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3 Days in Honolulu Things to Do Where to Stay and Must Sees

Travel Tips in Honolulu HI and Oahu

Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii, is known for its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and beautiful landscapes. When visiting Honolulu, it is important to keep in mind a few travel tips to make your trip more enjoyable.

  1. Sunscreen is a must-have as the sun in Hawaii can be quite intense. Make sure to apply sunscreen regularly to protect your skin from sunburn.
  2. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, especially if you are spending time outdoors in the hot weather.
  3. Renting a car is recommended to explore the island at your own pace. Alternatively, public transportation is also available.
  4. Try local Hawaiian cuisine such as poke, spam musubi, and shave ice for a taste of the local flavors.
  5. Respect the culture and traditions of the Hawaiian people, including observing sacred sites and practicing aloha spirit.

Things to do in Honolulu HI / Top Sites and Monuments to Visit in Honolulu and Oahu

  1. Waikiki Beach [https://www.gohawaii.com/islands/oahu/regions/waikiki]
    Waikiki Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the world, known for its white sand and crystal clear water. Enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing at this iconic beach.
  2. Diamond Head State Monument [https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/oahu/diamond-head-state-monument/]
    Diamond Head is an iconic volcanic cone known for its hiking trail and panoramic views of Waikiki and Honolulu. The hike is relatively easy and offers breathtaking vistas of the island.
  3. Pearl Harbor [https://www.nps.gov/valr/index.htm]
    Pearl Harbor is a historic site that commemorates the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II. Visit the USS Arizona Memorial and explore the exhibits at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center.
  4. Iolani Palace [https://www.iolanipalace.org/]
    The Iolani Palace is the only royal palace in the United States and was the official residence of the Hawaiian monarchy. Take a guided tour to learn about Hawaii’s history and royal heritage.
  5. Hanauma Bay [https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/oahu/hanauma-bay-nature-preserve/] Hanauma Bay is a protected marine life conservation area known for its crystal-clear waters and vibrant coral reefs. Snorkel among tropical fish and marine life in this beautiful natural setting.
  6. Kualoa Ranch [https://www.kualoa.com/]
    Kualoa Ranch is a private nature reserve and working cattle ranch offering various tours and activities. Explore the lush valleys and scenic landscapes where many famous movies and TV shows have been filmed.
  7. Polynesian Cultural Center [https://www.polynesia.com/]
    Experience the cultures of Polynesia at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Watch traditional performances, try authentic cuisine, and learn about the customs and traditions of the Pacific Islands.
  8. Dole Plantation [https://www.doleplantation.com/]
    The Dole Plantation is a pineapple plantation and tourist attraction where you can learn about the history of pineapple cultivation in Hawaii. Enjoy a train ride through the fields and sample fresh pineapple treats.
  9. North Shore [https://www.gohawaii.com/islands/oahu/places-to-go/oahu-north-shore]
    The North Shore of Oahu is known for its legendary surf breaks, including Banzai Pipeline, Sunset Beach, and Waimea Bay. Watch surfers tackle massive waves in the winter months or relax on the beautiful beaches.
  10. Byodo-In Temple [https://www.byodo-in.com/]
    Located in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park, the Byodo-In Temple is a replica of a 900-year-old temple in Japan. This serene and picturesque site is a popular spot for visitors seeking peace and tranquility.
  11. Puu Ualakaa State Park [https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/oahu/puu-ualakaa-state-park/]
    Situated on a ridge overlooking Honolulu, Puu Ualakaa State Park offers panoramic views of the city, Diamond Head, and the ocean. Pack a picnic and enjoy a scenic drive up Tantalus Drive to reach the park.
  12. Diamond Head Crater [https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/oahu/diamond-head-state-monument/]
    Diamond Head Crater is a dormant volcanic tuff cone located near Waikiki. Hike to the summit of Diamond Head for stunning views of the surrounding coastline and Honolulu.
  13. Makapuu Lighthouse Trail [https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/hiking/oahu/makapuu-point/] The Makapuu Lighthouse Trail offers a relatively easy hike with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and the Makapuu Lighthouse. Keep an eye out for humpback whales during the winter months.
  14. Bishop Museum [https://www.bishopmuseum.org/]
    The Bishop Museum is Hawaii’s largest museum dedicated to the history and culture of the islands. Explore exhibits on Hawaiian royal artifacts, Polynesian voyaging, and natural history.
  15. Waimea Valley [https://www.waimeavalley.net/]
    Waimea Valley is a lush botanical garden and cultural site located on the North Shore of Oahu. Take a leisurely walk through the botanical gardens, swim in the waterfall pool, and learn about Hawaiian history and traditions.

Prices for activities and attractions in Honolulu and Oahu can vary depending on the location and whether you’re a resident.

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3 Days in Honolulu HI Visit of Oahu Day by Day

Day 1 Itinerary:

  • Visit Diamond Head State Monument early in the morning for a hike and panoramic views of the city. [https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/oahu/diamond-head-state-monument/]
  • Relax at Waikiki Beach and try out some water activities such as surfing or paddleboarding.
  • Enjoy a traditional Hawaiian luau in the evening for a cultural experience. [https://www.hawaiianluauguide.com/]

Day 2 Itinerary:

  • Explore the historic Pearl Harbor and visit the USS Arizona Memorial. [https://www.nps.gov/valr/index.htm]
  • Visit the Iolani Palace, the former royal residence of the Hawaiian monarchy. [https://www.iolanipalace.org/]
  • Indulge in some shopping at the Ala Moana Center, one of the largest shopping malls in the United States. [https://www.alamoanacenter.com/]

Day 3 Itinerary:

  • Take a hike at Manoa Falls Trail for a scenic adventure in the lush rainforest. [https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/hawaii/manoa-falls-trail]
  • Explore the Honolulu Zoo and learn about the diverse wildlife of Hawaii. [https://www.honoluluzoo.org/]
  • Visit the Dole Plantation for a taste of Hawaiian pineapple and take a ride on the Pineapple Express train. [https://www.doleplantation.com/]

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Where to stay in Honolulu Hawaii / Top Hotels in Honolulu HI and Oahu

Top Rated Honolulu Hotels $300+ per night:

  1. Halekulani
  2. Halepuna Waikiki by Halekulani
  3. The Kahala Hotel and Resort
  4. The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach Hotel
  5. Aston Waikiki Beach Tower

Best Reviewed Hotels in Honolulu HI $200 to $300 per night:

  1. VIVE Hotel Waikiki
  2. OUTRIGGER Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel
  3. Hotel Renew
  4. Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach
  5. Kaimana Beach Hotel

Recommended Honolulu Hotels $100 to $200 per night:

  1. Hawaiian monarch cozy studio
  2. Ilima Hotel
  3. Coconut Waikiki Hotel
  4. Imperial Hawaii Resort
  5. Shoreline Hotel Waikiki

Best Budget Hotels and Hostels Honolulu HI below $100 per night:

  1. Hostel Honolulu
  2. Waikiki Beachside Hostel
  3. Polynesian Hostel Beach Club

Please note that ratings and prices may vary depending on the season and availability. Make sure to check the current rates and availability through the provided links.

We wish you a wonderful stay in Honolulu, Oahu and Hawaii!

For more about the United States / USA, Washington DC, New York City, Miami, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, San Francisco, Honolulu and other travel destinations in the United States / USA, read the travel tips and see all travel stories, videos, photos and writing on Rolling Coconut’s Travel section.

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