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Honolulu Travel Guide, Hawaii

Honolulu is settled on the Pacific with beautiful scenery, dramatic cliffs and the extinct volcanoes. It became famous after the Europeans came and explored its value and it developed into Kamehameha's capital and the economic center of the island.

People come here not only for the scenery as there are plenty of beautiful spots around Hawaii, they come mostly to relax, enjoy a late breakfast, a relaxed stroll, some time browsing through stores, and later, dine at leisure. The pace of life in Honolulu reflects a time, when not everything had to be done "yesterday” and every season is beautiful. In spite of the glamorous image the city is quiet most of the activity being concentrated in Waikiki.

The city with its surrounding areas can be easily visited thanks to the wonderful public transportation system. Downtown is also an easy place to get around as it is surprisingly small. It’s not so close to the shore, built around a spacious plaza on King Street and among its most important attractions are the Iolani Palace, built in 1882 and the state capitol.

If you go towards the shore you won’t find a nice beach to walk along for too long as lately there has been a lot of constructions going on. The Aloha Tower is one of the buildings you can visit there. It is a good place to have a bird’s eye view of the city and shop or dine at some of the fine restaurants.

The Hawaii Maritime Center is another building on the shore and hosts Hawaii's seafaring past with exhibits from ancient times to 19th century, the replica Polynesian canoe Hokulea being one of them.

When you say Honolulu you don’t actually think about fine arts, but much to some tourists’ surprise there are plenty examples on display in the Academy of Arts. Some of the greatest artists have some works on display: Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Monet, just to name a few and there are also some great depictions of Hawaii and ancient Chinese ceramics and bronzes.

Besides fine arts you can view exhibits of genuine Polynesian culture at the Bishop Museum that is home to a large anthropological collection, floors of one of Hawaii's oldest houses, Japanese samurai armor and a full-size sperm whale. Kids can also enjoy exhibitions to suit their taste and a visit to the planetarium will keep them happy for the rest of the day.

You don’t have to be an American to have heard about Pearl Harbor either from history classes or from the movie. The greatest American military and naval disaster made Pearl Harbor famous. Located west of Waikiki, the once principal base for the US Pacific fleet is now closed to visitors. The only thing you can see is a simple white memorial that you can visit for free. Among its visitors are many Japanese that can even read about their side of the story.

Another visited site around Honolulu is the small island of Waikiki separated from it by the sea and a canal. It is mostly a commercial place and the main entertainment is shopping, surfing sunbathing and strolling along the beach that is somehow different from other Hawaiian beaches, thin, small and crowded, but a pleasant escape from the mad rush resort. There is even something interesting to see, the Waikiki Aquarium that hosts sharks and monkfish seals and reef fish.

Waikiki is the centre of Honolulu's nightlife that welcomes fun-thirsty tourists. The entertainment includes listening to live music of some of the local singers, attending some special events at downtown's Hawaii Theater or hang out in some of the bars.

Honolulu offers an unrivaled combination of dreamy beaches, high-quality accommodations and a wide diversity of shopping, dining, nightlife, and nearby activities -- most of them exceptional values.

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Read our members' reviews about Honolulu


  • lindamuraThe perfect vacation on Hawaii
    review by lindamura posted more then 30 days ago
    So much of Hawaii's appeal is tied to aloha, affection and love, it’s surprising to find there’s no word in the Hawaiian language for romance. Hard to believe, too, because if ever a destination inspired romance, it’s Hawaii. The islands are exotic, magical and beautiful...
  • lindamuraWhat to know about Hawaii before you visit
    review by lindamura posted more then 30 days ago
    Hawai'i is the world’s most geographically isolated landmass, located 2,400 miles from the West Coast of the U.S. and often called the "Crossroads of the Pacific". Many people are surprised to learn that Hawai‘i actually consists of 137 islands stretching across more...
  • travelgrove-editorParadise on Earth
    review by travelgrove-editor posted more then 30 days ago
    Hawaii, everyone first thinks of it as the island of paradise and it is! The warmth of the islands invites you to start off by taking in a deep breathe of the fresh air, admire the cascading waterfalls, crystal clear waters, lush mountains, beautiful valleys and relax on its sandy shores. ...
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Read our members' travel tips about Honolulu


  • SandroPearl Harbour
    travel tip by Sandro posted more then 30 days ago
    Pearl Harbour is an absolute must see in Honolulu. First you arrive to the Visitor Center and from there boats take you to the actual memorial. Visitor Center is also amazing, there are a lot of things to see from pictures to the objects...
  • norfolkjonLocal customs in Honolulu
    travel tip by norfolkjon posted more then 30 days ago
    First useful thing is not to get frightened if you don't understand the locals immediately. In Hawaii they speak pidgin English which uses many different words, pronunciations and word order than English. Don't worry, you will get the...
  • windykatyIndigo Restaurant
    travel tip by windykaty posted more then 30 days ago
    Indigo is located between Chinatown and Downtown Honolulu. Their food, officially 'Modern Asian Cuisine', is just amazing. All thanks for Chef Glenn Chu. I think the man is an artist. The place is a little posh, but only a little....
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Honolulu City Ratings

  • Rating81%
    City Rank132
     
  • History & Culture: rated for 67%
  • Night Life & Entertainment: rated for 83%
  • Family & Fun: rated for 90%
  • Outdoors Activities: rated for 87%
  • Food: rated for 83%
  • Sightseeing: rated for 80%
  • Shopping: rated for 75%
  • Public Transportation: rated for 85%
  • Must visit this place: rated for 90%
  
 

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Recent Honolulu flights found by Travelgrove users

  • $442Multiple Airlines flight Multiple Airlines 
    FromToDepartureTime
    Vancouver, BC (YVR)Honolulu, HI (HNL)01/15/201508:00 am
    Honolulu, HI (HNL)Vancouver, BC (YVR)01/21/201508:15 am
    flighthub.com check price
  • $448Multiple Airlines flight Multiple Airlines 
    FromToDepartureTime
    Victoria, BC (YYJ)Honolulu, HI (HNL)01/15/201507:10 pm
    Honolulu, HI (HNL)Victoria, BC (YYJ)01/21/201508:15 am
    flighthub.com check price
  • $568US Airways flight US Airways 
    FromToDepartureTime
    Santa Ana, CA (SNA)Honolulu, HI (HNL)01/19/201506:45 am
    Honolulu, HI (HNL)Santa Ana, CA (SNA)02/02/201511:15 pm
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