As the capital of Hawaii, Honolulu is a popular place for the US and international visitors. With spectacular beaches, delicious food, fantastic resorts and many things to do in Oahu beyond Honolulu itself, you can see why so many people vacation here. That is why we are sharing this Honolulu trip planner; so that you can plan the perfect Hawaiian vacation.
Honolulu offers the perfect mixture of warm weather, wonderful beaches, local culture and interesting attractions, to keep you busy for a week or more. If you are looking to save money on your trip to Hawaii, make sure to read our post on ways to save money whilst traveling the United States of America.
When to visit Honolulu
Although it is always warm in Honolulu, the best time to visit is between November and April, avoiding the rainy and hurricane season.
The ideal months would be April, November and December, as these are shoulder seasons; so you can expect fewer crowds and cheaper room rates but also still enjoy plenty of festivals. Winter weather is pleasant in Hawaii whilst June through to October has considerably higher temperatures.
Obviously, at the time of writing (2020), there are a few more things to know before you go to Hawaii as the world adapts. So expect fewer crowds over the next year or so as flights continue to get back to normal.
Where to stay in Honolulu
There are many hotels in Honolulu that fit every budget and can be found in every neighbourhood. If it is your first time in Honolulu, you will want to stay in the Downtown area to enjoy the lively and bustling neighbourhood whilst visiting the major attractions.
If you are on a budget, head to Waikiki, perfect for those looking for sandy beaches without luxury price tags. Waikiki is also the best place to stay if you are looking for vibrant nightlife options, with lots of bars and clubs around the neighbourhood.
Looking to unwind away from the hustle and bustle? Head to Manoa for a quieter, relaxing experience.
Recommended Honolulu hotels:
- Ala Moana Hotel – Next door to the world’s largest open-air shopping mall and is a short walk from the Hawaii Convention Center.
- Pagoda Hotel – Great for families with outdoor swimming pool and sun terrace and within a short walk from Ala Moana Beach Park. Plus there are many restaurants and shops in the area.
- Lotus Honolulu Hotel – A luxurious hotel with amazing views of Diamond Head and a close walk to Queen Kapiolani Park, Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Aquarium.
- Polynesian Residences Waikiki Beach – A 1-minute walk from the beach, this is an affordable option for those looking for studio style rooms, complete with kitchenette.
What to eat in Honolulu
Honolulu offers great food options, with an array of fantastic restaurants to choose from. Make sure you pick up a Poke bowl, try some of the Lomi- Lomi Salmon and enjoy the Kalua Pig.
Other must-tries include shaved ice, sashimi, Poi and Spam Musubi.
Coffee lovers must try the Hawaii-grown Kona beans in Kai Coffee or one of the other best Kona Coffee shops in the state.
Things to do in Honolulu
Besides sunbathing and surfing, make sure you spend some time visiting Diamond Head during your Oahu itinerary. This is a volcanic cone on the edge of the island and is one of the most scenic and popular places to visit in Oahu whilst there are some incredible hikes on Oahu too.
Enjoy the beauty of Hanauma Bay and learn at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial. Beach hop around the island, take in the sun, sea and sand whilst you enjoy the full beauty Honolulu has to offer.
Have an amazing time in Honolulu and let us know your favourite thing to do in this gorgeous city in Oahu, in the comments below.