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Fun Things to do in Honolulu


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city guide

Honolulu is the state capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Hawaii. It is the county seat of the City and County of Honolulu on the island of Oahu. Honolulu is the main gateway to Hawaii and the United States. The city is also a major hub for international business, military defense, as well as famously being host to a diverse variety of east-west and Pacific culture, cuisine, and traditions.

Honolulu is the most remote city of its size in the world and is both the westernmost and the southernmost major U.S. city. Honolulu is a major financial center of the islands and of the Pacific Ocean. The population of the city of Honolulu was 337,256 as of the 2010 census, while the population of the consolidated city and county of Honolulu was 953,207.


Best time to go

The best time to visit Oahu is from mid-April to early June or between September and mid-December. During these shoulder seasons, attractions are less crowded, festivals are plentiful and airfare and room rates are at their lowest.


Fun city facts and activities

    Hawaiis state capital is a very different sort of travel experience from the usual visits to Paradise. Sure, there is plenty of natural beauty here, but Honolulus charms lie in its history, culture, and culinary options. Oh, and the chance to hike up to delightful Diamond Head. Did we ever mention how beautiful Hawaii is?

    Honolulu is all local art and mouth-watering flavors, history, and heritage with no small amount of royalty around every corner. The Hawaiian capital is a Very Important City where the tangible impact of history fills every nook and cranny. First-timer experiences like visiting Pearl Harbor are a must, but Honolulu is a city the reveals more with each new visit.
City facts

Neighborhoods to explore

    Downtown Honolulu
    Ala Moana
    Chinatown Honolulu
    Hawaii Kai

Food Specialties

    Food is an essential part of Hawaiian culture. Kalua pork is one of the most traditional dishes. Pork butt is cooked in underground ovens called imu for hours until the meat is so tender that it falls apart. If you attend a luau, odds are you'll encounter this smoky pork.

Honolulu Offbeat activities

Free or cheap things to do

1. Take a hike up to the Puu Ualakaa State Wayside Park for some amazing views of downtown Honolulu.

2. Visit the Foster Botanical Garden, where you can explore a variety of plants and flowers.

3. Spend the day at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii, where you can learn about the history and culture of the Marine Corps.

4. Check out the Hawaii State Art Museum, which offers free admission and a unique look at the states history and culture.

5. Take a paddleboard or kayak tour of Kailua Bay and the surrounding area.

6. Explore the Hawaii Nature Center to learn about the unique wildlife and environment of the island.

7. Go to the Nuuanu Pali Lookout for breathtaking views of the Koolau mountain range.

8. Visit the Manoa Falls Trail and hike up to the stunning 150-foot waterfall

Offbeat activites
Kid friendly

Fun things to do in with kids

Free or cheap things to do

1. Free Hawaiian entertainment
Care to learn hula or ukelele? Weave a traditional floral lei or learn Hawaiian quilting? The Royal Hawaiian Center offers free lessons throughout the week, and also has free live entertainment and hula shows most evenings.

2. Learn to sail an outrigger canoe together
Family holidays are all about bonding and learning to sail is a true team effort. Paddle across the waves of Waikiki Beach, pick up some sailing tips and hear all about how the ancient Hawaiians navigated the South Pacific with nothing but the stars to guide them.

3. Road trip to the North Shore
Hop into a hire car and leave the hustle and bustle of Waikiki behind. Stop off at colourful roadside shacks for shave ice and locally farmed shrimp, explore local village shops and pack your swimmers for a dip along the way.

4. Day trip to the Polynesian Cultural Center
Sneak in some education with a day out at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Built to look like a traditional grass hut village, the Polynesian Cultural Center takes you on a figurative journey through the South Pacific where you will learn about the history, culture, mythology, food and handicrafts of this vibrant region.

5. Day out to the Honolulu Zoo Society
Located a short drive from Waikiki, the Honolulu Zoo is set on 42 lush tropical acres that are often referred to as a botanical garden because its so beautiful.

6. Diamond Head Crater hike
Does your family enjoy a challenge? If so, lace up those sneakers, slap on some sunscreen and make your way to the Diamond Head Crater trail head.

7. Go deep with Atlantis Submarines
Submarines are generally only used by the navy, super heroes and James Bond villains but you and your keikis (kids) can go under cover - the cover of water, that is - and explore the underwater world off the coast of Oahu.

8. Kahuku Farm tour
Why not take a Kahuku Farm tour before you enjoy lunch in the on-site cafe? This is a true farm-to-fork experience where you can enjoy produce that has been picked that very morning.

9. Ka Waa - A Luau at Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa
You can add a dash of Disney to your holiday with a night out at the Ka Waa Luau at Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa. Set on the lawns of the resort, outside visitors are welcome to buy tickets for dinner and the show.

10. The Bishop Museum
The Bishop Museum is a treasure trove of significant South Pacific artefacts, including King Kamehamehas feathered cape and headdress, only recently returned to The Hawaiian Islands from the British Museum in the last few years.

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City data and FAQ 

Are two days enough to visit Honolulu?

It depends what you would like to do. To,explore all sections of Pearl Harbor, it takes a day. You probably would like to the North Shore, tour the Iolani Palace, visit Waikiki Beach, experience Hamanuma Bay, hike Diamond Head, tour the Dole pineapple plantation, visit gardens and water falls and go to the top Mount Tantalus. Google tour Hawaii and you can find several websites telling top attractions.
Cindi Sweeney - Lives in Waikoloa, HI (2009 Present)

What is Honolulu known for?

Waikiki, Diamond Head and Pearl Harbor
Waldo Fujie Lives in Hawaii (1956 Present)
Is Honolulu a waklable city?

Yes but_.
Honolulu is relatively small and things you want to see or do are fairly close together and accessible. However, Honolulus midday sun is VERY hot. There are no longer many sidewalks where buildings overhanging entryways, only in the older parts of town. Few streets still have large trees along the curbs, theyve been cut back/removed to make overhanging wires easier to access and to keep roots out of the water lines. More and more cars means pedestrian needs are more and more overlooked. Upshot? Honolulu is very walkable before 9am or after sunset, but not so much in the middle of the day. Also, watch out where and how you walk, because drivers really wont.
Anne McKnight Lives in Honolulu

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