The Hawaiian Island of O'ahu
Created by two separate volcanoes – Ko'olau and Wai'anae – lying parallel with the central O’ahu Plain between them, O'ahu is the third largest of the Hawaiian Islands and the most populated. The city of Honolulu is located on O'ahu and major attractions and landmarks on the island include Pearl Harbor, Waikiki, Hanauma Bay, Kailua Bay, North Shore and Diamond Head. Sun, sea and surf fans will be spoiled for choice as O'ahu has an abundance of pure white beaches, turquoise waters and seemingly never-ending sunshine. But there is more to this Hawaiian island than the beach and visitors should take some time out to visit some of the cultural and historical attractions on O'ahu.
Opened in 1926, the Aloha Tower stands at a height of 184 feet, with a 40 foot flag mast extending this height. Located at Pier 9 of Honolulu Harbor, the Aloha Tower was the first sight seen by hundreds of thousands of immigrants arriving in Honolulu. Built in Hawaiian Gothic architectural style, the tower was the tallest structure in Hawaii for four decades and remains a prominent landmark in the area.
Dedicated to history and science, the Hawaii State Museum of Natural and Cultural History has on display the largest collection of Polynesian cultural artifacts in the world. The library at the museum has an extensive and comprehensive collection of books, newspapers, periodicals, manuscripts, photographs, artwork, maps and other documents related to Hawaii and the Pacific region.
The Honolulu Museum of Art is home to more than 50,000 works of art which have been collected since the opening of the museum in 1927. In addition to traditional Hawaiian and Asian art, the collection includes works by Gauguin, Monet, Picasso, van Gogh and Warhol. The 280-seat Doris Duke Theater is situated at the museum, where concerts, meetings, lectures and presentations are held. The art school attached to the museum offers workshops, studio art classes and arts education for public school students and children with special needs.
Shopaholics will enjoy a visit to the largest open-air shopping center in the world – Ala Moana in Honolulu. The center, which is home to 310 stores, restaurants and services - can be accessed by bus from virtually anywhere on the island.