Honolulu is the capital of Hawaii and the 50th state's largest city. It is located on the southeast coast of the island of Oahu and — fun fact — is the westernmost and southernmost major United States city.
With a population of nearly 1 million, O'ahu is home to seven islands, including Honolulu. It also features well-known destinations like Waikiki, Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head, and North Shore, among others.
The city is part of Honolulu County, which includes Waikiki, O'ahu, and Kailua-Kona. The official city and county government headquarters are located in a town hall structure built in the 1920s as the headquarters of the Honolulu Police Department and the Hawaii State Emergency Management Department (HSEM).
Downtown Honolulu is the main tourist area of the city, where there are high-rise buildings, hotels, and resorts on the beach. Next to Waikiki is Honolulu's largest mall, known for its shopping, dining, and entertainment options.
Pearl Harbor and its museum are certainly major destinations if you want to explore the history of Hawaii. There are many other attractions in the city, such as the Bishop Museum, the Honolulu Zoo, the Waikiki Aquarium, among many others.
The Waikiki Aquarium includes a 5-acre saltwater lagoon located in the Waikiki district, near the Hilton Hawaiian Village. One of the best things to do in Honolulu is to visit Honolulu Zoo to see the wild. The Waikiki Aquarium is right next door, and, although it is quite small, it is a good place to learn about the local marine life in the Hawaiian oceans and see the playful Hawaiian monk seals. If you don't want to snorkel but still want to explore Honolulu's water world, you can visit it for free. There is a neighborhood called Hawaii Quay, just a few blocks from downtown, with a variety of restaurants and shops.
The Honolulu Museum of Art is the only contemporary art museum in Hawaii and has a collection of more than 100,000 artworks from around the world. The Hawaii State Art Museum is also located in downtown Honolulu and houses artworks by local artists as well as regional and global artwork.
Diamond Head is a part of the Honolulu Volcanic Series that is not to be missed as it offers breathtaking views of one of Hawaii's most famous volcanoes and is home to the world's most spectacular volcano, the Hawaiian Volcano.
If you're an outdoor type, hiking to Diamond Head should be on your list of activities in Honolulu. Just outside the city, you'll find Waikiki, Ala Moana Beach Park, Kaka'ako, and Sandy Beach, all great places to enjoy the water and do all the water sports you love. These are just some of the main attractions on the island, but there are many great surfing destinations along the north coast of O'ahu for those interested. The islands have great surf, stand up paddleboard, kayaking, snorkeling, and other surf activities if you're interested.
If you're in downtown Honolulu, you should also check out one of the many restaurants, bars, and shops in the heart of Honolulu.
Notable institutions include the Bishop Museum, known for its studies of Polynesia, the Honolulu Academy of Arts, known for its Hawaiian and Asian collections, and the Kawaiahao Church, where the funeral of a Hawaiian monarch took place in 1841. Honolulu's universities and colleges include the University of Hawaii in Manoa, the Honolulu Community College, Chaminade University, and several others.