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Destinations by Judy Mraz: Honolulu, HI

honolulu coastline

Honolulu Coastline

Honolulu is touristy, no doubt about it. You will be surrounded by people from all over the world almost the entire time you are here. But Honolulu and the surrounding area offers a special brand of tourism. The kind that you enjoy, the kind that makes you feel like you belong here with these people because you guys had the same idea on where to go for vacation. It’s like a constantly changing community.

Everyone is super friendly. It’s a very unique place.

Hawaii offers experiences that you cannot have anywhere else. The food is special, the culture is special, the sights are special, even the words you use are special and will stick with you for a couple weeks after you get home.

Honolulu offers all this but with a lot of people to share it with. It would be hard to come to Honolulu and not meet any new people.

lyon arboretum

Lyon Arboretum

One of my favorite things about Hawaii is the biology. Nearly 90% of the plant species in Hawaii cannot be found anywhere else and these plants are quickly becoming extinct because of the growing human population. To see the largest variety of plants and animals you would have to get away from Honolulu but there is plenty to see near by.

One of the best places to go if you want to see a natural Hawaiian environment near Honolulu is the Lyon Arboretum. This botanical garden is actually located in a rainforest and, in addition to the over 15,000 different kinds of plant species you can see there, the views are spectacular. It’s a unique and beautiful place, there’s nowhere else in the world quite like it. And if you go far enough into the forest you’ll get to see the Manoa Falls. The falls are not so much spectacular as they are serene, definitely worth the hike.

puu ualakaa state park photo by kyle nishioka

Puu Ualakaa State Park, photo by Kyle Nishioka

For simply beautiful views of Honolulu go to Puu Ualakaa State Park. The park is basically a hill that is covered with trees except for at the very top. The top of the hill clears up and you can see the entire city and the ocean behind it. Unforgettable and a great photo opportunity.

Honolulu is also great because of the less natural parts. It would be worth your time to take a tour of the city. A lot of companies offer tours but some of the more outstanding are:

Oahu Spot Tours
Genesis Aviation Helicopter Tours
Hawaii Food Tours
Aloha Private Tours

waikiki beach

Waikiki Beach

A lot of your time in Honolulu should be spent on the beach. The famous Waikiki Beach is pretty, white sand, clear water, but very crowded. Go there and experience what all the fuss is about despite that. Other beaches you’ll want to check out are the Kailua Beach Park and the Ala Moana Beach Park. These beaches have their own charm and you’ll definitely be able to relax better here than at Waikiki.

These beaches are not only beautiful but also historical. They may have been the sight where the first ancient Polynesian rode a wave on a piece of wood. Back then surfing was considered an art and it actually decided where you were placed in society. Today there’s way less pressure to perform well (thank god), if you’ve never surfed before this would be the place to start. There are a number of surfing schools and instructors throughout the area. Some of the best are:

Gone Surfing Hawaii – BIG Thumbs Up! This is the one that we went on.
Hawaiian Fire Surf School
Hook Up Surfing

Of course surfing is not for everyone. To spice up your relaxing Hawaiian vacation you can also go diving, go on an ocean excursion, or visit monuments and memorials.

You’ll need to eat too. I was actually pretty disappointed by the food selection, I was hoping there would be more exotic foods to try but it is technically the USA so maybe I didn’t fly far enough. I did find one place however that was absolutely extraordinary and that was unlike any restaurant I had ever visited before albeit very expenisve.

Vintage Cave. Super unique. They combine flavors that you would never think to combine. And the fusions are amazing. Do not miss this place if you are in the area.

Besides Vintage Cave here are some other places to eat:

Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha
Leonard’s Bakery
Alan Wong’s Restaurant
Duke’s Waikiki
Roy’s Waikiki Beach
La Mer – L’Apertif
Island Vintage Coffee
Sushi Sasabune
d.k. Steak House
Plumeria Beach House
Morton’s Steak House
Roy’s Hawaii Kai
Morimoto Waikiki
Hy’s Steak House

Have fun in Honolulu and don’t forget, you’re here to relax, so relaaax.

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  1. yes says:

    nice post!

  2. Patty Miles says:

    Really is as relaxing and beautiful as you put it. Though the crowds can get to you but I guess thats what the other islands are for.

  3. christian says:

    whod oesn’t love honolulu

  4. George Penn says:

    Do you guys ship to Hawaii!

    • MIG Auto Transport - Jay MIG Auto Transport - Jay says:

      No unfortunately we don’t. If you go to our “Get a Quote” page and submit the form I can help you find a company that will fit your needs.

  5. jakie says:

    my favorite!

  6. anthony says:

    Yeah I dont feel that touristy stuff, waikiki is nicccceee though

  7. Kay Jordan says:

    The beach, the sun, the waves. All inspired me to write, A LOT haha

  8. Velda says:

    Hi everyone! Me and my husband went on an aniversary trip to Hawaii. Everything as described, makes me get that nostalgic feeling!

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