Aloha Honolulu: Experiencing Hawaii’s Capital

Discover Honolulu

Have you ever dreamt of a tropical paradise that has it all? Well, Honolulu is your answer! Imagine waking up to ocean views with the rhythmic sounds of the Pacific lapping at the shore. It’s not just a dream; it’s the reality of Honolulu. Whether you’re here for the vibrant Waikiki beaches or the serene retreats of Ala Moana, you’re in for a treat.


Best time to visit
Best places to visit

Aloha spirit greets you everywhere, from the Honolulu Zoo to the Aquarium, adding to your memories. History buffs, take a solemn step back in time at Pearl Harbor National Memorial to honor those who served. Meanwhile, Haleiwa and Ko Olina Beach offer a slower pace with laid back vibes. Looking for a quick bite or a fine dining experience? You’re in the right place! With a Hawaiian fusion of flavors, every meal promises to be an adventure for your taste buds. So, ready to dive into the heart of Hawaii? Pack your bags for an unforgettable Hawaiian adventure right here in Honolulu!

Three Fun Facts About Honolulu


A Capital with a Volcanic Past

Diamond Head, an extinct volcanic tuff cone, presides over the city. This natural landmark is a beloved hiking spot, promising breathtaking views from its summit. And the best part?

Name: Diamond Head
Status: Extinct Volcano
Location: Eastern Edge of Waikiki


A Shopper’s Tropical Paradise

It’s not all sand and surf; Honolulu is a hub for shoppers too! Ala Moana Center is the largest open air shopping center in the world, where you can find a blend of high-end boutiques and local shops.

Venue: Ala Moana Center
Type: Open-air Shopping
Reputation: Largest of its kind globally


Echoes of Royalty

Known as the ‘Pink Palace of the Pacific’, this hotel is a nod to Honolulu’s regal past and a luxurious stay. Fancy sipping a Mai Tai where kings and queens once roamed?

Highlight: Royal Hawaiian
Nickname: Pink Palace of the Pacific
Offer: Historical Luxury


Before you plan your next shopping spree or beach day in Honolulu, marvel at these snippets that make this city a truly unique destination. Your Hawaiian adventure is more than just a vacation; it’s a step into a world where modern life and rich history coexist effortlessly. Have a blast exploring, and don’t forget to say “Aloha” to the locals!

Must-See Attractions Around Honolulu

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Diamond Head

Nature & Parks

Lace up your sneakers for the Diamond Head Hike. It’s not just a workout; it’s your ticket to breathtaking views of Oahu. Reach the summit and reward yourself with a panoramic vista that’ll make your Instagram friends green with envy.

Honolulu Zoo

Local Attraction

Ready to meet some furry and feathered locals? The Honolulu Zoo is home to over 900 animals and provides a fun-filled day for the whole family.

Waikiki Aquarium

Local Attraction

For ocean enthusiasts, the Waikiki Aquarium is a must-visit. Get face-to-fin with Hawaii’s marine life without even getting wet. And, it’s the second-oldest public aquarium in the United States!

Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona Memorial

Speciality Museums

Pay your respects and immerse yourself in history at the USS Arizona Memorial, a poignant tribute to the sailors and marines who lost their lives during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

Nature & Parks

Snorkelers, this one’s for you! Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve isn’t just another beach; it’s a living, breathing underwater park.


Nature & Parks

For a taste of luxury, take a scenic drive through Kahala. Its opulent homes and pristine beaches are the stuff of dreams.

Popular Lakes Near Honolulu

Have you ever imagined yourself lounging by a serene lake, with the gentle Hawaiian breeze and the soft sound of waves? Well, you might be surprised to find that while Honolulu is famous for its stunning beaches and ocean views, it also offers some delightful lake experiences! Let me take you on a quick tour around some of the most popular lake spots near Honolulu.

Who knew your “lake day” could include so much more in Honolulu? Enjoy your adventure, and don’t forget to respect the natural beauty and cultural significance of these amazing spots. Make sure you snap some pictures too—these views are too good not to share!

Huilua Fishpond

52204 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744

Just a stone’s throw away from the iconic Diamond Head Crater, you’ll find the historically significant Huilua Fishpond. Here’s the scoop:

Distance from Honolulu: 24 miles
Activities: Fishing, hiking, picnicking
Historical Significance: This is one of the few ancient Hawaiian fishponds still in existence, giving you a taste of local history.
Location Perks: With its restoration in progress, you’re looking at a spot that not only offers a great view but is also a testament to traditional Hawaiian aquaculture.

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

Hanauma Bay, Hawaii 96825

While not a lake, Hanauma Bay deserves a mention. It’s a natural preserve where the volcanic cone meets the ocean, creating a stunning, tranquil bay that’s perfect for snorkeling. You’ll see an abundance of marine life and maybe even spot a sea turtle or two!

Distance from Honolulu: 32 miles
Activities: Snorkeling, swimming, hiking
Best Time to Visit: Early morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds.
Pack Lightly: Bring just what you need—sunscreen, a towel, and maybe a good book.

Kualoa Beach

Kualoa Beach, Hawaii 96730

When you think of lakes, you don’t typically picture the beach, right? But here’s a fun fact—there are beach parks near Honolulu with calm lagoon-like waters that give you that ‘lake vibe’ right on the ocean’s edge. Swing by one of these spots for a dual experience of lake leisure and ocean excitement.
Distance from Honolulu: 23 miles
Activities: Swimming, hiking, paddling

Secret Fishing Destinations Near Honolulu

Ka’a’awa Valley

Koolauloa, Hawaii

Located on the Windward side of Oahu, Ka’a’awa Valley offers opportunities for both shore and kayak fishing. It’s a scenic area surrounded by lush landscapes.

Fishing: Freshwater, stream, kayak
Species: Smallmouth bass, tilapia
Family friendly: Yes

Makai Pier

41-305 Kalanianaʻole Hwy, Waimānalo, Hawaii 96795

Located near Waimanalo Beach, Makai Pier is a less crowded alternative to some more popular spots. It provides access to deeper waters and is known for a variety of fish species.

Fishing: Shoreline, deepwater
Species: Barracuda, trevally, reef
Family friendly: Yes

Makapu’u Tide Pools

8932+J9, Honolulu, Hawaii 96825

While more known for its tide pools, the rocky areas along Makapu’u also attract fishermen. Exercise caution as the terrain can be rugged, but it’s a unique spot for shoreline fishing.

Fishing: Shoreline
Species: Papio, goatfish
Family friendly: Yes

Best Hiking Trails Within 1 Hour From Honolulu

Love the idea of a hike surrounded by bamboo? While an Enchanted Bamboo Forest trail isn’t within a stone’s throw, you’ll find plenty of verdant beauty on these paths. Trust me, the sights will stick with you long after your sneakers have kicked the dust off! Keep this guide handy, and let’s go chase those Honolulu highs on foot!

Diamond Head State Monument

Diamond Head State Monument, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815

You’ve seen it on postcards, now see it in person! Diamond Head Hike, a classic must-do, offers jaw dropping ocean and city views from the crater’s rim. It’s a moderate trek, but totally doable.

Distance: 1.6 miles round-trip
Type: Out & Back
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 157 feet
Time to Complete: 1.5 hours
Trail Highlights: Panoramic ocean views, historic lighthouse, WWII bunkers

Manoa Falls Trail

Mānoa Falls Trail, Na Ala Hele, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822

Ready for a family-friendly adventure? Pack a picnic and set off into the lush landscape to find Manoa Falls. It’s perfect for all ages!

Distance: 1.7 miles
Type: Out & Back
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 188 feet
Time to Complete: 1 hour
Trail Highlights: Tropical rainforest feel, towering waterfall

Lanikai Pillbox Hike

Lanikai Pillbox Trail, 265 Kaelepulu Dr, Kailua, Hawaii 96734

Crave breathtaking mountain views? The Lanikai Pillbox Hike is a short yet sweet family friendly journey that promises Instagram-worthy shots of the Mokulua Islands.

Distance: 3.6 miles
Type: Out & Back
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 187 feet
Time to Complete: 1 to 1.5 hours

Best Golf Courses Around Honolulu

When it comes to teeing off in Honolulu, the options might just sweep you off your golf shoes! Let’s say you love the green but the sea’s not your scene. You’re covered with the Hawaiian Monarch’s course, where instead of waves, you’re surrounded by Honolulu’s urban vibe and maybe take a break at nearby parks to relax.

Do love a good volley as well? Some of these resorts boast tennis courts, too. Rackets or clubs, you can have the best of both worlds. Enjoy the perfect serve or swing surrounded by Honolulu’s unique charm. Now, who said vacation rentals can only be about lounging indoors? Go on, grab your clubs and hit these greens.

Ko Olina Golf Club

92-1220 Aliinui Dr, Kapolei, Hawaii 96707

Ko Olina Golf Club is a gem that offers you not just a round of golf but also the panoramic ocean views that are pretty much a given in Hawaii. And let’s not forget the majestic sight of the Waianae Mountains as you aim for that perfect swing.

Amenities: Pro shop, Roy’s Restaurant, locker rooms, rental clubs
Views: Ocean, mountain
Extras: Access to resort facilities

Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa

2424 Kalākaua Ave, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815

Imagine yourself perfecting your putt with the Pacific as your backdrop. Might sound like a dream, but at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa, this could be your reality. A stone’s throw away at 459 yards from Waikiki Beach, it’s a blend of luxury, recreation, and that coveted ocean view.

Amenities: Spa, outdoor pool, tennis courts
Ocean View: Hotel balconies offer sea views
Note: Golf course is nearby, not on the property

Ala Wai Golf Course

404 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815

If you’re into the historical side of things, check out Ala Wai Golf Course. Right in the heart of Honolulu, it’s the busiest course for a reason. You can enjoy a round of golf with friends or practice your solo drives amidst the scenery without breaking the bank.

Amenities: Clubhouse, cafe, rental clubs
Views: Ala Wai Canal, Koolau Range

Tips On Renting A Vacation Property In Honolulu

Book Early

Honolulu is a popular destination year-round. To get the best selection of properties, it’s wise to book several months in advance, especially if you plan to visit during peak seasons like summer or winter holidays.

Location, Location, Location

Decide whether you want to be in the heart of the action in Waikiki, in a quieter area like Manoa, or near the North Shore for a more laid-back vibe. Each area offers a different experience, so choose based on the type of vacation you desire.

Understand the Total Cost

Beyond the nightly rate, be aware of additional fees like cleaning fees, service fees, and security deposits. Hawaii also has a Transient Accommodations Tax and a General Excise Tax, which should be factored into your budget.

Ask About Parking

If you’re renting a car, inquire about parking availability. Parking in Honolulu can be limited and expensive, so a rental with included parking is a significant bonus.

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Jet Skiing

What Type of Property Are You Looking For?

First things first, let’s talk about what’s on offer. Are you after a condo with a view, a cozy studio, or maybe a spacious vacation home for the whole family? Getting clear on the type of property you want will make your search much easier.

Condos and Villas
Ideal for those who love having amenities like a pool, often with a lanai balcony for those amazing sunset views.

Perfect for couples or solo travelers. Look for ones with marble countertops or tiled bathrooms—luxury in the details!

House Rentals
If you need more space, a house gives you room and privacy.

Location, Location, Location

Tempted by the bustling streets of Central Waikiki or seeking the tranquility of a property with canal views?

Waikiki Beach
A gateway to Honolulu’s charms—stay close for the action.

Away from Crowds
There’s beauty beyond Waikiki—discover rentals near Amazing Hanauma Bay.

The Must-Haves

What do you need in your temporary home-away-from-home?

Choose a full kitchen or kitchenette if you plan to whip up your own dining delights.

Free Parking
Essential if you’re renting a car.

Bringing furry friends? Some rentals welcome them.

Check out Airbnb for a range of options like Waikikilux 509 or Luxe King Boutique Studio.

Renovations and Reviews

– Look for recently renovated properties—think wood-like floors and modern finishes.
– Dig into the reviews. Past guests’ experiences can give you insight into what to expect.

Don’t overlook these important details!

Consider the Extras

Sometimes it’s the little extras that make a vacation rental perfect.

Tech-Friendly: Need Wi-Fi? Check if it’s included and how strong it is.
Access to Attractions: How far is it from places like the USS Arizona or that cozy 1 bed apartment you found?

Remember, Honolulu welcomes you with a variety of vacation rentals. Find the one that feels like your perfect island retreat!

Frequently Asked Questions about Honolulu

Keep an eye on neighborhoods outside of the usual tourist trails, such as Kaimuki or Kapahulu. These areas offer a more “local” feel, and you might stumble upon a rental that’s both high in charm and value.

Both platforms offer a range of beachfront properties, but they might differ in policies, prices, and user experience. VRBO has a reputation for single-unit rentals whereas Airbnb offers a mix, including shared spaces. Compare to see which suits your vacation vibe.

Don’t forget to factor in the total cost, including taxes and fees, which in some cases can add up to 17.962%. Check if the rental offers extras like damage protection and ensure it aligns with your needs in terms of space and amenities.

Waikiki could be your sweet spot. It’s chock-full of family-friendly rentals that are just a stone’s throw away from the beach, with shops, eateries, and attractions all within a short stroll.

Sure thing! Scour websites that specialize in direct owner rentals like VRBO or check out local online classifieds. Connect with the owner for a more personalized stay and often better negotiation on your rates.

The rolling waves and the salty breeze could be your next good morning wish when you stay oceanfront. Experience stunning ocean views, easy access to the beach for those sunrise walks, and the soothing sounds of the sea as you drift off to sleep.

The best time to visit Honolulu is typically from April to June and September to December when the weather is pleasant, and crowds are relatively smaller.

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