Honolulu Travel Guide

Understand

History

The name Honolulu means "sheltered bay" or "peace of shelter" in Hawaiian, and its natural harbor catapulted this humble village to importance when King Kamehameha I moved his royal court from the island of Hawaii to Oahu in 1809, shortly after conquering Oahu to unite the Hawaiian Islands. Eventually, in 1845, Kamehameha III officially moved the kingdom's capital from Lahaina on Maui to Honolulu.

Honolulu's ideally located port made the city a perfect stop for merchant ships traveling between North America and Asia, and through the 1800s, descendants of missionaries who arrived in the early 1800s established their headquarters in Honolulu, making it the center of business and the main seaport for the Hawaiian Islands.

The late 1800s and early 1900s brought the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy and subsequent annexation by the United States. Under American rule, Honolulu saw the rise of tourism and the first hotels were constructed in Waikiki. The U.S. military also built numerous bases in the islands, including nearby Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor later became known for the surprise attack by the Japanese in 1941, which brought the U.S. into World War II in the Pacific.

Statehood for the islands brought rapid economic growth to Honolulu, with all the state's major businesses headquartered in the city, the Honolulu airport as the primary entrance point for visitors, and Waikiki as the center of the island's tourism industry.

Climate

Honolulu has a very moderate climate, with very little change of temperature throughout the year - the average high is 80-90°F (27-32°C) and the average low is 65-75°F (19-24°C) any time of the year. Water temperature averages 82°F (27°C) in the summer months and 77°F (25°C) in the winter months.

The only noticeable variation in seasons is in terms of rainfall. Honolulu is on the sunny, leeward side of the island, and where you are in the city will affect the chances for rain - areas like Waikiki, downtown, and the western side of the city will usually be sunny, while the hills or eastern side of the city may get some passing clouds and very brief rainfall. On average, Honolulu gets less than half an inch of rain in the summer months to almost three inches in the winter months.

source: Wikivoyage

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