Honolulu is the capital of Hawaii and the gateway to the US island chain. Famed for its amazing beaches and fine tropical weather, with volcanic craters in the distance. The island is also a center for dining, shopping, and nightlife.
Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona Memorial
This National Historic Landmark was an active military base that becomes historic after its attack in 1941. The area is now a popular tourist attraction that focuses on the World War II Valor in the Pacific Monument and floats above the remains of the sunken ship of which remnants can be viewed bulging out of the water.
You can witness WWII aircraft and artifacts and experience landing an airplane on an aircraft carrier in a flight simulator. The excursion to the memorial is free but reservations must because of its popularity.
Volcanoes National Park
Ever fantasied how a real volcano might look like? If yes, then you must head to the Volcanoes National Park that offers an exceptional, close-up look at the active volcano system where lava oozes out from the cracks of the Earth. The neighboring scenery is beautiful for its cooled old and new lava rock visible in the nearby roads.
The park's main attraction is the Kilauea that has been recently active creating a lava lake. You should be mindful that parts of the tourist spots are closed during periods of seismic activity. But there are many other spots to explore in the area including the Devastation Trail, Thurston Lava Tube, and the Halema'uma'u crater.
If you get to see the volcanos’ most active periods, you would experience the excitement of the seismic activity, hear the boom of gas emissions, and witness the ash escaping into the air. Isn't that incredible.
Waimea Canyon State Park
Located on the west side of the island of Kauai, it is described as the 'Grand Canyon of the Pacific.' It is wide-stretching, and a spectacular sight can be seen best from the two main lookouts, Puu ka Pele and Puu Hina Hina. The gorge's scenery highlights rock strata in changing colors and several magnificent waterfalls. It stretches 14 miles long and is a mile wide and approximately 3600 feet deep/ From the Waimea canyon lookout you can see the splendid views of the deep gorges in the valley, rocky crags, and covered buttes.
You can experience challenging hiking trails and rafting tours to explore the river below.
Lanikai is known for its tranquility with its calm waters and miles of white sands. This family-friendly beach can be viewed from the Mokulua Islands. It is also popular with beachgoers because it is best for kayaking and surfing. Some say that there are jellyfishes in the area so be careful while swimming and snorkeling.
Diamond Head State Monument
Also called Le'ahi, the Diamond Head is a tuff cone with a distinctive crater formed during a volcanic eruption that gushed ash into the air many years ago. It is not only a geologic spectacle but is also the center of the island's most scenic hiking trails.
The hike up this tuff cone could be exhausting but visitors say that the peak is rewarding for its unreal view of Wakiki Beach and the Pacific Ocean. You could also take the helicopter tour and fly directly over the crater.
Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail
This free trial overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is a prime spot for spotting seabirds and whale watching between November and May. The path also leads to the red-roofed Makapu'u Lighthouse.
Visitors love that the Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail is paved and features ample benches, making it easy for travelers of all ages to explore.
Many also rave about the trail's amazing views, adding that bringing a camera is a must. Hawaii's Department of Land and Natural Resources recommends allotting at least two hours to complete this hike.
The Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail opens shortly before sunrise and closes around sunset every day.
The ʻIolani Palace
This attraction is the only royal residence in the United States. It was the home to the rulers of the Kingdom of Hawaii until became a museum. It is situated in the capitol district of downtown Honolulu. This National Historic Landmark. This is living evidence of Hawaiian national identity.
Ala Moana Center
As the largest open-air shopping mall in Hawaii, Ala Moana Center is a place to find every designer brand name from Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci and houses various shops, dining options, and department stores where you can shop all day.
The mall is also a music hub and cultural center for hula. It also features the Shirokiya Japan Village Walk designed like a small Japanese temple town serving authentic Japanese food. To go around the area, the Ala Moana Shopping Trolley provides free around the city.
Honolulu offers such a diverse range of attractions that you cannot go wrong with the choices you make in this city.
Travel safe. Follow the travel guidelines of the county before you plan your visit.