Travelers can catch a helicopter ride on a recreation of the Chopper from “Magnum, P.I.” out of Turtle Bay Resort. // © 2013 Turtle Bay Resort
Drawing more visitors than any other Hawaiian island, Oahu maintains its appeal by constantly reviving its existing attractions and creating new tourist lures.
Here, hot off the press, is the latest activity and attraction news from Hawaii’s most populated — and popular — visitor draw.
Bishop Museum’s Pacific Hall has undergone a multimillion-dollar renovation and restoration, resulting in a grand new setting for its rare Polynesian artifacts and objects. Earlier this year, the museum reopened the J. Watumull Planetarium after spending $1.5 million in upgrades. The planetarium boasts new seating and a hybrid system that plays a variety of shows, including a journey from Hawaii to Tahiti by the stars.
Honolulu Museum of Art
Through Jan. 12, the museum exhibit “Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams: The Hawaii Pictures” presents works created in and about Hawaii by the two American masters. Included are paintings associated with O’Keeffe’s 1939 Hawaii trip to create illustrations for Hawaiian Pineapple Company ads. Adams’ island work includes photos for a series on national parks and a commemorative publication for a local bank.
Honolulu Night Market
The newest place-to-be is the monthly Honolulu Night Market, held in the burgeoning Oahu neighborhood of Kakaako. This hip evening event combines fashion, live music, art, shopping and local food under Honolulu’s city lights. Celebrating the best of urban island culture, it features artists, designers, musicians and chefs, with such recent highlights as poetry readings and performances of Broadway show hits.
International Market Place
The area currently occupied by the International Market Place, Waikiki Town Center and Miramar at Waikiki hotel is scheduled to be redeveloped into a new three-level retail, dining and entertainment center with plenty of visitor appeal. Construction on the ambitious 390,000-square-foot project — which is expected to cost $300 million — will begin this year and take two years to complete.
A faithful recreation of the Chopper, a helicopter that had a recurring role on the 1980s hit television series “Magnum, P.I.,” is now available for flightseeing rides out of Turtle Bay Resort, the island’s only resort with a helipad. Courtesy of Paradise Helicopters, visitors can channel their inner Tom Selleck and experience spectacular views during aerial tours of Oahu’s north shore from the one-of-a-kind aircraft.
Pearl Harbor Historic Site
On the Pearl Harbor Historic Site website, clients can now make reservations for all four of the popular Pearl Harbor attractions. With one click, they can book a tour of the Battleship Missouri, Pacific Aviation Museum, USS Bowfin Submarine or USS Arizona Memorial. In addition, visitors can now purchase full-day and half-day Pearl Harbor tours on the site.
Polynesian Cultural Center
The 50-year-old Polynesian Cultural Center recently introduced a new luau celebrating Samoan culture. The show features a dinner buffet with favorite Samoan, Hawaiian and local dishes and performances like the Samoan slap dance, coconut shell dance and fireknife dance. Also new is Hawaiian Journey, a 14-minute cinematic presentation about Hawaii’s people, their land and their ancestors.
Royal Hawaiian Exhibit
Dating back to 1927, the Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, is commemorating its longtime presence in Waikiki with an exhibit of rarely-seen historical photos. The vast collection of pictures and artwork documents and depicts the hotel’s legendary Waikiki Beach Boys, who served guests from the 1920s to the ‘50s. Look for the free exhibit in the hotel’s Coronet Lounge through Dec. 31.