Las Vegas -
Los Angeles -
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San Francisco -
Stretching for around a dozen miles along the southern coast of Oahu, and home
to more than 400,000 people, HONOLULU is by far Hawaii's largest city. As
the site of the islands' major airport and of the legendary beaches and
skyscrapers of WAIKIKI, it also provides most visitors with their first
taste of Hawaii.
The tragic occurrences and subsequent world-changing events associated with this
naval base make it a crucial part of American history and heritage. While the
harbor is quite large, the Visitor's Center and Arizona
Memorial are the hubs of tourism. Both places are free to enter, and both
draw huge crowds.
Never has a beach been as fabled as Waikiki. Since the 1950s, this beach has
been a tourist destination extraordinaire. While much of it has been eroded,
trampled by millions of feet, or encroached upon by towering skyscrapers, hints
of its original beauty can still be seen in the crashing waves and the warm
sand. Come night time, the hipsters strut their clubwear on the beachwalk, and
lovers find peaceful little nooks under the cover of sweeping palm trees.
Hanauma Bay Marine Preserve
Famed for its beautiful horseshoe-shaped sandy beach and clear, calm turquoise
waters, this natural marine sanctuary is home to thousands of colorful tropical
fish. The waist-deep water inside the reef is perfect for novice snorkelers to
explore. More experienced snorkelers might want to check with the lifeguard
before venturing beyond to deeper waters to see sea turtles and other marine
Polynesian Cultural Center
One of Hawaii's top visitor attractions, this tropical 42-acre site showcases
seven Polynesian regions: Fiji, Hawai'i, the Marquesas, New Zealand, Samoa,
Tahiti and Tonga. Visitors enjoy frequent crafts demonstrations, musical
performances, games and more. The famous Canoe Pageant reenacts the myths and
legends of Polynesia through song and dance, all atop floating canoes. A
spectacular show, Horizons, is presented nightly.
There's also an IMAX theater.