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The Honolulu Destination encompasses the entire island of O’ahu, Hawai’i. Honolulu, the destination’s namesake, is the capital city of Hawai’i and a fairly prominent hub for tourism. With a 2023 population of 337,088 people, the city of Honolulu is declared the “most populous city of the U.S. state of Hawai’i.” The tourism industry and the overall economy rapidly developed when Hawai’i gained statehood. It has been reported that the islands have received about 7.6 million visitors annually since 2007. Many of those who visit O’ahu and Honolulu hope to experience the Polynesian culture that is characteristic of the island. The Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie can offer visitors a lūʻau dinner as well as live entertainment that involves traditional dance performances. For those who are hoping to explore the Honolulu Destination’s natural environment, several trails of varying difficulty can be found in ‘Ewa Forest Reserve and Mokulēʻia Forest Reserve. The Diamond Head State Monument may also pique the interest of both outdoor and history enthusiasts, as the natural site bears historical significance that dates back 300,000 years ago when the crater was first formed. Tourists who plan on undertaking warm-weather activities during their time in the Honolulu Destination are recommended to visit from mid-May to mid-October for moderate weather conditions. Generally speaking, temperatures vary between 68°F and 87°F throughout the year.
Encompassing the island of O’ahu, the Honolulu Destination comprises a mix of urban cities and natural landscapes. The destination’s namesake, Honolulu, is notably deemed “the most populous city of the U.S. state of [Hawai’i].” Serving as the capital city of the state, Honolulu is reportedly the “westernmost and southernmost major U.S. city.” In addition to being a predominant hub for business, finance, military defense, and hospitality, the city has a diverse culture with a mix of Asian, Western, and Pacific influences—evident in its traditions, cuisine, and demographics.
According to population statistics, the city of Honolulu is home to an estimated population of 337,088 residents, as of 2023. The total population has declined by -3.63% since the most recent census in 2020, which recorded 349,800 people. The total number of people as a whole is comprised of various ethnicities. Residents with Native Hawaiian ancestry constitute 3.2% of the population, and 1.5% of Honolulu’s population is Samoan Americans. A fraction of the population is composed of Marshallese and Tongan people as well; however, the larger components of the racial demographic include Japanese (20%), Filipinos (13%), Chinese (10%), Koreans (4%), Vietnamese (2%), and Asian Indians (0.2%).
A rather popular draw for tourism in Honolulu is Waikīkī, where “the majority of Honolulu’s hotels and resorts” are located. One of the most well-known of these resorts is the Moana Surfrider—the first hotel that was built along Waikīkī’s shores in 1901. Within Waikīkī, this tourist destination features Kalākaua Avenue, which offers opportunities for travelers and locals to engage in shopping, dining, and several activities along its main strip. A fairly prominent historical figure made an impact on the city’s culture at the turn of the century, as Olympic gold medalist Duke Kahanamoku taught visitors how to surf. Duke gained recognition for his teachings and eventually became known as “the father of modern surfing.” As such, Waikīkī is known primarily for its beach recreation. Along Waikīkī Beach, visitors can find the Duke Kahanamoku Statue, which is “an iconic symbol” of surf culture in O’ahu. Aside from the beaches, Waikīkī also contains a number of attractions, such as the Honolulu Zoo, the Waikīkī Aquarium, the Ala Moana Center, the Waikīkī Historic Trail, and the Royal Hawaiian Center, to name a few.
For those who are hoping to experience the relatively unique Hawaiian culture of O’ahu, Paradise Cove often piques the interest of travelers. Lūʻaus are frequently held at Paradise Cove, typically involving traditional Hawaiian foods and dancing. Moreover, this attraction serves as the setting for a variety of Hawaiian games, namely spear throwing, dart sliding, and rolling stone disks. Visitors who are hoping to undertake leisurely activities can take part in a canoe ride into the cove. Beyond Paradise Cove, the Hawaiian culture of O’ahu can also be experienced at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie. Akin to Paradise Cove, the Polynesian Cultural Center offers lūʻau dinners and live shows with over 100 Polynesian performers that do fire dancing and other forms of entertainment.
Natural reserves constitute a considerable amount of the Honolulu Destination, especially in its northern and western regions. Honolulu itself contains the Honolulu Watershed Forest Reserve, which is acknowledged as “the largest forest reserve on O’ahu,” as it "consists of approximately 11,254 acres." Topographically, the Honolulu Watershed Forest Reserve is comprised of mountainous wooded land. Its forested environment is often frequented by those who enjoy recreational hunting, as feral pigs and goats can be pursued. Multiple trails also wind throughout the reserve.
Furthermore, hikers can visit Mokulēʻia Forest Reserve, with two of its most notable trails being the Mokulēʻia Loop and the Mokulēʻia Access Road to Keālia Trail. Camping, hiking, and mountain biking are some of the most popular pastimes that people engage in on the Mokulēʻia Loop, though a handful of people consider this 9.7-mile trail to be “a challenging route.” As for the Mokulēʻia Access Road to Keālia Trail, the difficulty for this path is ranked “hard” due to its completion duration of roughly six hours on average. This trail extends about 10.9 miles near Waialua, O’ahu, and it often receives backpackers and hikers. To the east and southeast, the ‘Ewa Forest Reserve can be found, which also contains multiple trails. The Waimano Falls Trail, in particular, is visited by a relatively high quantity of outdoor enthusiasts, with one of the route’s most significant geographic features being a waterfall that descends into a natural pool where swimming is permitted.
The summer season that Honolulu experiences has been characterized as “hot, oppressive, and dry.” From June to October, it is considered the “warm season,” as temperatures reach an average daily high above 85°F. The hottest month of the year in Honolulu tends to be August, with an average high of 87°F. With regard to the winter season, which is said to be “comfortable and humid,” from December through April it is deemed the “cool season,” as temperatures drop below a slight decrease of 81°F on average. January, the coldest month of the year, typically receives temperatures that vary between 68°F and 79°F. Honolulu encounters relatively windy climatic conditions and mostly clear skies year-round. As a general summary, temperatures range between 68°F and 87°F in Honolulu over the course of the year. Based on the subjective opinion of those who have previously visited the beaches of Honolulu, “the best time of year to visit” the city for hot-weather activities is reportedly from mid-May to mid-October.
One of O’ahu’s most notable historical events is the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The Japanese initiated a surprise attack in O’ahu’s southern region on the Pearl Harbor site, causing a death toll of 2,304 residents. This event propelled the U.S. and the Japanese into World War II. After four years of combat, Japan signed its surrender in 1945 on the USS Battleship Missouri. This ship is presently part of a museum and memorial complex at Pearl Harbor, though the signing of the surrender did not take place at Pearl Harbor. On May 5th, 1989, the battleship’s remains were proclaimed a National Historic Landmark. Honolulu retained its role as the setting for war throughout the Korean War and until 1973 at the conclusion of the Indochina (Vietnam) conflict. Visitors can learn more about Pearl Harbor’s history at the USS Arizona Memorial—a site that commemorates those who lost their lives in the war. The memorial is visited by over two million people annually.
The Diamond Head State Monument is a historic site on the island of O’ahu, acknowledged for its unique saucer shape and the ecosystem that formed on the site between the late 1800s and early 1900s. About 300,000 years ago, the formation of the crater took place upon the occurrence of an explosive eruption that sent ashes and particles into the air. These fragments and materials began to harden after settling on the landscape, creating a rock called tuff. Today, this crater can be seen along a trail that winds throughout Diamond Head State Monument.
In the Hawaiian lexicon, “Honolulu” translates to English meaning “sheltered harbor” or “calm port.” Prior to the city being named Honolulu, it was formerly known as “Kou,” which is the current name of the city’s central downtown district that extends from Nuʻuanu Avenue to Alakea Street and from Hotel Street to Queen Street. Tourism is a significant contributor to Honolulu’s economy, as the city receives about $10 billion annually from the industry. The city is reportedly home to the largest airport in the Hawaiian Islands, thus, many consider Honolulu to be “a natural gateway to the islands’ large tourism industry.”
Hawaii's Hidden Hideaway
Hawaii’s Hidden Hideaway Bed and Breakfast is located in Lanikai near the city of Kailua on the island of O'ahu, Hawaii. The units offered include “studios and a suite,” with the choice of king, queen, or twin beds, according to the owners. Each unit features a private entrance, bathroom, dining area, kitchenette, and outdoor lanai (deck). Breakfast is stocked one time in the kitchenette. Items include pastries, yogurt, cereal, fresh fruit baskets, juices, tea, and fresh coffee beans, among other goodies. One of the reportedly most notable attractions near the bed and breakfast is Lanikai Beach, which was featured by Sunset Magazine as a “top-ten beach destination.” The owners hope that guests staying at the property will “have fun and feel at home” during their stay in the area....Read More