IGARSS 2010 - 2010 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium - July 25 - 30, 2010 - Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

About Honolulu

Aloha, and Welcome to Hawaii!

Prepare to embark on a journey to the islands of paradise as you admire the beautiful deep blue ocean and witness the vibrant tropical vegetation firsthand!

Located on the Island of O’ahu and nicknamed the Crossroads of the Pacific, Honolulu is the state capital of Hawaii. Honolulu is the center of Hawaii’s economy, and it is the only incorporated city, as all other local government entities are administered at the county level. In the Hawaiian language, Honolulu means "sheltered bay" or "place of shelter."

Honolulu is comprised of 105 square miles and has a warm, semiarid climate. Most of the residents live in the city proper; however, there are a number of residential neighborhoods in the surrounding suburbs.

Waikiki boasts more than 170 high-rise hotels, hundreds of bars and restaurants, bustling streets, and nonstop activity. The top attractions include Diamond Head, Kapiolani Park, the Honolulu Zoo, the Waikiki Aquarium, and the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium.

Downtown Honolulu is home to the financial and business sector of city. This is an enjoyable destination if you are interested in strolling through Chinatown, sightseeing, dining, and shopping. Vendors selling papayas will happily regale you with assorted tales of the city.

For those of you seeking a bit of royal history, be sure to visit the Bishop Museum. Founded in 1889 by Charles R. Bishop, the museum was built in honor of his late wife, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last descendant of the royal Kamehameha family. Here you will find millions of artifacts, documents, and photographs about Hawaii and other Pacific island cultures. You will also enjoy a visit to Iolani Palace, America’s only royal residence, which was built in 1882.

Weather

Hawaii has only two seasons: summer, from May to September, and winter, from October to April. You will notice a subtle difference in the climate depending on where you are on the island. The eastern facing side, or windward side, of each island is usually the cool, wet, and windy side, while the western facing side, the leeward side, is warm and dry. During the summer months, the average temperature is about 80 degrees, while the average is approximately 75 degrees during the winter months.

Beaches

O’ahu has more than 130 beautiful beaches. Here are just a few that are ready to be explored!

Waikiki Beach – Waikiki Beach is a true paradise and often the most heavily populated string of beaches throughout Hawaii. In the evening hours, there is music entertainment at numerous beach bars and restaurants. By day, if you like water sports, you will be able to rent all kids of equipment on the beach. The eastern side of the beach is recommended for picnics. NOTE: During the summer the surf is high, so if you are not sure about the water conditions, ask the lifeguards.

Hanauma Bay – Located in East O’ahu, this spot is most popular for snorkeling (gear rental available), as you’ll find some of the world’s rarest marine wildlife. It is home to over 450 kinds of tropical fish, many of which can only be found in Hawaii. Also popular for sunbathing and people-watching, amenities include a concession stand, gift shop and shower facilities. NOTE: There is a $5 fee to enter Hanuma Bay for non-residents of the State of Hawaii. The beach area opens at 6am (06:00) every day, except Tuesdays when it is closed.

Lanikai Beach – Located on the windward coast, Lanikai Beach (whose name translates to “heavenly sea”) is picture perfect, with gold sand and crystal clear water. It has gained international fame as America’s number one beach for several years running. Lanikai is only half-mile long, but it’s hardly ever crowded. There are no main facilities on the beach, except parking, but it is a nice, quiet place to enjoy the sun, sand and salt water.

O’ahu’s North Shore – Just an hour drive from Honolulu, the North Shore boasts some of the world’s most famous surfing beaches. Sunset Beach, Waimea Bay and the Banzai Pipeline. Every winter, big-wave surfers around the world vie in competition in the Triple Crown of Surfing. During the summer months, the waves are calm and the beaches are a pleasant place to swim. The North Shore town of Haleiwa has a “country town” feel and has many arts and crafts stores.

Sandy Beach – With its pounding waves, this is one of the best beaches in the world for experienced surfers and bodyborders. This site is one of the most dangerous shores will wild waves and strong backwash. Lifeguards make more rescues here than any other beach. Bring the family to watch the adventurous surfers tackle the dangerous water, but limit the trip to this only!

Top Five Things To Do On Your First Trip To O’ahu*

5. Hike to the top of Diamond Heach (Leahi) Crater.
4. Take a surfing lesson in Waikiki.
3. Visit the USS Arizona and USS Missouri memorials at Pearl Harbor.
2. Take a drive to Haleiwa and the North Shore.
1. Eat at a luau and watch a traditional hula.

*Information about all of these exciting activities can be found by visiting the following website – http://www.gohawaii.com

Prepare for Your Travel to Hawaii

Honolulu City Links

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