The ultimate guide to Honolulu, Hawaii

Aloha! Are you feeling the need for cocktails in the sun, a spot of world-class shopping and a bit of hula to get you grooving? Getaway to Hawaii! Discover the best things to do in Hawaii with our ultimate guide to Honolulu below.

Hawaii shopping

Is a colourful Hawaiian shirt or ukulele on your souvenir list? Head to Ala Moana Center, home to over 350 shops and restaurants and conveniently located in central Honolulu. As the world’s largest open-air shopping centre, you can expect only the best at Ala Moana Center. Fill your suitcase with goodies from Macy’s, Chanel and Dior, learn how to hula or enjoy an authentic hula show or check out “Art Walk”, a multi-million dollar art collection on display at the shopping centre.

Ala Moana Center

Credit: Ala Moana Center

Best beaches in Hawaii

Honolulu has some of the best beaches in Hawaii, and not all of them are known to tourists! There is of course the world-famous Waikiki Beach, perfect for learning to surf or people-watching, but why not spend the day at one of Hawaii’s hidden gems?

Ala Moana Beach Park (conveniently located adjacent to Ala Moana Center) boasts a protected beach, 100-acre park with large grassy area, plenty of shady trees, tennis courts and picnic tables. It’s also much less crowded than popular Waikiki Beach.

Diamond Head Beach Park is located in the foothills of Diamond Head with a narrow beach, but good surfing when the waves are a decent size and good snorkelling if the waves are smaller.

Kaimana Beach is just a short stroll to Waikiki and provides a wide beach, perfect for families to enjoy, as well as access to the well-known surf spot “Old Man’s”.

With Waikiki on its west side and Waikiki Aquarium on it east, Queens Beach is a body boarders paradise, has a reef perfect for snorkelling and even shows free movies on the weekends at its “Sunset on the Beach” events.

Ala Moana Beach Park

Honolulu attractions

When you’re not grabbing a bargain at the shops or lounging under a beach umbrella, there are plenty of other things to do in Honolulu that are worth discovering.

Visit the National Historic Landmark of Pearl Harbor where you can learn all about the history, visit the USS Arizona Memorial and Battleship Missouri Memorial and pay your respects to those who fought and lost their lives.

The Honolulu Zoo is home to a number of native Hawaiian species, like the Hawaiian goose, as well as some endangered species such as the black rhino and ring-tailed lemur. Experience the zoo in the evening on a Twilight Tour, join in on a Safari Stroll or learn all about the world of the sloth at a zoo keeper talk.

Typically found lazing on Hawaii’s stunning beaches, the Hawaiian monk seal is not too dissimilar to the tourists that flock to Hawaii! Visit these critically endangered species at the Waikiki Aquarium in Honolulu, along with other marine life including seahorses, zebra shark and freshwater stingray.

The Polynesian Cultural Center is one of the top rated Hawaii attractions. Delve deep into the world of Aloha and brush up on history and culture from the other Polynesian island nations. Tour the island of Oahu with a guide, visit the Hukilau Marketplace offering local food and goods, or attend an authentic luau with buffet dinner and Polynesian show.

Avid hiker? Head out on the trail to Diamond Head State Monument. The 1.5-2 hour round-trip hike (including the 99 steps near the end) is a bit of a challenge, yet well worth it for the panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Honolulu at the top.

View of Waikiki  and Honolulu from Diamond Head

Ready to book your Aloha escape? Stay in the heart of Honolulu at Ala Moana Hotel by Mantra. Click here for the latest specials.

Ala Moana Hotel by Mantra

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