One of the most popular tourist destinations in the world is Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii and the main entry for travelers stopping in the state. Most visitors come to Hawaii to enjoy the gorgeous beaches, high-rise hotels and tropical climate with clear blue skies and white sands.
Apart from being easily accessible by direct flights from North America, Asia, and destinations around the South Pacific, Hawaii is filled with culture and historical landmarks, with about 10 million people visiting yearly. To enjoy these glitzy destinations, here are some of the top tourist attractions in Hawaii, Honolulu;
10 Tourist Attractions in Hawaii, Honolulu
1. Dolphin Quest Oahu: One of the most famous goals on a traveler’s bucket list is to swim with dolphins. Fortunately, Dolphin Quest Oahu is the best place to turn your dreams into reality by snorkeling underwater with dolphins swimming around you in the pool. It offers more refined packages such as petting, socializing and feeding the dolphins together with snapping some unforgettable pictures.
2. Honolulu Botanical Gardens: The Honolulu Botanical Gardens are a series of botanical gardens that you wouldn’t want to miss as a nature lover. They are found throughout the city, including the Koko Crater Botanical Garden, The Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden, The Wahiawa Botanical Garden and the Liliuokalani Botanical Garden, which features a waterfall. Each is unique in its trees, flowers and natural landscapes.
3. Iolani Palace: If you’re curious about Hawaii’s old way of life, Iolani Palace, which is known as “The Kingdom of Hawaii,” used to be a monarchy ruled by kings and queens until it was dethroned by a coup d’etat in late 19th century and became part of the U.S. Iolani Palace is a stunning building where visitors go to learn about the culture of Hawaii. It is filled with ornate throne rooms, political offices and exhibits of clothes, furniture and artefacts of ancient royalty.
4. Polynesian Cultural Center: Looking for a place that reflects the traditions and cultures in Hawaii? Head on to the Polynesian Cultural Center, an existing traditional Hawaiian museum with six villages, including Fiji, Samoa, Tahiti, Aotearoa (Maori), Tonga and the Alii Luau, which offers an authentic experience of live entertainment for guests.
5. Waikiki: Waikiki is well-known for its high-rise buildings which soar across its cafes, resorts, and striking shop fronts that display colourful surfboards and souvenirs. Most people are often surprised to learn that the bustling tourist site is not a city in Hawaii but a neighbourhood in Honolulu. It should be your top destination for a memorable vacation as there is no limit to the fun activities you can do in Honolulu.
6. Shangri-La museum: The Shangri-La museum has the most significant portion of ceramic art and notable tile-work with medieval Persian examples. The museum features a collection of 2,500 pieces of textiles, glass, wood and decorative objects from Spain, the Middle East, India, and Asia. As a result of the benefactor’s affection for Islamic artwork and design, it is also a complete collection of the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.
7. Honolulu Zoo: You don’t want to miss the chance to marvel at the diverse wildlife of Hawaii in the Honolulu Zoo. It showcases 900 species of rare and exotic animals ranging from gigantic lions to poisonous tree frogs and other nature’s beasts. There are special events and camps at the Honolulu Zoo for a great holiday, such as the “Twilight Tours”, which is available after the zoo closes and the “Snooze at the Zoo” program that allows you to sleep at the zoo overnight and wake up to a steamy breakfast.
8. Ala Moana Center: From an impressive architectural structure to cheap kiosks, expensive boutiques and a public arena where bands come to play, Ala Moana Center is a four-story shopping complex and one of the largest shopping malls in Hawaii. It is unique because it is the biggest open-air shopping center in the world. You can get to eat, drink, shop, lounge and still enjoy vibrant music without the need to leave the mall.
9. The Honolulu Museum of Art: Home to more than 50,000 pieces of artwork, the Honolulu Museum of Art is the largest of its kind in Hawaii, where you can find everything that isn’t just sculptures and paintings. It is one of those museum sites that are both educational and entertaining with special events, social gatherings and exhibitions.
10. Manoa Falls and Lyon Arboretum: With a collection of more than 5,000 tropical plants from Hawaii and Polynesia. The Lyon Arboretum is a 194-acre botanical garden in a rainforest that leads to the beautiful and natural site of the 150-foot Manoa Falls, where bathing is permitted. It also serves as an active research facility that helps to preserve the tropical forests of the state.