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Ready to embark on a journey to Hawaii’s Capital? Boasting gorgeous beaches, incredible volcanic craters, rich history, amazing art & culture, and a wide range of attractions, this island paradise has it all. The destination comes with an excellent balance of adventure and relaxation, giving travelers of diverse interests to have memorable holidays.

Families will have plenty of kid-friendly activities to keep their young ones engaged. Adults can go hiking or get lost in the city's rich history by exploring its historic museums. Planning to visit Honolulu? Here is what to experience in Hawaii's Capital.


Experience Arts & Culture In Honolulu

Honolulu boasts incredible art and culture scene. The city hosts music and dance events and festivals, such as the Honolulu Festivals. The locals widely speak English, but travelers are likely to hear some Hawaiian words as they wander around the city, especially in the malls and markets. Some common words include ''aloha,'' which is a way of saying hello to someone, and ''mahalo,’’ usually means ‘’thank you.’’

While Hawaiians adore their indigenous ancestry, they also like to be recognized as American citizens. Also, Oahu's atmosphere is usually laid-back, and things may not be as fast in Honolulu as in other American cities.

This means that customer service in hotels and restaurants may delay sometimes. It is important to visit the local museums to get in touch with Hawaiian culture.

Bishop Museum Oahu

Located at the base of Likilike Highway, west of Waikiki, Bishop Museum contains the largest collection of Hawaiian artifacts in the state. Working to collect, study, and preserve the local history, this museum is the main cultural institution in the Pacific.

Travelers will encounter millions of arts, pictures, and documents representing Hawaii’s culture.

Honolulu Museum of Art

Nestled near Downtown Honolulu, the Honolulu Museum of Art has over 60, 0000 pieces of art, making it the largest art museum in Hawaii. The museum displays arts from different parts of the world, including Asian, Polynesian, and European. ​​​​​​​

Related: 10 Art Museums In Florida Perfect For The Creative Traveler

The galleries at this place will keep tourists busy for a long time, and then they can take a break and grab some eats in the open-air HoMA Café.

Explore Iolani Palace – The Only Official Royalty State Residence In The U.S.

A visit to Honolulu can't be complete without exploring this iconic national historic landmark. The last two monarchs of the Hawaiian Kingdom: King Kalakaua and his sister and successor, Queen Liliuokalani, used this palace as their official residence between 1882 and 1893.

King David Kalakaua built this palace, whose magnificent architecture was European-inspired. When inside this palace, vacationers will experience the portraits of the then Kingdom and the royal gifts and ornaments collected from different corners of the planet.

Travelers go on guided or self-guided audio tours of the palace to learn the history of this gorgeous icon.

The City’s Iconic Landmarks & Attractions

Waikiki – World-Famous Beach Destination

Located on Honolulu’s south shore, Waikiki, once a Hawaiian royalty playground, is famous for its gorgeous beaches.

The place also boasts luxurious hotels and resorts, which are just a stone-throw away from the beach, if not directly waterfront. Surfing is one of the most popular activities, and the calm waters allow for a great learning experience. ​​​​​​​

Related: Adventure Waikiki: How To Book The Perfect Parasailing Tour

Waikiki boasts more than just its pristine beaches. Some of its attractions are the Honolulu Zoo and the Waikiki Aquarium, family-friendly destinations that will keep both kids and adults entertained.

Waikiki is packed with several colorful shops, restaurants, and shopping centers. The neighborhood's nightlife, which features live music is always on point.

Diamond Head State Monument

Locally referred to as Leahi, this iconic state monument was named Diamond Head by British sailors in the 19th century who discovered shiny calcite crystals that they thought were diamonds. The crater dates to over 100, 000 years ago and became a military base in the early 1900s.

Now, the popular hiking destination is an icon of Honolulu. There are two stairs, giving a total of 175 steps, plus some underground tunnels, which need spotlights to get through.

Some travelers might find the hike challenging, but once they get to the top, the breathtaking views of Waikiki and the south shore of the Island are well worth the effort.

Downtown Honolulu

Downtown is the island's main center of business, as well as the government as both the City Hall, Honolulu Hale, and the State Capitol, are located here. The neighborhood is home to some of the city's most historic places, including the Iolani Palace, the Aloha Tower, and the King Kamehameha I statue.

Travelers can go on walking tours to explore theme cultural and architectural attractions.

Shopping In Honolulu

Travelers will have some of Hawaii’s best shopping experiences in Honolulu, thanks to the numerous opportunities it presents. Whether in search of the latest fashion or unique arts and crafts, this gorgeous city got everyone covered. There are several open-air layouts in Honolulu, thanks to its mild tropical climate.

Surrounded by beautiful gardens and tall palm trees, these markets boast magnificent appearances. Add to the colorful item on display, and shopping in Honolulu is second to none!

The city is packed with numerous malls, which are easily accessible from downtown Honolulu, as well as many shops selling different goods.

Another advantage of shopping in Hawaii’s capital is the fact that it allows visitors to connect to the local culture of the people. Some specific shops offer Hawaiian-made items, and select galleries are displaying local talents.

Moreover, there are plenty of cultural shows and events to catch in the city, including the hula shows.

Some of the best places to go shopping in Honolulu include Ala Moana Shopping Center, Waikele Premium Outlets, SALT at Our Kaka‘ako, and International Market Place.

Explore Honolulu’s Dining Scene

Honolulu’s dining scene is fantastic, and every traveler will find something they like in its restaurants and cafes. Whether visiting as a foodie or just looking for a nice place for dining in Waikiki, Honolulu will never disappoint.

Historically, Hawaii’s Capital wasn’t always a foodie paradise, as people visited for its gorgeous beaches.

However, the city’s gastronomic scene has improved significantly over the years. Travelers can taste varieties of food, including fish dishes, eclectic foods, and fresh farm produce from the beautiful farmer’s markets in the city.

Some of the city’s restaurants to check out are:

From cultural and architectural wonders to historical icons to incredible dining scenes, there is so much to experience in Hawaii's Capital, and visiting is well worth it.