Hawaii, the fiftieth state of the United States of America, consists of eight large islands, four smaller ones and numerous tiny coral islets. Honolulu, the capital city of Hawaii, is situated on the south-east coast of the island of Oahu. The city, with its, 400,000 inhabitants, stands on the slopes of Punchbowl Crater, an extinct volcano,and covers a surface area of 220 km2 . Honolulu is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, favored for its splendid natural surroundings, lush vegetation and healthy climate.
Honolulu, which means “sheltered port”, was discovered in 1794 and the Hawaiian king’s residence was constructed in 1820. The city houses both a university specialising in the study of marine biology and numerous cultural institutions:the Neal S. Blaisdell Centre; the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, which possesses one of the finest collections of Hawaiian and Polynesian ethnological objects; the Honolulu Academy of Arts, which houses oriental and western works of art and the Alice Cooke Spaulding House, which contains Asiatic works. Edit this section or read more
Hotels and lodging
The Kahala Hotel & Resort  Nestled on an exclusive ivory-sand beach, this legendary resort is just ten minutes from the world class shopping and entertainment of Waikiki. Home to six Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and the award-winning Spa Suites, this luxury resort is a favorite with presidents, international royalty and celebrities.
The elegant bathing zone of Waikiki, with its famous beach, is situated in the bay of Mamala, to the west of Honolulu. The bay of Maunalaua and the extinct 222metre- high volcano, Diamond Head, are to be found to the south of the island.
On the eastern part of the island of Oahu, the road for Kahana Bay, takes the visitor, first to the fascinating Makapu Point and the Makapu Beach Park and then onto the Sea Life Park ,with its collection of over 2000 species of fish. At Laie, it is possible to visit the Polynesian Cultural Centre, a highly popular Hawaiian attraction, where reconstructions of old Polynesian villages allow the visitor to gain an insight into the ancient culture of these islands.
The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is situated on Hawaii, the largest island of the archipelago. The national park was established in 1916 to protect the natural wonders of the Kilauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes. A visit to this park should start from the Kilauea Visitor Centre, where a notice board provides information about the daily activities on offer (free guided tours), together with updated information about the volcanic eruptions. The best way to visit the park, other than a guided tour, is to follow the Crater Rim Drive, a 18 km circuit, that takes the visitor around the smoking craters of Kilauea Iki, Halemaumau and others.
There are many interesting routes to be explored on foot, which apart from offering views of lava formations, allow the visitor to admire the local flora and fauna. The National Park of Haleakala is situated on the island of Maui. The park is home to the largest volcano in the world, which last erupted in 1790. The volcano's crater has a circumference of 34 km and is 914m deep. The park comprises both the volcano and the coast of Kipahulu, nominated by the United Nations as “one of the few areas of outstanding natural world importance.” The road that runs through the park is 17 km long and offers superb views of Mount Leleiwi, Kalahku and Puu Ualua. The visitor centre is located at a panoramic view point, at the entrance to the park.
Maps and transportation
Getting to Honolulu
Practical information and resources
Currency : US dollar, sub-divided into 100 cents
Electric supply: 110-120 V, 60 HZ Opening hours : The shops are generally open, Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm, the large shopping centres until 8pm. The banks are open, Monday to Friday from 9 until 3pm.
If you getting out of the tourist traps & want to have the best shrimp on the planet, head to the North Shore & go past Haleiwa towards Kahuku. Relatively close to the Turtle Bay Hilton are several roadside white shrimp trucks ... no joke. They're all quite nice, but the local favorite is Giovanni's. They keep it simple. Catch the shrimp, bring it in, cook it in the truck. You have few options (plain, scampi or spicy) but they're all fantastic. Be warned: the scampi will be intoxicating, but you'd better really love garlic because they don't skimp, & if you order the spicy, brace yourself. I love spicy foods & am commonly told I have a ridiculously high tolerace. Giovanni's hot sauce is the only one I've ever had that actually requires frequent breaks from its sweat-inducing heat. (Others try a couple of drops & then drop dead.) It's awesome. The price for a huge plate of shrimp & 2 scoops of rice is under $15 & they have local style smoothies & juices. You can eat at the roadside tables, leave your mark on the van w/ a Sharpie, then drive down the road for some local fruit, if you're craving something sweet.
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