The state capital of Hawaii on Oahu Island is a breathtaking place to relax and enjoy the sunshine. Before you know it, you’ll have a colorful lei around your neck and a cocktail in your hand, while you listen to the sound of ukuleles and admire the surfers braving the chill of the Pacific Ocean. Everything you’ve heard about Hawaii is true, so you may as well pack that floral shirt! Honolulu is the only U.S. city to have a royal palace and it proudly celebrates its unique Polynesian cultural heritage.
Most visitors head straight to popular Waikiki Beach. Watch the skilled surfers, jump in the blue waters or enjoy fine dining. Visit nearby Kapiolani Park, with its Honolulu Zoo, or climb the extinct Diamond Head volcano. For great snorkeling, head to Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Kailua Beach Park, or Halona Beach, better known as Eternity Beach. For some stunning scenery away from the coast, visit the spectacular Manoa Falls.
Most Hawaiian residents live in the economic hub of Honolulu. Hawaii’s Asian influence is reflected in its food, but you can also try traditional island dishes such as “laulau” (pork wrapped in taro leaves) and “poke” (a raw fish salad). The compact downtown area offers art, temples, nightlife and designer shops. Visit Iolani Palace to learn about Hawaii’s royal past.
Sights in Pearl Harbor, such as the Battleship Missouri Memorial, remind visitors of one of the most famous attacks of World War II. The USS Arizona Memorial straddles the remains of the sunken American war ship, and the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum displays the vessel used in the counterattacks.
The capital of the Hawaiian island group has some of the worst traffic jams in the U.S., so it’s best to get around using the inexpensive buses and trolleys.
Hawaii is America’s southernmost state, and is made up entirely of islands. Some of the state’s most historic sites and major cultural attractions are in Honolulu. Enjoy this city’s distinct culture, abundance of natural beauty and year-round warm climate, and treat yourself to a tropical island stay.
Shopping, Beaches and Islands
Make the short climb to the rim of this extinct volcanic crater for spectacular views of Honolulu, the Pacific Ocean and the rugged ranges of Oahu’s interior.
Head to the top of one of Hawai’i’s most iconic buildings for remarkable bird’s-eye views of Honolulu on one side and the ocean on the other.
What began as the exotic bird collection of the island’s king is now a park with over 1,200 animals, including several rare and endangered species.
More than 400 fish species and green sea turtles live in this marine ecosystem at one of the best snorkeling spots in Hawaii.
Discover the triumphs and tragedies of the Hawaiian royal family and see their jewels, living quarters and more in Hawaii’s royal palace.
Explore the waterfront in Honolulu with a trip to Honolulu Harbor. Discover the area's notable monuments, or seek out its local tours.
Oahu's very first zipline course, the 7 ziplines at Keana Farms offer adrenaline-pumping rides plus an up-close look at a working North Shore farm. Trek along elevated boardwalks through the trees, glimpse views of the ocean, and race a friend down dual lines over the tropical landscape below.
Enjoy a bird's-eye view of Honolulu and beyond as you take to the blue skies above Waikiki on a thrilling parsasailing adventure. With room for up to 2 people, you can fly solo or team up with a friend to take a tandem flight that lets you out on lines up to 1,000 feet (305 m) long.
Climb aboard a spacious and state-of-the-art catamaran for all-encompassing look at Oahu's west coast. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, whales, and sea turtles, get wet with a snorkeling adventure, and enjoy a tasty buffet lunch onboard.
Spend an evening with the spellbinding, Merlin Award-winning illusionist John Hirokawa. Striking illusions, sensational pyrotechnics, and a talented cast of entertainers thrill and excite you at this amazing Polynesian spectacle.
Delve slowly beneath the ocean's surface off Waikiki aboard the 48-passenger Atlantis Undersea submarine and get up close and personal with a sea teeming with marine life. Marvel at the marine creatures that populate coral reefs and sunken shipwrecks as you float through the tropical waters they call home.
Spend an evening on the water with a sunset cruise aboard the Star of Honolulu. This smooth-sailing vessel skims over the waves as you enjoy postcard-worthy views of the coast, an elegant meal, and live music and entertainment from a talented cast.