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Explore Honolulu - An Exclusive Guide

A perfect day in... Honolulu, Hawaii

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Hawaii is best known for its laid-back beach lifestyle, and even in its bustling capital, life revolves around the great outdoors. But there’s plenty of culture and fascinating history, too, as well as first-class fusion food to try before hitting the waves.

What to see in Honolulu

Honolulu’s most famous spot is Waikiki beach, a crescent of golden sand backed by high-rise hotels and luxury apartments. This buzzing neighborhood is the perfect spot to book a snorkeling trip or a cruise to watch one of the island’s famous sunsets. And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not sign up for a surf lesson with one of the local surf schools? They’ll teach you the basics and show you how to catch the easiest breaks.

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Five minutes east of Waikiki sits Diamond Head (or Le’ahi), a 760-foot extinct volcano crater and one of Hawaii’s most famous landmarks. It’s a short hike to the summit, via a zigzagging path that passes old military tunnels and bunkers. Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with fantastic panoramic views over Honolulu and to the islands of Lanai and Maui beyond.

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The Pearl Harbor National Memorial lies just west of Honolulu, including two museums, a visitors’ center and the USS Arizona Memorial, the resting place of more than 1,000 sailors and Marines killed on the ship during the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack. Join a tour of the active naval base and learn more about one of the most pivotal moments in US history.

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What to do in Honolulu

Built in 1882 by King Kalakaua, the then-reigning monarch of Hawaii, Iolani Palace is the only royal palace on US soil. Influenced by European architectural styles, its opulent interiors feature an American Florentine-style throne room, ornate furniture and royal gifts and ornaments from around the world.

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A short walk away sits the Honolulu Museum of Art (HoMA), Hawaii’s largest fine arts museum, where you can explore one of the world’s finest collections of Asian art in a charmingly picturesque setting, dotted with open-air courtyards and pretty ponds. Culture buffs should also check out the Bishop Museum, which houses an extensive collection of cultural artifacts, documents, and historical photographs about Hawaii and other Polynesian cultures. Don’t miss the outdoor murals, which were painted by notable Hawaiian artists, international street artists and sculptors. 

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What to eat in Honolulu

In recent years, Honolulu has emerged as one of the major new culinary hotspots in the US. Enjoy Vietnamese cooking at The Pig and the Lady and inventive Hawaiian small plates at Mud Hen Water. Or head to foodie neighborhoods, Chinatown and Kaka’ako, to uncover cool restaurants serving fusion dishes that combine traditional Hawaiian cooking with influences from Japan, China and the Philippines, among others.

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Other island specialties to try are loco moco (white rice topped with a hamburger patty, fried egg and brown gravy) and spam musubi, which is similar to sushi, but uses meat instead of fish. For dessert, there’s Hawaiian shave ice – finely shaved ice topped with flavored syrup and masaladas (fried dough covered in sugar).

For more information, go to gohawaii.com

This article has been written for review purposes only and does not suggest sponsorship or endorsement of AARDY by the trademark owner.

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