Peruse Downtown HonoluluO‘ahu
Honolulu, like many great cities, developed around a harbor; in fact, hono means “bay,” and lulu means “calm” in Hawaiian.
Today, the ALOHA TOWER and HONOLULU HARBOR bring to mind a time when Honolulu was known as the “Crossroads of the Pacific,” filled with ships from lands far and wide—first from explorers, then merchants, and now, the giant vessels of leisure travelers.
Heading inland from the shoreline, history breathes in places like ‘IOLANI PALACE, the HAWAIIAN MISSION HOUSES complex and WASHINGTON PLACE. CHINATOWN, a 15-block melting pot of multi-ethnic influences, dates back to the 1800s, when immigrant Chinese families began to establish stores in the area.
The HAWAII THEATRE, first opened in 1922, has been restored and is now a striking multi-purpose performance center.
The CATHEDRAL OF OUR LADY OF PEACE, established in 1843, is the oldest cathedral in continuous use in the United States. Hawai‘i’s first saint—the Blessed Father Damien—was ordained in the cathedral in 1864. Damien, who was canonized in 2009, died in 1889 after devoting his life to
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Summon the luck of the Irish at MURPHY’S BAR & GRILL on Merchant. Pair a pint of Guinness with Murphy’s signature corned beef and cabbage for Food Network-approved feasting. Top off any day, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Drift from Ireland to Little Italy at J.J. DOLAN’S. BOASTING O‘AHU’S best New York-style pizza, J.J.’s infuses East Coast fare with Waialua asparagus, Maui sweet onions and other local produce.
If you prefer a bedtime snack to a nightcap, CAKE ENVY is a must. With more than 60 pies, you’ll want to sample luscious lemon, its award-winning chocolate raspberry truffle and sweet cheeses.
THE ARTS AT MARKS GARAGE—a local arts hub that attracts over 30,000 visitors a year—is another cultural venue worth exploring.