Our Opinion of Honolulu
Visitors usually have an initial shock when they arrive in Honolulu. This is not a quiet resort town. Instead you are greeted by a thriving world-class city, with a beach that rivals any in the world. As a matter of fact this natural harbor was once home to the Hawaiian royal court.
The capital of Honolulu is the cultural, industrial, commercial, and governmental center of Hawaii. Waikiki Beach is the heart of the tourist industry with the famous Waikiki Beach. Along the beach, there are many shops with lots of neat things to buy as souvenirs, as well as fine restaurants to try as well. Sports enthusiasts can go canoing, snorkeling, surfing or horse-back riding along the beach.
One of the most famous beaches in the world is Waikiki Beach. This 2 km beach is also therefore very crowded and popular. Waikiki is great for swimming, surfing, canoeing, diving, sailing, snorkeling, and fishing. Ala Moana Beach Park, located between downtown and Waikiki, is a midtown beach park.
The North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii is famous world-wide for its beaches and incredible surf. Here you can try: Banzai/Pipeline/Ehukai Beach Park, Pupukea Beach Park, Malaekahana Bay State Recreation Area, Sunset Beach Park, and Waimea Beach Park.
The Windward Coast has: Lanikai Beach, Kailua Beach, Kualoa Regional Park, Kahana Bay Beach Park, Hauula Beach Park, Hauula Beach Park, and Pounders Beach.
Leeward Oahu/The Waianae Coast includes: Ko Olina, Makaha Beach Park, Yokohama Bay, and Pokai Bay Beach Park.
Finally try East Oahu at: Hanauma Bay, Sandy Beach, and Makapuu Beach Park.
Things to know about Honolulu, United States Vacations
Activities & Sports
Hawaii has perfect running weather all year for jogger fanatics. Kapiolani Park and Ala Moana Park are where most joggers in Honolulu go as well as the loop around Diamond Head. The Honolulu Marathon is one of the world's largest marathons. Hiking and horse back riding in the nature trails is also very popular.
An ice rink is probably the last thing you'd expect to find in Hawaii but the Ice Palace offers instruction in figure skating and hockey. Other unusual sports to practice here while on a holiday are Yoga and meditation classes.
Waikiki Beach is the place to learn to surf where you can get private surfing lessons. A one hour lesson includes dry land and in-the-water instruction. Sea kayaking is a lot of fun here.
Dining & Nightlife
Sunset On The Beach is an event where free movies are projected on the beach in Waikiki near the Honolulu zoo. Many tourists from around the world can view a movie on an outdoor 30ft screen.
Catch a performance by the Honolulu Symphony, the oldest US symphony orchestra west of the Rocky Mountains. Other classical music ensembles include the Hawaii Opera Theater. Honolulu is also a center for Hawaiian music. The main music venues include the Neal Blaisdell Center Concert Hall, the Waikiki Shell, and the Hawaii Theater. Honolulu also includes several venues for live theater, including the Diamond Head Theater and the Manoa Valley Theater.
When party arrives Waikiki is the center of the action. When the sun goes down, Kalakaua and Kuhio Avenues come alive with visitors searching for restaurants, bars and clubs. The Mai Tai Bar is popular among locals. Also fun are Scruples Beach Club, Pipeline Café and Zanzabar.
Food in Hawaii is a medley of traditional Hawaiian, Portuguese, American, and Asian Pacific flavors. Local beef comes from ranches on Maui and coffee is grown on the Big Island. If you are roaming the island away from tourist areas, you may find restaurants are scarce.
One of the most common ways that local food is served is in the form of plate lunch, usually meat or fish with two scoops of rice and macaroni salad. Luaus are the best way to enjoy a traditional Hawaiian feast. Dome restaurants to try in and around Honolulu are:
- Ono Hawaiian Foods
- Side Street Inn
- Alan Wong's Restaurant
- The Pineapple Room
- Lucy's Grill 'n Bar
- Hula Grill Waikiki
There is a wealth of shopping choice in Honolulu:
- International Market Place has over 100 market stalls and shops laid out amongst a jungle-like backdrop of banyan trees.
- Aloha Stadium Swap Meet open every Wed, Sat & Sun 6am-3pm. - Ala Moana Center is the largest shopping mall in Hawaii and the largest open-air shopping mall in the world.
- Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center
- DFS Galleria (Duty Free Shops) is built around a cruise theme.
- Waikiki Shopping Plaza
- Victoria Ward Centers
- Aloha Tower Marketplace
- Kahala Mall
- Koko Marina Shopping Center
The area around Nuuanu and Pauahi is filled with art galleries and antique shops.
China Town is an extremely interesting place to visit and shop during the day, if you like to walk.
Languages: English, and other commonly heard languages include Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Chinese.Note:
Currency: US dollar.
Climate: The tropical Hawaiian climate is moderated by its mid-ocean location and by the California Current. The average daily low and high temperatures in January are 18C and 27C and in July are 23C and 31C.
Electricity: 110-120V, 60Hz.
A valid passport and a return or onward ticket required.
Departure tax is usually included in your ticket price, inquire on booking.