This city is amazing, it has everything you need, a fantastic beach, lots of bars, clubs, shops, and great places to eat. You really wont be bored here. If I return I would make Honolulu the place to stay, and Maui the place to spend some more time. The water in honolulu is really clean and clear, and just walking along the beach and the road were there is a wall, you can look down and see all the amazingly colourful fish waiting for you to feed them.Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Checking out the USS Arizona Memorial
This is a must see if you go to Hawaii. It's a free tour! It is very educational to check out the two main museums of WWII! There are sounds of war planes and pictures of soldiers, planes, submarines and warships of the Americans and the Japanese.
The Tree of Life architecture design in the middle of the museum is nice. Check out the Arizona Bell, too, including the gift shop.
A tour guide will lead you to the dock where you board a ferry that will lead you to the memorial building on top of the sunken USS Arizona. In here, you will see the mouth of the battleship. You will also see the names of those soldiers who died inside the sank battleship!
This tour is very solemn...We can pray for all those soldiers and innocent civilians who died during WWII . This tour also reminds us the atrocities and ugliness of war and that we have to work harder for peace on earth!Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
Around the island in one day
I suggest you to rent a car and drive around the island.
We headed to Millilani Town, Kunia, passing the Dole Plantation and fields of pineapples and sugar cane. The drive through the middle of the plantation was awesome under the cover of blue skies and warm weather! As soon as you get to the middle of the plantation, you can spot in the distance, the white roaring waves of Haleiwa.
You can check out the Ice Cone place "Shave Ice" and some little neat stores. We proceeded to a long winding road, to the left side is the ocean! We stopped at Sunset Beach and at the Three Tables- it's a beach where it is famous for these three rocks with the top as flat as a table!
We checked on some fishermen where we can see the China Man's hat as a background at a far distance. Pretty soon, we passed by a small town with an array of little huts restaurants with shrimps recipes as their specialties. A few minutes later, we stopped at the Polynesian Cultural Center and had lunch at a Korean restaurant in Kaneohe.
There were tons of tourists at the Makapu'u lookout and also at the Blow Hole lookout. These were our last stop on the beach before we head Waipahu and back to Aiea and Honolulu.
The around the island was awesome!
If you have limited time in Hawaii, this is the way to do it!Related to:
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
With so many (better and less crowded) beaches to choose from in Oahu, there really is no reason to stay for long at Waikiki Beach. Still, it is sort of a must-see, and not to visit Waikiki would be like visiting Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower. Waikiki (city) offers plenty of accomodation, restaurant and shopping options. The best panoramic view of Waikiki and its beaches: from Diamond Head viewpoint (see separate tip).
Just outside Hilo, a scenic waterfall with a short hiking path - unfortunately very popular with bus tourists. Can easily be combined with visits to other waterfalls in the area north of Hilo (Akaka Falls, Umauma Falls ..).
The area north of Hilo is teeming with waterfalls, but if I had to choose one for a visit, it would be the Akaka Falls. To get there, take the exit between milemarker 13 and 14 to Akaka Falls. You can hike a short round-trip (20-25 minutes) through the area and also see the less impressive Kahuna Falls. The rainforest vegetation is stunning, well worth the effort.
Iolani Palace (Honolulu)
Since Hawaii was unified through the wars of King Kamehameha the Great, all of Hawaii was ruled by a monarch. The Hawaiian kings and queens had extensive diplomatic contacts with the great powers of Europe and America, until immigrated American landowners lead a coup d`etat in 1893 and established a republic, soon (1898) annexed by the United States of America.
The Iolani Palace was built in 1882 and is the only royal palace on the territory of the United States! It can only be visited with a guided tour. Tickets are sold not in the palace, but in the small fortress-like building opposite to the palace.
Scenic Pepe`ekeo Drive (north of Hilo)
A short but exceptionally pretty road is located north of Hilo, on Highway 19 (entry point between milemarker 7 and 8; you rejoin Highway 19 at milemarker 11). It leads through a lush rainforest and past Onemea Bay viewpoint and the "World Botanical Gardens". The drive can easily be combined with a visit to Akaka Falls (take the exit to Highway 220) and on the way back to Rainbow Falls north of Hilo.
Pu`uhonua o Honaunau Historic Site
Also known under the name "Place of refuge", probably easier to pronounce. This is an interesting site for anyone with an interest on Hawaian-Polynesian culture. In this open-air museum, you have recreated historic houses, temples, granaries, wood-carved idols, and also a "place of refuge". Under ancient Hawaiian law, the death penalty was dealt out even for minor transgressions, but if the prosecuted reached the place of refuge, he was out of reach of the law and could return to a normal life, regardless of what he`d done.
Next to the boating pier is Honaunau Bay, a great place for snorkeling and home to a pod of dolphins you might or might not see.
Scenic Kohala Mountain road
While on Big Island, the winding North Kohala Mountain road (Highway 250) is worth the effort - a very different landscape apart from the rest of the island; Hawi village makes for a nice stop before you head back south along the coast on Highway 270. A great daytrip to comine the road with activities would be to start with a horse ride with Paniolo Adventures (midway on Highway 250), then have lunch in Hawi, and head to Hapuna or Mauna Kea Beach for the afternoon.
Honolulu is the obvious starting point of any Hawaii trip. Attractions include
- the Aloha Tower (an observation tower within a shopping mall): nice view of the harbour and financial district
- the Iolani Palace: the Royal Palace of the Hawaiian kings and queens, built 1882. The only royal palace on the territory of the United States!
- the King Kamehameha monument (opposite the Iolani Palace)
- the historical district with the Mission Houses, Washington Place and Kawaiaha`o Church
- the Hawaii state art museum (fantastic restaurant-cafe inside)
- Chinatown (roughly the area between River Road to the north and Maunakea Road to the south, Kukui road to the east) with interesting markets, good restaurants and a Chinese temple.
That`s about it. Nearby attractions like Waikiki Beach, Pearl Harbour, Diamond Head Hike, Pali lookout have descriptions in seperate things to do-entries.
While planning your itinerary keep in mind that Honolulu is not the only island with an international airport - if you plan on island-hopping, you can start in Oahu/Honolulu, but you could leave from Big Island/Hilo, too. Or vice versa.
Kahuku Horse Riding
Located in Oahu; a great operator of beach rides along the Kahuku coast on real Arabian horses. Reservation is essential, and you shouldn`t come late (seriously). Suitable for unexperienced riders, but if you like you can gallop along the beach - which, on an Arab Horse, is a bit liking driving a Porsche. Great fun. We even saw a rare Hawaian seal on the beach!
Honolulu`s Chinatown (roughly the area between River Road to the north and Maunakea Road to the south, Kukui road to the east) has interesting markets, good restaurants and a Chinese temple. Kekaulike Market is probably the most interesting part.
Paniolo Adventures Horseride
I you want to get to know the beautiful North Kohala countryside, there is no better way than to join a horseride with Paniolo Adventures (pre-booking essential, base located just a few metres north of milemarker 13, Highway 250). It is suitable even for unexperienced riders, great docile horses in good shape, friendly guides, and they don`t do nose-to-tail rides. A 2 1/2 hour ride costs between 90-100 USD.
Captain Cook Memorial
This memorial in Kelaukea Bay is dedicated to the British explorer James Cook, who discovered the Hawaii islands on his last voyage in 1778/1779 (he wasn`t even looking for them, but en route to Alaska, searching for the Northwest Passage). After a cordial welcome by the Hawaiians of Kauai`i in January 1778, a second visit in February 1779 in Kelaukea Bay went disastrously wrong, and Cook was killed by a warrior on the shore, where the memorial stands today.
There are several ways to get there (though not by car): either hire a kayak (several operators near Captain Cook village), take part in an organized snorkeling trip or tour, or hike there (ca. 1 1/2 hours one way). For hiking, drive on the Mamalahoa Highway (11), turn left shortly after milemarker 110 on Napoopoo Road. After a few metres on that road, a small sign on the right side indicates the hiking path.
The bay is a great place to snorkel. Exotic fish are no rarity here - you can even see them without actually going in the water (see the yellow dots on the water surface?).
Hawaii (State of) Hotels
We stayed at this hotel with a 3 month old in December of 2011. We were the last one to check in...more
We stopped by the Four Seasons and looked around. We did not stay here .. we stayed at the Hilton...more
2417 Prince Edward Street, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815, United States
Good for: Business
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