On August 30, 1850 – more than 100 years before Hawaii became an American state – Honolulu became an official city. And in the 167 years since the city’s founding, it has changed a lot, becoming a major tourist destination, as well as a hub for international business and military defense. Honolulu is the gateway to the Hawaiian Islands, as well as a portal to America from the Pacific. It is also one of the most populous cities in Polynesia, second only to Auckland, New Zealand. So, in celebration of Honolulu and all of its incredible history, here are 18 rare vintage photographs of the city over the course of its lifetime.

If these photographs don’t make you believe that Honolulu is the best city in America, I’m not sure what will. For a glimpse of what the Hawaiian Islands as a whole looked like throughout history, here are 17 rare vintage photos.

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