Hawaii State Capitol

Inducted and dedicated by John A. Burns, the second governor of Hawaii, the Hawaii state capitol is located in the downtown core of Honolulu and is one of the most-visited attractions on the island. The former statehouse was the Iolani Palace, which was replaced by the current state capitol in Honolulu in 1969. Among numerous government proceedings, the state Legislature convenes inside the building and all legislative offices are found inside. The main occupants of the state capitol building in Hawaii are the lieutenant governor and governor of Hawaii.

Hawaii State Capitol
Hawaii State Capitol

Designed in an interpretation of Bauhaus style once famous throughout America, the Hawaii state capitol building is often called Hawaiian international architecture, making State Capitol tours in Honolulu very popular with architectural enthusiasts. Though many state capitols are designed after the main U.S. Capitol in Washington, the state capitol in Honolulu possesses many unique highlights, making tours of the building and grounds one of the most popular options among tourists looking for things to do in Oahu. The building's architectural design reflects many of the natural aspects of the island that it has become famous for.

The Hawaii state capitol perimeter features columns shaped like coconut trees, and the open-air construction allows the natural elements of wind, rain, and sun to freely enter the premises. Surrounded by a reflecting pool, the entire building enjoys views of this feature, meant to symbolize the Pacific Ocean. The cone-shaped legislative corridors represent the volcanoes that banded together to shape the entire chain of islands. Inside the state capitol atrium there is an aquamarine glass mosaic arrangement aptly named Aquarius, which is modeled after the movement of the ocean water.

Getting to the state capitol building in Hawaii is easy. From Waikiki, Kalakaua Road passes by the verdant mountain ranges, along South Beratania Street and across Punchbowl Street, and up to the site. When taking this route, take advantage of the opportunity to visit historic Kawaiahao Church, which is located on Punchbowl Street, either on the way or during your return. Monday through Friday there are guided tours of the capitol available, and metered parking outside accommodates those with their own vehicles or with car rentals. Another perk of visiting the state capitol in Honolulu is the complimentary map of Honolulu available for tourists. Details of Honolulu's Chinatown, as well as civic and historical neighborhoods, offer an easy way to create a fun day trip.

In addition to visiting the state capitol building in Hawaii, there are numerous other things to do while in the city. If you're staying in Honolulu hotels, there is plenty of time to explore the city, but if your lodging is on another part of the island, a detailed plan ensures the time to see many attractions within the city limits. The Honolulu Zoo is a great stop for both children and adults, and Waikiki Beach is a must-see for first time visitors, as is the Waikiki Aquarium. The century-old Bishop Museum is also a must for island enthusiasts. In and around Honolulu there is a lot to see and do. It's a wonderful city for families, couples, and singles, and it has its own unique island rhythm.

Top image: jdnx (flickr)
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