While the cold weather may be coming in, there are still destinations that provide a tropical getaway year-round, and very few can compare to the natural allure and beauty of Hawaii, specifically Honolulu. As the capital city of the island state, there’s tons of history and culture to explore on and around the island. Leave your coat in the back of your closet, and bring your sunscreen for these luxurious activities that are exclusive to your trip.
1) Relax on the Open Sea with a Catamaran Sail
Whether you’re a first-time visitor, or experiences with tropical vacations, you can never go wrong with sailing on the open Pacific Ocean. These sailboats are probably not what you’re imagining; these ships are totally updated and even have dinner options if you’re in the mood to eat with an amazing view.
Sail at sunset with loved ones or friends, or take the earlier cruise to soak up the sunlight and relax. There are even options for later sailing as well, which gives you a better chance at seeing the native ocean wildlife. If you’re lucky, you might even get to see a wild whale on your visit.
Be sure to inquire about dinner cruises, as accommodations may be limited. With the stellar beaches of Hawaii being a standard of any trip, take your adventure on the ocean to add a new experience.
2) Learn Hawaiian History at The Iolani Palace
Take the opportunity to read up on Hawaii’s history and the history of its royal families at Iolani Palace. Historically, The palace was home to its last two Hawaiian monarchs and is open to the public as it is maintained and filled with information to take in.
With its well-known for its decorative style and classical furnishings, visiting Iolani Palace gives you the opportunity to see royal Hawaiian life from another time. It serves as a museum that focuses on the life and times of these last Hawaiian Kingdom rulers, with a particular emphasis on nineteenth-century art & architecture.
You can visit indoor and outdoor spaces, so be sure to explore the entire Palace and grounds before you leave. Iolani Palace also often hosts free events, so be sure to consult local event calendars before your visit.
3) Explore a Beachside Getaway
While in Hawaii, you absolutely have to visit the amazing beaches. No trip to Hawaii’s capital could possibly be complete without at least a mention of this most popular of local pastimes — Surfing!
In fact, the southern coastal stretches of Oahu Island are home to countless surf spots, many of which are renowned across the globe. Take the crashing Bowls of Ala Moana and its adjoining beach park, where the reefs and sandbars cook up perfect barrels.
Waikiki is a good place to start for beginner wave riders, and the large number of awesome beaches can even be explored in groups, which you’ll definitely want to do if you plan on spending a lot of time outside. If you venture out even further, be sure to check out the surf spots around Sunset Park.
For braver travelers shark diving could be something that really gets your adrenaline pumping! These trips typically take groups out to the northern coast, where sightings of the sharks are more common.
A secure steel cage is lowered into the water, making it possible to watch all variations of sharks and other wildlife in their natural habitat. Be on the lookout for other wildlife as well!
4) Walk the Unforgettable Hiking Trails
Tucked away in the stony ridges high above downtown Honolulu is the Diamond Head State Monument, which is one of the many sights on the skyline of the Aloha State’s capital. It’s official name is Mt. Leahi, but it is better known as Diamond Head. This mountain is one of the most famous volcanic craters in the world.
Hikers will need to break out their boots and work up the scenic trail that curves through and along the edge of Diamond Head. The path goes for just under a mile, passes through tunnels, all before offering up sweeping panoramas of the Pacific Ocean and the city.
At the tip of the 760 ft. summit, you’ll be able to take in an insane panoramic view of Waikiki and the rest of the South Shore. Be sure to keep your phone charged to snap a picture from the top!
The trails of the Koko Crater start on the southern edges of the city, weaving their way up the volcanic foothills of the Koʻolau Mountains, then above the waters of Hanauma Bay.
Rising against the streets of Portlock, this nature reserve is home to spiked cacti and sun-baked paths, offering walkers a glimpse at the rugged backcountry of the Aloha State.
The trail itself follows the disused train tracks that climb the ridges here, weaving between the scrublands and rocks before opening up to 360-degree views of the south-eastern Oahu coast and even the sheer-cut cliffs of Molokai island in the distance (at least on a clear day.)
5) Have a Wild Night in the Downtown Districts
Located in the heart of Honolulu is the newly renovated Kaka’ako district. At the center of the industrial nine city blocks is “salt” at Our Kaka’ako; a warehouse-themed space, full of local restaurants, breweries, and tastemakers. The shops in the area are as trendy and chill as the vibes of the city, with locally made souvenirs as easily obtainable as an exotic acai bowl. Stroll through the neighborhood and take in the of numerous eccentric murals that change up from year to year. Almost every area of Kaka’ako is social media ready and begging to be shared.
Within Honolulu’s historic Kalihi district visitors will find one of the best cultural experiences in the city. The Bishop Museum boasts a collection of more than 24 million historical treasures making it the world’s largest collection of Polynesian artifacts. Informative exhibits recount the island’s rich history while live lava demonstrations and the celestial planetarium will enchant and enthrall even the youngest historians.
Downtown Waikiki’s nightlife is reliably upbeat and always a good time, but if you’re looking for something different, head over to Chinatown. The sizzling nightlife suits all tastes with its assortment of swanky jazz bars, hip tiki lounges, and bumping dance clubs.
Honolulu offers so much more than just stunning beaches and natural wonders. With food, language, and culture that is all exclusive to the islands. Travelers will find enough activities to last a vacation that is a weekend to a week long.
Interested in visiting the islands for yourself? Reach out to our travel agent, and we can begin the process to have you on your way to the vacation you need. Trade in your coat for the swimwear from the summer, and get the luxury vacation you deserve!