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Honolulu

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Planning your Honolulu visit

Language

English, Hawaiian

Currency

Dollar ($)

Dialing code

808

Time zone

Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time

Pearl Harbor

More than 1.5 million people visit the USS Arizona memorial every year. Dedicated to the memory of the 3,500 Americans who lost their lives during the attack on Pearl Harbor, it’s a moving tribute and well worth a visit when you’re in Honolulu. Don’t miss the USS Bowfin submarine, USS Missouri, and the Pacific Aviation Museum, and please dress respectfully. While it’s free to visit, you’ll need a ticket to enter, so be sure to reserve yours ahead of time.

Getting around

Buses run regularly all over Honolulu and tickets include a free transfer within a limited time period. If you’re staying longer than a day, it’s smart to snap up a 4-Day Pass from any of Waikiki’s ABC stores, or the Ala Moana Shopping Center. Hiring a car can be expensive and tough to park, so it’ll be more of a burden than a help. Taxis are everywhere and, best of all, your island-born driver will probably be the proudest and friendliest you’ve ever met!

Weather & when to go

To avoid the crowds, late September and October (and the end of April to the end of May) are the best times to visit. It never gets cold here - although May to August can be humid, so make sure your hotel has air-conditioning! As for rain, Hawaii is blessed with quick but heavy downpours that keep everything luscious green, but dry up faster than you can say ‘aloha’. If you’re here for the surfing, the winter months of December through February are best.

What to do in Honolulu for 3 days

Snorkel in Hanauma Bay

Want to get beneath those baby-blue waves? On the east side of Honolulu lies one of the island’s most popular places for finding Nemo - Hanauma Bay. This marine sanctuary/nature reserve is sunken into a majestic crater and crammed with beautiful aquatic creatures. Thanks also to its gorgeous golden beach, it’s one of the most famous places for snorkeling in Hawaii - so get there early if you want those colorful fish all to yourself!

Soak up the views from Diamond Head

You can’t miss Oahu’s former military base, the iconic Diamond Head. It’s the most picturesque volcano in Hawaii! In fact, you might recognize it from countless postcards and souvenirs. If you can find the motivation to hike the 20-30 minutes to the summit, about a mile up, you’ll discover even more excellent trails, plus scintillating views of Honolulu and the sparkling Pacific. Don’t miss the audio guide. It brings this Hawaiian State Monument to life!

Fly high at Coral Crater Adventure Park

Fly high through evergreen trees, race a friend on a tandem line and step off a 20-foot platform for six adrenaline-pumping ziplines. Then, just when you thought your heart couldn’t race anymore, bump through that Honolulu dirt off-road in a side-by-side ATV! The Ultimate Adventure pass at Coral Crater Adventure Park includes a state-of-the-art 60-foot Adventure Tower, six ziplines, the King Swing, Freefall, a climbing wall and more. Phew!

Surf it up

Whether you’re a surfing pro or you’ve never taken a surfboard out in your life, there’s no better place to get accustomed to a life on the ‘wave’ than Hawaii. Honolulu has heaps of great surfing spots to suit all levels. The surf is gentle on beginners at Waikiki beach, while intermediates should head to Ala Moana Beach Park. Advanced surfers should head to Waimea Bay in the winter months of November to February. Surf’s up!