The Gathering Place
Capital of all the islands of Hawaii, O'ahu is for beachcombers, honeymooners and adventurers of all ages. With its perfect weather, tropical flowers, pristine valleys, rainbows and waterfalls, quiet beaches and fiery sunsets, it is truly a jewel. Honolulu, the capital, is set over five hills, surrounded by beautiful white sandy beaches and attracts over seven million visitors each year. It offers plazas, parks with cascading waterfalls, five star restaurants, nightclubs, world-class shopping, great art and architecture, exquisite hotels and friendly people with old fashioned aloha spirit - all the convenience of city living with the beauty and ambience of the tropics.
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A great way to get an overview of Honolulu's offerings is to take the Historic Waikiki Trolley Tour, a two hour narrated tour on a turn of the century designed trolley which stops every fifteen minutes at twenty locations allowing you to get off and spend time at as many stops as you like before rejoining the route. Stops include Honolulu's Zoo, State Capitol, Honolulu Academy of the Art, Chinatown, Bishop Museum, Aloha Tower Marketplace and the Hawaii Maritime Centre, King Kamehameha Statue, Restaurant Row and numerous shopping locations.
There are more than a dozen specialised walking tours in Honolulu including a number which focus on historical sites such as the Kawaiaha'o Church, Hawaii's oldest. Others are in Chinatown which has several buildings erected at the turn of the century with architecture reminiscent of a bygone era. You will stroll through the colourful arcades, pass the exotic herb shops and see the famous open market.
More than one million visitors a year experience a taste of old Polynesia and the charm and beauty of the seven South Pacific Societies at the Polynesian Cultural Centre. While there, visit the Imax Theatre, experience a Luau and see the spectacular Polynesian review.
Take a nostalgic trip to Pearl Harbour where you can step aboard the USS Bowfin a real WW2 submarine. You can learn more about this compelling wartime saga by visiting the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Centre displaying WW2 Naval History and see a film about the sneak attack. Also, the USS Battleship Missouri "Mighty Mo", known for its involvement in WW2, the Korean War and most recently, the Gulf War, is the newly opened museum located near Ford Island at Pearl Harbour.
Outdoor attractions include Sea Life Park which has the world's only "Wholpin", offspring of a false killer whale and an atlantic bottlenose dolphin. Waikiki Aquarium houses several endangered and rare species, interactive exhibits and a world famous collection of tropical fish.
Waimea Valley on the north shore is an 1,800 acre natural park with botanic gardens, hula performances and a host of activities including mountain bikes and kayaks. Numerous cruises offer the opportunity to take in the spectacular coastline and whale watching cruises are a highlight in season. A safe and interesting way to witness the natural wonders of the reef is to take a trip in a high tech Atlantis Sub to a depth of 100 feet. Through the ports you will see a visual feast of colourful reef fish and mysterious ocean predators.
No visit to Hawaii would be complete without a swim or at least a walk along the promenade at famous Waikiki Beach. Surf boards and boogie boards are available for rent with the option of lessons for the novices. Other activities include windsurfing, sailing, canoe rides, kayaking, waterskiing and jetskiing.
O'ahu is a gourmet paradise with cuisine that is a blend of the spices of Asia and the Pacific with European styles and sources. It is also a shopper's paradise with everything from the International Market Place to famous Ala Moana, one of the largest open-air shopping centres in the USA.
Where else can you snorkel a crystal lagoon, climb a dormant volcano, surf huge waves, kayak along a pristine coastline, picnic on a sandbar, soar in a glider, scuba dive over sunken aeroplanes, play golf at a championship course and sail into a magnificent sunset?
For More Information Contact:
O'AHU VISITORS BUREAU