Country: United States
Currency: Dollar (USD)
Peak Season: December-April, July-August
Shoulder Season: May-June, October
Median Temperature: 24.40 C / 75.92 F
Main Languages: English, Filipino, Japanese
Primary Modes of Transportation: Bus, shuttle, trolley, taxi
Recommended Duration of Stay: 4 days
Recommended Pocket Money: $120.00/day
Tourist Passes: Honolulu Power Pass
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Whether it be for the great year-long climate, surfable beaches, the pacific setting, or simply just for the upbeat way of life, Honolulu remains as one of the more popular getaway destinations in the US. The city of Honolulu is at the southeastern coast of the island of Oahu, which happens to be the 20th largest island in the country and is also home to the infamous naval base, Pearl Harbor. The month of March marks spring break for collegians throughout the country, and Honolulu is no exception to these rowdy young adults. The peak season spans through December to early April; as expected, hotels near the coastline are always fully booked, and beaches are always packed with tanners and surfers. Honolulu is also famous for being the permanent recluse of many war veterans and retirees from the mainland due to the city’s prosperous weather conditions, relatively affordable (and investable) real estate, convenient transportation system, and very friendly locals.

Due to the predominance of Asians in the city, it enjoys a variety of cosmopolitan (more specifically, oriental and modern Hawaiian) dishes. Hawaiian cuisine in particular, uses chicken, pork, sea critters, and fresh fruits (pineapple) and vegetables as the chief ingredients, with emphasis on juiciness above anything. Chicken kabob, pit-roasted kalua pig, and rum cakes are just some of the popular plate dishes here. Steaks, burgers, and other western food are also popular with the locals, topped with freshly sliced tomatoes, lettuce, and onions. Vegans and surfers don’t have to worry, as a variety of leafy salads are mainstays in most restaurants.

Packing List

  • Tropical apparel, sandals, beachwear, sarong, deodorants and other portable swimming gear; forget about towing heavy equipment, you can easily rent for cheap here, even surfboards
  • Mosquito repellants, sunscreen, tanning lotion and anything to protect you from nature’s harsh; the heat can be fierce throughout the year, so it’s imperative to buy highest SPF lotions
  • A water-proof camera for panoramic and underwater shots; bring powerful lenses, plenty of memory, and batteries since scenic locations are a bit far from the civilized regions
  • Essential medication, personal toiletries, and more importantly, first aid kits, for unprecedented accidents that frequent even the most skilled spelunkers, divers and surfers
  • A GPS device, guidebook or anything that can get you by routes and attractions easily; you could also opt to bring sizeable amount of cash in dealing with the “older” locals who prefer paper

Things to Do

  • Paying respect to the heroes of Pearl Harbor at the USS Arizona Memorial; the tour includes viewing footage of the attacks and going to the mausoleum to see the names of the deceased
  • Snorkeling with the turtles at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve; now a protected area, it is one of Oahu’s most beautiful nature reserves, having an abundance of coral reefs and marine life
  • Conquering the relatively low summit of Diamond Head, a volcanic tuff cone having a crater diameter of 3520 feet; one can see the city, outlying islands and the Pacific Ocean from atop
  • Enjoying the calm, gold-sand shores of Ala Moana Beach Park; the half-mile beach is suited for family picnics, parties and swimming practices, with the added convenience of its facilities
  • Bracing the winds at Waikiki Beach, perfect for surfing because of the prolonged waves; the peace; the neighborhood of Waikiki itself is host to many convenience stores, bars, boutiques, and hotels

DON'T

  • Employ mainland attitude here, especially boisterous behavior and rude traffic etiquette; Hawaii is the most laid-back state of the US, so be cool and collect to score good vibes with the locals
  • Get caught in a fashion faux pas by: wearing bikinis and bathing suits on places other than the beach, wearing matching print designs for couples, or wearing sneakers instead of flip-flops
  • Expect the city to be free from petty thieves, so don’t bring cash/jewelry if alone; there have been many accounts of valuables being lost on the shore by people who left for the ocean
  • Pack snorkeling/scuba gear, they’re affordable and don’t get rented out easily; water equipment is affordable here, so consider packing less to save more on luggage fees and transport headaches
  • Feed, harass, or even play with the endangered species—leave them alone; authorities are very protective of wildlife since most of them are endangered, particularly the green sea turtles