Exploring historic highlights of Honolulu
As home to the majority of Hawaii's population and the state capital of Honolulu, Oahu is a fusion of cultures rooted in history and tradition. After you've enjoyed the metropolitan nightlife and dining in downtown Honolulu, complete your trip by taking your Honolulu rental car to some of the most significant historical landmarks on the island. Discover how Oahu's history has shaped the Hawaiian Islands, from the island's former monarchs to the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Take your car rental in Honolulu to the only official state residence of royalty in the United States, and explore the palace that was home to the last two Hawaiian monarchs and first capitol building following Hawaii's annexation as a United States territory. The Florentine-style palace is where Queen Liliuokalani was imprisoned following the collapse of the monarchy, and the basement level showcases ancient regalia of Hawaiian royalty such as swords, fine jewelry and two golden crowns. While in the area, it's easy to walk to other notable landmarks such as the King Kamehameha statue, the historic Kawaiahao Church and the Hawaii State Art Museum.
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
By taking your Honolulu car rental just north of the city, you'll find the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific located in Punchbowl Crater, a large crater found atop an extinct volcanic tuff cone. The cemetery is the resting place for almost 53,000 veterans, including Hawaii's first astronaut, and Stanley Dunham, World War II veteran and President Obama's grandfather. The memorial is also home to nearly 29,000 engraved names of soldiers missing in action, lost or buried at sea. The Punchbowl offers a panoramic view of Honolulu, and the Veterans of the American Legion offer free walking tours of the historic site.
Drive your Honolulu car rental to the Bishop Museum, the largest museum in Hawaii with an extensive collection of cultural artifacts. The museum was originally intended to showcase the royal artifacts and family heirlooms of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, but now is the home to numerous Polynesian artifacts and Hawaiian documents and photography. The museum also features a planetarium, where visitors can learn how Hawaii's first explorers navigated the Pacific using the star constellations, and Hawaiian Hall, which highlights native Hawaiian culture.