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About Honolulu, HI


About Honolulu - "The Big Pineapple"


Few places on Earth are more laid back than Hawaii. It's true, life on the islands moves at a slower pace. You won't be getting many quick deliveries from the Internet, and you'll probably have to ease up on the gas pedal as well. But you'll be in a tropical paradise, so what's the rush anyway? So why not relax, sip a Mai Tai, and enjoy?

Want to get out and see some cultural attractions? There's the Iolani Palace, a beautiful historical site right in downtown Honolulu. Originally built as Hale Alii in 1879, the palace was once home to Hawaiian Royalty. The palace was built by King Kalakaua, and later renamed by King Kamehameha V. While the Palace is no longer home to a royal family, it's a great place to immerse yourself in history. From the Grand Hall and Throne Room, to the more intimate private living quarters on the second floor, the Palace is quite the site. Queen Kapiolani's suite is especially interesting. The Palace has been elegantly restored and offers both guided and unguided tours.

Don't get tricked by Honolulu's inviting atmosphere, it's the 11th largest metropolitan area in the United States. Many visitors love checking out Waikiki. This is the busy downtown area of Honolulu and it's filled with a wide variety of shops, restaurants, and other things. There are also tons of hotels, and many visitors stay in or near Waikiki. There's a lot to do in Waikiki. For example, you could partake in some of the local Hawaiian food. Locally flavored pork, a loco moco, and SPAM musubi are among the favorites. Chinatown is another favorite neighborhood in Honolulu. Like other Chinatowns found around the world, the neighborhood is always bustling with life, busy markets, and great food.

On the east side of Waikiki there's also the Honolulu Zoo. Over 900 animals live on more than 40 acres worth of land. Most of the animals are native to tropical climates, which should come as no surprise given Hawaii's location. Besides animals, the zoo has been designed to be a lush tropical garden, filled with plants and flowers from across Hawaii. Visitors can comfortably walk through the lush landscape, while also checking out the huge range of animals. These include Hawaiian nene goose, Galapagos tortoises, and Francois monkeys. Anyone too busy for a zoo trip during the day can check out "Zoo by Moonlight" during fullmoons.

The Waikiki Aquarium is also nearby, and offers a great way to learn about the native marine life. The light-hearted Hawaiian monk seals are among the favorites. Honolulu is also home to several gardens. These include the Foster Botanical Garden, Walker Estate, Liliuokalani Botanical Garden, and the Koko Crater Botanical Garden. Each garden features unique and stunning flora.

Want to get out and explore nature? Head to the far east side of Honolulu and you'll find some great snorkeling spots. The town of Hawaii Kai is home to Hanauma Bay, which is one of the most famous and best places on the islands for snorkeling. The bay itself is actually a sunken crater lined by golden sand. This beautiful marine sanctuary and nature reserve will allow you to get up close and personal with the stunning wildlife.

Up on the north side of the Oahu, there's perhaps the most famous surfing beach in the world. The often large waves that form off the beaches are considered to be among the best surfing waves anywhere on Earth. Hawaii's beaches and especially its waves have helped cement the state as one of the world's leading spots for water sports and especially surfing.

There are also plenty of opportunities for paddle boarding, body boarding, diving, or swimming. And there are many amazing beaches across the islands. The water itself is often a bit cool, but more in a refreshing rather than uncomfortable way. Not content with just swimming in the water? Why not dive right in? There are tons of diving and snorkeling opportunities. Anyone looking for an adventure can dive with the sharks at North Shore Shark Adventures. Some may prefer Sea Turtle Snorkeling Tour offered by Aqua Zone Scuba Diving and Snorkeling.

Hawaii is a great place for people who love the great outdoors. While the islands are normally quite warm, they are rarely unbearably hot. Rain is common but usually brief. This means it's easy to get out and see the stunning views and amazing sites and sights scattered around the islands. Hiking is especially popular, with the islands offering many uphill adventure opportunities. Within Honolulu itself, you can find a lot of hiking and long-walks through nature walks. A trip up to Manoa Falls offers an especially great way to stretch the legs. The wildlife and fauna of Hawaii along the hiking trail is truly unique and visitors get to see much of it on their way up to the falls. Eventually, visitors reach a beautiful pool. Sure, this pool features some signs warning of falling rocks, but many choose to take a dip anyway.

Diamond Head is another awesome site and it's right near Honolulu. The massive crater was once an active volcano. Sailors once confused nearby volcanic crystals for diamonds, hence its name. While the crater isn't stuffed with diamonds, it is a natural beauty. This crater makes a great backdrop for on the beach photos. However, for most visitors the best views and photos are from the top of the crater itself!

Another great option near the big city is Ala Moana beach park. It's the perfect strip of sand for catching some sun, as well as swimming, playing volleyball and all the rest. It's a great beach, and its very convenient for people staying in or near Waikiki. Of course, when it comes to Hawaii, beaches are not in short supply.

Hawaii also offers great opportunities to learn about modern history. In Pearl Harbor, visitors can check out the World War II memorials. It's possible to still see the wreckage, and the USS Arizona Memorial will give you an up close and personal look. When visitors first arrive at the memorial, they watch a 30 minute film that outlines what happened. It's a very concise and insightful film. After that, visitors can hop on a ferry and five minutes later they'll be standing on a large, white platform that floats over the wreckage of the once mighty battleship, the USS Arizona. Many visitors also check out USS Bowfin so that they can tour a WWII submarine.

Hawaii was actually ranked according to a Gallup poll as the best place in America in regards to well-being. Most of the locals are laid back, friendly, and quick to help visitors. Many locals speak at least two languages, Hawaiian and English, but many know other languages as well, such as Tongan, Pidgin, or Samoan. The culture and lifestyle can be different, but different in a wonderful way.

Meanwhile, the startup scene is drawing in talented individuals and companies from across the world. Many Bring-Their-Own-Career (BYOC). The venture capital firm and startup accelerator Blue Startups is providing support, while Honolulu Tech is holding monthly pitch deck events.

A lot of people who visit Hawaii and end up staying for longer cite the island's intimate feel. On one hand, the islands are home to nearly 1.5 million people. On the other hand, the islands are small, and there's a certain closeness that forms. Some people find the islands isolated, at first, but many come to love their intimacy. Being on islands does lend to some downsides, however. Hawaii is known for having some of the worst traffic in the United States. Yet, while you might get caught in traffic, it likely won't be for long. Why? Because on island's so small, there's only so far you can go. Yet at the same time, while Hawaii is small, it is also very diverse.

You'll be on a chain of islands, with no other land in sight. For those new to the experience, it's possible to feel a bit isolated. Road trips are pretty much out of the question, and Island Fever can strike from time to time. Meanwhile, the higher costs for basics, like milk and gasoline, as well as housing, can create a bit of a sticker shock. Still, Hawaii is a tropical paradise with many unique benefits.


Photos of Honolulu:


Honolulu, HI
Honolulu, HI
Skyline
Skyline
City Lights
City Lights
Downtown
Downtown
Aerial View
Aerial View


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