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Things to Do in Honolulu

Crossroads of the Pacific

Say aloha to Hawaii’s heart as you reach the state’s boisterous capital – Honolulu. Unabashedly Polynesian in every way, Honolulu is just the place you want to head to, for a typical island-style vacation. From the 19th Century Chinatown that was once home to whalers and immigrant traders, to the America’s only royal palace- there’s plenty to do, see and experience in Honolulu! If you’re curious about the coolest things to do in Honolulu, make sure to check out our recommendations below and plan well in advance to ensure that you make the best of your Honolulu vacation.

Bishop Museum

Often rated as the finest Polynesian anthropological museum in the world, The Bishop Museum has a vast array of cultural and natural history exhibits. The museum was founded in the year 1889, in honor of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, from the Kamehameha dynasty. The three floors of the Hawaiian Hall are dedicated to Hawaii’s different realms – ‘Kai Akea’ or Hawaiian legends and beliefs, ‘Wao Kanaka’ or the importance of Nature in daily life, and ‘Wao Lani’ or the abode of the gods. There is also a cutting-edge Science Adventure Center that focuses on Hawaii’s distinctive environment. Also learn about traditional Polynesian methods of navigation at the planetarium.

‘Iolani Palace

Built during the reign of King David Kalakaua in the year 1882, this palace was very modern and opulent in its time. It served as the capitol of the state of Hawaii, until the government moved out in 1969. The palace was painstakingly restored to its former glory and was reopened as a museum. Explore the palace’s grand interiors where you’ll find bedrooms with hot running water and electric lamps that were installed long before White House in Washington DC! The basement has interesting royal regalia and historical photographs, while the domed pavilion is still used for state governor inaugurations. If you happen to visit on a Friday, stop by under the banyan tree (planted by Queen Kapi’olani) for a free concert by the Royal Hawaiian Band.

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