Nestled on the diamond-shaped island of Oahu, Honolulu is home to the bulk of Hawaii's laidback populace. A hub of Polynesian culture and mouthwatering Asian cuisine, most visitors to the area divide their time between the beach and the barbecue, with a few detours along the way to scale volcanoes and take in the area's fascinating history. So, kick back, relax and soak it all in, because there's more to this Hawaiian capital than leis and cocktails.
The first stop on most tourist trails of Honolulu is Waikiki Beach. Home to a variety of surfing competitions and outdoor events throughout the year, the area also boasts a host of designer clothing stores and impressive eateries.
If you're more into snorkelling than surfing, head for Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve or Halona Beach, nicknamed Eternity Beach following Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster's roll around in the surf here in "From Here to Eternity".
For those who prefer their feet on dry land, Honolulu Zoo in Kapiolani Park is well worth a visit and, from there, it isn’t far to Diamond Head , an extinct volcano that offers an easy climb for one of the best views on the island.
Downtown Honolulu also has plenty to offer. Skip the city's notorious traffic by hopping on some local transport, and make your way to the iconic Aloha Tower. After lunch here, take the time for a casual stroll around the market at the Ala Moana Center and pick up some souvenirs. Of course, no trip to Ouahu can be considered complete without a visit to Pearl Harbor, scene of one of the most significant military attacks in US history. The exhibitions housed in the USS Arizona Memorial and USS Bowfin Submarine Museum offer a sobering contrast to Honolulu's otherwise sunny exterior.
So, whether you're a history buff, a budding geologist, a shopper or a surfer, indeed whatever your particular passion may be, Honolulu has just the thing for you. There's a reason why 7 million people visit Hawaii each year; why not take a trip to tropical paradise yourself, and see what all the fuss is about?