Hawaii is known for many things: the sun, the sea, and the surf. But Hawaii has so much more just off the coasts. Honolulu is the perfect mix of both metropolitan and island paradise, and if you're lucky enough to live nearby can be a perfect weekend getaway! There's plenty of beautiful highlights in the island to check out, and here's a few good places to start.
While not as sunny and cheerful as other locations on the island, Pearl Harbor is still a striking monument worth visiting. The site includes multiple vessels you can learn about, as well as a museum to learn more about the bombing of Pearl Harbor and World War 2. If you're interested in visiting make sure you book tickets to visit the USS Arizona beforehand, as they do sell out frequently.
Hanauma Bay is an absolute must for anyone looking to snorkel. You start at the top of the nature preserve and walk down to the beach where you can walk right into a secluded coral reef to snorkel over. This area is full of beautiful fish to see of all kinds! If you decide to visit, definitely bring a picnic lunch and you can enjoy eating it down by the water during a break.
If you're craving something a bit more physical, check out Diamond Head Crater. This park is the perfect place to take in a sunrise, and you can walk all the way from the foot of the crater up to the outer edge and watch the sun come up over the island. Follow up a visit here with a brunch back in town for a feel good start to the day!
Honolulu itself is the perfect city to make your base of operations. It's centrally located, and full of all sorts of activities for people of all ages. If you're interested in shopping, hit up the main street where you can find brands across the spectrum of prices. If you're into food there are plenty of fantastic local eateries. If you're into surfing, there's also the beaches nearby with plenty of surf schools. It's recommended to stay at least 1 night in Honolulu, perhaps with a sunset cruise in the harbor.
While the other beaches here are full of tourists, this beach's sands are home to an entirely different kind of creature: Sea Turtles. Laniakea Beach is a popular resting spot for sea turtles coming to land, and a stop here during the right time will let you see some in person. They're commonly guarded by a local organization who keeps watch as well as answers any questions from local tourists. This beach is worth the stop for any tourists visiting the famous North Shore.