Fun things to do in Oahu

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Oahu

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    U.S.S. Arizona Memorial~Pearl Harbor

    by Yaqui Updated Jul 6, 2014

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    This is the reason we wanted to see Hawai'i, but wanted to see U.S.S. Arizona foremost.

    To board the memorial, you need to make sure you have a ticket which is free. You have to see a movie and from there you board a boat provided by the navy. Be aware, they can cancel the boat ride if the waters get too choppy. Best time to see the memorial is first thing in the morning. They expect folks to be cordial and respectable because it is a somber place to visit.

    The USS Arizona is the final resting place for many of the ship's 1,177 crewmen who lost their lives on December 7, 1941. The 184-foot-long Memorial structure spans the mid-portion of the sunken battleship and consists of three main sections: the entry room; the assembly room, a central area designed for ceremonies and general observation; and the shrine room, where the names of those killed on the Arizona are engraved on the marble wall.

    The USS Arizona Memorial grew out of wartime desire to establish some sort of memorial at Pearl Harbor to honor those who died in the attack. Suggestions for such a memorial began in 1943, but it wasn't until 1949, when the Territory of Hawaii established the Pacific War Memorial Commission, that the first real steps were taken to bring it about.

    Initial recognition came in 1950 when Admiral Arthur Radford, Commander in Chief, Pacific (CINCPAC), ordered that a flagpole be erected over the sunken battleship. On the ninth anniversary of the attack, a commemorative plaque was placed at the base of the flagpole.

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who helped achieve Allied victory in Europe during World War II, approved the creation of the Memorial in 1958. Its construction was completed in 1961 with public funds appropriated by Congress and private donations. The Memorial was dedicated in 1962.

    According to its architect, Alfred Preis, the design of the Memorial, "Wherein the structure sags in the center but stands strong and vigorous at the ends, expresses initial defeat and ultimate victory....The overall effect is one of serenity. Overtones of sadness have been omitted to permit the individual to contemplate his own personal responses...his innermost feelings."

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    St. Augustine by-the-sea

    by Yaqui Updated Jul 6, 2014

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    Although this church was built in 1959, its orgins began in 1854 by Fr. Modestus Favens when the first temporary structure was made of simple beach cocnuts fronds and pieces of drift wood. Later a different site was selected and a second church was needed to accomodate more parishioners was built on Ohau Ave with old wood from wrecked sailing vessels near Diamond Head and coconut fronds for the wall and roof.

    As the community grew and so did the faith, eventually a larger church was needed, so in 1901 Father Valentin began construction. The sides and front portions are constructed only of latticework with grillings near the eaves, thus entirely left open to the breezes, which sweep down to the seashore nearby from the valleys beyond. It is 62×32 feet and has a 58-foot steeple. The interior is plainly finished, the altar and surroundings being of Gothic pattern. There is also a communion rail, choir loft, and 26 pews sufficient for seating 144 persons.

    This church was eventually raised in 1959 due to termite damage and the new construction began with a modern, air-conditioned church, designed by local architect George McLaughlin. The present church was blessed on Aug. 16, 1962, by Bishop James J. Sweeney.

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    Solomon Enos Murals

    by Yaqui Updated Jul 6, 2014

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    These lovely murals are located near the front entrance of the Sheraton Waikiki and are by Solomon Enos and Carl Pao. The other two murals are located at the entrance into the Royal Hawaiin Center are painted by Solomon Enos.

    The mural in the Sheraton Waikiki are called "The Arrival", this piece honors the first inhabitents of the Hawaiian islands, the birds, fish, and plants. They arrived via air streams, migration patterns, and ocean currents, the vessels that brought life to the middle of the Pacific. The Gathering, a continuation of the "The Arrival" art piece, "The Gathering" offers hope. The gathering is about ideas. It speaks to how and when we come together and gather our thoughts, experiences, and stories, we can move together to a better place for everyone. We are in this transformational process of gathering our resources, consuming ourselves, digesting ourselves, and deconstructin ourselves. Like seeds that are digested by a bird, they go through transformation. The seed germinates because of what it has been put through, a maze of intestines, a breaking down, a rebirth, back into organic shapes again. When we gather and are open to change, we find our way back to what we know is truth that include us all.

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    Royal Hawaiin~Pink Place of the Pacific

    by Yaqui Updated Jul 6, 2014

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    Built in 1927, architects Warren and Wetmore, was built with a price tag of $4 million and was a six-story, 400-room structure, fashioned in a Spanish-Moorish style. A hotel offering first class luxury service 24/7. It caters to the elite and celebrities alike. I have a friend who lived in Honolulu in the 1950's and remembers the Pink Palace being the only hotel on the beach. I so enjoy historic structures and the Royal Hawaiin is beautiful.

    Favorite moments: Like myself, I am often not in photo's because I am always taking them. I often try to take photo's for other people so they have photo's of the mysterious camera man. While exploring the Royal Hawaiin, this little Japanese lady was looking rather in distress at the foot of these steps. I asked if she wanted to have her photo taken, she smiled from ear to ear and proceeded to show me with a set of some photo's of herself she didn't like and wanted to be sure I didn't frame her in the same way...lol!! So I proceeded and while she was posing, she was very dolled up and looked lovely, she wanted me to take the photo from my knee. I wanted to make her happy so while I was practically lying on the ground to get the photo shot she wanted...lol. BTW, she was still using a very old film camera:^O Anything to make someone's vacation memories special;^)

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    National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific

    by Yaqui Updated May 26, 2014

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    The “Punchbowl” was formed some 75,000 to 100,000 years ago during the Honolulu period of secondary volcanic activity. A crater resulted from the ejection of hot lava through cracks in the old coral reefs which, at the time, extended to the foot of the Koolau Mountain Range.

    Although there are various translations of the Punchbowl’s Hawaiian name, “Puowaina,” the most common is “Hill of Sacrifice.” This translation closely relates to the history of the crater. The first known use was as an altar where Hawaiians offered human sacrifices to pagan gods and the killed violators of the many taboos. Later, during the reign of Kamehameha the Great, a battery of two cannons was mounted at the rim of the crater to salute distinguished arrivals and signify important occasions. Early in the 1880s, leasehold land on the slopes of the Punchbowl opened for settlement and in the 1930s, the crater was used as a rifle range for the Hawaii National Guard. Toward the end of World War II, tunnels were dug through the rim of the crater for the placement of shore batteries to guard Honolulu Harbor and the south edge of Pearl Harbor.

    During the late 1890s, a committee recommended that the Punchbowl become the site for a new cemetery to accommodate the growing population of Honolulu. The idea was rejected for fear of polluting the water supply and the emotional aversion to creating a city of the dead above a city of the living.
    Fifty years later, Congress authorized a small appropriation to establish a national cemetery in Honolulu with two provisions: that the location be acceptable to the War Department, and that the site would be donated rather than purchased. In 1943, the governor of Hawaii offered the Punchbowl for this purpose. The $50,000 appropriation proved insufficient, however, and the project was deferred until after World War II. By 1947, Congress and veteran organizations placed a great deal of pressure on the military to find a permanent burial site in Hawaii for the remains of thousands of World War II servicemen on the island of Guam awaiting permanent burial. Subsequently, the Army again began planning the Punchbowl cemetery; in February 1948 Congress approved funding and construction began.

    Prior to the opening of the cemetery for the recently deceased, the remains of soldiers from locations around the Pacific Theater—including Wake Island and Japanese POW camps—were transported to Hawaii for final interment. The first interment was made Jan. 4, 1949. The cemetery opened to the public on July 19, 1949, with services for five war dead: an unknown serviceman, two Marines, an Army lieutenant and one civilian—noted war correspondent Ernie Pyle. Initially, the graves at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific were marked with white wooden crosses and Stars of David—like the American cemeteries abroad—in preparation for the dedication ceremony on the fourth anniversary of V-J Day. Eventually, over 13,000 soldiers and sailors who died during World War II would be laid to rest in the Punchbowl.

    One of the places we wanted to see because we have family listed on the Tablets of the Missing. It was sombering to see our family and name eteched with honor.

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    Hanauma Bay

    by Yaqui Updated May 24, 2014

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    We happened to stop here on our circle island tour. What a beautiful place to see. The circular-shaped shore of Hanauma Bay on the southeast tip of East Honolulu, you can imagine how this beautiful cove was once a volcanic crater. Today, this crater, and you can swim out into Hanauma Bay’s clear blue waters and explore the reefs full of colorful fish. Rent or bring your own masks, snorkels and fins.

    The Hanauma Crater was created about 32,000 years ago during the Honolulu volcanic series, the latest (and perhaps final) burst of volcanic activity to occur on Oʻahu.[8] Tens of thousands of years ago, a series of volcanic vents opened along the southeast shoreline of Oʻahu. Unlike the gentle lava flows currently building the island of Hawaiʻi, the late-stage eruptions on Oʻahu were violent explosions. The volcanic vents that formed Hanauma Crater opened on the sea floor. Upwelling magma vaporized the ocean water and steam explosions atomized the magma into fine ash. The explosions built cones of ash, which solidified into tuff. The eruptions shattered the sea floor—coral reef and basalt—and scattered pieces that are now embedded in the tuff. Wave erosion eventually cut through the low, southeast wall of the crater, forming the current bayhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanauma_Bay

    Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau
    2270 Kalakaua Avenue, Suite 801
Honolulu, HI 96815

    800-GoHawaii (1-800-464-2924)
    http://www.gohawaii.com/

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    King's Guard Museum

    by Yaqui Updated May 24, 2014

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    I happened to find this place on accident. What a hidden gem it is and it is "free". The museum features interesting memorabilia, such as rifles, uniforms, photos, swords, banners and flags.

    Every evening at 6:15 pm, the "Changing of the Guards" ceremony takes place. This short and militarily ceremony harks back to the days when the King's Guard would retire the Hawaiian flag. The present day guards wear uniforms that are exact replicas of those worn by the Royal Palace Guards of King Kalakaua.

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    Map Galleries~National Memorial Cemetery

    by Yaqui Updated May 24, 2014

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    The map galleries extend from the right and left sides of the tower. Inscribed upon the frieze of the galleries are the names of places which attained notable significance in the proud record of our Armed Forces: PEARL HARBOR, WAKE, CORAL SEA, MIDWAY, ATTU, SOLOMONS, GILBERTS, MARSHALLS, MARIANAS, LEYTE, IWO JIMA, OKINAWA, TOKYO, AND KOREA. The orginal maps in the galleries are each ten feet high, were designed by Richard and Carlotta Gonzales Lahey of Vienna, Virginia from data prepared for that purpose by the American Battle Monuments Commission. They wre of scagliola, i.e. paintings on a special composition applied to Carrara marble surface and glazed. This material didn't far well due to Hawaii's climate and were replaced in 1968-1972. The new maps are of mosaic concrete and colored glass aggregate and designed by Mrs. Mary Morse Hamilton Jacobs of Glenelg, Maryland. Each of these maps descripes each of the battles during WWII.

    They are fantastic in person and I feel it is an honor to finally see them in person.

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    Chapel~National Memorial Cemetery

    by Yaqui Updated May 24, 2014

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    Built in 1964 and located behind the Lady Columbia, is the non-sectarian chapel. The altar has the cross in the middle and flanked by the Star of David and the Buddhist Wheel of Righteousness Buddhists. The chapel altar, stairs, and floor are Verde Antico marble. The Latin Cross is displayed on Rojo Alicante marble. Sculptor Bruce Moore designed the glass cabochons that are within the art-deco-ish bronze altar, which are lit electrically. The cabochons on the chapel's windows and doors are beautiful lit by the sun.

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    U.S.S. Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park

    by Yaqui Updated May 24, 2014

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    Bowfin was launched on 7 Dec 1942 and nicknamed the Pearl Harbor Avenger. Bowfin claimed 39 Japanese merchant ships and four Japanese military ships sunk. The single French Vichy French merchant ship - Van Vollenhoven - which was sunk off Saigon in convoy with Japanese ships. CDR Alden lists two more unidentified vessels that Bowfin may have sunk, and one large seaplane carrier/tanker that was damaged by a Bowfin torpedo. Mines laid by Bowfin on her third patrol may have sunk or severely damaged at least two other ships. Thirteen small craft were also sunk by her deck guns.

    USS Bowfin remains a legend, for among these 188 submarines, Bowfin ranks 17th in tonnage and 15th in number of ships sunk. Fifty-two of 288 combat submarines (almost one out of five) and 3,505 out of 14,750 WWII U.S. submariners (almost one out of four) began their "eternal patrols" before Japan surrendered.

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    U.S.S. MISSOURI (BB-63)~Mighty Mo!

    by Yaqui Updated May 24, 2014

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    The USS Missouri is a fantastic museum and a must see. We had a fantastic time exploring the deck and below. We wished we had more time to see everything. They have gentlemen who give a free tour, but it took to much time from spot to spot and found we could cover the ship by ourselves quickly. A safety tip! Make sure if you go up or down the stairs/ladder go backwards and hang onto the rails tightly.

    The USS Missouri is an Iowa-class battleship designed for speed and firepower and commissioned in mid-1944. It carried out bombing raids over Tokyo and the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. During the last month of the war, the “Mighty Mo” served as Admiral Halsey’s flagship for the Pacific Third Fleet and it was on its decks that General Douglas A. MacArthur presided over the formal signing of the Japanese surrender to the Allied Forces on Sept. 2, 1945.

    The Battleship USS Missouri is 887 feet long and 108 feet wide and is 5 feet longer and 18 feet wider than the Titanic. It has nine 116-ton guns on board, and each gun barrel is 67 feet long and can fire a 2,700-pound shell 23 miles in 50 seconds.

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    Pacific Aviation Museum

    by Yaqui Updated May 24, 2014

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    Located in Hanger 37 that survived the attack during WWII, the Pacific Aviation Museum is located Pearl Harbor on Ford Island, Hawaii. The museum site occupies 16 acres of the 440-acre island. It includes three historic hangars and an air traffic control tower. The collection expanded to 30 aircraft in 2012 with the addition of a Douglas A-3 Skywarrior used by Raytheon for testing radar sets. A 10 minute film in the 200-seat theater documents the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and then takes you to inside where you will find some of the nicest exhibits I have ever experienced and each one tells an important story of the days terrible events. I think the enormous full color aerial photo of Ford Island and Pearl Harbor is fantastic. This museum is a must see when your in Honlulu.

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    The Falls of Clyde 1878

    by Yaqui Updated May 24, 2014

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    Falls of Clyde, the world’s only surviving four-masted, full-rigged ship over 265 feet long and weighing in at over a thousand tons. Built in 1878 in Port Glasgow, Scotland, the Falls of Clyde served Hawaii as the largest ship in the sugar trade. After the turn of the century 1907, it was converted into an bulk tanker. It was bought by General Petroleum Company in 1925 and was used as an oil barge in Alaska. It was to be sank in 1963, but it was save and brought back to Honolulu. The ship was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. In 1989, it was named a National Historic Landmark.

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    Hawai‘i Maritime Center

    by Yaqui Updated May 24, 2014

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    The two-level museum is packed with insightful exhibits tracing the history of surfing, canoe racing, whaling era, Hawaii’s “Boat Days”, Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokulea, a double-hulled canoe that has traveled throughout the Polynesian Triangle, and a complete skeleton of a humpback whale, which is suspended in a diving position in the first-floor gallery. Admission to the center includes the opportunity to board the Falls of Clyde, the world’s only surviving four-masted, full-rigged ship.

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    Aloha Tower Views

    by Yaqui Updated May 24, 2014

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    You can enjoy some very unique views up on the 10th floor called the observation deck, boasting spectacular views of Diamond Head, Honolulu Harbor, Downtown Honolulu and the Koolau Mountains. Its free and their is a security guard to ensure everyone is safe before they enter the tower. An elevator is available.

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Oahu Things to Do

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