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Top 10 Places to Photograph in Honolulu

Author: Libby - Printique by Adorama

Aloha! We are on our last stop of our virtual trip to ten amazing cities. We end our journey at the Big Pineapple, also known as Honolulu! Here is our list of the top ten places to photograph in Honolulu.

1. Diamond Head

Diamond Head is one of the most famous landmarks on Oahu. It was once an active volcano, but it hasn’t spewed any ashes for more than 150,000 years. It’s one of the most popular destinations. You can hike up the 760-foot high peak, but there are stairs.* So be prepared. Once at the top, you’ll have amazing views of Honolulu, Waikiki beach and sometimes on clear days, you can see neighboring islands on the horizon.

2. Hanauma Bay

Believed to be 35,000 years old, the bay itself is actually the floor of a volcanic crater that opened up to the ocean when its exterior wall collapsed. It was declared a marine life conservation area and underwater park in 1967. More than one people visit the preserve every year and enjoy swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing and picnicking.*

3. ‘Iolani Palace

364 S King St 
The palace was built in 1882 by the last King of Hawaii. It is now a museum and a National Historic Landmark. ‘Iolani Palace is the only royal palace on US soil.*  You can take tours and take pictures of the inside, outside, and exterior. However, be warned, flash photographer, tripods and selfie sticks are prohibited!

4. Kamehameha Statue

 447 S King St
The Kamehameha Statue honors the man who founded the Kingdom of Haway. Now, there are several replicas made of this statue, but the one we are referring to is located at 447 South King Street. June 11th is a state holiday known as King Kamehameha Day, a celebration of the Islands’ most famous historical ruler. *

5. USS Arizona Memorial/Pearl Harbor

1 Arizona Memorial Place
The USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor marks the resting place of more than 1,000 sailors and Marines killed on USS Arizona during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The memorial was built in 1962 and is visited by more than two million people a year. *You will need to take a boat out to see the memorial and get a ticket. However, be aware the 4,500 tickets available each day are often fully allocated by mid-morning so get there early!

6. Polynesian Cultural Center Luau

55-370 Kamehameha Hwy
The Polynesian-themed theme park and living museum occupies more than 40 acres and was dedicated in 1963. *There are eight simulated tropical villages, performers demonstrate various arts and crafts from throughout Polynesia. In addition to the daytime exhibits and demonstrations, PCC features an evening show. So make sure to boost your ISO at night to capture some of the fire dancers. You may also want to play around with shutter speeds to get dramatic results from the fire dancers.

7. Manoa Falls

Grab your hiking shoes! Manoa Falls is a 150-foot waterfall located Manoa Vallery. Follow the Monoa Trail for about 1.6 miles and behold, there you’ll see the waterfall. If you have a travel tripod, we suggest you bring it. You can set your camera on the tripod, slow your shutter speed and photograph the waterfall. It will give the falling water a nice blurred effect. (On a side note its Wikipedia page says DO NOT swim in the pool below the falls due to  bacterial disease called Leptospirosis)*

8. Nu’uanu Pali

Just a five-mile drive northeast of Downtown Honolulu, the Nu’uanu Pali Lookout offers panoramic views of the sheer Koolau cliffs and lush coast.  It’s perched at over a thousand feet above the Oahu coastline.* There is no entry fee, except for cars $3. Bring your wide angle lens to capture the sweeping beauty at the top.

9. Koko Head

Lace up your hiking boots, this one is definitely a climb. Koko Head is actually an old Army lookout station and the trail itself is the remnants of an old railway car system built up the side of the mountain and leading to the old bunkers. In total, there are 1,048 “stairs” up the side of the mountain.* From the top of the mountain, you can check out the old Army concrete bunkers and the amazing views of the Island. Sometimes, you can even catch fireworks on Friday nights. Be careful though, you’ll need a flashlight if you are descending after dark.

10. Aloha Tower

155 Ala Moana Blvd
The Aloha Tower is a lighthouse that opened in 1926. It stands at  184 feet high.* You can take an elevator to the top to get a beautiful view of Waikiki beach and downtown.

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*Information from the respected Wikipedia pages.
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