Honolulu, on the island of Oahu’s south shore, is capital of Hawaii and gateway to the U.S. island chain. The Waikiki neighborhood is its center for dining, nightlife and shopping, famed for its iconic crescent beach backed by palms and high-rise hotels, with volcanic Diamond Head crater looming in the distance. Sites relating to the World War II attack on Pearl Harbor include the USS Arizona Memorial.
The Ala Moana district has a popular beach with calm water and the huge Ala Moana Center shopping complex. Downtown is the Hawaii State Capitol building and Iolani Palace, once home to Hawaiian royalty (now a museum). The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum and Hawaii State Art Museum showcase local culture, and the city’s historic Chinatown is also part of the Arts District. Honolulu also contains small pockets of rainforest, canyons, waterfalls and beaches with coral reefs. The Punchbowl is a crater-turned-cemetery.