HONOLULU TRAVEL GUIDE: 45 Things to do in Honolulu, Hawaii
Places to See | Where to Shop | Where to Stay | Restaurants Serving Traditional Food | Transportation
PLACES TO SEE IN HONOLULU
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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.
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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.
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.
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 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.
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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.
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.
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.
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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.
OTHER PLACES TO SEE IN HONOLULU
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BEST BEACHES IN HONOLULU
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PLACES TO SHOP IN HONOLULU
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WHERE TO STAY IN HONOLULU
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