Honolulu is known as a vacation hotspot for honeymooners and tourists, but it's important to plan your time wisely, as there's an incredible amount of places to explore. As a visitor to this amazing city in Hawaii, you don't want to be stuck on the beach the whole time researching the best places to go and saying "Aloha" to passerbys. There's too much of this island to explore to stay lying in one place getting your tan on. Instead of moping around like a depressed tourist, take charge of your vacation and visit this gold mine of the best places and things to do.
Island Paradise: Honolulu's Attractions
The attractions and entertainment in Honolulu provide a fun atmosphere that goes beyond the hokey atmosphere of some coastal cities. Genuine oceanic attractions with experts of their fields await your visit. These attractions will appeal especially to those who don't visit the ocean often. All places will thrill the oldest to the youngest and make a story or two for the plane ride back.
Waikiki Ocean Club
Waikiki is the Times Square of Honolulu, giving you more entertainment options than you know what to do with. The Waikiki Ocean Club dubs itself the "one stop shop" for meeting all of our ocean activity desires, from snorkeling to sliding down their loopy water slide! Complimentary, quality gear for snorkeling is included and the club provides a scenic "island" with over 10,000 square feet of deck space.
Children's Discovery Center
Catering especially to the little ones in our lives, families can take their kids through educational, interactive exhibits like Your Town (life of a grown-up) or Rainforest Adventures (showing value of natural environments). The Discovery Center makes learning fun and helps kids understand their world in new ways.
How often do you get to experience the ocean with parasailing and surfing experts? Not for the faint of heart, sailing with this group gives you beautiful views of America's island state, from the rainforests to an inactive volcano, Diamond Head crater. Make your choice: Parasailing, deep-sea fishing or jet skiing. You can't go wrong!
Delicious Dining: Honolulu's Restaurants
Why settle for an average restaurant when you can find the cuisine that makes Honolulu one-of-a-kind? Some of these eateries feature recipes you won't find anywhere else, and if you're out on a fancy date or just want a fun place to take the kids, Honolulu has the perfect place for you. Delicious desserts, fantastic entrees and the best caribbean-style cooking you've ever bitten into can be found right in Honolulu.
Starting from a family tradition that dates back over 60 years ago, Leonard's Bakery takes its food seriously. Although their menu features the top-notch cakes, pastries and pies, we recommend you try their specialty: Malasadas (sugar-coated Portuguese donut). Since they began baking them Malasadas and sweet breads like Pao Doce have captured the public's taste buds.
Duke's is an all-encompassing experience that goes beyond just food. See the beach, listen to live entertainment and talk with that special someone all while enjoying Duke's fabulous array of cuisine. Featuring two special menus (for the Dining Room and Barefoot Bar), you can choose among options like the tangy Mac Nut Chicken Katsu or the plump Korean Steak Street Tacos.
Yard House - Waikiki
First started in Denver, Yard House has that Hard Rock Cafe feel that puts the American spirit in every aspect of the dining experience, from cool, classic rock to the 130 menu items from burgers to beer. They also provide beverage options that are region specific, so you can ask the server for a "native" drink. And if you're on a tight budget, you'll be glad to know that Yard House has a happy hour.
WWII and Beyond: Honolulu's History
Hawaii experienced one of the darkest days in America's history back in 1941. The surprise Pearl Harbor attack has since attributed to the preservation of WWII history on the shores on Honolulu, although visitors can find many other museums and monuments to the past across the island as well. If you're able to take time off in December during the anniversary of Pearl Harbor, we highly recommend it. Walk back through time in this fair city with memorials and museums.
US Army Museum of Hawaii
The cold steel of the past sits still, but you can almost hear the gunshots and roar of tank wheels as you walk through the exhibits and learn Hawai'i's branch of the army through this somber tour (you can choose the audio tour for an even more engaging experience). Although mostly geared around the Pearl Harbor attack, viewers can also learn about how the Korean and Vietnam Wars affected the army.
Pearl Harbor / WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument
Photographs of the explosive attack, artifacts from the sea, and survivor's stories are just a few of the captivating parts of this monument to America's WWII history. Explore each part of the exhibits thoroughly, including the "Remembrance Circle," a monument that has the names of victims etched along its structural surface. Old films and parts of attacked warships are a few of the other great pieces of history here.
Bowfin Museum and Park
Dive into the hidden part of naval warfare - submarines. In this museum, you can capture your teen's imaginations with the advances in technology from the ancient to the most modern submarines. Discover the impact that the USS Bowfin has had on our nation's history in war and peacetime. The museum also dedicates its respect to the countless sailors who have given their lives to protect our coastlines.
Visit and Capture Memories of Honolulu
After walking through this island's rich culture and history, you'll better understand what makes this city much more than a tourist trap. The beaches, forests and welcoming people will give you and your family a better perspective of what it means to be Hawai'ian. Even the tropical, mild climate beats most vacation spots in the states. Honolulu gives you the best of every facet during your vacation, and you won't want to leave when its time to go.
What do you think of Honolulu? Would you Hawaii spend your vacation on the beach, visiting history, or something else?
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