Hawaii is the 50th and most recent state of the United States of America, receiving statehood on August 21, 1959. The state encompasses nearly the entire volcanic Hawaiian archipelago, which comprises hundreds of islands spread over 1,500 square miles (2,400 square km). At the southeastern end of the archipelago, the eight main islands are Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui and the Island of HawaiʻI. Interestingly, though part of the US, Hawaii is not in the Americas, but is part of the Polynesian subregion of Oceania. It is perhaps its geography that has brought the state its almost mythical status as “Heaven on Earth”.
It is in fact its diverse natural scenery, warm tropical climate, abundance of public beaches, oceanic surroundings, and active volcanoes make it a popular destination for tourists, surfers, biologists, and volcanologists. As well as its natural beauty, Hawaii’s culture is strongly influenced by North American and Asian cultures, in addition to its indigenous Hawaiian culture.
The state’s capital is Honolulu on the island of Oʻahu, where modern tower blocks and 19th century architecture are surrounded by verdant nature and azure seas. The bustling city offers culture, entertainment and a variety of water sports on your doorstep, as well as the chance to be immersed in nature by venturing inland on the island of Oʻahu.
Hawaii however also bares the scars of history, being the location of the attack on Pearl Harbor, when on the morning of December 7, 1941 a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor led the United States into World War II.
With so many islands to choose from, its difficult to hone in on a destination in Hawaii, but Oʻahu, with the state capital Honolulu offers the best of everything, from scenery to beach life, passing by history, delicious food and great shopping (and make sure to check out the new Dolce&Gabbana boutique at the Ala Moana Mall.)
Here are 10 things to do in Honolulu and surroundings.