Places in Honolulu
Bars & Pubs
Health & Beauty
Famous landmarks and highlights
Kuhio Beach Torch Lighting & Hula ShowAuthentic ceremony, followed by authentic Hawaiian music
Restaurant tips by local expertsAll restaurants
Bars and nightlifeAll bars and pubs
Attractions, museums and things to doAll attractions
The sheltered bay of Oʻahu
Traditionally, Honolulu is the urban area on the southeastern shore of the island of Oʻahu, one of the most exotic and popular destinations in the U.S. state of Hawaii. The ideal Honolulu travel guide includes its royal palaces, museums, and art galleries, but the excitement comes with the rustic surf towns boasting with local crafts and famous beaches. Honolulu is the heart of Oʻahu’s art and culture scene, as exciting overall as its most famous beach, Waikiki.
The official residence of Hawaii’s monarchy
Built in 1882 by King Kalākaua, the Iolani Palace is Honolulu’s architectural marvel. A National Historic Landmark in downtown Honolulu, this is the only royal palace in the United States used as an official residence by a reigning monarch. Since 1978, the palace is opened to the public as a museum.
The ʻIolani Palace structure you can see today is actually the second to sit on these grounds. The first, a wooden structure, was built in July 1844 by Mataio Kekūanāoʻa for his daughter Princess Victoria Kamāmalu. The second structure, was erected across the street from the original, and was named after King Kamehameha V who ordered the construction.
When King Kalākaua came to the throne, the first structure was in very bad condition, suffering from ground termite damage. The King ordered the old palace to be razed, and commissioned a new ʻIolani Palace, worthy of royalty. This was designed by Thomas J. Baker, Charles J. Wall and Isaac Moore.