Somehow Spam is to Hawaii what the cheesesteak is to Philly – and for some – what “edibles” are to Denver.
The canned meat is such a great commodity here, in recent months it’s even become a hot ticket item for local thieves. The Washington Post recently ran a feature-length story about this phenomenon ("Spam Heists In Hawaii...").
Spam’s prevalence in Hawaii can be traced back to the end of World War II, when there was still a large military presence on the islands. Back then, it was extremely expensive to ship fresh meat here to feed soldiers, so they relied heavily on nonperishable items. There was so much Spam shipped to Hawaii, it ended up in local stores and, somehow, became an indomitable force within the culture.
So be on the look out for Spam delicacies during your visit. Also, here’s a list of places to explore while in Honolulu for the NAIC’s Fall 2017 National Meeting.
USS Arizona Memorial
This destination draws more than 1.8 million visitors each year and is free for visitors to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. The memorial is built over the remains of the sunken battleship USS Arizona, the final resting place for many of the 1,177 crewmen killed on Dec. 7, 1941 during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Officially called Mt. Leahi, Diamond Head is one of the most famous volcanic craters in the world. The 760-foot summit can be hiked and offers panoramic views of Waikiki. Many tourists wake up early to catch a spectacular sunrise from the peak of the mountain.
This beach is one of the most popular beaches on Oahu because of its convenient location and scenery. You can swim, snorkel, canoe, surf or soak up some sun.
Honolulu Museum of Art
The museum has 30 galleries with extensive collections – including its famed body of Asian art.
Hawaii is the only U.S. state to once have been ruled by a monarchy. Learn about the state’s unique history of the monarchy and its royal families. The palace, which has an emphasis on Victorian art and architecture, focuses on the lives of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s rulers.
It involves an hourlong hike, but the journey has a worthwhile payoff. The water cascades down 150 feet, but appears endless. The TV series “Lost” and parts of the movie “Jurassic Park” were filmed in Manoa Falls.
Polysnesian Cultural Center
Visit authentic villages and mingle with natives from six Pacific cultures as they demonstrate their arts and attended a luau – a royal feast that includes traditional luau food – and Hawaiian entertainment.