Honolulu, on Hawaii's island of Oahu, is a city rich in both history and beauty. Sixty-seven years ago today, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, killing nearly 2,400 people and wounding more than 1,000. Jan. 17 will mark the 115th anniversary of the bloodless coup in which American colonists overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy. And on Jan. 20, more history will be made: The Honolulu-born Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th U.S. president. If you want to experience some of Honolulu's beauty, head to Waikiki Beach for white sand and cerulean ocean.
King me : Visit Ionlani Palace. King Kalakaua and his sister and successor, Queen Lili'uokalani, lived here and reigned over the Hawaiian kingdom until 1893, when the queen unwillingly yielded her throne. See the private living quarters, galleries and a re-creation of the kitchen.
See Pearl Harbor : The harbor, named for the oysters once harvested there, is a National Historical Landmark. Pay your respects at a memorial built over the USS Arizona, which was sunk by a 1,760-pound bomb, or explore the Battleship Missouri Memorial, where Gen. Douglas MacArthur accepted Japan's surrender, which ended World War II.
What would Obama do?: Barack Obama was born in Honolulu in 1961. Growing up, he picnicked at Puu Ualakaa State Park, attended Punahou School and worked at Baskin-Robbins on South King Street, according to the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. On recent visits, Obama has hit the links at Luana Hills Country Club and eaten at Rainbow Drive-In in the city's fun Kapahulu neighborhood.
Hang 10 : Learn to ride waves from Honolulu's firefighters. In addition to lessons at Hawaiian Fire Surf School, you get transportation to and from the beach and the use of surfboards.
Go over the top : Diamond Head State Monument, a 761-foot-high crater just beyond Waikiki Beach, was formed 300,000 years ago, according to the Web site of Hawaii's state park system. Visitors who hike up Diamond Head's slope are rewarded with spectacular vistas of Oahu's south shore.
More information: gohawaii.com