cover Moon Honolulu & O'ahu

Moon Honolulu & O’ahu

O’ahu resident Kevin Whitton provides a fresh look at one of America’s most beloved vacation spots in Moon Honolulu & O’ahu. Whitton knows the best way to experience the island, from taking surf lessons at Kuhio Beach to bird-watching in Kawainui Marsh. He includes trip ideas like “Best of O’ahu in Seven Days,” as well […]

From the amazing collection of Pacific seashells to the planetarium, Bishop Museum explores Hawaii’s culture through many different disciplines.

Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii

The premier natural and cultural history institution in the Pacific and the largest museum in the state, Bishop Museum explores Hawaii’s culture through many different disciplines. Kids will especially enjoy the Science Adventure Center.

Diving in Turtle Canyons.

Diving in Honolulu

Diving in Honolulu waters is all about exploring shipwrecks and finger reefs. Here’s a selection of dive charters catering to first-time or veteran divers.

Vista point view of Honolulu and the Waikiki shoreline.

Honolulu Neighborhood Guide

Like most major metropolitan areas, Honolulu has several distinct neighborhoods where shopping, dining, culture, and entertainment mingle. Familiarizing yourself with the general theme of each neighborhood makes it much easier to plan ahead for the day and to find your way around the city. Here’s a quick summary of what you’ll find in each major area.

‘Iolani Palace, with its glass and ironwork imported from San Francisco and its Corinthian columns, is the only true royal palace in America.

Best Sights in Downtown Honolulu

The best sights in downtown Honolulu are steeped in Hawaii’s political history. Those interested in architecture will find plenty to capture their interest, especially in America’s only true royal palace and a New England-style church built from hand-harvested coral.

An older African-American woman golfer on a tropical course.

Golf and Spa Days in Honolulu

While you might prefer one over the other, Honolulu has some excellent choices for both golf and spa days. If you’re short on time or simply want the best of both in one day, plan ahead! Here’s expert author Kevin Whitton with a round-up of Honolulu golf courses and spas.

A king-sized antique bed in a brightly lit room.

Places to Stay in Honolulu

Though it’s the biggest metropolis in the middle of the Pacific, there aren’t many places to stay in Honolulu. There are a few hotels to choose from—mostly at the airport but there are a couple in Ala Moana—and a historic bed-and-breakfast or a budget YMCA/YWCA option.

Flowers grow along a path with the verdant hills of Manoa Valley visible.

Honolulu Hiking and Birding

Honolulu bird-watching is specifically tied to hiking, as the best spots to sight forest birds are along the many trails. Each location here has half a dozen route or more, usually easily combined for a longer hike and customizable by terrain, so you can have as easy or as difficult a hike as you’d like.

The historic Hawaii State Capitol in Honolulu.

Your Best Day in Honolulu

While there are many neighborhoods that comprise Greater Honolulu, most of what appeals to visitors is centrally located in the downtown vicinity. Plan your Honolulu day around avoiding the daily rush-hour traffic to maximize your time.

Thinly sliced seared meats in sauce at Izakaya Nonbei in Honolulu.

Japanese & Indian Restaurants in Honolulu

Expect most of the Asian restaurants in Honolulu to be busy at mealtimes, so make reservations if you can or arrive before the crowds. Most are also fairly budget-friendly, offer delicious and unique menu items, and are not really tourist-focused, which helps contribute to their popularity with the locals.