Honolulu.Once Europeans discovered the Hawaiian Islands, it did not take long before King Kamehameha made it his capital. The beauty of the place, the potential, attracted so many ships from all corners of the world as to demand it. Not much has changed, obviously. Honolulu is as glamorous and desireable as it ever was, maybe even more so.

 

The cliché image of Honolulu is accurate. This is where high rise hotels meet the fabulous Waikiki Beach sands, the ever enchanting Pacific waves. The dramatic cliffs and Diamondhead make for a most picturesuw backdrop, as you’ve no doubt seen on TV and on postcards. But, nothing can prepare the visitor for the reality of standing on the beach, gazing at this monumentally touristic spot.

 

Grasping Paradise

 

Honolulu beach.After it all sinks in, vacationers can then busy themselves with other pastimes like; eating, shopping, drinking, and taking in the local entertainment. Even doing nothing at all is exciting amid such energy and natural drama. In the center of all this, in between the volcanoes, secluded covers, surfer dudes, and flowery nature, Honolulu has a near perfect public transport system that can spirit you anywhere interesting in minutes. Considering the traffic, this is as important as suntan oil.

 

Hawaii’s capital is a lot more than a name though, and much more than any set of amenities. First visited by Europeans in 1794, Oahu’s gem is a near perfect mix of ancient Hawaiian tradition and ultra modern resort living. Nothing illustrates the irony of the place more than comparing the natural wonder of Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve with the lavish hotels and nightspots along Waikiki.

 

Moonlit Luau

Nightlife.Nightlife in Honolulu, like everything else, has a magic about it. Classy clubs, chic bars, and even beach parties posses a sort of added value just in light of the surrounding, naturally. But, the people of the city add the most attractive party element. Smiles are habitual here, even with prices that could choke a billionaire, you’ll catch the party spirit too. A generation of party crashers have made places like Anna Bannana's, the Pipeline Café, and a dozen other hip night spots the stuff of legend.

 

Regardless of your inclinations in paradise, Honolulu is a best bet any time of year, on any budget, and under any circumstances. You just have to go there, even if it’s just to say you’ve been. Some say it is heaven on Earth, one place that exceeds even the hype. Aloha.

 

Main attractions: Ala Moana Center, Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head, Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona, Aloha Tower, Hanauma Bay, Waikiki Aquarium, and many others.

Currency: US Dollar

Budget for one week: over $ 1500 USD

Taxes and gratuity: Tipping is a must

Official Language: English

Area: 105 sq mi (272.1 km2)

Population: 374,658

Electricity:

  • Voltage: 110-120 Volts (Same as U.S./Canada, most other areas are 220-240 Volts)
  • Primary Socket Types: North American Non-Grounded , North American Grounded
  • Multi-voltage appliances (laptops, etc.)
  • 220-240V appliances: Plug adapter + step-up transformer
  • 100V Japanese appliances: Japan to U.S. reducer transformer

 

Other things to see and do: The Honolulu Symphony, Les Murakami Stadium, the Honolulu Zoo, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, and many, many more.

 

Main images courtesy: Josh Mazgelis; Andy and Mike.