Articles and information about Oahu, Hawaii.

Ala Wai

Ala Wai Canal

A Look At The Ala Wai Canal

The Hawaiian name translates to “fresh water way”.  The canals story gives me a chance to talk about the rain here.  In the Honolulu and Waikīkī area’s, the annual rainfall will average about 12 inches.  If you look to the far distance, you will see the Koolau Mountains.

These mountains can average up to 200 inches of rain each year. With all that rain coming out of the mountains, threw Manoa Valley, and ending in Waikiki it’s easy to understand that Waikīkī use to be an agricultural wetland.  A hundred years ago all you would have found in Waikīkī was rice, taro, and fish ponds. Read more…

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Waikiki Hotels

Hilton Hawaiian VillageHilton Hawaiian Village

The Hawaiian Village was built by Henry J. Kaiser in 1955. He had moved here and loved everything about paradise.  Everything except all the hotels that were just like every other city he had visited.  He wanted something different, so he built it! If you’ve visited here before you may remember seeing “The Dome.”  The Dome, where Don Ho once performed, was designed then built in 1959 by Buckminster Fuller.  This was the first dome built in the United Statesand was entirely constructed in 20 hours.  With the 1961 purchase by Conrad Hilton the property became the Hilton Hawaiian Village.  If you look to the far end of the property, you can see the Rainbow Tower.  The rainbow that you see is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the worlds largest ceramic tile mosaic.  There is another on the opposite side of the building.  Several years ago the hotel underwent a 2 1/2 year renovation at a cost of over $100 million.  In May 2001 the new Kalia Towerwas opened on the former site of The Dome and a new Hilton sign, pool and fountain were added to the property.  The Hilton has received awards, naming it the most beautiful hotel in Waikīkī. Read more…

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State Capital of Hawaii

hawaii state capital

Arround the Hawaii State Capitol

Hawaii became the 50th state on August 21, 1959. The capital was completed in 1969 at a cost of $25 million.  As you can guess, the building serves as the center of our state government, but it’s the architecture of the building that I want to talk about.  The building is surrounded by water – this is symbolic of the Pacific Ocean surrounding Hawaii.  Look at the base of the building both left and right – the base looks like a volcano which is how the islands were formed.  Next you see eight pillars – these symbolize the eight major Read more…

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Bishop Museum

bishop museum

Bishop Museum and Kamehameha Schools

Bishop Museum – Known by Hawaiians as “Hale- ho’ike-o-Kamehameha” which translates to “exhibition house of Kamehameha“.  It is also known as the Hawaiian State Museum of Natural and Cultural History.  Bishop Museum was founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop in memory of his late wife Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop.  Princess Bernice was the great granddaughter of Kamehameha the Great and last direct descendent of the Royal blood line.  Recognized as the leading museum in the Pacific, it features many Hawaiian exhibits, a planetarium, flora collections, and various other exhibits from around the world. Admission. Read more…

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Honolulu Academy of Arts


Honolulu Academy of Arts and Thomas Square

The Honolulu Academy of Arts opened in 1927 and was founded by Mrs. Anna Rice Cook who wanted to share her collections of art as well as her interests in art education with the people, and especially the children, of Hawai’i.  It’s the only general arts museum in Hawai’i with collections representing cultures from around the world.  There are 30 galleries and 6 unique garden courtyards.  Admission. Read more…

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Honolulu Hale

honolulu hale

Honolulu Hale and Mission Houses

Honolulu Hale – Hale is the Hawaiian word for home or house, so what we have here is the “House of Honolulu” or more commonly referred to as “City Hall”.  Built in 1927, the building houses offices for the mayor, city council, and other municipal offices.  The building is set in the park- like setting which surrounds all of this area.  This is actually the second Honolulu Hale. The first, built by King Kamehameha III in 1835, was destroyed in 1853. Read more…

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Kawaihao Church

kawaihao church

Around Kawaihao Church

Kawaiha’o Church got its name from the chiefess Ha’o who would come to the fresh water spring located on the land.  Since 1820 there had been four thatch churches used by the missionaries’.  In the late 1830’s the present day church was built.  Hiram Bingham was the architect, the ali’i (chiefs) donated the money and labor, and the commoners hauled the timber and cut and moved over 14,000 blocks cut from coral reefs. Read more…

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Kamehameha Statue

aliolani hale

The King Kamehameha Statue

The Kamehameha Statue stands in front of Ali’iōlani Hale which was started in 1872 and completed two years later.  Designed by Thomas Rowe, the building was originally going to be a palace and serve as the King’s residence.  But, this was changed when King Kalakaua saw it and thought it was not “grand” enough to be seen as the Kings residence.  After all, the Palace was to beHawaii’s answer to the United States’ Whitehouse.  The building eventually became the Kingdom treasury, Supreme Court, and other government offices.  Today, it continues to be the Hawai’i State Supreme Court.  Tours free. Read more…

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Iolani Palace

iolani palace

Around ‘Iolani Palace

This is actually the second Iolani Palace. Also built on this site, the first was a one story building, constructed of coral blocks in 1845.  It was torn down in 1878 and the following year this second palace was started being completed in 1882 at a cost of $360,000.  Many tour guides will tell you that this is the only royal palace on American soil.  But, technically this is not correct.  There are three; ‘Iolani Palace, Queen Emma’s Summer Palace which is less than two miles to the north, and there is a third palace located on the Big Island of Hawai’i.  ‘Iolani Palace is the most impressive and at the time, was a very modern building.  For example, the Palace had electricity before Buckingham Palace and the White House.  It was the first palace in the world to have running water and flush toilets.  The Palace was the official residence of King Kalākaua and Queen Kapiolani.  The King died in 1891 while on a trip to San Francisco.  Since his younger brother had died in 1877, the thrown was pasted to his sister who became Queen Lili’uokalani. She remained Queen for two years and in 1893 the Hawaiian Monarchy was overthrown. Read more…

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Aloha Tower

aloha tower

Aloha Tower and Around

Aloha Tower was completed in 1926 and at 184′ 2″ (10 stories) it was the tallest building in Hawaii up until the early 1960’s.  Originally built as a light house and to serve as the harbor masters control center, today it serves as one of Hawaii’s most recognized land marks.  Just to look at the building, the Aloha spirit is obvious.  Today, the area surrounding the tower is also a popular spot with the addition of The Aloha Tower Marketplace. Read more…

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