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The home of sea, surf, and Hawaiian shirts

White sands, fruity cocktails and romantic sunsets on Waikiki beach make holidays to Honolulu a Hawaiian dream. Blessed with perfect waves for surfing and a volcanic landscape like no other, say ‘aloha’ to this tropical island paradise.

Essential information for Honolulu

Language

USA flag
American English

Currency

US Dollar $
Official currency of the United States

Flight information

17h (+ 1/2 stop)
Oahu (HDH)
Indirect flight.

Flight schedule

  • Daily flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle
  • Connecting flights to Oahu
are our main airline partner

Do I need a VISA?

Yes. You'll need to obtain approval no less than 72 hours prior to travel to the US via the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) scheme.

Find out more about Travel Visas here »

Top Tip

Fly to L.A, San Francisco or Seattle with Virgin Atlantic, stay a night or two, then catch an onward flight to Hawaii with Hawaiian Airlines.

Honolulu holidays: where the surf’s always up and the weather’s always warm

When you picture paradise, it usually looks a whole lot like Hawaii. Postcard-ready sandy beaches, technicolour sunsets and culture, culture, culture.

Honolulu, home to the world-famous Waikiki Beach, is the ultimate getaway destination, and here’s why:

  • It has natural beauty, sports on sports on sports, great shopping and some of the best beaches the world has to offer all in one place.
  • Hawaii’s capital — on Oahu island — is not only a too-good-to-be-true beach holiday destination, but a modern urban centre and cultural hub. With so much to do on holidays to Honolulu, where do you start?

Here’s the lowdown on the best places to go, the best things to see and do, and the most delicious things to eat and drink while on holiday in Honolulu.

Beach holidays in Honolulu

Tourists with visions of holidays to Honolulu filled with pristine white sand beaches and azure seas are in for a treat – Hawaii’s capital is all of that and more. Possibly the most famous beach in all of Hawaii, Waikiki Beach is a tourist fave, with peaceful waters, watersports galore, and a whole host of fantastic restaurants and bars lining the shores. Enjoy the best of Waikiki from the Pacific Beach hotel, perfectly located along the beachfront.

Queen Surf Beach, a quieter stretch of coastline not far from Waikiki Beach, is perfect if you’re looking for relaxing holidays to Honolulu. Plus, a stay at the Queen Kapiolani hotel offers unbeatable views of Leahi (Diamond Head) Volcano.

Lined by a coral reef, the beautiful Ala Moana Beach Park (Magic Island), just west of Waikiki, boasts a large, shallow lagoon perfect for the little ones to play in. The long stretch of beach offers something for everyone, from paddle boarding to surfing. It’s a perfect spot for some good old-fashioned relaxation, too.

Honolulu’s nature and wildlife

Don your most appropriate walking shoes and climb the short trail to the summit of Diamond Head Volcano for spectacular 360-degree views of Honolulu and its dazzling coastline. The volcano itself is a sight to behold, perhaps best viewed from Waikiki Beach or the balconies at the incredible Sheraton Waikiki hotel.

Animal lovers, you can’t miss the chance to snorkel alongside the noble Hawaiian green sea turtles (known as Honu) with a Honolulu turtle tour, or a trip to the 42-acre Honolulu Zoo, which is home to over 900 animals, from tree frogs and terrapins to sloths and servals.

Climb the steps to the Spitting Cave of Portlock, known for its manicured cliff rock formations and “spitting” waves. The views are beautiful and the water is unbelievably blue, so it’s well worth tracking down.

Culture and attractions in Honolulu

For the ultimate insight into Honolulu’s history and culture, you’ll want to visit The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, the largest museum in the state. This is an educational experience for the whole family, with interactive exhibitions for the kids (think lava tubes for them to crawl through as they learn about volcanoes!)

Formerly known as Luakaha, the Kaniakapūpū Ruins of King Kamehameha III and Queen Kalama’s summer home, is an unmissable cultural gem while on your Honolulu holidays. A gentle trek, starting in a bamboo tunnel, takes you to the ruins and Luakaha Waterfall. This is private land, and the ruins date back to 1847, so be sure to treat the area with respect.

Honolulu food and drink

No Honolulu holiday would be complete without trying some of the local delicacies, or checking out the fine-dining experiences the city has to offer.

  • Hawaii is famous for its amazing seafood, and there’s no better way to sample it than the Honolulu Fish Auction. Get up early to avoid the crowds and get the freshest seafood – it’s a real insight into local life, too.
  • If you want the very best gourmet seafood, order literally anything from the menu at the award-winning fusion restaurant, Hoku’s, and that’s exactly what you’ll get. This place is unbelievable.
  • Head to Helena’s for traditional Hawaiian style jerky, (pipikaula). The restaurant has been open over 70 years, and you won’t find better pipikaula anywhere.
  • Of course, you can’t go to Honolulu without trying poke – seasoned cubes of raw fish – and you can get it everywhere. Try the poke counter at Nico’s at Pier 38, next door to the fish auction, for a fresher than fresh, delicious foray into poke.
  • As for drinks, holidays to Honolulu must involve a Mai Tai or two, of course, but be sure to try the Tropical Itch –  made with rum, bourbon and passion fruit juice – at Sheraton Waikiki.

Events and festivals in Honolulu

If you’re looking to schedule holidays to Honolulu around events — there’s no better way to immerse yourself in the city’s dynamic culture — here’s some highlights to take note of:

  • March – The Honolulu Festival brings dancing, art and parades which fill the streets with live music and spectacular colour. The three-day celebration is a vibrant blend of Asian, Hawaiian and Pacific cultures, and aims to promote understanding, cooperation and harmony.
  • June – The King Kamehameha Floral Parade features traditional pa'u riders in beautifully colourful dresses on horseback, alongside decorated floats – it’s not one to miss if you’re around!

Can’t bear to wait any longer before booking your Honolulu holiday of dreams?

Why would you wait? Take a look at our fantastic Honolulu hotels – you’re sure to find something perfect for you. Today. Right now.

Mai Tais all round!