Located on the Honolulu Harbor in Downtown Honolulu, about 15 minutes west of Waikiki, Aloha Tower is an iconic symbol of Hawaii. Built in September of 1926, this was the tallest building in the islands for four decades and its clock was one of the largest in the United States. The tower stood as a welcoming beacon for visitors since travel to Oahu was done entirely by sea. Duke Kahanamoku set his first swimming world record here at Pier 7 and the wharf was also known for Boat Days, a lively celebration to welcome the arrival of visiting ships.
Today, Aloha Tower is still a docking port for Oahu’s cruise ships, including The Star of Honolulu. But this historic place has also transformed into the revitalized Aloha Tower Marketplace: a mixed-use space now part of Hawaii Pacific University, featuring student residences, meeting spaces, community event areas and a variety of restaurants. Enjoy an ocean-view lunch, listen to live music at night and explore unique shops or walk just a couple of blocks to Chinatown’s art district. You can also visit the Observation Deck, located on the 10th floor of Aloha Tower and dine at Gordon Biersch or Hooters, or dance at the night away at Nashville Waikiki—all with beautiful views of the harbor on one side and the cityscape of Honolulu on the other.
A national historic landmark and the only official state residence of royalty in the United States, from 1882 to 1893 Downtown Honolulu’s Iolani Palace was the official residence of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s last two monarchs: King Kalakaua and his sister and successor, Queen Liliuokalani.
The palace was a symbol of promise for the Hawaiian Kingdom built by King David Kalakaua, “The Merrie Monarch.” Influenced by European architectural styles, this royal residence included Hawaii’s first electric light system, flush toilets and intra-house telephones. The rich interior features a beautiful koa staircase, dramatic portraits of Hawaiian royalty, ornate furniture and royal gifts and ornaments from around the world.
Tour through this American Florentine-style palace’s throne room, reception and dining room and envision the magnificent state dinners and balls held here. View the private living quarters of the royal family and listen to the tragic story of Liliuokalani’s imprisonment in an upstairs bedroom following the overthrow. On the basement level view the ancient regalia of Hawaiian royalty from swords and precious jewelry to the two golden crowns of the King and Queen. On the spacious grounds of the palace, see the Iolani Coronation Pavilion, where in 1883 Kalakaua was crowned king.
Known as the "Westminster Abbey of the Pacific," Kawaiahao Church was the first Christian Church built on Oahu. Dedicated on July 21, 1842, “The Great Stone Church” is made of 14,000 coral slabs from ocean reefs that were hauled from the sea by native laborers and missionaries. The church and the grounds were named a National Historic Landmark in 1962.
The Honolulu Museum of Art has been sharing the arts with Hawaii since 1927. With a permanent collection of over 38,000 pieces, this is Hawaii's largest general fine-arts museum.
Stroll from gallery to gallery past open-air courtyards and ponds. Explore one of the finest collections of Asian art in the world as well as impressive collections of Western, European and Polynesian art. If you feel like seeing a film, visit Doris Duke Theatre, which plays an impressive slate of foreign and independent films. After browsing the galleries, take a break to have lunch in the open-air HoMA Cafē or recharge with an energizing drink at the Coffee Bar.
The refreshing Hawaiian wind blows through Ala Moana Center, the world's largest open-air shopping center. There are more than 350 shops and restaurants to explore, including four department stores, first-class boutiques and more than 100 dining options. The center's retailers specialize in everything from casual wear to unique Hawaii surf gear, Aloha shirts, swimsuits and much more. Join us for a shopping excursion in paradise, and don't forget to enjoy the hula and ukulele performances.
Honolulu’s Bishop Museum is Hawaii’s largest museum dedicated to studying and preserving the history of Hawaii and the Pacific. Originally designed to house the extensive collection of Hawaiian artifacts and royal family heirlooms of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, a descendant of King Kamehameha I, the museum is now the premier natural and cultural history institution in the Pacific. One of Oahu’s most historic places, the museum holds millions of artifacts, documents and photos about Hawaii and other Polynesian cultures.
Visit the newly renovated Hawaiian Hall, which immerses you in Native Hawaiian culture and history by showcasing a variety of important artifacts. In the planetarium, kids can learn how voyagers navigated the Pacific using the stars. In the Science Adventure Center, children can see Hawaii’s unique natural environment like never before through a variety of interactive exhibits.
On Kuhio Beach, a bronze statue of Duke Kahanamoku welcomes you to Waikiki with open arms. Duke was a true Hawaiian hero and one of the world's greatest watermen, a master of swimming, surfing and outrigger canoe paddling.
At World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, home of the USS Arizona Memorial, learn about one of the most pivotal moments in US history: the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the subsequent entry of the United States into World War II. The monument preserves and interprets the stories of the Pacific War, from the internment of Japanese Americans to the battles in the Aleutians.
Once called "the bridge that couldn't be built," today it is one the seven wonders of the modern world. This magnificent span, perhaps San Francisco's most famous landmark, opened in 1937 after a four-year struggle against relentless winds, fog, rock and treacherous tides.
Crossing the strait of the Golden Gate from San Francisco's Presidio to the Marin headlands for 1.7 miles is the world-renowned Golden Gate Bridge, easily identified by its International Orange color. Opened in 1937, the bridge was built at a cost of $35 million in principal and $39 million in interest and 11 workers’ lives. The single-suspension span is anchored by twin towers that reach skyward 746 feet, and was once taller than any building in San Francisco. To support the suspended roadway, two cables, each more than 7,000 feet in length and both containing 80,000 miles of wire stretch over the top of the towers and are rooted in concrete anchorages on shore. More than 10 years in planning due to formidable opposition, but only four years in actual construction, the Golden Gate Bridge brought the communities of San Francisco and Marin counties closer together.
San Francisco's Japantown is a fun place to explore, but not that many visitors go there. Three indoor malls, and a pedestrian-only block, are lined with a fascinating variety of authentic Japanese shops and restaurants.
The City Hall you see today took two years to build. Steel, granite, and four floors of white marble interiors make up San Francisco's symbol of resilience, built after the previous City Hall was destroyed in the Great Earthquake and Fire of April 18, 1906.
Civic leaders were determined to demonstrate the city's rebirth in time for the start of the World's Fair of 1915. Designed by architect Arthur Brown, Jr. and begun in 1913, natives and the world were suitably awed by the gilt exterior detailing, the sweeping grand staircase, and the massive dome. At 307 feet in height, the dome is a full 42 feet taller than the dome of the nation's capital.
During the past century, the building has seen major political upheavals and demographic shifts in the makeup of its legislators. City Hall is often a focus of drama: the tragic assassinations of 1979; and jubilation when same-sex marriages were first performed in 2004. Once the repository of records and a site for smaller courts, current debates and decisions about labor, land use, and public policy issues take place inside on a regular basis. City Hall has been a location for movies from Dirty Harry and Indiana Jones to Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
Alcatraz reveals stories of American incarceration, justice, and our common humanity. This small island was once a fort, a military prison, and a maximum security federal penitentiary. In 1969, the Indians of All Tribes occupied Alcatraz for 19 months in the name of freedom and Native American civil rights. We invite you to explore Alcatraz's complex history and natural beauty.
In 1969, a group of Native American activists calling themselves the Indians of All Tribes arrived on Alcatraz Island. They spoke out against the U.S. Government's Termination Policy and the broader plight of Native Americans. Golden Gate National Recreation Area commemorates this moment in history, with 19 months of special events and an exhibition: Red Power on Alcatraz, Perspectives 50 Years Later.
San Francisco's Chinatown is the oldest one in North America and covers 24 city blocks. This neighborhood is one of the most popular attractions in San Francisco, and for good reason.
It's easy to spend a day here, exploring the streets and alleys, browsing the shops and enjoying the authentic Chinese food. More people visit Chinatown than the Golden Gate Bridge!
SFMOMA is dedicated to making the art for our time a vital and meaningful part of public life. For that reason we assemble unparalleled collections, create exhilarating exhibitions, and develop engaging public programs.
The Seymour Marine Discovery Center offers hands-on immersion into the world of ocean exploration and discovery. With a 20,000-square-foot visitor center, guests can touch a shark, explore the latest discoveries in ocean science, and take in the spectacular Monterey Bay, called the “Serengeti of the sea,” for its incredible diversity of marine life. Powered by the Long Marine Laboratory, a world-renowned university research facility, our exhibit hall offers a deeper dive into the fascinating and varied work of scientists studying the oceans here in Santa Cruz and around the world.
Overlooking internationally renowned surfing hotspot Steamer Lane, this little gem of a museum has photographs, surfboards, and other interesting artefacts tracing over 100 years of surfing history in Santa Cruz. The museum shop specializes in great surfing books and surfing-related items.
The Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History (SCMNH) has been connecting people to the wonders of nature for over 100 years. Located above Seabright Beach, the Museum highlights the region’s diverse plant, animal, and human communities from the shoreline of Monterey Bay to the summit of the Santa Cruz Mountains. We strive to fulfil our mission to connect people to nature and inspire stewardship of the natural world through an array of educational programs and exhibits focused on the natural and cultural history of the region.
Featured by Good Morning America in 2010, this is the house that Sarah, the troubled Winchester rifle heiress, built. Seeking a way to rid herself of the spirits of those killed by the “Gun that Won the West” Sarah sought the advice of a medium. That consultation resulted in Sarah spending decades, as well as her $20 million inheritance, obsessively building onto the house. But what a house it is and don't miss the gardens and grounds either. Spooky? Yes, but beautiful from the wood work to the stained glass. Flashlight tours on Friday the 13th and during October are a trick and a treat, while the Victorian spirit is alive in special light during the December holiday season.
The San Pedro Square Market is the Downtown San Jose meet-up place for foodies, music lovers, locally-made shop supporters, demanders of coffee perfection, history seekers, old-time barbershop hunters, social media followers, and wine and beer libation imbibers.
Located in the Downtown core with its own parking garage, the Convention Center boasts 372,754 sq. ft. of total space, is connected to two hotels, is within walking distance of 5 additional hotels, multiple visual and performing arts facilities and an abundance of restaurants. The Center and its surroundings are connected by public transportation including Light Rail, Caltrain and free Downtown shuttle and is home to popular public events like Fanime, The Silicon Valley Auto Show and the Harvest Festival. The Center also houses its own UPS store able to meet a multitude of shipping, packing, notary and printing needs Monday-Saturday.
The San Jose Museum of Art celebrates new ideas, stimulates creativity, and inspires connection with every visit. Welcoming and thought provoking, the Museum delights visitors with it’s surprising and playful perspective on the art and artists of our time.
City Hall is located at 200 East Santa Clara Street between Fourth and Sixth Streets in downtown San José. The building layout includes an 18-story tower on the east side of the site; a three-story wing on the west side of the site; a centrally-located domed rotunda that reaches a height equivalent of 10 stories; a large plaza opening onto Santa Clara Street framed by a curved wall; and one level of 300 underground parking spaces.
On the forefront of astronomical research since 1888 (before there was even a road up Mount Hamilton) the Lick Observatory is nothing short of an icon, with its foundation set firmly in Silicon Valley innovation and technological prowess. Beyond the stunning views from 4,209 feet above the valley, the brilliant history of how these giant telescopes were even dreamed up (let along how they came to be) and the mind blowing discoveries that have taken place with them, just being able to see light years away through the lens is enough to send one into orbit. Add in tours, music series, lectures by leading researchers doing cutting edge work, and other special events and you have one of the most unique and powerful experiences of the city.
The Haggin Museum, an art and history museum, has been referred to by Sunset magazine as “one of the undersung gems of California.” Its art collection features works by such noted 19th-century painters as Albert Bierstadt, Rosa Bonheur, and William-Adolphe Bouguereau, J.C. Leyendecker, as well as many other American and European artists.
The Bob Hope (Fox California) Theatre in Downtown Stockton, built in 1930, was one of only two "movie palaces" in the Central Valley. Today its 2,042 seats are host to year-round live theatre, musicals, concerts, family events, classic cinema and comedy.
The Crocker Art Museum was founded in 1885 and continues as the leading art institution for the Sacramento Region and Central Valley. The Museum offers a wide spectrum of special exhibitions, events, and programs to augment its collections of Californian, European, and Asian works.
First opened to the public in 1976, the California State Railroad Museum complex is one of Sacramento’s largest and most popular visitor destinations. Over 500,000 visit the Museum annually, with guests traveling from throughout the world to experience this world-renowned facility.
The California Museum educates visitors on the Golden State’s history and unique influence on the world through ideas, innovation, the arts and culture. Through interactive exhibits and engaging programs, the Museum inspires visitors to make their own mark on history.
Open to visitors in 1869, the State Capitol features changing museum exhibits and historical rooms offering a view into California's political past while the rest of the building acts as a ''living museum''.
Exploring some of the unique artifacts from Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park is just a click away! Our online exhibit highlights the reconstruction of Sutter's Fort in the 1890s and explains how the Fort's collection of pioneer and early California artifacts was formed.
The GVM home is the first floor of the Science Community Center on the west campus of Modesto Junior College. Our museum focuses on the natural history and various habitats of the Central Valley of California.