Best Places to Stay in Honolulu, United States
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Places To Visit In Honolulu
Natural charms of all sorts will prove a major attraction during your stay in Honolulu. Hawai’s cosmopolitan capital, the city majestically stretches along the southern coast of the island of Oahu, rewarding travelers with several miles of coastline, endless hiking trails, and lush hints of greenery. Hawaii’s favorable climate, top-notch cultural attractions, and a unique fusion of Asian, Western, and Pacific cultures make Honolulu a destination well worth experiencing!
Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (Honolulu International Airport/ HNL) is the largest airport and hub in Hawaii, handling direct flights from several cities around the world. The airport is located within a short distance from downtown Honolulu, and aside from taxis and shuttle services, HNL also has a direct bus departing from Airport Upper Level and arriving at S King St + Punchbowl St. Buses depart every 30 minutes, and the journey takes approximately 34 minutes.
Waikiki Beach: For a well-spent day in the capital of Hawaii, make sure to soak up the sun in Waikiki Beach, Oahu’s most famous stretch of sand.
Diamond Head: For sweeping views of Waikiki, hike the trail that leads to the summit of Diamond Head, where you’ll be also able to marvel at the historic 475-acre Diamond Head State Monument.
Kalakaua Ave: Waikiki’s Kalakaua Ave is home to the ocean-side Kuhio Beach Park, which shelters three famous Honolulu landmarks: the Prince Kuhio Statue, the Duke Kahanamoku Statue, and the Stones of Kapaemahu.
Pearl Harbor National Memorial: A National Historic Landmark and one of the most coveted tourist attractions in Honolulu. There, you’ll learn about a pivotal moment in the history of the United States: the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the entry of the United States into World War II. The harbor also houses the USS Arizona Memorial, the resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors and Marines killed on USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Iolani Palace: Back to downtown Honolulu, it’s time to visit the mighty Iolani Palace, built-in 1882 by King Kalakaua and the former home of Hawaii's last reigning monarchs.
Ala Moana Beach Park: Last but not least, watching an orange and pink-hued sunset at Ala Moana Beach Park, the inessential enhancement of any Honolulu day trip.
Honolulu Beaches: Gorgeous pristine beaches are the air that Honolulu breathes. Kailua Beach Park is a paradise for stand-up paddlers, Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is a great place for marine-life viewing, Sans Souci Beach Park (a.k.a Kaimana Beach) is popular among locals, while Lanikai beach offers the most suitable conditions for snorkeling. Also explore some of the best beaches in Oahu’s North Shore, including Sunset Beach, which is a major surfing spot during wintertime, and Chun's Reef, featuring a freshwater pond.
Honolulu Museum of Art: Honolulu is also awash with must-visit museums that document the city's fascinating past and cultural heritage. At the Honolulu Museum of Art, you’ll be able to delve into thousands of Asian art pieces, and European paintings.
Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum (Hawaiʻi State Museum of Natural and Cultural History): Go to the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum for their rich collection of Hawaiian and tropical Pacific Island plants.
Queen Emma Summer Palace: Travelers can also spend a few hours snooping around the whimsical interiors that are richly decorated with beautiful koa wood furniture, and go for a restful respite at the Lyon Arboretum, a 200-acre botanical garden featuring miles of trails and lush tropical plants.
Temperatures in Honolulu don’t vary too much throughout the year, with average lows of 18–24 °C. For that reason, the city is considered a year-round destination. To benefit from not only amazing weather but also fewer crowds and lower accommodation rates, visit Honolulu from mid-April to early June, or between September and November.
Honolulu Festival (March): To get a taste of Hawaiian culture, visit Honolulu in March, which is when the Honolulu Festival parades through Waikiki
Lei Day Celebration (May): On May 1, the Kapi'olani Park hosts their annual Lei Day Celebration, with crowds of locals and visitors gathering to handcraft their flower necklaces, also known as leis.
Lantern Floating Festival (May): Another popular event in Honolulu is the Lantern Floating Festival when thousands of people head to the Ala Moana Beach Park to launch wooden and paper lanterns into the Pacific Ocean.
Tanioka's Seafoods & Catering: Great place for a super fresh poke bowl, loaded with juicy raw salmon chunks.
Rainbow Drive-In: Try their famous loco moco, which consists of white rice topped with a hamburger, gravy, and an egg.
Helena's Hawaiian Food: Order their Laulau, which are cooked taro levees filled with pork. Delicious!
Manoa Falls: For an extra dose of adrenaline, put on your hiking shoes and hit the trail that leads to the spectacular Manoa Falls, a 150-foot waterfall surrounded by a lush and green landscape.
Koko Crater Trail: Another great hike for the keiki (kids), is the Koko Crater Trail. The stairs of the trail are railroad ties, and the hike ends with views of Oahu and the Pacific Ocean. From there, you can take off to explore the Koko Crater Botanical Garden, which is covered by several plant species from Hawaii, and Africa.
Honolulu Zoo: For a sneak peek of marvelous rare animals, such as the Aldabra tortoise, green sea turtles, and the blue-tongued skink, the Honolulu Zoo is a great place to visit.