
  14. ^ "Visa & Travel." Consulate-General of Japan in Honolulu. Accessed August 17, 2008.
  15. ^ "Location." Consulate-General of South Korea in Honolulu. Retrieved on January 10, 2009.
  16. ^ "Other Philippine Missions in the U.S.." Consulate-General of the Philippines in Chicago. Retrieved on January 10, 2009.
  17. ^ "Department of Foreign Affairs, Overseas Embassies, Consulates, and Missions." Department of Foreign Affairs (Federated States of Micronesia). Retrieved on January 10, 2009.
  18. ^ "Australian Consulate-General in Honolulu, United States of America." Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Retrieved on January 10, 2009.
  19. ^ "Foreign Mission." Republic of the Marshall Islands. Retrieved on January 28, 2009.
  20. ^ http://www.artsdistricthonolulu.com/
  21. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  22. ^ http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/ADPTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=31200US261801517000&-qr_name=ACS_2008_1YR_G00_DP5&-context=adp&-ds_name=&-tree_id=308&-_lang=en&-redoLog=false&-format=
  23. ^ "Contact Us." Mesa Air Group. Retrieved on February 23, 2010.
  24. ^ "Corporate Headquarters." Hawaiian Airlines. Retrieved on May 20, 2009.
  25. ^ "Contact Information." Island Air. Retrieved on May 20, 2009.
  26. ^ "Locations." Aloha Air Cargo. Retrieved on May 21, 2009.
  27. ^ a b c "Honolulu CDP, HI." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on May 21, 2009.
  28. ^ "Aloha Airlines, Inc." BusinessWeek. Retrieved on May 21, 2009.
  29. ^ "Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies". High Technology Development Corporation. http://www.htdc.org/programsservices/hcatt.html. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  30. ^ National Transit Database, Top Transit Cities (2006)
  31. ^ http://thebus.org/updates July 1, 2009.
  32. ^ "Honolulu: trains at last?". Railway Age. November, 1990. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1215/is_n11_v191/ai_9205644/pg_1. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  33. ^ "Honolulu's mayor ends proposal for rail line in downtown area". New York Times. June 28, 1981. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20612F83A5C0C7B8EDDAF0894D9484D81. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  34. ^ Leavitt, Judith A. (1985). American Women Managers and Administrators. Greenwood Press. pp. 8–9. ISBN 0313237484. 
  35. ^ "Will rail fly this time?". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. December 16, 1998. http://archives.starbulletin.com/98/12/16/news/story2.html. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  36. ^ Kua, Crystal (December 23, 2006). "All Aboard!". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. http://archives.starbulletin.com/2006/12/23/news/story01.html. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  37. ^ http://www.khnl.com/Global/story.asp?S=9295785 Honolulu - Rail transit passes
  38. ^ http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081106/NEWS01/811060369/1001/NEWS05 Honolulu rail might be rerouted to airport
  39. ^ "Voters on Oahu say 'yes' to rail". Honolulu Advertiser. November 5, 2008. http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20081105/NEWS05/811050417. Retrieved 2008-11-05. 
  40. ^ City and County of Honolulu Department of Transportation Services, Project Schedule (PDF), retrieved on 13 January 2009
  41. ^ Hao, Sean (2008-02-25), "First phase of rail would end in Pearl City", Honolulu Advertiser, http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2008/Feb/25/ln/hawaii802250354.html, retrieved 2009-03-16 
  42. ^ http://pacific.bizjournals.com/pacific/stories/2004/01/05/daily10.html
  43. ^ Arnett, Paul; Reardon, Dave (December 30, 2008), "Miami tackles Pro Bowl", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, http://www.starbulletin.com/news/20081230_Miami_tackles_Pro_Bowl.html?page=all&c=y, retrieved 2008-12-30 
  44. ^ "Halawa CDP, Hawaii." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on May 21, 2009.
  45. ^ "Hawaii State Library." Hawaii State Public Library System. Retrieved on May 22, 2009.
  46. ^ "Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped." Hawaii State Public Library System. Retrieved on May 22, 2009.
  47. ^ "Aina Haina public Library." Hawaii State Public Library System. Retrieved on May 22, 2009.
  48. ^ "Hawaii Kai Library." Hawaii State Public Library System. Retrieved on May 22, 2009.
  49. ^ "Kaimuki Public Library." Hawaii State Public Library System. Retrieved on May 22, 2009.
  50. ^ "Kalihi-Palama Public Library." Hawaii State Public Library System. Retrieved on May 22, 2009.
  51. ^ "Manoa Public Library." Hawaii State Public Library System. Retrieved on May 22, 2009.
  52. ^ "McCully Public Library." Hawaii State Public Library System. Retrieved on May 22, 2009.
  53. ^ "Salt Lake-Moanalua Public Library." Hawaii State Public Library System. Retrieved on May 22, 2009.
  54. ^ "Waikiki Public Library." Hawaii State Public Library System. Retrieved on May 22, 2009.

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Waikiki, from the lookout on Diamond Head
Waikiki, from the lookout on Diamond Head

Honolulu [1], on the island of Oahu, is the capital and largest city of the state of Hawaii. It is the center of government, transportation, and commerce for the state; home to a population of nearly one million people in the metro area (80% of the state's population) and Hawaii's best know tourist destination, Waikiki Beach.

The majority of visitors to Hawaii enter through this city, meaning this is definitely not the place to go for a "get-away-from-it-all" Hawaiian vacation - It is as fast-paced and dynamic as any city, with all its problems such as heavy traffic, drugs, crime, and homelessness. But Honolulu still has the charm of the Islands' laid-back atmosphere and culture.


Honolulu extends inland from the southeast shore of Oahu, east of Pearl Harbor to Makapu'u Point, and incorporates many neighborhoods and districts. You'll most often hear people refer to these districts by name -- Waikiki, Manoa, Kahala, Hawaii Kai and so on -- as though they're not part of the same city. Technically, they are. In fact, the municipal government of Honolulu covers the entire island of Oahu, including its outlying suburbs.

This guide focuses on attractions and accommodations located in Honolulu proper; for more information on Oahu's outlying communities, see the Oahu article.

For a closer look at a couple popular destinations:



The name Honolulu means "sheltered bay" or "peace of shelter" in Hawaiian, and its natural harbor catapulted this humble village to importance when, in 1809, shortly after King Kamehameha I conquered Oahu in order to unite the Hawaiian Islands under the Kingdom of Hawaii, that he moved his royal court from the island of Hawaii to Oahu. Eventually, in 1845, Kamehameha III officially moved the kingdom's capital from Lahaina on Maui to Honolulu.

Honolulu's ideally located port made the city a perfect stop for merchant ships traveling between North America and Asia, and through the 1800s, descendants of missionaries who arrived in the early 1800s established their headquarters in Honolulu, making it the center of business and the main seaport for the Hawaiian Islands.

The late 1800s and early 1900s brought the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy and subsequent annexation by the United States. Under American rule, Honolulu saw the rise of tourism and the first hotels were constructed in Waikiki. American rule also brought the U.S. military, which built numerous bases in the islands, not least of which was nearby Pearl Harbor; now famous for the surprise attack by the Japanese in 1942, which brought the U.S. into World War II.

Statehood for the islands brought rapid economic growth to Honolulu, with all the state's major businesses headquartered in the city, the Honolulu airport as the primary entrance point for visitors, and Waikiki as the center of the island's tourism industry.


Honolulu has a very moderate climate, with very little change of temperature throughout the year - the average high is 80-90°F (27-32°C) and the average low is 65-75°F (19-24°C) any time of the year. Water temperature averages 82°F (27°C) in the summer months and 77°F (25°C) in the winter months.

The only noticeable variation in seasons is in terms of rainfall. Honolulu is on the sunny, leeward side of the island, and where you are in the city will affect the chances for rain - areas like Waikiki, downtown, and the western side of the city will usually be sunny, while the hills or eastern side of the city may get some passing clouds and very brief rainfall. On average, Honolulu gets less than half an inch of rain in the summer months to almost three inches in the winter months.

Get in

By plane

Honolulu International Airport (IATA: HNL), [2] is the main aviation gateway for the Hawaiian Islands. The main terminal is served by most major American airlines from the mainland U.S., and by many international airlines from other countries around the Pacific Rim. Its Inter-Island Terminal is the home base of Hawaiian Airlines [3] which offers frequent local service to the other Hawaiian islands. It is quite a walk between terminals, so be sure to take the free Wikiwiki Shuttle that runs every few minutes. It's easy to miss it so be sure to ask somebody where it is.

The Airport Waikiki Express provides shuttle service to hotels in Waikiki every half hour ($9/$15 one-way/round-trip). City buses #19 and #20 ($2.25 per adult and $1 per child or senior, exact change required, bills and coins accepted) also come to the airport once every half-hour, going through downtown and on to to Waikiki. You can catch them on the outside second level of the international and domestic departure terminals.

The best way to get to Waikiki by rental car is to follow signs for H-1 east, then follow H-1 east about 2 miles to exit 18A (Waikiki/Nimitz Highway). Follow Nimitz Highway (which turns into Ala Moana Boulevard past downtown Honolulu) straight into Waikiki. You will pass through Honolulu's industrial district, along Honolulu Harbor, and past downtown Honolulu and the Ala Moana Shopping Center. You can also follow H-1 east into downtown Honolulu, take either exit 22 (Kinau Street) or 23 (Punahou Street), and follow signs to Waikiki.

By ship

Cruise ships frequently link Honolulu with the US mainland. These voyages are designed for tourists, and are rarely used as one-way passenger service.

Get around


Unlike many cities on the U.S. mainland, Honolulu is not laid out in a strict compass-point grid. Its street system conforms in large part to the shorelines, valleys, and ridges, with lots of twists and turns. It can be confusing for people used to straight grid systems. However, at the same time, it is not that difficult to navigate in, as long as you are familiar with the major arterials and terminology below.

Because it is difficult to differentiate north and south on an island, directions are normally given in terms of local landmarks. The most common terms that you will run into are mauka (MOW-kah) meaning "toward the mountain" and makai (mah-KAI) meaning "toward the sea". In the case of Honolulu, which is on Oahu's south shore, "mauka" is a rough north, and "makai" roughly south. You will also hear Ewa (Ee-vah) and Diamond Head used a lot, in relation to downtown Honolulu, the former roughly means "west" (toward the town of Ewa on the southwest shore of Oahu) and the latter roughly means "east" (toward the famous landmark crater on the southeast shore).

Highway signs, however, will use standard compass directions, so if you are asked to go Ewa-bound on the freeway, look for the on-ramp to H-1 west.

It is a very good idea to invest in a good map of Honolulu before doing extensive driving. Members of the American Automobile Association (AAA) can request fold-out maps for free from their local office. Rand McNally paper fold-out maps are available in many stores; for more extensive coverage you can also purchase Bryan's Sectional Maps (a popular choice among locals) at most bookstores for about $9.50.

Major arterials

Most major streets in Honolulu run Ewa–Diamond Head (as described in the preceding section, roughly east-west). There are two main highways in Honolulu: Nimitz Highway (Hawaii 92) which runs from Pearl Harbor past Honolulu Airport to downtown Honolulu and Waikiki; and Interstate H-1 which runs mauka (mountain-ward) of downtown and runs the entire length of the south shore of Oahu.

H-1 is some distance away from Waikiki itself and you need to go onto surface streets to and from Waikiki. If you need to access H-1 west from Waikiki to go someplace outside of the city, there are three main routes:

  1. Go mauka to Ala Wai Boulevard and follow it 'Ewa-bound to McCully Street. Follow McCully mauka for about 1 mile; it will take you over H-1. At the foot of the bridge, turn left on Dole, then left again onto Alexander to the freeway onramp.
  2. Follow Kuhio or Kalakaua Avenue Diamond Head-bound to Kapahulu Avenue. Follow Kapahulu mauka for about 1 mile, it will take you under H-1 and lead you to the freeway onramp.

To get back to Waikiki from H-1 east, take any of these routes:

  1. Take exit 22 (Kinau Street). Turn right on Ward Avenue and follow it to Ala Moana Boulevard. Turn left on Ala Moana and follow it into Waikiki.
  2. Take exit 23 (Punahou Street). Turn right on Punahou, and stay in lane #3 from the left. This lane is right-turn only onto the left side of Beretania. Take an immediate left onto Kalakaua Avenue from Beretania. Follow Kalakaua into Waikiki.
  3. Take exit 25A (King Street). After merging onto King Street, stay to the right. Take the second right onto Kapahulu Avenue (follow signs to Waikiki). Follow Kapahulu into Waikiki.
  4. Take exit 23 (Punahou Street). Stay straight to merge onto Bingham Street. Turn right onto McCully Street and keep left to merge into traffic from the overpass. Follow McCully to Waikiki.

There are also several routes from H-1 to downtown and back. To get to downtown from H-1 east, use one of these routes:

  1. Take exit 21B (Punchbowl Street). This will take you to the Capitol area.
  2. Take exit 21A (Pali Highway). Turn right onto Pali Highway, which will curve to the left and become Bishop Street. This will take you to Chinatown.
  3. Take exit 22 (Kinau Street). Turn right onto Ward Avenue, then turn right onto Beretania Street. This will take you to the Capitol area and Chinatown.
  4. Take exit 20B (Vineyard Blvd). This will take you to northern downtown.

To get to H-1 west from downtown, use one of these routes:

  1. Go north on Punchbowl Street (from the Capitol area), which will merge into a ramp at the end of the street. At the fork at the end of the ramp, keep left.
  2. Go north on Alakea Street (from Chinatown), turn left onto Beretania Street, turn right onto Pali Highway, turn left onto School Street, and keep left onto the H-1 ramp.
  3. Go east on Kinau Street, turn left onto Piikoi Street, turn left onto Lunalilo Street, then keep left onto the H-1 ramp.
  4. Go west onto Vineyard Blvd, which will become Halona Street after the H-1 overpass. Keep left onto the H-1 ramp.

In central Honolulu, the two main streets are King Street and Beretania Street. The two streets are one-way for most of their route; King Street runs from 'Ewa to Diamond Head, and Beretania Street from Diamond Head to 'Ewa. Both streets run through downtown Honolulu. Despite their rough west to east orientation, addresses on these streets are designated North and South respectively (the streets form an S curve, running north-south through downtown). The dividing line between North and South designations is Nuuanu Avenue in downtown Honolulu, which runs mauka-makai. Ala Moana Boulevard is a key route leading out of Waikiki to Downtown Honolulu. Past Honolulu Harbor, Ala Moana becomes Nimitz Highway and runs all the way to the airport and beyond. Tree-lined Kapiolani Boulevard is another major thoroughfare traversing east-central Honolulu, linking the Waikiki district and points east with downtown Honolulu.

In Waikiki, the three main streets, from makai to mauka, are Kalakaua Avenue (one way Ewa to Diamond Head, along Waikiki Beach), Kuhio Avenue (two-way), and Ala Wai Boulevard (one way Diamond Head to Ewa, along the Ala Wai Canal).


Traffic in Honolulu, and on Oahu in general, is a persistent problem. With almost one million people living in a relatively small space, and only a few main routes serving the major populated areas on the island, a single traffic incident has the potential to induce gridlock across the entire island. You are unlikely to encounter a traffic jam of that magnitude, but someone visiting Oahu and traveling during a weekday should be aware of traffic problems. Honolulu traffic during rush hour has been ranked among the worst in the nation.

Normal weekday rush hour in Honolulu is 6AM to 8AM going inbound and 4PM to 7PM going outbound. Expect heavy traffic on Interstates H-1 and H-2, Nimitz Highway/Ala Moana Boulevard, and the surface streets in downtown Honolulu and Waikiki. Traffic is less heavy during the summer and over the holidays when the University of Hawaii at Manoa is not in session. All in all though, driving on Oahu is pleasurable once you get off of the Interstates. Having a car on Oahu gives a visitor a chance to visit the whole island in just a few days. Once you get a little ways inland the traffic is not too bad and in the agricutural areas, there is little traffic. Unless you are familiar with this climate, convertible tops should be up when the sun is intense, or you will soon burn to a crisp. Locals will look at you and shake their heads and warn you about this. Heed their advice.

By bus

The local bus service in Honolulu is called, with remarkable succinctness, TheBus [4]. Fares are $2.25 for adults, $1 for children and seniors (no change given). TheBus runs intercity services to other parts of Oahu as well. Ask for a free transfer ticket, good for two hours, if you are continuing on another bus or returning on the same route. Monthly bus passes are available at 7-Elevens and supermarkets. Monthly bus passes begin on the first of each month and cost $50 (all-you-can-ride) regardless of which day of the month you purchase the pass. A $25 4-day Discovery Pass [5], can be purchased at an ABC Store. You scratch off the Month and day of your first use and each subsequent day (up to four total days) and enjoy unlimited rides. You can use the pass to take any bus including the Circle Island route and see the entire island. Yearly bus passes are also available for $550. All buses in the fleet are equipped with bike racks that can hold two or three bikes. Buses are also wheelchair accessible. Larger groups may want to tour the city via charter bus; there are several chartering companies available on the island.

By taxi

A taxi ride from Honolulu International Airport to Waikiki will cost around $30 to $40 plus tip. Taxis are locally regulated, so fares will be the same regardless of the company. Some taxi companies also offer tours around the island of O'ahu.


Also see Oahu for details on attractions located outside Honolulu proper.

  • Waikiki Beach. Covered in the Waikiki article.
  • Kuhio Beach. Calmer section of Waikiki
  • Halona Beach Cove. Known as "the Peering Place"
  • Sandy Beach.
USS Missouri and USS Arizona Memorials, Pearl Harbor
USS Missouri and USS Arizona Memorials, Pearl Harbor
  • Battleship Missouri Memorial. On Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. See Arizona Memorial below for directions. +1 808 423-2263, [6]. Every day 9AM - 5PM (ticket window closes at 4PM). Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's. A perfect companion to the USS Arizona Memorial, this battleship is best known the site where World War II ended when the Japanese military surrendered to the Allied forces. Tickets may be purchased at the nearby U.S.S. Bowfin Museum; visitors board buses to the USS Missouri itself. No private non-military vehicles can cross the Clarey Bridge to Ford Island without a pass. Adults $16, children under 12 $8.
  • USS Arizona Memorial, 1 Arizona Memorial Place (From Waikiki, H-1 west to exit 15A (Arizona Memorial, Stadium), onto Kamehameha Hwy. (Hawaii 99); or Honolulu public transit buses #20 and #42), 808-422-0561 (fax: 808-483-8608), [7]. Daily 7:30AM-5PM; Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's. This memorial, built over the hull of the sunken battleship USS Arizona, commemorates the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which brought the U.S. into World War II. It also serves as the final resting place for many of the 1,177 who died here. Visitors view an interpretive film, then board ferry boats which run from the visitor center to the memorial. Tickets are given out on a first-come-first-served basis and are limited; tickets may run out by noon on busy days. Expect wait times of about one hour. Free admission.  edit
  • National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. 2177 Puowaina Drive (within Punchbowl Crater mauka of downtown), [8]. Hours- Daily (September 30-March 1) 8:00AM-5:30PM, Daily (March 2-September 29) 8:00AM-6:30PM. Special Hours on Memorial Day- 7:00AM-7:00PM Directions- From Waikiki, H-1 west to exit 21B (Pali Hwy.), then follow signs. The final resting place of over 45,000 Americans who served their country in the military, the crater's rim also provides a panoramic view of Honolulu. The Courts of the Missing, a large marble shrine inscribed with the names of over 28,000 soldiers missing in action in World War II, serves as the centerpiece. Free admission.
  • Bishop Museum. 1525 Bernice St. (H-1 west from Waikiki to exit 15B Houghtailing St., right on Houghtailing, then left on Bernice), +1 808 847-3511, [9]. Everyday 9AM-5PM (except closed every Tuesday and Christmas Day), . Founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop, the husband of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last direct descendant of Kamehameha I, who founded the Kamehameha Schools, this non-profit institution seeks to "...record, preserve and tell the stories of Hawai`i and the Pacific, inspiring our guests to embrace and experience our natural and cultural world." They have an excellent permanent collection of Hawaiian artifacts, as well as a number of science-based exhibits. The new Science Adventure Center is centered around volcanology, with a large simulated volcano in the center that "erupts" regularly. The museum also features a planetarium. The museum is the leading repository of natural and cultural history in the Pacific, recognized throughout the world for its cultural collections, research projects, consulting services and public educational programs. It also maintains one of the largest natural history specimen collections in the world. The museum's J.L. Gressit Center for Research in Entomology houses some 14 million prepared specimens of insects and related arthropods, including over 16,500 primary types, making it the third largest entomology collection in the United States and the eighth largest in the world. Adults $14.95, seniors (65+) $11.95, children 4-12 $11.95, children under 3 free. Discounts: local residents (ID required).
  • The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, 411 Makiki Heights Dr, 808-526-1322 or 866-991-2835 (), [10]. T-Sa 10AM-4PM; Su Noon-4PM. This museum, occupying an old estate overlooking Honolulu, is devoted exclusively to contemporary art. In addition to the galleries, including a permanent installation by David Hockney, visitors are encouraged to spend time outside in the museum's garden area.  edit
  • Hawaii State Art Museum. Covered in the Downtown article.
  • The Honolulu Academy of Arts. Covered in the Downtown article.
  • Iolani Palace. Covered in the Downtown article.
  • Mission Houses Museum. Covered in the Downtown article.
  • The Workspace. 3624 Waialae Ave. Suite #201, [11]. For those looking for contemporary art produced by local artists, the Workspace is a must see.
  • Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. 10 miles E of Waikiki off Kalaniana’ole Highway, Route 72, [12]. Closed on Tuesdays. During the summer, open other days from 6:00AM to 7:00PM and on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month open until 10:00PM. Hanauma Bay is not a place for beach sports but is instead a bay formed in the crater of an extinct volcano and filled with a wonderful coral reef and many fish. It is a great place for snorkeling and scuba diving. If you're driving you'll want to get there early in the morning (by 8:00AM) to ensure you get a space as parking is limited. Otherwise, parking may be available again by afternoon as people leave. On the weekends, public buses from Waikiki fill up and will not stop if full; you can get a shuttle package from most Waikiki hotels for about $15, round trip with snorkel gear, not including admission (ask your concierge). Admission $5 for adults, Hawaii residents and children under 13 free. Parking $1. Snorkel rental available. Plan on 20 additional minutes before entering, as lines may be long, and all new visitors (as well as visitors who have not visited in the past year) are REQUIRED to watch an orientation video. Bring water and food. There is a snack bar, but it's limited and pricey. Also keep an eye on the tides; at low tide you will be swimming right on top of the reef, which is harder and makes it less easy to see.
  • Pali Lookout. 6 miles NE of downtown Honolulu on Hawaii 61 (Pali Highway), right at the Pali Lookout exit. Everyday, 7AM-7:45PM Apr. 1 - Labor Day; 7AM-6:45PM Labor Day-Apr. 1. One of the more popular scenic vistas on Oahu and the site of one of the bloodiest battles in Hawaiian history, the Pali Lookout provides a panoramic view of Windward Oahu. Also interesting at this site is the Old Pali Road, formerly the highway connecting Windward Oahu to downtown Honolulu. A note of caution: due to its location between two high cliffs, the Pali Lookout is often buffeted by high winds. Admission Free.
  • Diamond Head State Monument. Off Diamond Head Road between Makapuu Ave & 18th Ave, across Kapiolani Community College. Daily 6AM-6PM. This ancient volcanic crater is a former US military site, but portions are open to the public. Specifically, there is a hiking trail that winds up the inside of the crater to the summit on the western side of the crater wall, 761 feet above sea level. To reach the trail, you can drive or walk up the road that lead into the crater basin (through a tunnel in the crater wall). There is a park fee of $5 to enter, after which a winding path up the crater wall leading to a World War II-era bunker with a steep staircase of over 100 steps, takes you to the top.
  • Tantalus/Round Top. In Makiki Heights on Tantalus and Round Top Drives. From Waikiki, Kalakaua Ave west, right on King St., left on Punahou St., left on Nehoa St, right on Makiki St., left at fork to Makiki Heights Dr, follow Makiki Hts. Dr. to Tantalus Dr. (Or follow Makiki St., left on Round Top Drive.) Winding mountain drives take you about 2,000 above sea level to various viewpoints providing panoramic views of the south shore of Oahu.



Hawaii's year-round tropical weather provides perfect running weather all year, so bring your running shoes. Kapiolani Park and Ala Moana Regional Park are where most joggers in Honolulu congregate; the 4-mile loop around Diamond Head is a popular and scenic route. If you're up for a challenge, Tantalus Drive is a windy, two-lane road that is relatively safe for joggers.

Honolulu is also home to one of the world's largest marathons. The Honolulu Marathon [13], held annually on the second Sunday in December, has become a huge event that attracts from 20,000 - 25,000 runners annually. Niketown Honolulu, 2080 Kalakaua Ave., has group runs on Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays at 9:00 a.m.


Cycling around Honolulu's streets and bike paths can be a great way to see the city and stay in shape while on vacation. There are several bike shops in the city that rent various types of bikes (Google "Honolulu bike rental"). You can also take Highway 72 to Waimanolo, east of Honolulu, if you want to get out on the open road. Check out MapMyRide.com for popular routes.

Ice Skating

An ice rink is probably the last thing you'd expect to find in a tropical city, but at least it makes for the perfect getaway if the hot climate is too much for you. The Ice Palace [14] (4510 Salt Lake Boulevard, 808-487-9921) offers instruction in figure skating and hockey. The rink is an affiliate of the Ice Skating Institute.

Treasure Hunt

If you're ready to see more of the island and learn its history, Ravenchase Adventures [15] offers unique treasure hunts and adventure races on each of the islands.


Great surfing beaches around Ala Moana and Waikiki area. For lessons, beach boys give private surfing lessons daily at Waikiki Beach. One hour lesson includes dry land and in-the-water instruction. Instructors teach paddling, timing and balance skills. No reservations required, just sign up at the stand on the beach located Diamondhead of Waikiki Police Station. You can also try one of the many surfing schools in Waikiki.

Arts, Concerts, and Nightlife

Searching for entertainment in Honolulu? In addition to the traditional luaus and hula shows, Hawaii has a thriving scene of art, theatre, concerts, clubs, bars, and other events and entertainment. The Honolulu symphony is the oldest US symphony orchestra west of the Rocky Mountains. Honolulu is a center for Hawaiian music. Find a well-maintained list of upcoming shows and weekly events online at HNLnow.com [16]. If you're already out and about, you can access a daily digest on your mobile phone at m.HNLnow.com [17]

Horseback Riding

Go back in time to the days of the cowboys and enjoy a tour while horesback riding. Enjoy the beautiful views of lush mountain valleys, luscious jungle or spectacular coastlines. Some stables even include transporation from your hotel to the stable. [18]

  • University of Hawaii at Manoa, [19]. The flagship campus of the public University of Hawaii system.
  • Hawaii Pacific University, [20]. The largest private university in the state. The downtown Honolulu campus is centered on Fort Street Mall.


Currently, Hawaii's below-average unemployment rate and high number of service and hospitality industry employers make finding an entry-level job in Honolulu easier than in much of the rest of the US. The State of Hawaii Employment [21] has comprehensive information for job seekers. Keep in mind though the higher cost of living in relation to an entry level job's salary compared to many other areas on the mainland.


Many of the chain grocers provide discount cards to the regulars and will give you one if you request it. It will save you over 20%.

  • International Market Place. Covered in the Waikiki article.
  • Aloha Stadium Swap Meet, 99-500 Salt lake Blvd, 808-486-6704. Open every W,Sa,Su 6AM-3PM. Hawaii's largest swap meet. Bring your hat, sunscreen, and bottled water and plan at least 1/2 day. The swap meet is like a giant outdoor flea market, surrounding Aloha Stadium, and features merchants offering local food items, clothing and Hawaiian souvenirs. You are unlikely to find Hawaiian souvenirs for less money anywhere else. The prices are reasonable, haggling allowed, unique items from local artists and merchants abound. Most places are cash only, but there are a few standalone ATMs on the outskirts of the swap meet. Admission $1 per buyer, under 12 free.  edit
  • Manoa Marketplace located between East Manoa Road and Woodlawn Drive at the 2800 block has about twenty shops including a Safeway grocery store, Long's drugstore, McDonald's restaurant, a bank and Post Office.
  • Ala Moana Center[22] is the largest shopping mall in Hawaii and the largest open-air shopping mall in the world. Has about 250 stores on four levels, a food court with many different cuisines, and everything from the practical (groceries and medicine) to high-fashion (Chanel, Prada, etc.). The mall's anchor stores are Shirokiya, Sears, Macy's, Nordstrom, and Neiman Marcus.
  • Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center[23] Covered in the Waikiki article.
  • DFS Galleria (Duty Free Shops). Covered in the Waikiki article.
  • Waikiki Shopping Plaza. Covered in the Waikiki article.
  • Victoria Ward Centers,[24] located between downtown Honolulu and Waikiki, is a four-block destination of 120 stores ranging from The Sports Authority and Borders to small one-of-a-kind boutiques, 23 restaurants, a farmers market and 16-screen megaplex and entertainment center. Encompasses Ward Centre, Ward Warehouse, Ward Entertainment Center, Ward Farmers Market, Ward Village Shops and Ward Gateway Center.
  • Aloha Tower Marketplace. Covered in the Downtown article.
  • Kahala Mall, just off H-1 in the Kahala district, this regional mall is known for its more upscale shops. It is anchored by Macy's, Barnes and Noble Bookstore, and an 8-plex movie theatre.
  • Koko Marina Shopping Center is one of the main shopping centers in East Honolulu, with smaller shops and restaurants and a 10-plex movie theatre.

For other shopping malls, also see the Buy section under Oahu.

  • China Town. Covered in the Downtown article.


For general information on the kind of food available in Hawaii, see the Eat section in the Hawaii article.

  • Bubbies - Off University Ave near the King St intersection, across from the Varsity bar. Local owned and operated ice cream shop, continually voted best ice cream on the island. The ice cream cakes and pies have fun quirky names and taste great, but the mochi ice cream is the trump card: single servings of ice cream wrapped in a flavored mochi-rice-dessert wrapper for $1 each.
  • Zippy's, (various locations in Honolulu and Oahu), [25]. Zippy's is the island equivalent of the 24-hour eatery Denny's; while Denny's has branches here, they are nowhere near as popular with locals as Zippy's. They provide a wide variety of food, including plate lunches at reasonable prices. Most are open 24 hours and as such are very popular late-night spots to hang out. Zippy's signature dish is their chili, which they prepare in many different ways: served over rice, or over a burrito, or over french fries, to name a few.
  • Bangkok Chef With two locations in Oahu, one in Nuuanu and other in Manoa, it is as good and as cheap that an amazing delicious thai meal can get. The place started as a thai market, but grown as one of the resident's favourites. The high quality of the food, associated with fresh ingredients and low prices make this spot a must try while in Honolulu.
  • Blue Water Shrimp & Seafood Co., 2145 Kuhio Ave. $10-$15 Fresh Seafood plate lunch, spicy butter garlic shrimp, the bomb fish like Ahi, Mahi-Mahi, rice, corn on the cob, bomb burgers and last but not least Crab Legs!
  • Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., on the second floor of the Ala Moana Shopping Center. This is a touristy place centered around the movie Forrest Gump. Decent for seafood, expensive mixed drinks, and good old fashioned American cooking. Although this may sound unappealing, the waiters are friendly and the food is tasty. Worth a visit if you're in the area, but don't go out of your way.
  • Chiang Mai Thai Restaurant (2239 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96826: 808-941-1151) While there are many Thai restaurants on Oahu, this is one of the best and most reasonably priced. The Panang Curry is especially good. You have to drive or take a cab if you're staying in Waikiki, but it's well worth it!
  • Genki Sushi, (various locations throughout the island). Genki Sushi is a Japanese-style eatery, with employees shouting "irrashaimase!" when you enter, which is the Japanese word for "welcome." Very popular with the younger people (15 - 21). The eatery offers many types of sushi.
  • Irifune, 563 Kapahulu Ave (North east corner of Waikiki), (808) 737-1141. This funky little Japanese fusion joint is one of the best kept secrets in Hono. Be sure to try the garlic ahi. There can be a long line of locals on some nights. It's BYOB!  edit
  • Jimbo, 1936 S King St Ste 103. Specializing in authentic Japanese udon and soba, freshly made on-site. Parking can be difficult, but there are additional parking spaces behind the building. They don't take reservations.
  • Olive Tree Mediterranean and Greek Food, close to Kahala Mall. It is a very well known spot among Honolulu resident's, the restaurant is a charming and simple place, having most of its tables outside a small lanai. The food is delicious and affordable. It is BYOB, and you can bring your own glasses to avoid the cup fee. There is a wine store on the side of the restaurant, in case you forget your own. Take outs also available.
  • Ono Hawaiian Foods, 726 Kapahulu Ave, +1 808 737-2275, [26]. Easily the best place to get Hawaiian food in the islands -- popular with kama'aina and the savvy traveler willing to venture beyond the tourist track. Get the combination plate for a sampling of both kalua pig and lau lau (with some pipikaula, lomi salmon and poi on the side). An advice would be to get here early: as the best Hawaiian food restaurant it is very popular and waiting lines grow fast.
  • Sushi Company, 1111 McCully St. Owned and operated by a Japanese couple. They offer high grade take-out sushi at budget prices. You can enjoy lunch or dinner here for well under $10.
  • 3660 on the Rise, 3660 Waialae Avenue.
  • Aaron's Atop the Ala Moana, Ala Moana Hotel, 36th Floor, 410 Atkinson Drive, +1 808 955-4466.
  • Alan Wong's Restaurant, 1857 South King St, +1 808 949-2526, [27]. Serving top-notch Pacific-Rim cuisine that changes daily. Enjoy your food in style in a restaurant that has a glassed-in terrace and open kitchen. Alan Wong's was the only restaurant in Hawaii to be listed in Gourmet magazine's List of Top 50 Restaurants in America (it ranked #8). Reservations recommended. Street or valet parking.
  • Chef Mavro, 1969 South King Street. +1 808 944-4714.
  • Elua, 1341 Kapiolani Blvd (ground floor of the Uraku Tower condominium), +1 808 955-0552, [28]. Lunch M-F 11:30AM-2PM; Dinner F,Sa 5:30PM-10PM, M-Th 6PM-10PM. Two top chefs alternate nights. One has a French style, the other Italian. Reservations recommended.
  • Hoku's, 5000 Kahala Ave, tel 808/739-8780. Fusing East and West specialities perfectly, this restauranthas been lauded for its contemporary island cuisine. Recommended are the pan-seared Hudson Valley foie gras, sashimi and slow-braised pork belly.
  • John Dominis [29]. Perfect place to celebrate a special occasion. Elegant atmosphere includes an indoor koi pond and beautiful Waikiki ocean views. Friday nights offer a special bonus- the sky over Waikiki is lit by fireworks.
  • Mariposa, Neiman-Marcus Ala Moana.
  • Morton's, The Steak House, Ala Moana Center, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. +1 808 949-1300.
  • Roy's Restaurant [30] Main location: 6600 Kalanianaole Hwy,(in East Honolulu about 6 miles east of Waikiki, (808) 396-7697. Also in Kapolei at Ko Olina Resort. Known as the "Wolfgang Puck of the Pacific," Roy Yamaguchi is known as one of the originators of Hawaiian fusion cuisine. This flagship restaurant of the Roy's Restaurant chain (which has since expanded to six Hawaii locations, 22 locations on the U.S. Mainland, and four overseas locations) overlooks Maunalua Bay with a perfect westward view.


There are several places open till 2AM. Some are open until 4AM. Most of Honolulu's bars and night clubs can be found from Kuhio Ave. and are covered in the Waikiki article.

  • Mai Tai Bar, Ala Moana Shopping Center, Upper Level 4, was voted the best bar in Honolulu in 2002. It is popular among locals, especially on weekends and Wednesday nights. Live local music is played between 4-7PM Monday-Friday, and 1-4PM on the weekends and nightly 9:30PM-12:30AM. Happy Hour 8PM-11PM.
  • Varsity, University Ave near the corner of King Street. Once was Magoo's, a cheap, dirty, dive bar catering to students from UH. Now it's cleaned up and is a slightly-less-cheap, slightly-less-dirty, dive bar catering to students. Food from a number of eateries in the vicinity can be ordered and delivered there.
  • La Mariana, off Sand Island Access Road, near the airport. Not much to speak of in terms of food or drink (their Mai Tai is alright) but the decor is straight out of a tiki-lovers paradise.
  • O'Tooles, 902 Nuuanu Ave, 808-536-4138 (fax: 808-536-4612), [31]. Great place for a Guinness. It doesn't put on the gaudy faux-irish decor, it's a bar run by an Irish guy. Friendly people and live music (Doolin' Rakes, every Saturday night, they kick ass!) Serves basic pub fare.  edit
  • Pipeline - Located on Pohukaina St. in the heart of Honolulu, a remodeled warehouse, it is not much to look at from the outside, but once inside you are in a different world. This local spot features live local bands, plenty of dance music, and with more room to dance then you could possibly need. Throughout the 2 floors, there are an array of large screens that display a number of different sports being played. With good happy hour specials, nightly drink specials, and good dance music going until 4AM every night, they will have you coming back for more every time.


Not surprisingly, most hotels in Honolulu are found in Waikiki or its vicinity. Generally Hawaii is most popular when the weather is the worst on the U.S. mainland. High season in Hawaii is mid-December to March (high rates and tight booking), and June to September (high rates but somewhat easier booking). Low season is from spring (April to June) and fall (September to mid-December), when the best bargains are available.

Stay safe

Although Honolulu is relatively safe as far as violent crime goes, the risk of property crime is much greater. Take particular care when parking vehicles in popular tourist spots, especially Diamond Head and the Halona Blowhole near Sandy Beach; always lock your vehicle; and do not leave ANY valuables in your car. Keep all valubles within sight and within reach at all times. Your car is not a safe place to store anything: Thieves have commonly dismantled locks and broken into vehicles, or conversely will just bash open your window to get in. Use extra caution when visiting less savory parts of town, including the Chinatown district after dark, but during the day you should have no problem.

Get out

Don't spend all your time on Waikiki Beach; the whole island of Oahu, with more secluded beaches, hiking opportunities, and the sight of huge waves in the winter, awaits you. Most of the island's major attractions can be seen in a day trip, or spread out over several days.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

HONOLULU, a city, port of entry, and the capital of Hawaii, situated in the "city and county of Honolulu," on the S. coast of the island of Oahu, at the mouth of Nuuanu Valley, 2100 m. S.W. of San Francisco. Pop. (1890) 22,907; (1900) 39,306, of whom 24,746 were males, 14,560 were females; about 10,000 were Hawaiians, 15,000 were Asiatics, and about 5000 were Portuguese. Honolulu is served by the Oahu railway, by electric lines to the principal suburbs, and by steamship lines to San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, Manila, Salina Cruz (Mexico), Victoria, Sydney, and Chinese and Japanese ports. The business section and the older residence quarters occupy low ground, but many of the newer residences are built on the sides of neighbouring hills and mountains, of which there are several from 500 to 2000 ft. in height. The Punch Bowl (behind the city), a hill rising about 500 ft. above the sea, Diamond Head, a crater about 760 ft. in height, 4 m. to the S.E., and the Nuuanu Pali, a lofty and picturesque precipice 6 m. up the valley, are especially known for their commanding views. In front of the city is the small harbour, well protected from all winds except those from the S.; in and after 1892 the Hawaiian government deepened its entrance from 21 ft. to 30 ft. Six miles to the W. is the much more spacious Pearl Harbor (a U. S. Naval Station), the bar at the entrance of which was removed (1903) by the U.S. government. Pearl Harbor and the harbour of Honolulu are the only safe ports in the archipelago. The streets of Honolulu are wide, and are macadamized with crushed or broken lava. The business houses are mostly of brick or stone, and range from two to six storeys in height. About most of the residences there are many tropical trees, flowering shrubs and plants. Wood is the most common material of which the residences are built; a large portion of these residences are one-storey cottages; broad verandahs are common; and of the more pretentious residences the lanai, a semi-outdoor drawing-room with conservatories adjoining, is a notable feature. Throughout the city there is a marked absence of poverty and squalor. There are good hotels in the city and its suburbs. The government buildings are extensive and have a pleasing appearance; that of the executive, in a beautiful park, was formerly the royal palace and still contains many relics of royalty. Facing the judiciary building is an heroic statue in bronze of Kamehameha the Great., About 2 m. W. of the business centre of the city is the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, a fine stone building on a commanding site, and containing a large collection of Hawaiian and Polynesian relics and curios, especially Hawaiian feather-work, and notable collections of fish and of Hawaiian land shells and birds. Four miles S.E. of the business centre, at the foot of Diamond Head, is Waikiki sea-beach, noted for its surf-riding, boating and bathing, and Kapiolani Park, a pleasure resort, near which is a famous aquarium of tropical fishes. Honolulu has other parks, a fine Botanical Garden, created by the Bureau of Agriculture, several public squares, several hospitals, a maternity home, the Lunalilo Home for aged Hawaiians, an asylum for the insane, several schools of high rank both public and private - notably Oahu College on the E. edge of the city, first founded as a school for the children of missionaries in 1841; the Honolulu High School, founded in 1833 as the Oahu Charity School, to teach English to the half whites; the Royal School, which was founded in 1840 for the sons of chiefs; and the Normal School, housed in what was in 1906 the most expensive building on the island of Oahu - a library containing about 14,000 volumes and the collections of the Hawaiian Historical Society, a number of benevolent, literary, social and political societies, and an art league, and is the see of both an Anglican and a Roman Catholic bishop. In 1907 the Pacific Scientific Institution for the advancement of scientific knowledge of the Pacific, its islands and their people, was established here. Among the clubs of the city are the Pacific Club, founded in 1853 as the British Club; the Scottish Thistle Club (1891), of which Robert Louis Stevenson was a member; the Hawaii Yacht Club, and the Polo, Country and University Clubs. There are various journals and periodicals, five languages being represented. The chief industries are the manufacture of machinery (especially machinery for sugarrefineries) and carriages, rice-milling and ship-building. Honolulu's total exports for the fiscal year 1908 were valued at $4 2, 2 3 8 ,455, and its imports at $19,985,724. There is a privately owned electric street car service in the city. The water-works and electric-lighting plant are owned and operated by the Territorial government, and to the plentiful water-supply is partly due the luxuriant vegetation of the city. Honolulu's safe harbour, discovered in 1794, made it a place of resort for vessels (especially whalers) and traders from the beginning of the 19th century. Kamehameha I. (the Great) lived here from 1803 until 1811. In 1816 was built a fort which stood until 1857. In 1820 the city became the principal residence of the sovereign and soon afterwards of foreign consuls, and thus practically the seat of government. In 1907 an act was passed by which the former county of Oahu, including the island of Oahu and the small islands adjacent, was made a municipal corporation under the name of the "city and county of Honolulu"; this act came into effect on the 1st of January 1909.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




From Hawaiian Honolulu < hono- (bay) and lulu (shelter)


  • (UK) IPA: /ˈhɒn.ə.luː.luː/, SAMPA: /"hQn.@.lu:.lu:/

Proper noun




  1. The capital of Hawaii.


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