Discover the beautiful Hawaiian capital of Honolulu
The largest 'city' of Hawaii, Honolulu is also the state's capital. The Hawaiian word 'Honolulu' means 'place of shelter' and is an appropriate name for this bay-city. Situated on the southeast coast of the island of Oahu, Honolulu is well sheltered from the winds that sweep across the ocean.
There is no record of when Polynesian people first settled in the area where Honolulu is now situated, but it seems there was likely a settlement there by the 12th Century. After King Kamehameha I conquered Oahu, he moved his royal court from Hawaii to Waikiki and then later to the area that is currently downtown Honolulu. In 1794 the first foreigner sailed into Honolulu Harbor resulting in the port becoming a place where ships would stop while traveling between North America and Asia. Over time, larger and stronger buildings sprang up and Honolulu became a modern capital. Because of its position along the trade routes, it also became a center of commerce. In the 20th century, the Hawaiian monarch was overthrown and Hawaii became annexed by the United States of America. Honolulu, however, continued to be Hawaii's largest city, main port and the capital of the islands.
It wasn't long after this that Honolulu and the rest of Hawaii experience a boom in tourism and other aspects of the economy. Modern air travel meant that thousands of visitors could experience the island's beauty for themselves each year. Growth in the economy meant growth on the island. Honolulu continued to progress rapidly until it became the modern city it is today. High rise buildings are mostly located on a narrow coastal plain and characterize the business district of the island. The rest of the island is generally separated into residential areas and beaches. If you go far enough inland you will find volcanic cones as well as other geographic and environmental sites such as Punchbowl, Koko Head, Koko Crater, Diamond Head, Salt Lake and Aliamanu.
When you are finished taking in the natural aspects of the island, you might sit back and enjoy the cultural side. You can enjoy the symphony orchestra, see a Hawaii Opera, or enjoy some Hawaiian music at the Neal Blaisdell Center, Waikiki Shell or the Hawaii Theatre. The Diamond Head Theatre and the Manoa Valley Theater are two great places to catch some live theater.
The great thing about Honolulu is that you can enjoy the natural beauty of Hawaii and still have all the conveniences of a modern city. Zoos, aquariams, museums and galleries are all available to make your holiday a more enjoyable one. Why not take a trip to Honolulu and discover it all for yourself.