History of Honolulu
Honolulu, the capital city of Hawaii, has a fascinating history that dates back centuries. The area was originally settled by Polynesians around the 11th century. In the late 18th century, Western explorers, including Captain James Cook, arrived in the Hawaiian Islands and established contact with the native people. Honolulu became the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1845 and experienced significant growth during the reign of King Kamehameha III.
The city played a crucial role in the economic and political development of Hawaii. It became a major hub for trade, attracting merchants and settlers from around the world. In 1898, Hawaii was annexed by the United States, and Honolulu became a center of American influence in the Pacific.
During World War II, Honolulu was attacked by the Japanese forces, leading to the United States’ entry into the war. After the war, the city underwent rapid urbanization and became a popular tourist destination, renowned for its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality.
FAQ for Honolulu
What is the best way to get to Honolulu?
Honolulu is served by the Honolulu International Airport (HNL), which receives flights from various domestic and international destinations. Visitors can also arrive by cruise ship, as Honolulu has a bustling port.
What is Honolulu famous for?
Honolulu is famous for its breathtaking beaches, including Waikiki Beach, its vibrant cultural heritage, iconic landmarks such as Diamond Head, and being the political and economic center of Hawaii.
What are five interesting facts about Honolulu?
Honolulu is the only major city in the United States that is located in a tropical rainforest climate zone.
It is home to the largest open-air shopping centre in the world, the Ala Moana Center.
The Aloha Tower, a historic landmark in Honolulu, was the tallest building in Hawaii when it was completed in 1926.
Honolulu is known for its delicious cuisine, influenced by a blend of Asian, Polynesian, and American flavours.
The city hosts the annual Honolulu Festival, celebrating the diverse cultures of Hawaii and the Pacific.
How did Honolulu get its name?
The name “Honolulu” translates to “sheltered bay” or “place of shelter” in the Hawaiian language, reflecting the city’s natural harbour.
What are some travel tips for Honolulu?
Pack sunscreen, hats, and lightweight clothing for the tropical climate.
Respect the local customs and traditions, such as removing your shoes before entering someone’s home.
Explore the city’s diverse neighbourhoods, offering unique attractions and experiences.
Try traditional Hawaiian dishes like poke and loco moco.
Enjoy water activities like surfing, snorkelling, or taking a sunset cruise along the coast.
Do I need a visa to visit Honolulu?
If you are a citizen of the United States or a U.S. territory, you do not need a visa to travel to Honolulu. Visitors from other countries should check visa requirements based on their nationality.
When is the best time to visit Honolulu?
The best time to visit Honolulu is during the months of April to October, when the weather is warm and dry. However, the city welcomes visitors year-round due to its pleasant tropical climate.
Are there local customs I should know for Honolulu?
Drinking: Drinking laws in Honolulu are similar to the rest of the United States. The legal drinking age is 21.
Greetings: The locals often greet each other with a warm “Aloha” and a handshake or a hug.
Public transit: Honolulu’s most common form of public transportation is the bus system known as “TheBus.” Be sure to have exact change ready when using public transit.
What is the time zone for Honolulu?
Honolulu operates on Hawaii Standard Time (HST), which is 10 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-10:00).
What are the voltage/plug types in Honolulu?
Honolulu uses the standard voltage of 120 volts and plugs types A and B. Visitors from countries with different voltage or plug types will need adapters or transformers.
What is the currency in Honolulu?
The currency used in Honolulu, and the rest of Hawaii is the United States Dollar (USD).
Are ATMs readily accessible in Honolulu?
ATMs are widely available throughout Honolulu, especially in tourist areas, shopping centres, and banks.
Are credit cards widely accepted in Honolulu?
Yes, credit cards are widely accepted in Honolulu, including major cards like Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover.
Can you use ApplePay and Google Pay in Honolulu?
Yes, ApplePay and Google Pay are accepted in many shops, restaurants, and hotels throughout Honolulu.
How much do I tip in Honolulu?
Tipping: Tipping is customary in Honolulu, and it’s generally expected to tip for good service.
Restaurants/bars: A standard tip of 15-20% of the total bill is customary in restaurants and bars.
Hotels: It is customary to tip hotel staff a few dollars for their services, such as bellhops and housekeeping.
Taxis: Tipping taxi drivers is standard practice, and a tip of 10-15% of the fare is appropriate.
Tour guides: If you participate in guided tours, it is customary to tip the tour guide as a token of appreciation for their service.