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Honolulu Attractions and Things to See

Honolulu, in the Hawaiian Islands is the biggest city and capital, and the southernmost significant US city, even though, the name Honolulu pertains to the urban area of the island of Oahu, it includes the city and county of Honolulu that covers the whole island. It has grown into one of the main financial hubs of the Pacific Ocean, and has been its capital since 1845, becoming more famous after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, that is close to the city, on December 7, 1941. It is also the birthplace of Barack Obama, although, there has been quite a controversy going on about that since before his election.
The island would be settled by Polynesian migrants in the 11th century, thanks to numerous relics and oral histories, with Captain William Brown of Great Britain, the first foreigner to come to the island in 1794, and as time passed, it would become the main hub of commerce of the islands, with many merchant ships going to North America from the Orient, or vice versa. Naturally, it has an interesting and exciting history, well worth learning, especially since the Pearl Harbor attack brought so many more visitors to the islands, with its entry into the United States, bringing quick growth, through tourism and other economic factors. By 2007, the island would be welcoming more than 7.5 million visitors each year, with over half coming here through the Honolulu International Airport. Honolulu is the main city on the islands, because it is the capital and financial center, while Waikiki is the main hub for tourism on the islands, with a plethora of hotels and other enticing venues.
The island, as well as the others, has excellent transportation amenities, that include the international airport, major highways, bus service, with plans for a transit rail line coming in the near future. The island and city of Honolulu, have excellent cultural facilities, with the Honolulu Symphony being the oldest in the nation, west of the Rockies, with other classical music ensembles including the Hawaii Theater, Hawaii Opera Theater, Neal Blaisdell Center concert hall, the Waikiki Shell, and the Diamond Head Theater hosting excellent live theater shows. Other artistic venues include the Honolulu Academy of Arts, housing the biggest collection of Western and Asian art in the state, with the biggest collection of Islamic art, kept at the Shangri La estate. The only contemporary art museum in the state is the Contemporary Museum, with two locations, that include the main campus at Makiki, and a multi-level gallery located in the downtown area at the First Hawaiian Center. Traditional Hawaiian art is showcased at the Hawaii State Art Museum that also highlights local artists. And the city hosts the yearly Hawaii International Film Festival, that shows some of the finest films from producers around the Pacific Rim and the biggest East meets West film festival of this kind in the United States. The Bishop Museum is the biggest museum in the state, with its biggest natural history collection, as well as the biggest collection of Hawaiiana and Pacific culture relics; and the Honolulu Zoo is the most significant zoological facility in the islands, with the Waikiki Aquarium is a working marine biology laboratory. It is associated with the University of Hawaii, and other universities around the world. The city has fabulous botanical specimens, that can be seen in the Walker Estate, Foster Botanical Garden and the Lili'uokalani Botanical Garden, along with others.
With an excellent climate and fantastic location, as an island in the midst of the Pacific Ocean, Men's Fitness magazine has named the island's city as the fittest in the country, hosting three big road races each year. Ironman Hawaii had originally been held here, becoming the world's first and also its first World Champion. Other exciting and interesting sports that are played and enjoyed on the island include; baseball, football, volleyball, rugby and basketball.
The city's cuisine is marvelous mix of American, Asian, Polynesian and European foods, with freshness at the top of the list, that include seafood, fruits, vegetables and herbs. Some of the more favorite include; kalua pork, chicken long rice and lomi salmon, with excellent roast turkey, potato salad and prime rib, and other traditional American dishes, classic Hawaiian pupus, hibachi grilled salmon, lobster potstickers, chicken and pork laulau, marinated fish, poi and haupia, a special sweet coconut pudding.