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World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > United States of America > Hawaii > Honolulu

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Things to do in Honolulu

Cycle Honolulu’s north shore bike path

Rent a bike with The Bike Shop (tel: +1 808 596 0588 ; www.bikeshophawaii.com) and zip from Waimea Bay to Sunset Beach along this two lane, 6km (3.7 miles) bike path that takes you past some of the islands best beaches. Stop off en route to picnic at the Banzai Pipeline surf spot or watch world-class surfing at Ehukai Beach Park before plunging into the pristine seas at Sunset Beach.

Hop between Hawaii’s volcanoes

Take a boat from Oahu to the big island with Polynesian Adventure Tours (tel: +1 888 206 4531); www.polyadhawaiitours.com) and discover the world’s most active volcano, Kīlauea. You’ll also explore the steam vents of Kilauea Iki, and the bizarre and wonderful Thurston Lava Tube, before finding out more about the region’s volcanic activity in the fascinating Jaggar Museum.

Kayak through Kawela Bay

Hop in a glass-bottomed kayak and paddle the calm crystal clear waters of the protected Kawela Bay, which is home to honu (green sea turtles), dozens of varieties of fish, and various species of dolphin. Paddle along with Shaka Kayaks (tel: +1 808 381 4121; www.shakakayaks.com) and you will have a chance to feed the bay’s resident turtles.

Mingle with hipsters in Chinatown

Rapidly becoming the centre of Honolulu’s art scene, downtown Chinatown is the place to be on the weekends, when the hip crowd heads to trendy events in the area’s art galleries, edgy boutiques, and innovative restaurants. Combine your trip to this Honolulu hot spot with a foodies walking tour by Food Tours of Hawaii (tel: +1 800 979 3370; www.foodtoursofhawaii.com) to get the best of all worlds.

Ride a horse through the Ko'olau Mountain Range

Discover Hawaii like a true Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) by choosing from a variety of horseback rides available at the Gunstock Ranch (tel: +1 808 341 3995; gunstockranch.com). Located just one hour from Honolulu, this ranch tailors routes by length and difficulty to suit riders of all abilities, and tours trot through the gorgeous Ko’olau Mountain Range.

See Honolulu by helicopter

Swoop out in a flying bird to see Oahu Island’s most iconic sights. Take in everything from the Sacred Falls State Park and the rainforest of Kahana Valley to Hanauma Bay and Pearl Harbor. Makani Kai (tel: +1 808 834 5813; www.makanikai.com) will help get your feet off the ground.

Tackle the Waikiki Beach waves (or learn to ride some)

If you’ve ever dreamed of being in the opening shot of Hawaii Five-O, now’s your chance. Honolulu is famed for its surf scene and wave riders flock to catch the big ones at Waikiki Beach. But before you hit this legendary surf venue, head out with Hawaiian Surf Adventures (tel: +1 808 396 2324; www.hawaiiansurfadventures.com) which will take you to a secluded cove by boat and teach you the tricks of the wave trade.

Trek Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve

A trail along a former Waianae railroad leads out to the Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve (www.hawaiistateparks.org). This remote but scenic spot among the island’s last sand dunes provides the ideal habitat for a plethora of indigenous plants and native seabirds. Keep an eye on the coastal waters, which are often frequented by whales. Take sunscreen and plenty of water for this 5.5 km (3.5 mile) trek.

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Featured Hotels

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The Royal Hawaiian

Located on the Waikiki beach, this beatiful "Pink Palace of the Pacific" is popular with Hollywood celebrities and world dignitaries. It has 528 rooms and suites, many of them overlook the sparkling Pacific Ocean. It has become a popular wedding venue too.

Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club

A 10-minute walk from Waikiki beach this reasonably-priced 4-star hotel has 112 rooms and guests can enjoy free Wi-Fi and great amenities nearby.

Vive Hotel Waikiki

A great deal for its price, this sophisticated hotel is just three blocks the famed Waikiki Beach, and offers free breakfast and Wi-Fi, paid parking, and a spa. If you request a room above the seventh floor, you will also have a gorgeous view of either Koolau Mountain or the Pacific Ocean.

 

Lotus Honolulu at Diamond Head

Constructed just close enough to the majestic Diamond Head Crater for peace and quiet, yet only a short (free) shuttle ride from Ala Moana, this boutique hotel offers the best of both worlds. Accommodations are intimate and classy, and visitors can participate in beach cruiser bike rides, outdoor yoga classes, and complementary evening wine receptions courtesy of hotel management.

 

Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort & Spa

Luxury holidaymakers will appreciate the on-site car hire agencies as well as the foreign currency exchange and Private Line programme providing complimentary local toll-free and calling card phone calls. Your stay also comes with in-room coffee and discounted self and valet parking.

The Kahala Hotel and Resort

Consistently voted one of Hawaii's top luxury hotels, the opulent Kahala offers up-close and personal Dolphin Quest encounters with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, private spa suites, and complimentary hula, ukulele, and lei making classes.