Hawaii’s largest city is Honolulu. It is located in between rugged cliffs to the north and beaches on the south-pointing the island of Oahu. Honolulu offers a spectacular, sunny beach getaway as well as arts, culture, shopping, and nightlife. It is only in Honolulu where you will be able to swim at an idyllic beach, visit historical places and even go salsa dancing, clubbing or even listen to live music – all in one day. Apart from that, the city recurrently ranks as one of the safest and happiest cities in America. A stay in one of the Hawaii beach homes definitely offers spectacular views and a relaxing ambiance making your Hawaiian vacation an unforgettable one.
There are several distinctive activities that you can engage in depending on your interests. Here are 9 things that you can include in your itinerary as you visit Honolulu.
- Hanauma Bay
If you’re into snorkeling, Hanauma Bay is the place to visit. It is located on the very east side of Honolulu near the vicinity of the town called Hawaii Kai. This bay is a nature reserve and marine sanctuary making it the famous place to see and interact with the colorful world down under. Hanauma Bay also boost a gorgeous stretch of golden sand.
Upon your arrival at Hanauma Bay, you are required to watch a video clip showcasing the significance of marine life and its preservation. After that, you can now hike to the bottom of the crater for you to get to the beach and get in the cool, clear water. It usually takes around 5 minutes.
- Honolulu Chinatown
Like any other Chinatowns that can be found all over the world, Honolulu’s Chinatown is always bustling and seems to be the most energetic market section of the city. Here, you will find great deals on its wide array of offerings such as fruits, vegetables, fresh meat and the like. Apart from the fresh market foods that you can purchase, there are also numerous restaurants that can be found throughout the Honolulu’s Chinatown. Do not miss the Maunakea Marketplace and Char Hung Sut which serves legendary Hawaiian style Cantonese dumplings and baozi (manapua). Eating throughout Chinatown is one of the top attractions in the area.
- Diamond Head
Hiking is one of the must-do activities in Honolulu. After minutes of walking, you’ll end up enjoying the stunning panoramic views. Diamond Head is the most iconic hiking spot that stands proudly on the far east side of Waikiki allowing the travelers to be mesmerized by the great backdrop to all of the beach photos from Waikiki. The view is surreal, but it is even better when you’re on top of it.
The crater of the Diamond Head was formerly used as a military base of Oahu. It is now open to the public for recreational use. It will take around 20 to 30 minutes to reach the summit. The trail is easy at first, but as you along, there will come some series of switchbacks where you start gaining elevation. Towards the end, you will pass through a military tunnel and climb up a few stairs and finally emerged through a bunker. And there you go, a great view of Honolulu is waving towards you!
- Ocean Sports
Hawaii is one of the world’s headquarters when it comes to surfing and other ocean water sports. The climate is great, the water is cool but not too cold, and the waves, depending on which beach you go to, can range from small to huge.
Hawaii is one of the top destinations when it comes to surfing and other water sports activities. Here, the climate is ideal, and the water is cool but not too cold plus the waves. Specifically the north shore of Oahu, it is one of the famous and world’s greatest surfing destinations. You can also try out bodyboard, stand up paddleboard and even other ocean adventures that you’ll find interesting. Some of the great places that you must visit are Waikiki, Ala Moana Beach Park, Kakaʻako and Diamond Head.
- Honolulu Zoo / Waikiki Aquarium
The Honolulu Zoo is home to different animals which are spread out to over 42 acres. Don’t miss the Komodo dragon and the orangutan when you visit the area. It is located on the east side of Waikiki. Apart from the presence of the animals, the grounds also showcases numerous lust tropical gardens and even variety of native Hawaiian plants and flowers.
The Waikiki Aquarium is located just down the road from the Honolulu Zoo. It may be quite small, but it’s a great place to be aware of the local marine life in the oceans of Hawaii.
- Iolani Palace
One of the historical sites that you must visit when you’re in Hawaii is the Iolani Palace. It was originally built in 1879 by King Kalakaua. It is located in downtown Honolulu. The reason behind its construction is the idea that they want to make Hawaii become more prestigious and more recognized as a nation throughout the world. It is used to be known as Hale Alii, but King Kamehameha V changed the name to Iolani. If you want to know even a glimpse of the history of royal Hawaii, this palace is worth the visit.
- Manoa Falls
Another must-visit trail in Honolulu is the Manoa Falls which is a lush green jungle hike. It will take around 20 to 30-minute walk to reach the nice waterfall at the end of the trail. Hiking here is also a good chance to see beautiful flora of Hawaii.
Waikiki is the most famous area for the tourist which occupies a long stretch of the coast on the south shore of Honolulu. Even if you’re not staying in the area, you can still talk walks along the beach, dine at one of the best restaurants and even go on a shopping. For breakfast, be sure to stop by the Eggs ‘n Things restaurant and taste some awesome Hawaiian food. Ala Moana Center is also located right next to Waikiki. It is Honolulu’s largest shopping mall.
- Local Hawaiian Food
For those who love to eat, food is always part of their list. Hawaii offers a diverse selection of food that will surely satisfy your belly. Some of the popular restaurants are Helena and People’s Café. Don’t forget to try laulau, poi, a taro paste which is known as the staple of the Hawaiian cuisine and kalua pig.
Excited for your Hawaiian getaway?