When it comes to having a great vacation, then nothing can be better than getting rid of all those stressful moments at work and going to a new, exquisite place where you can feel like a king or queen. With this idea in mind, I went on to search a wonderful place where I could lose all pressure from the modern society and just enjoy the small things in life, such as sunbathing and nurturing my body, as it’s about time to think about something else rather than others.
And this is the reason why I went for Honolulu, as this is the largest city in Hawaii, located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, where there isn’t any stress, instead here you can only find happiness and a wide range of attractions that make your vacation one that you can only dream about.
I went to Honolulu by plane, and within a few hours I was away from the metropolitan madness into a sunny place that I never visited before! And this is when I started exploring. After a few hours of just randomly going in Honolulu I found it very interesting to check out and with a style of its own. The houses here are smaller than you would expect, but very comfortable and the thing I liked the most is that the natural appeal of the region remains untouched, something that reminded me of the older days in history.
Before heading on to see the numerous tourist attractions in the region, I went on to book accommodations at the Outrigger Waikiki beach resort. Out of all places to accommodate on the island I chose this one mainly because it has the highest reputation, an amazing set of rooms suitable for all budgets and interesting, natural decors that bring that “just like home” feel. My stay at Outrigger Waikiki was a wonderful one, and I definitely enjoyed my time there, so I would recommend this hotel to anyone that comes to Honolulu for a vacation, no matter if you go with your family, girlfriend/boyfriend or on your own.
The first thing in Honolulu that I visited was on the eastern side of the island, and that was the Hanauma Bay which is widely known as being the best place for snorkeling on the whole island. I was interested to learn more about this place, and the guide told me that this particular bay hasn’t been touched that much by humans, so it’s as natural as it can get. It’s sunken into a crater and has a lot of golden sand, which helped it get the opportunity to become a marine sanctuary and a natural reserve.
Interesting enough, when I got here I had to go through a mandatory educational lesson which you do need to follow. This is comprised out of a short video that tells you about the marine life here as well as how people can preserve it. Going to the bottom of the crater and access the beach is very fast, you will get there in around 5 minutes. Once you are there you can have a lot of fun thanks to the clean water and natural environment. Just like I said, Honolulu is a great place for snorkeling, and since I am a huge fan of that I definitely appreciated the whole endeavor. Just a friendly tip, try to get there before 7 AM as you get free entry and parking!
Ok, so the next one might be a little biased, but I definitely love Chinatowns, and believe it or not Honolulu has one as well. What I liked about the Honolulu Chinatown is that despite the lower amount of people that come here, it does provide an amazing and thrilling effect. Here you can find lots of vegetables, meat, fish and so on, but I did enjoy the fact that numerous other things can be found here as well alongside produce. Although I usually prefer restaurants rather than grabbing food from the street, some of the food that I found here was just delicious, so I think that this one of the most immersive and diverse attractions of Honolulu.
One of the most iconic places in Honolulu is definitely the Diamond Head. Located well outside the town, it requires a whole lot of effort to reach it, but if you love hiking then going here is a great way to follow your hobby and get a great workout at the same time as well. This place was actually a crater that hosted a military base, but now Honolulu is mainly a recreational place for tourists. It took me around 30 minutes to reach that particular summit, but going there was definitely worth it, since I just got to see Honolulu in all of its glory, complete with beaches and so on. There are a few locations to go through before you reach the summit, such as a military tunnel and a bunker, so even getting to the Diamond Head is an experience on its own.
One of the major reasons why I chose Honolulu for my vacation in the first place were the ocean sports, such as surfing. I particularly love the climate here, and learning how to surf was definitely the number one priority. I swam and took numerous surfing lessons here, while also enjoying the natural beauty of some of these beaches.
My next stop was Honolulu’s massive Zoo. This is a very large zoon that spans around 42 acres and I was astonished to see how much stuff was actually there. There are more than 900 different animals in this zoo, and many of them are actually native to this region. This was one of the only zoos I saw in the world where the animals just felt like being at home. The habitats were very clean, and overall Honolulu Zoo just gave me that natural, immersive feel that someone does want when entering such a place. Alongside the Zoo, I also went to the Waikiki aquarium which is located nearby. Here I had the opportunity to learn more about the local marine life, a very fun experience, and I even had fun with the cute monk seals there!
Although Honolulu doesn’t have that much history, I managed to track down a few historically significant places during my trip too. The Lolani Palace is large, sumptuous and during my visit I found it as a very interesting, beautifully decorated and furnished location with a wonderful interior design and a luxurious appeal. This palace does manage to provide you into the peak of the local history, and it’s a one of a kind experience that I think it’s well worth having. While there, I recommend you to check out the State Capitol in Honolulu, as I surely did and I enjoyed every minute of my trip.
Just like I mentioned earlier, hiking is one of my favorite things to do, and with this in mind I went to visit the Manoa Falls. Unlike many hiking experiences I had, this was definitely one of a king because you just have the opportunity to go through a lush, green jungle. It’s not a long road to get to the Manoa Falls, but once you get there you do feel like being in a magical place. Filled with numerous plants and lots of water, this place just brings you the amazing natural appeal that you would like from a trip, and you will enjoy the outcome for sure. During my experience, I did encounter some falling rocks, but entering the water under the falls was exciting, and that is one swim I will never forget.
After so many hikes, I decided to relax a little bit and found the Wikiki region of Honolulu to be the best place for it. This is one of the most populated regions in town, and one that is filled with tourists as well. You can just go shopping or dine at the numerous restaurants, take a walk on the beach or just relax while staring at the sun. For me, Waikiki was one of the most relaxing experiences that I ever had!
What about food you might ask? When, I can say that Honolulu offers you access to a wide range of local food that you will never find elsewhere in the world. What I liked here the most was the laulau, as it has an exquisite and rather intricate taste that I always came back to, but there’s also poi and kalua pig, which are two specialties that I definitely enjoy as well. It’s nice that it doesn’t matter if you are a vegetarian or not, you are always going to find some impressive dishes that will help you relax even more.
While in Honolulu I also managed to check out a very interesting thing, and that is the Fish Auction. This is the only live tuna auction in the whole US, which intrigued me at first. You just enter a large room filled with fish and you go from one place to another making bids and trying to get the fish for as low as you can get.
As you can see, Honolulu gave me quite a lot of things to visit. From the interesting beaches that can be found in and outside the town to the memorials, the great swimming experiences, surfing lessons and the plethora of other neat stuff that you can see, Honolulu is definitely well worth a visit at all times.
I visited Honolulu during the summer and got amazed in regards to the large amount of tourist that come here. It’s important to note that Wi-Fi speed is decent, if you can’t live without the internet, although I tried to lose contact with the outside world entirely during my experience. The hotel was nice and gave access to a wide range of commodities, and overall my travel experience was a very good one.
When it comes to living in Honolulu for a few days, I found the overall prices for food, restaurants and admission fees to be on the decent side, without too much money being required. It’s a nice change of pace from the regular visits, and it’s one vacation that I would repeat in a heartbeat. So yes, I do recommend you to check out Honolulu, as in my opinion this is the best possible experience that you can get during your vacation! Honolulu, Outrigger Hotel Donnovan