Weekend in Honolulu
Are you ready for some fun in the sun? Welcome to Honolulu, the epicenter of excitement in Hawaii, situated on the island of Oahu, which is appropriately nicknamed “The Gathering Place!” Honolulu has it all – from pristine beaches and historic places to live music, fine dining, festivals and spectacular hikes!
You’ll never run out of things to do in Honolulu, but since you’re staying in Waikiki, take advantage of all of the fun activities Waikiki Beach has to offer, including surfing lessons, canoe rides and spectacular sunsets! Located on the east side of Waikiki is the Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Aquarium. Here you’ll discover many animals that are native to tropical climates and learn about local marine life. Can’t get enough of the Deep Blue? Then head down to Hanauma Bay and rent some snorkeling gear and spend an afternoon under the sea! If you aren’t ready to test out your sea legs, check out Honolulu’s historic downtown. First, tour ‘Iolani Palace, the official residence of Hawaii’s monarchy, walk down the street to admire the statue of Hawaii’s first King, King Kamehameha, and wrap up your day at the Foster Botanical Gardens. Last but certainly not least, venture up the 0.7-mile trail to Diamond Head, an extinct volcano and one of Hawaii's most iconic sights!
Not sure where to begin your Hawaiian adventures? See the sights by joining a hop-on, hop-off tour with fellow travelers and a friendly, knowledgeable and engaging guide, who often has access to “little known secrets” of the island. Climb aboard the open-air Waikiki Trolley and be transported to the top destinations around the island!
It’s hard to imagine a better place for finding free things to see and do than in Honolulu. Once you arrive, you can spend the majority of the time doing things for free, especially if you like the outdoors! With an abundance of alluring beaches, including Sunset Beach and Waimea Bay which offer “complimentary” white sand and beautiful sunsets! If you stay out late enough, be sure to look to the skies because Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort offers a free Friday night firework show (7:45 pm) that continually “wow’s” the crowds! For a glimpse into history, you can visit the USS Arizona National Memorial in Pearl Harbor – a breathtaking and moving tribute to the service members that lost their lives on the day that will live in infamy. Free tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so get there early. If you have the time and the weather cooperates, lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails. Top picks among the locals are Manoa Falls and the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail. No matter what trail you blaze, make sure to bring your camera – we hear the panoramic views are out of this world!
Shop the Day Away
Honolulu has something for everyone, even when it comes to shopping. From boutiques, galleries and live entertainment at the Waikiki Beach Walk to hidden treasures at the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet (Hawaii’s largest open-air flea market), you are sure to satisfy all your shopping needs. No Hawaiian shopping extravaganza is complete, however, until you visit the Ala Moana Center, Honolulu’s largest shopping mall, conveniently located in Waikiki.
A Taste of Hawaii
Hawaii – the birth place of Regional Cuisine, a culinary movement initiated by 12 Hawaiian chefs that ingeniously blended Hawaii’s ethnic flavors with notes and spices influenced from all corners of the world. Taking advantage of Hawaii’s rich volcanic soils, Regional Cuisine is a delectable mixture of ingredients including fresh and locally grown fruits and vegetables, locally-raised cattle and the freshest fish the sea can produce – just to name a few. You’ll also be able to enjoy a variety of local treats at a number of smaller venues, including Mahiku Farmers Market! No matter if it’s a food truck, farmers’ market, or revolutionary restaurant, enjoy eating your way through paradise!