Honolulu, the capital of the Hawaiian Islands, is located on the island of Oahu. There are many beautiful places to visit in Honolulu and while most tourists flock to Waikiki Beach, we generally like to avoid the crowds and head to the less populated beaches, wander around the open air markets and breath in the culture. Here are a few of our favorites in the beautiful city of Honolulu – Enjoy!
Ala Moana Beach Park
Ala Moana Beach Park is a great beach area and not nearly as crowded as Waikiki Beach. It offers the same great views of Diamond Head and only a few minutes by bus from the busy tourist spot of downtown Waikiki. You will find some great swimming available at the Ala Moana Beach Park since much of the beach is protected by an offshore reef. That same offshore reef provides a superb environment for surfers and bodyborders to enjoy their sport and put on a nice show for the beach goers. This is definitely a locals hang out and you will often smell great food cooking in the early evening hours just after work. Come hang out on a Friday night and you will be treated to the number 2 reason we love Honolulu.. Aloha Friday Fireworks!
Aloha Friday Fireworks
The people here in Hawaii sure know to celebrate Friday in style! Every Friday night you can catch the firework presentation by the Hilton Hawaiian Village. The fireworks presentation is the conclusion of their weekly performance of the Rockin’ Hawaiian Rainbow Revue. The fireworks display typically starts around 7:45 pm, but can vary based on the schedule of the revue. You will find great viewing site from Ala Moana Park or even from the Hilton Hawaiian Village Lagoon itself. You can access the lagoon area for free, just bring a beach towel or chair and join the locals and tourist alike. If you are in the area on a Friday night, it is not to be missed aloha fun! Get to the park early with your picnic and celebrate Fridays like the locals do.
We are history buffs and love learning about the historical significance of the places we visit. You can easily spend the entire day at Pearl Harbor if you wanted to truly see all it has to offer. Without a doubt the USS Arizona is not to be missed and is often sold out early in the day so planning ahead is essential. We highly recommend getting the Passport to Pearl Harbor so you can really experience all the park has available for visitors. The one day Passport to Pearl Harbor allows you to experience all four of the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites which includes: the the USS Arizona Memorial Narrated Tour, admission to the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, the Battleship Missouri Memorial, and Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor. Since you can now reserve tickets online through the National Parks website, it is even more convenient to plan your day.
Foreign, funky and just plain fun. Honolulu’s Chinatown gives visitors a taste of various ethnic specialties, spiced heavily with friendliness. Whether it is for the food, shopping, or nightlife – the streets of Chinatown provide a little something for everyone. Located in downtown Honolulu just a short bus ride or taxi from Waikiki, China Town is a great place to wander around and take in all the sites, smells, and of course tastes of the east. From fresh markets selling fruits you may never have tasted before to the Chinatown Gateway Park, there are many areas to explore here. When it comes time for a quick bite there are great low-cost options and street food vendors aplenty.
Be sure to check out our post on Honolulu Happy Hours for your after exploring activities because all that touristing makes one thirsty after all!
You can find more destinations on our “Why We Love” page. Check back, because it is growing!