What Will You Do On Your Trip to Oahu?
The Hawaiian city of Honolulu is located on the island of Oahu, a name that means “gathering place.” Oahu is indeed a gathering place that welcomes people from around the world to its sunny shores, but it offers far more than just surf and sand.
Whether you’re seeking history, mystery, a shopping mecca, an uninterrupted day at a beautiful beach, an encounter with traditional Polynesian culture or even 1990 Mustang parts, you’re likely to find it somewhere on this magical island.
The Only Palace in the United States
If you’re a history buff, you definitely need to make plans to see the Iolani Palace. Constructed by King Kalakaua to impress visiting dignitaries, the palace officially opened to guests in 1882. It holds the distinction of having electricity fully four years before the White House did and of being the only palace in the United States to have housed a reigning king or queen.
After King Kalakaua died, his sister, Queen Liliu’okalani moved into the palace, but she was deposed in 1893. During that time, many valuable artifacts were stolen or auctioned away to private collectors.
The Iolani Palace was restored in 1969 and remains open to tourists. As part of the restoration, the Hawaiian government is still working to reclaim the artifacts lost so many years ago.
Polynesian Hospitality at a Luau
A Luau is a traditional Hawaiian feast that includes hula dancing, singing, story-telling, the presentation of leis to valued guests and some of the finest food on the island. The traditional main dish is the kalua pig which cooks in an underground oven for a full day before the ceremony.
If you can arrange to attend a luau while you’re visiting Honolulu, don’t hesitate – you’ll have the time of your life!
USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor
On December 7, 1941, with World War II raging throughout Europe, the Japanese attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor by surprise. Over 2,300 military personnel and civilians were killed during the massive airstrike.
Today, the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor is the leading visitor destination in Hawaii. It offers information about history and culture as well as nature and science. Photographs and multimedia are also used to share the story. Although security at Pearl Harbor has been extremely tight – some say unreasonably so – since 9/11, seeing the memorial is worth any inconvenience you might have to put up with.
If animals and nature are your things, you don’t want to miss the Honolulu Zoo. Officially opened as a zoo in 1969 – though it had carried a reputation as an exotic animal park for many years prior to that – the zoo currently houses over 1200 mammals, birds, and reptiles. It also displays a huge and lovely selection of plant life.
No matter why you’re traveling to Oahu, you will find many activities to enjoy that will make your vacation truly memorable.