Somehow everything here sounds like vacation. Hawaii. Aloha. Hula. And of course: Honolulu. The capital of the 50th state of the USA is the epitome of fantastic weather, for clean water and high waves, for surfing, sailing and beautiful beaches around the world.
Honolulu is “fun”, at least for the tourists. But the locals are generally fine too. The friendly Hawaiians love their island and capital just as much as the guests who flock and who are actually welcome. Everyone knows that Hawaii is more than “just” Honolulu. The fact that Honolulu has more to offer than “just” Waikiki Beach is something that travelers will notice when they arrive in this lively city.
Waikiki is Honolulu’s royal beach
Strictly speaking, Waikiki is more than a beach. An entire neighborhood on the south coast of the island of Oahu, on which Honolulu is located, bears this name. Nowhere else in Hawaii are there as many hotels, restaurants and bars as here. So if you come to Hawaii for swimming, water sports and relaxing, this is the place for you. There is, of course, a reason why tourism is booming on the south coast of all places. At the beginning of the 20th century, Duke Kahanamoku taught the first visitors how to move on a wooden board. Duke, who was later referred to as the father of modern surfing and is remembered by a statue on the promenade to this day, had chosen the calm waters of Waikiki for his lessons. Wait a moment, Doesn’t “Waikiki” mean “splashing water” in Hawaiian? And doesn’t that mean surf, spray and high waves? Do it, do it. But right on the bank the wild waters are still tame. You have to get out on the ocean a bit to get to the big surf waves. By the way, alternatively you can learn canoeing in Waikiki. Duke’s successors, the Beach Boys from Waikiki, are happy to give lessons in this too. How beautiful it is overall in this spot may show the simple fact that Waikiki was the summer residence of the former royal family.
Pearl Harbor is living history
Honolulu is a very sprawling city. All in all, just under one million people live in the metropolitan region, which also includes a few other localities. Nevertheless, it never gets really crowded, because there is space in Honolulu. The town also includes the historic Pearl Harbor naval base, which is named after the large numbers of pearl oysters there. However, Pearl Harbor did not become world famous until December 7, 1941, when Japan’s armed forces attacked the base. This sealed the entry of the USA into the Second World War. Today Pearl Harbor is a National Monument that offers live history lessons. Some of the heavily damaged warships, in which almost all the crew members died in the attack, are now open to visitors.
The Iolani Palace reminds of the former rulers of the island kingdom
Is there such a thing as a royal residence on the soil of the United States of America? There actually is, in Honolulu. The last monarchs of the Hawaiian Kingdom – King Kalakaua and his sister as well as Queen Liliuokalani – lived in the “Iolani Palace” in downtown Honolulu until 1893. These three were the first islanders to enjoy such breakthrough innovations as electricity, toilet flushing and telephone connections. Today’s visitors are sure to be more interested in the gorgeous interiors and portraits of the Hawaiian royals. The palace had long been used as the seat of government after the end of the monarchy, which was not necessarily good for him. After extensive renovation and restoration, it now shines again in its original splendor.
Aloha from the Aloha Tower
An absolutely iconic building for the whole of Hawaii is the Aloha Tower, which is on the one hand close enough to the city center to comfortably walk there (around 15 to 20 minutes should be allowed for). On the other hand, it is far enough away and also high enough to offer a great view of Honolulu. An iconic building of great importance to the Hawaiians, the Aloha Tower is because it was the tallest building on the islands for 40 years and has one of the largest clocks in all of the United States. Aloha means “welcome” and so the Aloha Tower has always been a welcome greeting for visitors and those returning home. Today Hawaii is no longer only accessible by sea, but that has not done anything to the importance of the tower. The cruise ships dock here with great excitement to this day. At the Aloha Tower you can eat well and have a fine drink in the evening while enjoying the spectacular view. Not far from there is Chinatown, by the way. Honolulu’s highly interesting art scene has settled there. It is definitely worth a visit!