Honolulu, Hawaii's capital and largest city, is located on the southeast end of the island of Oahu. Its 105 square miles stretches along the coast to encompass 20+ neighborhoods, including the world popular travel destination, Waikiki. Like the rest of the island, here can be found also a large number of vacation rentals linke houses, condos, apartments, villas, cabins or beach cottages. The lodging is generally great there and many of the vacation properties have luxurious amenities. The city of Honolulu has an estimated population of over 370,000 people, almost half the island's 780,000 population. Honolulu attracts thousands of visitors each year because of its appeal as a big city as well as its tropical atmosphere. The different districts of Honolulu are often considered separate towns, like Waikiki, so Honolulu is generally associated as "downtown". Due to downtown Honolulu's fast-paced urbanism, it shouldn't be considered a carefree getaway like the rest of Hawaii, but is worth seeing because it has a tropical charm that can’t be found in the mainland’s cities.
Peeks into royalty of Hawaii include Queen Emma's Summer Palace, Bishop Museum, the Royal Mausoleum, and statue of King Kamehameha I. The Bishop Museum is reputed to have the best anthropological exhibit of Polynesian culture. If you're looking for an outdoor retreat, check out any one of the five Botanical Gardens, all of which are beautiful and relaxing. If you're lucky to be in Honolulu, Hawaii, during one of their many amazing festivals, be sure to check them out. The Aloha Festival is a celebration of Hawaiian culture and history, spread out over all the islands in August to October. For film lovers, Hawaii's International Film Festival displays the works of budding Pacific, Asian and North American filmmakers. The Pan-Pacific Festival celebrates the traditions shared between native Hawaiians and Japanese visitors. If you can't make it to any of the festivals, you can always spend time in Honolulu's many shops and restaurants. Ala Moana Center is an indoor/outdoor mall with regular stores such as Sears and Macy's, along with high-end stores like Fendi and Prada. There are also local and less-known shops that make the trip worthwhile. If you had the dream of entering a stadium, you can go to the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet - several days a week the stadium opens up as a giant flea market with vendors selling local products. Chinatown is a fun area to browse for antiques, imported products or food delicacies. The restaurants of the city too are a draw as they reflect the island's multiculturalism - you can find food from around the world or a combination of those places, which makes Hawaiian food world-recognized. A special and scenic spot in Honolulu is the Nuuanu Pali Lookout, perched 3,000 feet above the coastline, is the spot of the battle of Nuuanu, where Kamehameha I united Hawaii under one ruler. Visit this place for either its historical significance or its sheer beauty. Free Friday afternoon concerts take place at the Iolani Coronation Pavilion. The Aloha Tower in the center of town provides a great view of the city. Stepping outside the city, golfers can hit one of the thirty golf courses located on Oahu. If you're lucky enough to get tickets, the annual ProBowl is not something to miss. The top players of the NFC and AFC of the National Football League battle it out in this traditional and popular game. Even if Honolulu's appeal is the city, be at ease knowing that great beaches are still in reach - Sandy Beach, Ala Moana Beach, Hanauma Bay and Waikiki Beach. All things made of water and sand have a sport in Honolulu. Some of the sports include surfing, wind surfing, kite surfing, boating, fishing, parasailing, jet skiing, kayaking, canoeing, snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming; on land, sports include golfing, tennis, horseback riding, hiking, jogging, bicycling, yoga; in the sky, aerial tours, hang gliding, and sky diving. You'll never be bored, unless boredom is exactly what you are looking for. Honolulu's fast paced city life varies from the rest of the island, but it's a great place to get a taste of history and culture of this celebrated island. Its vacation rentals such as houses, condos, villas, apartments, cabins and beach cottages are also great, so lodging in Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii, is a real plesure. With Downtown Honolulu's proximity to Waikiki, you can get the luxuries of both urban and beach bum vacations.