City Spotlight

HONOLULU

HONOLULU

Honolulu: sheltered harbor for the big pineapple

Quick facts about Honolulu

  • Name: Honolulu
  • Founded: 1850
  • Population: 360,000
  • Area: 156.81 km² (60.55 mi²)
  • Known as: Capital of Hawaii, ‘The Big Pineapple’

Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii, is nicknamed The Big Pineapple, which hints to New York’s Big Apple, but the origin of the name is related to Dole Pineapple company. The more you know. The name Honolulu is far more poetic and translates into ‘sheltered harbor’, which, once you see Honolulu makes much more sense.

The city is sitting on the south shore of Oahu Island, one of the eight main islands (out of total of 137) from Hawaii island chain, all of volacanic origins, located in the middle of North Pacific Ocean. Honolulu and the rest of Hawaii are very popular tourist destinations for all type of travellers: families, groups or honeymooners. The reason is simple: this is true tropical paradise with great nature and friendly locals.

Apart from wonderful nature, Honolulu is famous for historical events, especially from World War II and attack of Japan on Pearl Harbor. Nowadays, there are several memorials, ships and museums showcasing war time events.

 

5-Day Oahu Tour: Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, Polynesian Cultural Center, & Diamond Head Lookout

Indigenous culture of native Hawaiian people marks everyday life, culture and art of Honolulu and makes it unique and diverse US city.

Main attractions in Honolulu

Diamond Head. Dormant volcano peak above Honolulu. Featuring hiking trails and remains of Fort Ruger, historical military fortification. Hanauma Bay. Located in East Honolulu this nature preserve with a scenic beach is a popular tourist destination. Home to green sea turtles and parrotfish. Pearl Harbor National Memorial. Historic site commemorating 1941 attack, together with USS Arizona memorial. Featuring museum and galleries.

Pearl Harbor.  A lagoon harbour, west from Honolulu, home to the US Naval Fleet. Famous landmark from World War II attack by Japan air force. ‘Iolani Palace. Former home of Hawaii’s monarchs, Queen Liliʻuokalani under the Kalākaua Dynasty. Converted to national history landmark in 1962. Offering guided tours. Honolulu Zoo. Popular family attraction sitting on a large, 42 acres grounds with more than 900 animals. Featuring petting zoo, sleepovers, camping and more.

6-Day Oahu Tour: Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, Polynesian Cultural Center, & Diamond Head Lookout

Bishop Museum. Polynesian culture and natural history museum, located in a historic Kalihi district of Honolulu. Features various exhibitions and a planetarium. Manoa Falls. Giant waterfall (150-foot tall), accessible by hiking trail, located in the north of Honolulu, surrounded by tropical vegetation. Koko Head. Located east from Honolulu, this headland is popular with hiking on a ‘Koko Head Stairs’ to enjoy scenic views from the top. There are over 1,000 steps to climb!

Nuʻuanu Pali. Popular observation point, located northeast from Honolulu. Featuring scenic panoramic views of a coastline. Kapiʻolani Regional Park. Seaside park with the view of Diamond Head. Popular destination for walks, volleyball, picnicking and canoeing. Waikiki Aquarium. Small aquarium, but with the long history, founded in 1904, it is the second oldest in the US. Featuring several exhibits.

Battleship Missouri Memorial. Historic ship, famous for a site where Japanese signed surrender in WWII. Offering guided tours. Ala Moana Regional Park. A park and a beach, offering swimming, surfing and tennis courts. Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum. Located on the Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, this museum focuses on the WWII aircraft exhibits and offers also flight simulation.

1-Day Pearl Harbor Museums and Downtown Honolulu

Royal Hawaiian Center. High end shopping, mostly for jewelry and luxury watches, located on the Kalakaua Avenue. USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park. Historic submarine from the WWII with exhibits about wartime, located in Pearl Harbor. Kaka’ako. Popular area of Honolulu, with hip eateries, juice bars and craft beer. Area is also famous for its architecture and mural paintings.

Sandy Beach. Popular beach on the south of O’ahu Island, offering bodyboarding and surfing as main activities. Sea Life Park Hawaii. Family friendly park, offering viewing of penguins, sea lion shows and even swimming with dolphins. Located in the southeast shore of O’ahu Island. National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Historic military memorial and the graveyard, honoring serving service men and women and fallen veterans. The site is located in the volcanic crater and offers amazing views of the area.

Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure - Honolulu

From other attractions we recommend: Makapuʻu Beach, Honolulu Museum of Art, King Kamehameha Statue, Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden, Tantalus and Magic Island.

Top things to do in Honolulu

Apart from all attractions listed above, we also recommend to try Honolulu scavenger hunt adventure, where you will play a game and learn things about this beautiful city.

Honolulu and its island of O’ahu are quite small and can be explored in couple of days, but you can extend your visit to the rest of Hawaii islands and do some enjoyable island hopping and visit all eight major islands.

Everywhere you go, you will be able to enjoy magnificent nature, volcanic peaks, sandy beaches, surfing, swimming, diving and boat cruises and tasty and healthy Hawaiian food.

Festivals and events in Honolulu

Chinese New Year (February), Honolulu Festival (March), Merrie Monarch Festival (April), Lei Day (May), King Kamehameha Day (June), Koloa Plantation Days (July), Ukulele Festival (July), Aloha Festivals (September), Vans Triple Crown (November), Pearl Harbor Remembrance (December).

Magic of Polynesia Deluxe Dinner Show

Interesting facts about Honolulu

  • Honolulu has been named the number three happiest city to work in the US by Forbes magazine.
  • Billboards are outlawed in Honolulu, which makes it better to have a great views and take even better photos!
  • Honolulu still honors a monarch— locals celebrate King Kamehameha Day in honor of the man who united the Hawaiian islands.
1-Day Hawaii Volcano Eco-Adventure From Honolulu

Best time to fly to Honolulu

The peak season for flights to Honolulu is April, August and December. The low season for purchasing tickets is March, October and November.

Honolulu is served by Honolulu International Airport (HNL).  Direct flights to Honolulu are offered by 23 airlines.

Cheap Flights to Honolulu

OriginDeparture dateReturn dateFind Ticket

Kona

26.07.2019

30.07.2019

Tickets from 115

Lahaina

25.04.2020

03.05.2020

Tickets from 122

Kahului

10.01.2020

11.01.2020

Tickets from 128

Lihue

21.11.2019

05.12.2019

Tickets from 160

Hana

14.08.2019

16.08.2019

Tickets from 175

Hilo

27.11.2019

01.12.2019

Tickets from 199

San Jose

12.09.2019

17.09.2019

Tickets from 281

San Francisco

12.11.2019

18.11.2019

Tickets from 286

Sydney

07.05.2020

18.05.2020

Tickets from 310

Oakland

10.09.2019

17.09.2019

Tickets from 313

Top hotels offers for Honolulu

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Safe travels!

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