Honolulu is the capital of Hawaii and the main entry point for tourists to the state. The major areas in Honolulu are Waikiki, Pearl Harbor, and Downtown. Waikiki is one of the most populated areas in the U.S. Downtown is the historically known part of the city with many sightseeing spots. If you want to get away from the hustle-bustle of Honolulu city, go to the quieter neighborhoods.
Here are some of the places you should include in your Honolulu tour itinerary.
Located in the southern part of Honolulu, Waikiki has gorgeous beaches and lots of entertainment and shopping opportunities. It is the main center for surfing enthusiasts. The Waikiki Historic Trail, The Royal Hawaiian Center, Waikiki beach walk and International Market Place are the important spots for the tourists.
Built-in 1882 for King Kalakaua, Lolani palace is a great way to understand the history of Hawaii’s royal family. This building in neo-classical style was converted to a museum in 1978. This palace has entered the national register of historic places. The interior of the palace has elaborately carved wooden panels. The visitors can see the original throne and chandelier used by the royals in the throne room. The façade of the building is adorned with stained glass and has intricate designs.
Manoa Waterfalls and Lyon Arboretum
Lyon Arboretum is a botanical garden located on the way to Manoa Falls. The botanical garden spreads over 194 acres and features a vast collection of tropical plants in the Polynesian and Hawaiian region. You can see the largest collection of palm trees at this garden along with many other themed gardens like bromeliad garden, herb and spice garden, etc. The Manoa falls is a natural waterfall of about 150 feet. Bathing in the falls is permitted.
Bishop Museum is the state museum of Hawaii and it has a good collection of art and culture-related materials. Hawaiian feathered caps, helmets, feathered royal flags called ‘Kahilis’, etc., are the permanent exhibits of the museum. Visitors can get a glimpse of the natural history of the region, know about the traditional occupations and see the objects brought by the early Japanese and Chinese settlers here. The museum also houses the Watumull planetarium which offers shows on celestial topics, Polynesian culture, etc.
Your Honolulu tour will not get complete if you do not visit this natural harbor and national historic landmark. Pearl Harbor is one of the most visited tourist spots in Honolulu. This is an active naval base and also houses various attractions related to its military history during World War II. USS Arizona Memorial, USS Utah Memorial Ford Island, Battleship Row are some of them. The museum also features hangars with aircraft from World War II, aircraft carrier flight simulators, videos, historic photographs, etc. The tour to the memorials starts from the visitor center at Pearl Harbor after a film about the 1941 attack.