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HONOLULU TRAVEL GUIDE: 45 THINGS TO DO IN HONOLULU, HAWAII

HONOLULU TRAVEL GUIDE: 45 Things to do in Honolulu, Hawaii

Places to See | Where to Shop | Where to Stay | Restaurants Serving Traditional Food | Transportation

CITY

Honolulu is the largest city of Hawaii located on the Island of O’ahu. The city is the business hub of the state of Hawaii and known for its skyscrapers and beautiful city beaches.

MONEY
US dollar is Hawaii’s currency. Hotels, vehicle gas, and other things are quite expensive.
LANGUAGE

Hawaii’s official languages are English and Hawaiian. While other languages can be found, such as Pidgin and Japanese, English is the primary form of communication.

 

WEATHER

November to February are the traditional times to visit Honolulu, as the temperature is down to about 81 °F-84 °F (27 °C-29 °C).

PLACES TO SEE IN HONOLULU

Waikiki Beach - Honolulu Travel Guide - 45 things to do in Honolulu - Christobel Travel

WAIKIKI BEACH

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Once a retreat for Hawaiian royalty, Waikiki Beach is now full of shops, restaurants, and luxury boutiques. Overlooking the serene waves are lines of luxury hotels, fit to make any trip memorable. Popular activities on the beach include surfing and sailing.

 

Waikiki Beach - Honolulu Travel Guide - 45 things to do in Honolulu - Christobel Travel

DIAMOND HEAD

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Diamond Head is a volcanic crater that was deemed a National Natural Landmark in 1968. An avid destination for hikers, beautiful views of Honolulu and the Pacific Ocean can be seen on its trails. The price of admission is $5 for non-commercial vehicles and just $1 a pedestrian. The park closes at 6:00, but hiking is not permitted after 4:30, as the hike takes around 1.5-2 hours.

Diamond Head - Honolulu Travel Guide - 45 things to do in Honolulu - Christobel Travel
Diamond head - Honolulu Travel Guide - 45 things to do in Honolulu - Christobel Travel

ALA MOANA BEACH PARK

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A 100-acre park located near downtown Honolulu, Ala Moana Beach Park is a popular site containing tennis courts, concessions, and of course, a pristine beach. Since it is protected by an outer reef, the water is always calm. In essence, it is the perfect environment to relax and enjoy the island’s natural beauty.

Honolulu Travel Guide - 45 things to do in Honolulu - Christobel Travel


PUBLIC ART - DUKE KAHANAMOKU

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Duke Kahanamoku is not only a gold medalist in swimming from Hawaii but is the name of a popular bronze statue in the Kuhio Beach Park made in his honor. A popular tradition is to place leas upon the statue, creating a very Hawaiian atmosphere in the park. A fun fact is that Duke’s real name was Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku.

Duke Kahanamoku - Honolulu Travel Guide - 45 things to do in Honolulu - Christobel Travel

DUKE PAOA KAHANAMOKU LAGOON        

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The Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Lagoon is a man-made beach named after Olympic swimming gold medalist Duke Kahanamoku. It is owned by Hilton Hotels and features a state-of-the-art water circulation system for the cleanest water possible. While enjoying this relaxing lagoon, one can lounge around on beach chairs, sleep beneath the palm trees, or relax in the tranquil water.

 

Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon - Honolulu Travel Guide - 45 things to do in Honolulu - Christobel Travel

‘IOLANI PALACE

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The ‘Iolani Palace was the residence of Hawaiian royalty from 1845 to 1893. On the National Register of Historic Places, the palace was opened as a museum in 1978. It is open 9:00 to 4:00 every day except most Sundays. The museum includes self-guided tours (Ages 13+: $14.75, Ages 5-12: $6, free for ages 4 and under) and guided tours (Ages 13+: $21.75, Ages 5-12: $6, free for ages 4 and under). This is a must-see in Honolulu, as it is one of two only royal palaces on US soil.

STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN - HAIKU STAIRS

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Along the Ko’olau Mountain range lies a set of stairs, around 4,000. Originally constructed to reach a radio station during World War II, the set of steep stairs are a must for hiking enthusiasts. The peak, at almost 3,000 feet, is said to be breathtaking by those who have braved the journey.

Honolulu Travel Guide - 45 things to do in Honolulu - Christobel Travel

USS ARIZONA MEMORIAL & PEARL HARBOR

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Pearl Harbor is a place known to all because of the horrific acts that occurred there. To remember it, the National Park Service has created the USS Arizona Memorial. Visitors will board a ship for a short trip to the memorial, where a self-guided tour of the ship is available. While admission is free, there are a limited amount of tickets so reserving tickets in advance is ideal.

USS Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor - Honolulu Travel Guide - 45 things to do in Honolulu - Christobel Travel

POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER

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The Polynesian Cultural Center is a theme park that preserves traditional Polynesian practices. Many folks come just for the evening luau and show. There, one can see exhibits, demonstrations, and wildly popular evening shows and luaus. It is open Monday through Saturday from 11:45-9:00. Tickets range from $89.95 for park admission and a show including dinner to a VIP package with a $239.95 price tag. The luaus themselves are worth visiting for that authentic Hawaiian experience.

HONOLULU ZOO

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The Honolulu Zoo is a 42-acre area where over 1,230 animals, native to Hawaii and to other areas of the world, can be observed. One of the most intriguing things to do in Honolulu, the zoo also has a botanical garden and offers evening tours on Fridays and Saturdays. The zoo is open 9:00 to 4:30, with prices being $19 for those 13 and up, $11 for those 3-12, and free for children 2 and under.

Honolulu Travel Guide - 45 things to do in Honolulu - Christobel Travel

OTHER PLACES TO SEE IN HONOLULU

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Nature & Parks

Visit Nu’uanu Pali Lookout  (Nu’uanu Pali is just 15 minutes drive from the center of Honolulu)

Go up the Manoa Falls Trail

Go to Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

Walk up the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail

Stroll through Moanalua Gardens

Enjoy the Kapiolani Park

Visit the Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden

Museums & Art

Enjoy different species of fish at Waikiki Aquarium

Explore Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art

Drive to Sea Life Park Hawaii (17 miles from Honolulu center)

Visit Bishop Museum

Admire the beauty of art at Honolulu Museum of Art

Visit  Hawaii State Art Museum

Take pictures of the Aloha Tower

See the Kamehameha Statues

See the Lyon Arboretum

BEST BEACHES IN HONOLULU

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Best Beaches - Honolulu Travel Guide - 45 things to do in Honolulu - Christobel Travel

Waikiki Beach

One of the most popular beaches in Hawaii, Waikiki Beach is known for its world-class restaurants, stores, and resorts. The waves themselves are ideal for a lesson in surfing or paddle boarding. Waikiki actually means “Spouting waters” in the Hawaiian language.

Sans Souci Beach, Waikiki

Close to Waikiki Beach, Sans Souci Beach has white sands and fewer crowds than most beaches in the area. Generally, the waves are calm so it is a great place for stand-up paddling. Another of Honolulu’s beautiful beaches, one can see residents running through the area early in the morning, admiring the beautiful setting.

Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay is one of the best places for snorkeling. You can rent snorkel gear form the visitor center at Hanauma Bay, but it might be cheaper to rent the gear from snorkel shops in Honolulu center as those shops will be cheaper than Hanauma Bay visitor center.

Baby Makapu'u, Waimanalo

Baby Makapu’u is a lesser known beach in the area. It has smaller waves and is thus less intimidating. There are also tidepools, stunning mountains around the area, and picturesque islands on the horizon.

Queens Beach

Queens Beach is a serene beach that faces Honolulu Zoo and sits on the other side of Waikiki Wall, adjacent to Kuhio Beach. Millenials love this beach and enjoy the unobstructed waves that whip the shores.

Ala Moana Beach Park

The Ala Moana Beach Park is not only a beautiful man-made beach but perfect for a picnic. The area has large grassy fields, palm trees, tables, and barbecue areas. It is common to find children playing games and tourists enjoying the sun and waves.

Kahe Point Beach

Kahe Point Beach has clear, blue water and a large fish population. Thus, snorkeling and SCUBA is very popular at the beach. Some of the animals that can be seen include parrotfish, mackerels, spinner dolphins, and even green sea turtles.

Kuhio Beach

Kuhio Beach is a popular beach known for traditional torch lighting and hula dancing shows. The beach is also home to three landmarks: the Stones of Kapaemahu, the Duke Kahanamoku Statue, and the statue of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole (1822-1922)Kuhio Beach is located at 2453 Kalakaua Avenue, near Waikiki wall.

Kuhio Beach Park in Waikiki

Kuhio Beach Park is a public park on the coast where residents and tourists alike congregate to enjoy the relaxing environment and the semi-protected waters. This area is home to several annual surfing competitions.

PLACES TO SHOP IN HONOLULU

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Royal Hawaiian Center

The Royal Hawaiian Center is an outdoor mall where one can find the most upscale brands, including Rolex, Kate Spade, Ferrari, Forever 21, and Tourneau. The center spans 3 blocks on the beach side of Waikiki's main street, Kalakaua Avenue. It is open daily from 10:00 to 10:00.

Ala Moana Center

The Ala Moana Center is an open-air shopping center, in fact, it is the world’s largest. With over 350 shops and restaurants, there will be something there for everyone. Adjacent to the Ala Moana Beach Park, the mall is open 9:30 to 9:00 (10:00 to 7:00 on Sundays).

Chinatown

The Chinatown Historic District is one of the oldest Chinatowns in the United States and is known for its large Chinese-American population and influence. Around 15 minutes west of Waikiki, one can find exotic fruits, strange seafood, and incredible temples.

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The Waikiki Shopping Plaza

The Waikiki Shopping Plaza contains six floors of office, dining, and retail locations. A must-see for any visitor, the site contains ample parking and many exclusive shops. Across from the Royal Hawaiian Center, the Waikiki Shopping Plaza prides itself on its world-class dining options. The Plaza is open 9:30 to 10:00.

International Market Place

The International Market Place is a key center of diversity, one can find everything from clothing to bags to home decor to electronics to accessories. The Market, like many of Honolulu’s largest shopping areas, is found on Kalakaua Avenue. The market is open 10:00 to 10:00.

Kahala Mall

The Kahala Mall is an enclosed shopping mall on the east side of the city. It is a key point on TheBus routes so it is easy to get to. Many stores and restaurants are inside the mall, including California Pizza Kitchen, Claire’s, Whole Foods Market, and many more. The mall is open 10:00 to 9:00.

Ward Village

Ward Village is not just a community, but a vibrant center for shopping and entertainment. Aside from its 130 stores and 40 dining areas, the village has a 16 screen movie theater for guests to enjoy themselves at. The village is near the coast, right next to the Ala Moana Beach Park.

 

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WHERE TO STAY IN HONOLULU

Honolulu Travel Guide - 45 things to do in Honolulu - Christobel Travel

Hotels in Honolulu are quite expensive, you will need to book well in advance. The hotel in the picture above is Queen Kapiolani Hotel.

5 Star: Halekulani: For two guests, a night costs $540

4 Star: Waikiki Parc Hotel: a night costs $295

3 Star: Queen Kapiolani Hotel: a night costs $222

RESTAURANTS SERVING TRADITIONAL FOOD IN HONOLULU



This post first appeared on Christobel Travel, please read the originial post: here

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HONOLULU TRAVEL GUIDE: 45 THINGS TO DO IN HONOLULU, HAWAII

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