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Honolulu

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Honolulu

Honolulu is the capital and the most populous community of the State of Hawaii in the United States.

Honolulu may also refer to:

Honolulu

Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, is the capital and largest city of the state of Hawaii. It is the center of government, transportation, and commerce for the state; home to a population of nearly one million people in the metro area (80% of the state's population) and Hawaii's best known tourist destination, Waikiki Beach.

The majority of visitors to Hawaii enter through this city, meaning this is definitely not the place to go for a "get-away-from-it-all" Hawaiian vacation - It is as fast-paced and dynamic as any city, with all its problems such as heavy traffic, drugs, crime, and homelessness. But Honolulu still has the charm of the Islands' laid-back atmosphere and culture.

Contents

  • Districts 1
  • Understand 2
    • History 2.1
    • Climate 2.2
  • Get in 3
    • By plane 3.1
    • By ship 3.2
  • Get around 4
    • Navigating 4.1
    • Rules of the road 4.2
    • Major arterials 4.3
    • Traffic 4.4
    • By bus 4.5
    • By taxi 4.6
  • See 5
    • Beaches 5.1
    • Military memorials 5.2
    • Museums 5.3
    • Scenic 5.4
  • Do 6
    • Outdoor recreation 6.1
      • On land 6.1.1
      • On water 6.1.2
    • Performing arts 6.2
  • Buy 7
  • Eat 8
  • Drink 9
  • Sleep 10
  • Connect 11
  • Stay safe 12
  • Cope 13
    • Consulates 13.1
  • Go next 14

Districts

Honolulu extends inland from the southeast shore of Oahu, east of Pearl Harbor to Makapu'u Point, and incorporates many neighborhoods and districts. You'll most often hear people refer to these districts by name—Waikiki, Manoa, Kahala, Hawaii Kai and so on—as though they're not part of the same city.

Honolulu regions - Color-coded map
Downtown
The historic heart of the city, home to the state capitol, several museums, the harborfront, and the commercial center of the Hawaiian Islands.
Waikiki
The tourist center of Hawaii: white sand beaches, crowds of surfers and sunbathers, and block after block of highrise hotels.
Manoa-Makiki
A quieter area in the foothills north of Downtown, home to the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in the Punchbowl crater, and the tropical scenery of the Koolau Mountains behind the city.
Eastern Honolulu
A mostly residential area which extends to Makapu'u Point, the very southeastern corner of the island and home to rocky shorelines, scenic beaches, and the popular snorkeling spot Hanauma Bay.
Western Honolulu
Another major residential area, home to the airport, the Bishop Museum, and the military memorials of Pearl Harbor.

Understand

Waikiki, from the lookout on Diamond Head

History

The name Honolulu means "sheltered bay" or "place of shelter" in Hawaiian, and its natural harbor catapulted this humble village to importance when King Kamehameha I moved his royal court from the island of Hawaii to Oahu in 1809, shortly after conquering Oahu to unite the Hawaiian Islands. Eventually, in 1845, Kamehameha III officially moved the kingdom's capital from Lahaina on Maui to Honolulu.

Honolulu's ideally located port made the city a perfect stop for merchant ships traveling between North America and Asia, and through the 1800s, descendants of missionaries who arrived in the early 1800s established their headquarters in Honolulu, making it the center of business and the main seaport for the Hawaiian Islands.

The late 1800s and early 1900s brought the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy and subsequent annexation by the United States. Under American rule, Honolulu saw the rise of tourism and the first hotels were constructed in Waikiki. The U.S. military also built numerous bases in the islands, including nearby Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor later became known for the surprise attack by the Japanese in 1941, which brought the U.S. into World War II in the Pacific.

Statehood for the islands brought rapid economic growth to Honolulu, with all the state's major businesses headquartered in the city, the Honolulu airport as the primary entrance point for visitors, and Waikiki as the center of the island's tourism industry.

Climate

Honolulu has a very moderate climate, with very little change of temperature throughout the year - the average high is 80-90°F (27-32°C) and the average low is 65-75°F (19-24°C) any time of the year. Water temperature averages 82°F (27°C) in the summer months and 77°F (25°C) in the winter months.

The only noticeable variation in seasons is in terms of rainfall. Honolulu is on the sunny, leeward side of the island, and where you are in the city will affect the chances for rain - areas like Waikiki, downtown, and the western side of the city will usually be sunny, while the hills or eastern side of the city may get some passing clouds and very brief rainfall. On average, Honolulu gets less than half an inch of rain in the summer months to almost three inches in the winter months.

Get in

By plane

Honolulu International Airport (IATA: HNL) is the main aviation gateway for the Hawaiian Islands. The main terminal is served by most major American airlines from the mainland U.S., and by many international airlines from other countries around the Pacific Rim. Its Inter-Island Terminal is the home base of Hawaiian Airlines which offers frequent local service to the other Hawaiian islands. It is quite a walk between terminals, so be sure to take the free Wikiwiki Shuttle that runs every few minutes. It's easy to miss it so be sure to ask somebody where it is.

The Airport Waikiki Express provides shuttle service to hotels in Waikiki every half hour ($9/$15 one-way/round-trip). City buses #19 and #20 ($2.50 per adult and $1.25 per child or senior, exact change required, bills and coins accepted) also come to the airport once every half-hour, going through downtown and on to Waikiki. You can catch them on the outside second level of the international and domestic departure terminals.

The best way to get to Waikiki by rental car is to follow signs for H-1 east, then follow H-1 east about 2 miles to exit 18A (Waikiki/Nimitz Highway). Follow Nimitz Highway (which turns into Ala Moana Boulevard past downtown Honolulu) straight into Waikiki. You will pass through Honolulu's industrial district, along Honolulu Harbor, and past downtown Honolulu and the Ala Moana Shopping Center. You can also follow H-1 east into downtown Honolulu, take either exit 22 (Kinau Street) or 23 (Punahou Street), and follow signs to Waikiki.

By ship

Cruise ships frequently link Honolulu with the U.S. mainland. These voyages are designed for tourists, and are rarely used as one-way passenger service.

Get around

Navigating

Unlike many cities on the U.S. mainland, Honolulu is not laid out in a strict compass-point grid. Its street system conforms in large part to the shorelines, valleys, and ridges, with lots of twists and turns. It can be confusing for people used to straight grid systems. However, at the same time, it is not that difficult to navigate in, as long as you are familiar with the major arterials and terminology below.

Because it is difficult to differentiate north and south on an island, directions are normally given in terms of local landmarks. The most common terms that you will run into are mauka (Mow-kah) meaning "toward the mountain" and makai (mah-KAI) meaning "toward the sea". In the case of Honolulu, which is on Oahu's south shore, "mauka" is a rough north, and "makai" roughly south. You will also hear Ewa-bound (Eh-vah) and Town-bound used a lot, in relation to downtown Honolulu, the former roughly means "west" (toward the town of Ewa on the southwest shore of Oahu) and the latter roughly means "east" (towards Honolulu; locals refer to Honolulu proper as "town"). Highway signs, however, will use standard compass directions, so if you are asked to go Ewa-bound on the freeway, look for the on-ramp to H-1 west.

It is a very good idea to invest in a good map of Honolulu before doing extensive driving. Members of the American Automobile Association (AAA) can request fold-out maps for free from their local office. Rand McNally paper fold-out maps are available in many stores; for more extensive coverage you can also purchase Bryan's Sectional Maps (a popular choice among locals) at most bookstores for about $9.50. GPS-enabled devices can also be used to navigate around Honolulu, and Oahu.

Streets in Honolulu can be extremely narrow compared to the mainland. Locals are used to this lack of space on roads but if you are coming from the mainland and are used to wide roads, prepare yourself for driving very close to the cars around you. Just take a little extra caution and you should not have any problems. Once outside of Honolulu proper, the roads will be a bit wider.

Please take note that many intersections on busy streets in town do prohibit left turns, especially intersections on Kapiolani Boulevard, due to flow of traffic and other various reasons.

If coming from the mainland, speed limits on roads in Honolulu are generally lower than you may be used to. For example, six-laned King Street is 25–30 miles per hour for its entire length. Most streets are no more than 25 miles per hour. In addition to this, many people disregard the speed limit, instead driving slower, which may be frustrating.

During periods of rain at night, the lane markings on the roads will not be easily visible even to people with excellent vision. Take extreme caution during these times.

Rules of the road

There are a few rules to take note of, especially if you come from a foreign country and are not used to driving in the United States:

  • City and County ordinance prohibits using or simply holding any electronic device while behind the wheel. This includes (but isn't limited to) a cell phone, iPod, or a GPS. Hands-free use is required, otherwise do not use them at all. If pulled over, you may want to hide (discreetly) any electronic devices to avoid fines. Using your in-car radio, however, is allowed.
  • You can assume that if there is no sign posted, you may turn right on a red light.
  • Pedestrians always have the right of way, even if not in the crosswalk.
  • During the morning and afternoon rush-hour, some streets have contra-flow lanes. Lanes from the direction less heavily traveled will be blocked off with cones and cars traveling in the other direction will allowed to use the lane. During these times, there are no left turns allowed against heavy traffic.
  • On busier streets, cars may not be parked on the side of the road during rush hour. This is heavily enforced, and often results in a parking ticket with fine and immediate towing at the expense of the driver.
  • Many streets allow street parking on one side and traffic to travel on the other. When on these streets, most times the road is not wide enough to allow two way traffic. In this case, cars traveling opposite the direction of the parked cars have the right of way, and cars traveling the same direction as the parked cars must pull over to allow the other cars to pass.

Major arterials

Most major streets in Honolulu run Ewa–Diamond Head (as described in the preceding section, roughly east-west). There are two main highways in Honolulu: Nimitz Highway (Hawaii 92) which runs from Pearl Harbor past Honolulu Airport to downtown Honolulu and Waikiki; and Interstate H-1 which runs mauka (mountain-ward) of downtown and runs the entire length of the south shore of Oahu.

H-1 is some distance away from Waikiki itself and you need to go onto surface streets to and from Waikiki. If you need to access H-1 west from Waikiki to go someplace outside of the city, there are three main routes:

  1. Go mauka to Ala Wai Boulevard and follow it 'Ewa-bound to McCully Street. Follow McCully mauka for about 1 mile; it will take you over H-1. At the foot of the bridge, turn left on Dole, then left again onto Alexander to the freeway onramp.
  2. Follow Kuhio or Kalakaua Avenue Diamond Head-bound to Kapahulu Avenue. Follow Kapahulu mauka for about 1 mile, it will take you under H-1 and lead you to the freeway onramp.

To get back to Waikiki from H-1 east, take any of these routes:

  1. Take exit 22 (Kinau Street). Turn right on Ward Avenue and follow it to Ala Moana Boulevard. Turn left on Ala Moana and follow it into Waikiki.
  2. Take exit 23 (Punahou Street). Turn right on Punahou, and stay in lane #3 from the left. This lane is right-turn only onto the left side of Beretania. Take an immediate left onto Kalakaua Avenue from Beretania. Follow Kalakaua into Waikiki.
  3. Take exit 25A (King Street). After merging onto King Street, stay to the right. Take the second right onto Kapahulu Avenue (follow signs to Waikiki). Follow Kapahulu into Waikiki.
  4. Take exit 23 (Punahou Street). Stay straight to merge onto Bingham Street. Turn right onto McCully Street and keep left to merge into traffic from the overpass. Follow McCully to Waikiki.

There are also several routes from H-1 to downtown and back. To get to downtown from H-1 east, use one of these routes:

  1. Take exit 21B (Punchbowl Street). This will take you to the Capitol area.
  2. Take exit 21A (Pali Highway). Turn right onto Pali Highway, which will curve to the left and become Bishop Street. This will take you to the downtown business district and Aloha Tower.
  3. Take exit 22 (Kinau Street). Turn right onto Ward Avenue, then turn right onto Beretania Street. This will take you to the Capitol area and Chinatown.
  4. Take exit 20B (Vineyard Blvd). This will take you to northern downtown.

To get to H-1 west from downtown, use one of these routes:

  1. Go north on Punchbowl Street (from the Capitol area), which will merge into a ramp at the end of the street. At the fork at the end of the ramp, keep left.
  2. Go north on Alakea Street (from Chinatown), turn left onto Beretania Street, turn right onto Pali Highway, turn left onto School Street, and keep left onto the H-1 ramp.
  3. Go east on Kinau Street, turn left onto Piikoi Street, turn left onto Lunalilo Street, then keep left onto the H-1 ramp.
  4. Go west onto Vineyard Blvd, which will become Halona Street after the H-1 overpass. Keep left onto the H-1 ramp.

In central Honolulu, the two main streets are King Street and Beretania Street. The two streets are one-way for most of their route; King Street runs from 'Ewa to Diamond Head, and Beretania Street from Diamond Head to 'Ewa. Both streets run parallel through downtown Honolulu. Despite their rough west to east orientation, addresses on these streets are designated North and South respectively (the streets form an S curve, running north-south through downtown). The dividing line between North and South designations is Nuuanu Avenue in downtown Honolulu, which runs mauka-makai. Ala Moana Boulevard is a key route leading out of Waikiki to Downtown Honolulu. Past Honolulu Harbor, Ala Moana becomes Nimitz Highway and runs all the way to the airport and beyond. Tree-lined Kapiolani Boulevard is another major thoroughfare traversing east-central Honolulu, linking the Waikiki district and points east with downtown Honolulu, becoming Waialae Avenue in Kaimuki. Dillingham Boulevard runs from Middle Street in Kalihi to Aala Park right outside of Chinatown, then continues as Liliha Street into Liliha. McCully Street runs from Waikiki to the H-1 Freeway, an easy route to get to the interstate and out of town, or just to get out of Waikiki. Two major streets from Ala Moana to residential Makiki and the H-1 are Pensacola Street and Piikoi Street, running makai to Ala Moana and mauka to Makiki, respectively. Downtown, Pali Highway from the Windward side of the island becomes Bishop Street, a major one-way thoroughfare through the compact downtown running makai to Aloha Tower, and it's counterpart Alakea Street is one block east, running from Aloha Tower to Vineyard Boulevard, which forms the unofficial northern border for downtown. Through working class Kalihi is Kalihi Street, which becomes Likelike Highway running to Kaneohe on the windward side.

In Waikiki, the three main streets, from makai to mauka, are Kalakaua Avenue (one way Ewa to Diamond Head, along Waikiki Beach), Kuhio Avenue (two-way), and Ala Wai Boulevard (one way Diamond Head to Ewa, along the Ala Wai Canal).

Traffic

Traffic in Honolulu, and on Oahu in general (in particular the southern shore), is a persistent problem. In fact, Honolulu's rush hour has been ranked among the worst in the nation. There are almost one million people living in a relatively small space, and only a few main routes connecting the major populated areas on the island to each other and to downtown Honolulu. As a result, a single traffic incident has the potential to induce gridlock across the entire island. You are unlikely to encounter a traffic jam of that magnitude, but someone visiting Oahu and traveling during a weekday should be aware of traffic problems.

Normal weekday rush hour in Honolulu is 5AM to 8AM going inbound and 3PM to 6:30PM going outbound. Expect heavy traffic on Interstates H-1 and H-2, Nimitz Highway/Ala Moana Boulevard, and the surface streets in downtown Honolulu and Waikiki. However, traffic congestion is the norm for most of the daylight hours, often crawling along at less than ten miles per hour on the freeway, and often congested near onramps and offramps on the surface streets. There is almost always a slow down during the day on the H-1 between the Likelike and Punahou exits, often in both directions. On the H-1 eastbound (toward downtown Honolulu), the interchange at Middle Street (H-1 & H-201), the Vineyard Boulevard and Ward Avenue onramps, and the H-1/H-2 Merge are some of the worst bottlenecks, especially during rush hour. The merge at Middle Street has been named the single most congested section of freeway in the United States. Traffic is less heavy during the summer and over the holidays when the University of Hawaii at Manoa and public and private schools are not in session. Maybe a unique thing about Honolulu is that while traffic congestion is high, drivers are generally courteous and will let you in front of them if you signal beforehand and wave after.

All in all, though, driving on Oahu is pleasurable once you get off of the Interstates. Having a car on Oahu gives a visitor a chance to visit the whole island in just a few days. Once you get a little ways inland, the traffic is not too bad, and in the agricultural areas there is little traffic. Unless you are familiar with this climate, convertible tops should be up when the sun is intense.

By bus

The local bus service in Honolulu is called, with remarkable succinctness, TheBus. Fares are $2.50 for adults, $1.25 for children and seniors (no change given). TheBus runs intercity services to other parts of Oahu as well. Ask for a free transfer ticket, good for two hours, if you are continuing on another bus or returning on the same route. Monthly bus passes are available at 7-Elevens and supermarkets. Monthly bus passes begin on the first of each month and cost $60 (all-you-can-ride) regardless of which day of the month you purchase the pass. A $35 4-day pass, can be purchased at an ABC Store. You scratch off the Month and day of your first use and each subsequent day (up to four total days) and enjoy unlimited rides. You can use the pass to take any bus including the Circle Island route and see the entire island. Yearly bus passes are also available for $660. All buses in the fleet are equipped with bike racks that can hold two or three bikes. Buses are also wheelchair accessible. Larger groups may want to tour the city via charter bus; there are several chartering companies available on the island.


A map of Waikiki beach shows bus routes to various points of interests.

By taxi

A taxi ride from Honolulu International Airport to Waikiki will cost around $30 to $40 plus tip. Taxis are locally regulated, so fares will be the same regardless of the company. Some taxi companies also offer tours around the island of O'ahu.

See

See the Districts articles for more listings. Also see Oahu for details on attractions located outside Honolulu proper.

Beaches

Waikiki Beach

Naturally, when most visitors think of beaches here, they think of the famous Waikiki Beach. As the tourist center of the Hawaiian Islands, this white sand beach, framed by hotels and Diamond Head as a backdrop, is easily the most crowded. Waikiki is popular with a wide crowd, as it's an excellent place for swimming, sunbathers, catamaran and outrigger canoes, as well as a great spot for beginner surfers and body boarders (and there are plenty of surf schools set up in Waikiki for lessons). Remarkably, even in Waikiki, you can find a fairly quiet beach; it's just a matter of knowing where to look.

But if you really need to get away from the crowds, there are plenty of other beaches. Just to the west, near Downtown, is Ala Moana Park, a green space with plenty of trees and grass as well as a nice sandy beach that's popular with the locals and is perfect for families or a calmer swim.

The area surrounding Makapu'u Point in Eastern Honolulu has several excellent beaches, the most popular being Hanauma Bay, which is set in the crater of an extinct volcano, now open to the sea and filled with a coral reef. This is not the place for a good swim and certainly not the spot for surfing, but the calm water and abundance of marine life makes it excellent for snorkeling and scuba diving. Even if you don't get in the water, the scenery makes it a great place to sunbathe or picnic, although you may find parking to be an issue.

Just near Hanauma Bay is the Halona Beach Cove, known as "the Peering Place". It is a small, rocky cove that has good swimming when the surf is calm, but no lifeguards here means it's at your own risk. Nearby Sandy Beach does have lifeguards, and has been popular with surfers and bodyboarders for decades. On a calm day, it can be good for a fun day of swimming. Makapu'u Beach, just a little further up the road, is quite scenic. It tends to have very large waves, meaning it may not be the best place to swim but a fantastic place to surf.

Military memorials

Aerial view of the USS Arizona Memorial

Pearl Harbor, located in Western Honolulu, is well-remembered for 7 December 1941, a day that lives in infamy, when an attack by Japanese forces killed over 2,000 personnel and brought the U.S. military into World War II. Today the harbor, still functioning as a Navy base, is the site of several memorials honoring the fallen of that day and the rest of the war. The centerpiece is the USS Arizona Memorial, which was built over the sunken hull of the USS Arizona battleship; the resting place of many who died that day. The memorial itself is accessed after an introductory movie and a short ferry ride, and lists the names of those lost as well as a chance to view the wreck.

Next to Pearl Harbor's visitor center is the USS Bowfin, a WWII submarine that's open for tours and offers a glimpse at life aboard a submarine. Ford Island, in the middle of the harbor, is home to the Pacific Aviation Museum, which has plenty of WWII fighter planes to view. The island is also home to the Battleship Missouri Memorial, a battleship best known as the site where World War II ended when the Japanese military formally surrendered to the Allied forces. The ship is open for tours and watches over the USS Arizona, marking the end of the war at the site where it began for the U.S.

Also in Honolulu is the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, located within the Punchbowl Crater near Downtown, just above Makiki. The cemetery is the final resting place of over 45,000 Americans who served their country in the military, and has a memorial to those missing in action in World War II as well as panoramic views of Honolulu. The memorial contains a series of time-line and map-based wall paintings that tell the story of the Pacific Theater of WWII.

Museums

Bishop Museum

Of all the museums in Honolulu, none approach the size of the Bishop Museum in Western Honolulu; a complex of buildings with a large collection of Hawaiian artifacts. Much of the museum is dedicated to Hawaiian history, with a growing number of science-based exhibits, including a planetarium, a large natural history hall, and an area centered around volcanology. The museum is huge, so give yourself a few hours to take it all in.

Makiki has two major art museums worth a look: the Honolulu Museum of Art is the largest art museum in the city and houses one of the largest collections of Asian art in the United States, along with an impressive Western collection to boot, including Van Gogh, Picasso, Gauguin, Cézanne, Monet, Modigliani and other masters. Just up the hill and operated by the Museum of Art is the Spalding House, which occupies an old estate overlooking the city and is devoted exclusively to contemporary art. Further east along the Pali highway is Queen Emma's Summer Palace, the summer home of King Kamehameha IV and his family that is now transformed into a museum commemorating its past residents.

Kapiolani Park in Waikiki is home to the city's zoo and aquarium. The Honolulu Zoo is fairly small but quite enjoyable, with plenty of exotic animals including the big-name ones like lions, elephants, rhinos, zebras, giraffes, etc. The also small but rather impressive Waikiki Aquarium holds a spot on the beach and has marine life from all over the Pacific Ocean, including sharks, octopus, colorful reef fish, jellies, and an outdoor exhibit with seals. On the far east part of the island lies Sea Life Park which includes exhibits of marine life as well as entertaining dolphin, sea lion, and penguin shows.

Scenic

The Nu'uanu Pali Lookout

It's Hawai'i, so there's no shortage of natural scenery, even near the big city. For those looking for expansive vistas, Diamond Head is a good starting point - this ancient volcanic crater dominates over Waikiki and the top offers an incredible view over the city. Along the trail leading up to a World War II-era bunker are two sets of stairs, one with 99 steps and the other with 76 steps, so the climb can be challenging for the average couch potato. Other than a 225-foot unlit tunnel, there is no shade - so schedule an early hike and bring water.

If you're looking for a vista that doesn't require a long hike, look no further than the hills above Makiki. The Punchbowl crater, home to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, offers a panoramic view closer to Downtown. Pu'u Ualaka'a State Wayside, also above Makiki along Tantalus/Round Top Drive, is the site of a lookout with sweeping view of southern O'ahu from Diamond Head to Pearl Harbor, including Honolulu and Manoa Valley. Picnic shelters are available, and trailheads for a network of hiking trails can be found at various points along the drive.

Another popular overlook is the Nu'uanu Pali Lookout, located 6 miles north of Downtown on State Route 61 (Pali Highway). The scenic vista, set between two incredibly high cliffs, provides a panoramic view of Windward O'ahu. The overlook is often buffeted by high winds, but the view is more than worth it.

If ocean scenery is more your speed, the rocky shoreline of the Makapu'u Point area is an excellent bet. In addition to the scenic beaches, the Makapuʻu Point State Wayside is a roadside stop which offers an excellent view of Makapu'u Point and the Windward O'ahu coast - and if you're lucky, off-shore humpback whales in the winter months. Hike the Makapu‘u Point trail for magnificent views of the offshore islets, as well as the historic red-roofed Makapu‘u Lighthouse built in 1909.

Nearby is the popular Halona Blowhole, one of the many blowholes (an underwater cave with a hole in the top, so ocean water blasts out the top) in this area, but the easiest to view from the large parking area overlooking it.

Near Downtown are two beautiful gardens. The Foster Botanical Garden has a collection of rare and beautiful plants from the tropical regions of the world, while the Liliuokalani Botanical Garden nearby is the only one of the five botanical gardens that contain only plants native to Hawaii. Portions of this 7.5 acre garden belonged to Queen Liliuokalani, the last reigning Monarch of Hawaii.

Do

Outdoor recreation

On land

Hawaii's year-round tropical weather provides perfect running weather all year, so bring your running shoes. Kapiolani Park and Ala Moana Beach Park are where most joggers in Honolulu congregate; the 4-mile loop around Diamond Head is also a popular and scenic route. If you're up for a challenge, Tantalus Drive above Makiki is a winding, two-lane road that is relatively safe for joggers. The Honolulu Marathon, held annually on the second Sunday in December, is a huge event that attracts from 20,000-25,000 runners annually.

Cycling around Honolulu's streets and bike paths can be a great way to see the city and stay in shape. There are several bike shops in the city that rent various types of bikes. You can also take Highway 72 to Waimanolo, east of Honolulu, if you want to get out on the open road.

Ice skating is probably the last thing you'd expect to be able to do in a tropical city, but the Ice Palace in Western Honolulu makes for the perfect getaway if the hot climate is too much for you.

On water

There are great surfing beaches around Waikiki. For lessons, beach boys give private surfing lessons daily at Waikiki Beach. A one hour lesson includes dry land and in-the-water instruction. Instructors teach paddling, timing and balance skills. No reservations required, just sign up at the stand on the beach located Diamondhead of the Waikiki Police Station. You can also try one of the many surfing schools in Waikiki.

Performing arts

In addition to the traditional luaus and hula shows, Hawaii has a thriving scene of theatre, concerts, clubs, bars, and other events and entertainment. Honolulu has two major theatre complexes. The oldest and most popular one is Diamond Head Theatre. They have been entertaining audiences with broadway style performances since 1919, and has been called "The Broadway of the Pacific". Another theatre is the Hawaii Theatre in Downtown Honolulu. They have similar performances to that of Diamond Head Theatre and have been performing since 1922. Other performances are also held at the Neil S. Blaisdell Arena and Concert Hall, and the Waikiki Shell. You can find a well-maintained list of upcoming shows and weekly events online at HNLnow.com. If you're already out and about, you can access a daily digest on your mobile phone.

Buy

See the Districts articles for more listings.

There are several shopping centers in Honolulu, ranging from your typical large strip malls to more unique areas popular with tourists. The International Market Place in Waikiki is one such spot, filled with market stalls and shops laid out amongst a jungle-like backdrop of banyan trees. Also in Waikiki is the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, DFS Galleria (Duty Free Shops), and the Waikiki Shopping Plaza, also very popular with tourists.

Downtown also has a few shopping areas. The Aloha Tower Marketplace on the harborfront next to Aloha Tower is popular with tourists. Between Downtown and Waikiki is the Ala Moana Center, the largest shopping mall in Hawaii and the largest open-air shopping center in the world. There are also the Victoria Ward Centers. For something truly unique, Chinatown has food and seafood markets, as well as many Lei (the ornamental flowered necklace) makers on the street corners.

Eastern Honolulu has a couple of regional malls, Kahala Mall and Koko Marina Center, with various large stores and movie theaters. In Western Honolulu, Aloha Stadium is home to the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, and offers a chance to buy from local merchants and artists and get things for far cheaper than you can anywhere else.

Eat

See the Districts articles for more listings.

For general information on the kind of food available in Hawaii, see the Eat section in the Hawaii article.

Scattered around Oahu are various locations of the local Zippy's chain. It's the island equivalent of Denny's; but much more popular with the locals. They provide a wide variety of food, including plate lunches at reasonable prices. Most are open 24 hours and as such are very popular late-night spots to hang out. Zippy's signature dish is their chili, which they prepare in many different ways: served over rice, or over a burrito, or over french fries, to name a few. Another popular chain is Genki Sushi, a Japanese-style eatery with employees shouting "irrashaimase!" when you enter, which is the Japanese word for "welcome." Very popular with the younger crowd; the eatery offers many types of sushi, often served on a sushi conveyor belt.

Drink

See the Districts articles for more listings.

There are several places open till 2AM. Some are open until 4AM. Most of Honolulu's bars and night clubs can be found along Kuhio Avenue and are covered in the Waikiki article.

Sleep

See the Districts articles for more listings.

Not surprisingly, most hotels in Honolulu are found in Waikiki or its vicinity. Generally Hawaii is most popular when the weather is the worst on the U.S. mainland. High season in Hawaii is mid-December to March (high rates and tight booking), and June to September (high rates but somewhat easier booking). Low season is from spring (April to June) and fall (September to mid-December), when the best bargains are available.

Connect

The area code for Honolulu, and the rest of Hawaii, is 808.

Stay safe

Although Honolulu is relatively safe as far as violent crime goes, the risk of property crime is much greater. Take particular care when parking vehicles in popular tourist spots, especially Diamond Head and the Halona Blowhole near Sandy Beach; always lock your vehicle; and do not leave ANY valuables in your car. Keep all valuables within sight and within reach at all times. Your car is not a safe place to store anything: Thieves have commonly dismantled locks and broken into vehicles, or conversely will just bash open your window to get in. Use extra caution when visiting less savory parts of town, including the Chinatown district after dark, but during the day you should have no problem.

Cope

There's a popular bumper sticker here: "Slow down, brah. This ain't the mainland." Drivers rarely use horns here, even if someone is stopped at a green light, or just going slow. Drive with some Aloha; leave room for others to change lanes and take your time. Whether you're visiting or a long-time kama'aina (local resident), there's little sense in driving fast on a small island.

Consulates

  • . fax: +1 808 529-8142 Penthouse, 1000 Bishop St, Australia
  • . fax: +1 808 533-0144 600 Ocean View Center, 707 Richards St, Belgium (Honorary)
  • . fax: +1 808 833-1180 1150 Kikowaena St, Denmark (Honorary)
  • . fax: +1 808 543-3170 1742 Nuuanu Ave, Japan
  • . fax: +1 808 531-6898 , Netherlands (Honorary)
  • . fax: +1 808 545 2024 530 S King St Rm 202, Portugal (Honorary)
  • . fax: +1 808 595-3409 3929 Old Pali Rd, New Zealand (Honorary)
  • . fax: +1 808 595-2581 2433 Pali HwyPhilippines

Go next

Don't spend all your time on Waikiki Beach; the whole island of Oahu, with more secluded beaches, hiking opportunities, and the sight of huge waves in the winter, awaits you. Most of the island's major attractions can be seen in a day trip, or spread out over several days.

Honolulu

Honolulu, Hawaii
Consolidated city-county
City and County of Honolulu
Clockwise: Aerial view of Downtown Honolulu, Pearl Harbor right outside the city, statue of King Kamehameha I in downtown, Diamond Head, waterfront on Waikiki Beach, and Honolulu Hale (City Hall)
Clockwise: Aerial view of Downtown Honolulu, Pearl Harbor right outside the city, statue of King Kamehameha I in downtown, Diamond Head, waterfront on Waikiki Beach, and Honolulu Hale (City Hall)
Flag of Honolulu, Hawaii
Flag
Official seal of Honolulu, Hawaii
Seal
Nickname(s): Crossroads of the Pacific
Sheltered Bay
HNL
The Big Pineapple
Town ("Town" is a commonly used local nickname for Honolulu, in reference to the fact that the Honolulu, or "Town" side of the island is the most urbanized and dense part of Oahu.)
Paradise
Motto: Haʻaheo No ʻO Honolulu (The Pride of Honolulu)[1]
Location in Honolulu County and the state of Hawaii
Location in Honolulu County and the state of Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii is located in Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii
Location in Honolulu County and the state of Hawaii
Coordinates:
Country  United States
State  Hawaii
County Honolulu
Incorporated April 30, 1907[2]
Government
 • Mayor Kirk Caldwell (D)
 • Council
Area[3]
 • City 68.4 sq mi (177.2 km2)
 • Land 60.5 sq mi (156.7 km2)
 • Water 7.9 sq mi (20.5 km2)
Elevation 19 ft (6 m)
Population (2010)
 • City 390,738 (46th)
 • Density 5,574/sq mi (2,152.2/km2)
 • Metro 953,207
Demonym Honolulan
Time zone Hawaiian (HST) (UTC−10)
Zip Code 96801-96850
Area code(s) 808
FIPS code 15-17000
GNIS feature ID 366212[4]

Honolulu ( or ;[5][6] Hawaiian pronunciation: ) is the state capital and the most populous city in the U.S. state of Hawaii.[1] It is the county seat of the City and County of Honolulu. Hawaii is a major tourist destination and Honolulu, situated on the island of Oahu, is the main gateway to Hawaii and a major gateway into the United States. The city is also a major hub for international business, military defense, as well as famously being host to a diverse variety of east-west and Pacific culture, cuisine, and traditions.

Honolulu is both the westernmost and the southernmost major American city. For statistical purposes, the U.S. Census Bureau recognizes the approximate area commonly referred to as "City of Honolulu" (not to be confused with the "City and County") as a census county division (CCD).[8] Honolulu is a major financial center of the islands and of the Pacific Ocean. The population of Honolulu CCD was 390,738 at the 2010 census,[9] while the population of the consolidated city and county was 953,207.

Honolulu means "sheltered harbor"[10] or "calm port."[11] The old name is said to be Kou, a district roughly encompassing the area from Nuuanu Avenue to Alakea Street and from Hotel Street to Queen Street which is the heart of the present downtown district.[12] The city has been the capital of the Hawaiian islands since 1845 and gained historical recognition following the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan near the city on December 7, 1941.

Contents

  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Neighborhoods, boroughs, and districts 2.1
    • Climate 2.2
  • Demographics 3
  • Economy 4
  • Cultural institutions 5
    • Natural museums 5.1
    • Performing arts 5.2
    • Visual arts 5.3
    • Tourist attractions 5.4
  • Sports 6
    • Venues 6.1
  • Government 7
    • Diplomatic missions on the island 7.1
  • Education 8
    • Colleges and universities 8.1
    • Public primary and secondary schools 8.2
    • Private primary and secondary schools 8.3
    • Public libraries 8.4
  • Media 9
  • Transportation 10
    • Air 10.1
    • Highways 10.2
    • Public transport 10.3
      • Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation 10.3.1
      • Bus 10.3.2
      • Rail 10.3.3
  • Notable people 11
    • Deceased 11.1
  • Twin towns – Sister cities 12
  • See also 13
  • Notes 14
  • References 15
  • External links 16

History

Port of Honolulu, as seen by Russian artist Louis Choris in 1816.
Queen Street, Honolulu, 1856, by George Henry Burgess.

Evidence of the first settlement of Honolulu by the original Polynesian migrants to the archipelago comes from oral histories and artifacts. These indicate that there was a settlement where Honolulu now stands in the 11th century.[13] However, after Kamehameha I conquered Oʻahu in the Battle of Nuʻuanu at Nuʻuanu Pali, he moved his royal court from the Island of Hawaiʻi to Waikīkī in 1804. His court relocated in 1809 to what is now downtown Honolulu. The capital was moved back to Kailua-Kona in 1812.

In 1794, Captain William Brown of Great Britain was the first foreigner to sail into what is now Honolulu Harbor.[14] More foreign ships followed, making the port of Honolulu a focal point for merchant ships traveling between North America and Asia.

In 1845, Kamehameha III moved the permanent capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom from Lahaina on Maui to Honolulu. He and the kings that followed him transformed Honolulu into a modern capital,[15] erecting buildings such as St. Andrew's Cathedral, ʻIolani Palace, and Aliʻiōlani Hale. At the same time, Honolulu became the center of commerce in the islands, with descendants of American missionaries establishing major businesses in downtown Honolulu.[16]

Despite the turbulent history of the late 19th century and early 20th century, such as the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893, Hawaiʻi's subsequent annexation by the United States in 1898, followed by a large fire in 1900, and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Honolulu remained the capital, largest city, and main airport and seaport of the Hawaiian Islands.[17]

An economic and tourism boom following statehood brought rapid economic growth to Honolulu and Hawaiʻi. Modern air travel brings, as of 2007, 7.6 million visitors annually to the islands, with 62.3% entering at Honolulu International Airport.[18] Today, Honolulu is a modern city with numerous high-rise buildings, and Waikīkī is the center of the tourism industry in Hawaiʻi, with thousands of hotel rooms. The UK consulting firm Mercer, in a 2009 assessment "conducted to help governments and major companies place employees on international assignments", ranked Honolulu 29th worldwide in quality of living; the survey factored in political stability, personal freedom, sanitation, crime, housing, the natural environment, recreation, banking facilities, availability of consumer goods, education, and public services including transportation.[19]

Geography

Astronaut photograph of western Honolulu, HNL Airport, and Pearl Harbor taken from the International Space Station

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 68.4 square miles (177.2 km2). 60.5 square miles (156.7 km2) of it is land, and 7.9 square miles (20.5 km2) of it (11.56%) is water.[20]

The closest location on the mainland to Honolulu is the Point Arena Lighthouse in California, at 2,045 nautical miles (3,787 km).[21] (Nautical vessels require some additional distance to circumnavigate Makapuʻu Point.) However, part of the Aleutian Islands of Alaska are slightly closer to Honolulu than the mainland.

Neighborhoods, boroughs, and districts

Honolulu as seen from the International Space Station
Downtown at Bishop and King streets, with First Hawaiian Center (left) and Bankoh Center (right)
  • Downtown Honolulu is the financial, commercial, and governmental center of Hawaii. On the waterfront is Aloha Tower, which for many years was the tallest building in Hawaii. Currently the tallest building is the 438-foot (134 m) tall First Hawaiian Center, located on King and Bishop Streets. The downtown campus of Hawaii Pacific University is also located there.
  • The Arts District Honolulu in downtown/Chinatown is on the eastern edge of Chinatown. It is a 12-block area bounded by Bethel & Smith Streets and Nimitz Highway and Beretania Street – home to numerous arts and cultural institutions. It is located within the Chinatown Historic District, which includes the former Hotel Street Vice District.[22]
  • The Capitol District is the eastern part of Downtown Honolulu. It is the current and historic center of Hawaii's state government, incorporating the Hawaii State Capitol, ʻIolani Palace, Honolulu Hale (City Hall), State Library, and the statue of King Kamehameha I, along with numerous government buildings.
  • Kakaʻako is a light-industrial district between Downtown and Waikīkī that has seen a large-scale redevelopment effort in the past decade. It is home to two major shopping areas, Ward Warehouse and Ward Centre. The John A. Burns School of Medicine, part of the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa is also located there. A Memorial to the Ehime Maru Incident victims is built at Kakaako Waterfront Park.
  • Ala Moana is a district between Kakaʻako and Waikīkī and the home of Ala Moana Center, the "World's largest open air shopping center" and the largest shopping mall in Hawaii.[23] Ala Moana Center boasts over 300 tenants and is a very popular location among tourists. Also in Ala Moana is the Honolulu Design Center and Ala Moana Beach Park, the second largest park in Honolulu.
  • Waikīkī is the tourist district of Honolulu, located between the Ala Wai Canal and the Pacific Ocean next to Diamond Head. Numerous hotels, shops, and nightlife opportunities are located along Kalakaua and Kuhio Avenues. It is a popular location for visitors and locals alike and attracts millions of visitors every year. A majority of the hotel rooms on Oahu are located in Waikīkī.
  • Manoa and Makiki are residential neighborhoods located in adjacent valleys just inland of downtown and Waikīkī. Manoa Valley is home to the main campus of the University of Hawaiʻi.
  • Nuʻuanu and Pauoa are upper-middle-class residential districts located inland of downtown Honolulu. The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific is located in Punchbowl Crater fronting Pauoa Valley.
  • Palolo and Kaimuki are neighborhoods east of Manoa and Makiki, inland from Diamond Head. Palolo Valley parallels Manoa and is a residential neighborhood. Kaimuki is primarily a residential neighborhood with a commercial strip centered on Waialae Avenue running behind Diamond Head. Chaminade University is located in Kaimuki.
  • Waialae and Kahala are upper-class districts of Honolulu located directly east of Diamond Head, where there are many high-priced homes. Also found in these neighborhoods are the Waialae Country Club and the five-star Kahala Hotel & Resort.
  • East Honolulu includes the residential communities of ʻĀina Haina, Niu Valley, and Hawaiʻi Kai. These are considered upper-middle-class neighborhoods. The upscale gated communities of Waiʻalae ʻiki and Hawaiʻi Loa Ridge are also located here.
  • Kalihi and Palama are working-class neighborhoods with a number of government housing developments. Lower Kalihi, toward the ocean, is a light-industrial district.
  • Salt Lake and Aliamanu are (mostly) residential areas built in extinct tuff cones along the western end of the Honolulu District, not far from the Honolulu International Airport.
  • Moanalua is two neighborhoods and a valley at the western end of Honolulu, and home to Tripler Army Medical Center.

Climate

Honolulu experiences a tropical savannah climate (Köppen classification As), with a mostly dry summer season, due to a rain shadow effect.[24] Temperatures vary little throughout the months, with average high temperatures of 80–90 °F (27–32 °C) and average lows of 65–75 °F (18–24 °C) throughout the year. Temperatures reach or exceed 90 °F (32 °C) on an average 38 days annually,[25] with lows in the upper 50s °F (14–15 °C) occurring once or twice a year. The highest recorded temperature was 95 °F (35 °C) during a heat wave in September 1998. The highest recorded temperature in the state was also recorded later that day in Ni'ihau. The lowest recorded temperature was 52 °F (11 °C) on February 16, 1902, and January 20, 1969.

Annual average rainfall is 17.05 in (433 mm), which mainly occurs during the winter months of October through early April, with very little rainfall during the summer. However, both seasons experience a similar number of rainy days. Light showers occur in summer while heavier rain falls during winter. Honolulu has an average of 278 sunny days and 90 rainy days per year.

Although the city is situated in the tropics, hurricanes are quite rare. The last recorded hurricane that hit the area was Category 4 Hurricane Iniki in 1992. Tornadoes are also uncommon and usually strike once every 15 years. Waterspouts off the coast are also uncommon, hitting about once every five years.[26]

Honolulu falls under the USDA 12a Plant Hardiness zone.[27]

Average Sea Temperature[30]
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
77 °F (25 °C) 77 °F (25 °C) 77 °F (25 °C) 77 °F (25 °C) 77 °F (25 °C) 78.7 °F (25.9 °C) 80 °F (27 °C) 80 °F (27 °C) 82 °F (28 °C) 82 °F (28 °C) 80 °F (27 °C) 78 °F (26 °C)
Panorama of Honolulu's waterfront in February 2007.

Demographics

The population of Honolulu was 390,738 according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Of those, 192,781 (49.3%) were male and 197,957 (50.7%) were female. The median age for males was 40.0 and 43.0 for females; the overall median age was 41.3. Approximately 84.7% of the total population was 16 years and over; 82.6% were 18 years and over, 78.8% were 21 years and over, 21.4% were 62 years and over, and 17.8% were 65 years and over.[9]

In terms of race and ethnicity, 54.8% were Asian, 17.9% were White, 1.5% were Black or African American, 0.2% were American Indian or Alaska Native, 8.4% were Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 0.8% were from "some other race", and 16.3% were from two or more races. Hispanics and Latinos of any race made up 5.4% of the population.[9] In 1970, the Census Bureau reported Honolulu's population as 33.9% white and 53.7% Asian and Pacific Islander.[32]

Asian Americans represent the majority of Honolulu's population. The Asian ethnic groups are Japanese (19.9%), Filipinos (13.2%), Chinese (10.4%), Koreans (4.3%), Vietnamese (2.0%), Asian Indians (0.3%), Laotians (0.3%), Thais (0.2%), Cambodians (0.1%), and Indonesians (0.1%). People solely of Native Hawaiian ancestry made up 3.2% of the population. Samoan Americans made up 1.5% of the population, Marshallese people make up 0.5% of the city's population, and Tongan people comprise 0.3% of its population. People of Guamanian or Chamorro descent made up 0.2% of the population and numbered 841 residents.[9]

Economy

Honolulu viewed from Diamond Head crater.

The largest city and airport in the Hawaiian Islands, Honolulu acts as a natural gateway to the islands' large tourism industry, which brings millions of visitors and contributes $10 billion annually to the local economy. Honolulu's location in the Pacific also makes it a large business and trading hub, particularly between the East and the West. Other important aspects of the city's economy include military defense, research and development, and manufacturing.[33]

Among the companies based in Honolulu are:

Hawaiian Airlines,[34] Island Air,[35] and Aloha Air Cargo are headquartered in the city.[36][37] Prior to its dissolution, Aloha Airlines was headquartered in the city.[38] At one time Mid-Pacific Airlines had its headquarters on the property of Honolulu International Airport.[39]

In 2009, Honolulu had a 4.5% increase in the average price of rent, maintaining it in the second most expensive rental market ranking among 210 U.S. metropolitan areas.[40]

Since no national bank chains have any branches in Hawaii, many visitors and new residents use different banks. First Hawaiian Bank is the largest and oldest bank in Hawaii and their headquarters are at the First Hawaiian Center, the tallest building in the State of Hawaii.

Cultural institutions

With symbolic native-styled architectural features, First Hawaiian Center is the tallest building in Hawaii and home to a Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House gallery

Natural museums

The Bishop Museum is the largest of Honolulu's museums. It is endowed with the state's largest collection of natural history specimens and the world's largest collection of Hawaiiana and Pacific culture artifacts.[41] The Honolulu Zoo is the main zoological institution in Hawaii while the Waikiki Aquarium is a working marine biology laboratory. The Waikiki Aquarium is partnered with the University of Hawaii and other universities worldwide. Established for appreciation and botany, Honolulu is home to several gardens: Foster Botanical Garden, Liliʻuokalani Botanical Garden, Walker Estate, among others.

Performing arts

Established in 1900, the Honolulu Symphony is the oldest US symphony orchestra west of the Rocky Mountains. Other classical music ensembles include the Hawaii Opera Theatre. Honolulu is also a center for Hawaiian music. The main music venues include the Hawaii Theatre, the Neal Blaisdell Center Concert Hall and Arena, and the Waikiki Shell.

Honolulu also includes several venues for live theater, including the Diamond Head Theatre.

Visual arts

Various institutions for the visual arts are located in Honolulu.

The Honolulu Museum of Art is endowed with the largest collection of Asian and Western art in Hawaii. It also has the largest collection of Islamic art, housed at the Shangri La estate. Since the merger of the Honolulu Academy of Arts and The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu (now called the Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House) in 2011, the museum is also the only contemporary art museum in the state. The contemporary collections are housed at main campus (Spalding House) in Makiki and a multi-level gallery in downtown Honolulu at the First Hawaiian Center. The museum hosts a film and video program dedicated to arthouse and world cinema in the museum's Doris Duke Theatre, named for the museum's historic patroness Doris Duke.

The Hawaii State Art Museum (also downtown) boasts pieces by local artists as well as traditional Hawaiian art. The museum is administered by the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts.

Honolulu also annually holds the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF). It showcases some of the best films from producers all across the Pacific Rim and is the largest "East meets West" style film festival of its sort in the United States.

Tourist attractions

Diamond Head viewed from Round Top Drive

Sports

Honolulu's climate lends itself to year-round activities. In 2004, Men's Fitness magazine named Honolulu the fittest city in the United States.[42] Honolulu has three large road races:

Ironman Hawaii was first held in Honolulu, it was the first ever Ironman and is also the World Champs.

Fans of spectator sports in Honolulu generally support the football, volleyball, basketball, rugby union, rugby league and baseball programs of the University of Hawaii at Manoa.[43] High school sporting events, especially football, are especially popular.

Honolulu has no professional sports teams. It was the home of the Hawaii Islanders (Pacific Coast League, 1961–1987), The Hawaiians (World Football League, 1974–1975), Team Hawaii (North American Soccer League, 1977), and the Hawaiian Islanders (af2, 2002–2004).

The independent leagues.

Venues

Venues for spectator sports in Honolulu include:

Aloha Stadium, a venue for American football and soccer, is located in Halawa near Pearl Harbor, just outside Honolulu.[45]

Government

Completed in 1928, Honolulu Hale is the city and county seat

Kirk Caldwell was elected mayor of Honolulu County on November 6, 2012, and has begun serving as the county's 14th mayor on January 2, 2013. The municipal offices of the City and County of Honolulu, including Honolulu Hale, the seat of the city and county, are located in the Capitol District, as are the Hawaii state government buildings.[46]

The Capitol District is within the Honolulu census county division (CCD), the urban area commonly regarded as the "City" of Honolulu. The Honolulu CCD is located on the southeast coast of Oahu between Makapuu and Halawa. The division boundary follows the Koolau crestline, so Makapuʻu Beach is in the Koolaupoko District. On the west, the division boundary follows Halawa Stream, then crosses Red Hill and runs just west of Aliamanu Crater, so that Aloha Stadium, Pearl Harbor (with the USS Arizona Memorial), and Hickam Air Force Base are actually all located in the island's Ewa CCD.[47]

The Hawaii Department of Public Safety operates the Oahu Community Correctional Center, the jail for the island of Oahu, in Honolulu CCD.[48]

The United States Postal Service operates post offices in Honolulu. The main Honolulu Post Office is located by the international airport at 3600 Aolele Street.[49] Federal Detention Center, Honolulu, operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, is in the CDP.[50]

Diplomatic missions on the island

Several countries have diplomatic facilities in Honolulu, due to its strategically important position in the mid-Pacific. They include consulates of Japan,[51] South Korea,[52] Philippines,[53] Federated States of Micronesia,[54] Australia,[55] and the Marshall Islands.[56]

Education

Colleges and universities

Colleges and universities in Honolulu include Honolulu Community College, Kapiolani Community College, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Chaminade University, and Hawaii Pacific University.[37] UH Manoa houses the main offices of the University of Hawaii System.[57]

Public primary and secondary schools

Hawaii Department of Education operates public schools in Honolulu. Public high schools within the CDP area include Wallace Rider Farrington, Kaiser, Kaimuki, Kalani, Moanalua, William McKinley, and Theodore Roosevelt.[37]

Private primary and secondary schools

Private schools include Academy of the Pacific, Damien Memorial School, Hawaii Baptist Academy, Iolani School, Kamehameha Schools, Maryknoll School, Mid-Pacific Institute, La Pietra, Punahou School, Sacred Hearts Academy, St. Andrew's Priory School, Saint Francis School, Saint Louis School, the Education Laboratory School, Saint Patrick School, Trinity Christian School, and Varsity International School.

Public libraries

Hawaii State Public Library System operates public libraries. The Hawaii State Library in the CDP serves as the main library of the system,[58] while the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, also in the CDP area, serves handicapped and blind people.[59]

Branches in the CDP area include Aiea, Aina Haina, Ewa Beach, Hawaii Kai, Kahuku, Kailua, Kaimuki, Kalihi-Palama, Kaneohe, Kapolei, Liliha, Manoa, McCully-Moiliili, Mililani, Moanalua, Wahiawa, Waialua, Waianae, Waikiki-Kapahulu, Waimanalo, and Waipahu.[60]

Media

Honolulu is served by one daily newspaper (the Honolulu Star-Advertiser), Honolulu Magazine, several radio stations and television stations, among other media. Local news agency and CNN-affiliate Hawaii News Now broadcasts and is headquartered out of Honolulu.

Honolulu and the island of Oahu has also been the location for many film and television projects, including Hawaii Five-0 and Lost.

Transportation

Air

Honolulu International Airport old control tower
8R "Reef Runway" of Honolulu International Airport
Aerial view of H-1 (looking east) from Honolulu Airport heading into downtown Honolulu

Located at the western end of the CDP, Honolulu International Airport (HNL) is the principal aviation gateway to the state of Hawaii. Kalaeloa Airport is primarily a commuter facility used by unscheduled air taxis, general aviation and transient and locally based military aircraft.

Highways

Honolulu has been ranked as having the nation’s worst traffic congestion, beating former record holder Los Angeles. Drivers waste on average over 58 hours per year on congested roadways.[61] The following freeways, part of the Interstate Highway System serve Honolulu:

  • Interstate H-1, which, coming into the city from the west, passes Hickam Air Force Base and Honolulu International Airport, runs just north of Downtown and continues eastward through Makiki and Kaimuki, ending at Waialae/Kahala. H-1 connects to Interstate H-2 from Wahiawa and Interstate H-3 from Kaneohe, west of the CDP.
  • Interstate H-201—also known as the Moanalua Freeway and sometimes numbered as its former number, Hawaii State Rte. 78—connects two points along H-1: at Aloha Stadium and Fort Shafter. Close to H-1 and Aloha Stadium, H-201 has an exchange with the western terminus of Interstate H-3 to the windward side of Oahu (Kaneohe). This complex of connecting ramps, some directly between H-1 and H-3, is in Halawa.
  • H2 - connects H1 with the Mililani area in the center of the island.
  • H3 - connects H1 with the Kaneohe (windward) side of the island.

Other major highways that link Honolulu proper with other parts of the Island of Oahu are:

  • Pali Highway, State Rte. 61, crosses north over the Koolau range via the Pali Tunnels to connect to Kailua and Kaneohe on the windward side of the Island.
  • Likelike Highway, State Rte. 63, also crosses the Koolau to Kaneohe via the Wilson Tunnels.
  • Kalanianaole Highway, State Rte. 72, runs eastward from Waialae/Kahala to Hawaii Kai and around the east end of the island to Waimanalo Beach.
  • Kamehameha Highway, State Rts. 80, 83, 99 and 830, runs westward from near Hickam Air Force Base to Aiea and beyond, eventually running through the center of the island and ending in Kaneohe.

Like most major American cities, the Honolulu metropolitan area experiences heavy traffic congestion during rush hours, especially to and from the western suburbs of Kapolei, 'Ewa Beach, Aiea, Pearl City, Waipahu, and Mililani.

There is a Hawaii Electric Vehicle Demonstration Project (HEVDP).[62]

Public transport

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation

In November 2010, voters approved a charter amendment to create a public transit authority to oversee the planning, construction, operation and future extensions to Honolulu's future rail system (see below). Operations began on July 1, 2011. The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) currently includes a 10-member board of directors; three members appointed by the mayor, three members selected by the Honolulu City Council, and the city and state transportation directors.[63]

Bus

Established by former Mayor Frank F. Fasi as the replacement for the Honolulu Rapid Transit Company (HRT), Honolulu's TheBus system has been twice honored by the American Public Transportation Association bestowing the title of "America's Best Transit System" for 1994–1995 and 2000–2001. TheBus operates 107 routes serving Honolulu and most major cities and towns on Oahu. TheBus comprises a fleet of 531 buses, and is run by the non-profit corporation Oahu Transit Services in conjunction with the city Department of Transportation Services. Honolulu is ranked 4th for highest per-capita use of mass transit in the United States.[64]

Rail

Currently, there is no urban rail transit system in Honolulu, although electric street railways were operated in Honolulu by the now-defunct Honolulu Rapid Transit Company prior to World War II. Predecessors to the Honolulu Rapid Transit Company were the Honolulu Rapid Transit and Land Company (began 1903) and Hawaiian Tramways (began 1888).[65]

The City and County of Honolulu is currently constructing a 20-mile (32 km) rail transit line that will connect Honolulu with cities and suburban areas near Pearl Harbor and in the Leeward and West Oahu regions. The Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project is aimed at alleviating traffic congestion for West Oahu commuters while being integral in the westward expansion of the metropolitan area. The project, however, has been criticized by opponents of rail for its cost, delays, and potential environmental impacts, but the line is expected to have large ridership.

Notable people

The following are notable people who were born in Honolulu, and/or current and former residents of Honolulu:

Deceased

Twin towns – Sister cities

Honolulu is twinned with:[110]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ For statistical purposes, the US Census Bureau considers Honolulu to be a Census-designated place (CDP), rather than a city.[7]
  2. ^ Official records for Honolulu have been kept at downtown from February 1877 to September 1949, and at Honolulu Int'l since October 1949. For more information, see ThreadEx

References

  1. ^ Honolulu And Kapolei Share City Lights 2005, Honolulu, HI, USA:  
  2. ^ "About the City, Official Website of the City and County of Honolulu". City and County of Honolulu. City and County of Honolulu. April 24, 2012. Retrieved April 24, 2012. 
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External links

  • City & County of Honolulu official site
  • Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau
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