Honolulu is the capital city of the U.S. state of Hawaii. It is also the largest city in Hawaii and it has the most important harbor. It is on the south-east shore of the island of Oahu.
Honolulu means "sheltered harbor" in the Hawaiian language. No one knows for sure when Honolulu was first settled or when the name was first used.
Honolulu harbor was called Kulolia before foreigners came. The first foreigner was Captain William Brown of the English ship Butterworth, in 1794. He named the harbor Fair Haven. Other foreign captains started calling it Brown's Harbor. The name Honolulu was used some time after that.
Honolulu quickly became the most important harbor of Hawaii. At that time, sandalwood was a big export. Honolulu was also an important supply point for whalers.
Kamehameha III made Honolulu the capital city of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1850. It was also the capital of the Republic of Hawaii and the Territory of Hawaii. It stayed the capital when Hawaii became a state in 1959.
Waikīkī is a neighborhood of Honolulu, in the City & County of Honolulu, on the south shore of the Island of Oahu, Hawaii. Waikīkī extends from the Ala Wai Canal (a channel dug to drain former wetlands) on the west and north, to Diamond Head or Lēahi on the east. The name means spouting water in Hawaiian for springs and streams that fed wetlands that once separated Waikīkī from the interior. Waikīkī has long been a place of relaxation. In particular, the area was a retreat for Hawaiian royalty in the 1800s.
Today it is considered the center of the tourist industry in Hawaii, with an abundance of both high-rise resort hotels (including the Hilton Hawaiian Village, the Hyatt Regency Waikiki, and the Sheraton Waikiki) and historic hotels dating back to the early 20th century (such as the Moana Surfrider Hotel and the Royal Hawaiian Hotel).
Waikīkī Beach is the shoreline fronting Waikīkī and one of the best known beaches in the world. The beach has had its problems because of groynes build-out from the shore. This has led to beach replenishment projects in the past. In the 1920s and 1930s sand was obtained from Manhattan Beach, California, and transported via ship and barges to Waikīkī. One disastrous sand replenishment project involved a man-made sand that the gentle surf turned into a concrete-like surface.