In 1845, the city of Honolulu became the capital of Hawaii, and it has maintained that status ever since. Also the largest census-designated area in the state, Honolulu is home to Hawaii's main airport, the bulk of the island of Oahu's hotels, and a host of alluring attractions. The world-famous Waikiki Beach is not to be missed on a trip to Honolulu, especially as the city enjoys warm and sunny weather throughout the year. When you're not swimming, sunbathing, or surfing at Waikiki Beach during your visit to Honolulu Hawaii, exploring the city's shopping and dining scenes is sure to please. Once the sun sets on this beautiful coastal capital, numerous nightlife opportunities keep visitors entertained. Even if you plan on heading to another Hawaii destination after arriving on a flight to Honolulu, staying in town for at least a couple of days is worth considering.

The city of Honolulu Hawaii can be found on the southeastern coast of Oahu, which is the third-largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. While most of the people who travel to Honolulu arrive by plane, you can also choose to arrive by way of a cruise ship if you prefer. Regardless of how you get to Honolulu Hawaii, a fun time surely awaits. There is something for everyone when it comes to Honolulu attractions, and in addition to spending some time on Waikiki Beach, you might also want to travel to Diamond Head Crater. This 750-foot dormant volcano is one of Hawaii's most identifiable landmarks, and the views from atop it are stunning. Hiking to the top of Diamond Head Crater is something almost anyone can handle, and it should only take around 30 minutes. Looking out over Waikiki Beach, the rest of Honolulu, and parts of the island of Oahu from Diamond Head's rim is worth making time for on your Honolulu vacation.

Other interesting attractions in Honolulu Hawaii include the Waikiki Aquarium, the Bishop Museum, and the Foster Botanical Garden. The Waikiki Aquarium is a great place to learn about Hawaii's underwater realms, and you'll have plenty of chances to see fascinating marine creatures, such as sharks, monk seals, octopus, and living corals. The Bishop Museum is renowned for its rich collection of cultural and natural artifacts. These artifacts hail from Hawaii and the Pacific area in general, and many are from the personal collection of Princess Bernice Pauahi. You can easily spend a few hours at the Bishop Museum, especially since a fascinating science adventure center was added to the complex. While the Waikiki Aquarium and the Bishop Museum are ideal for rainy days, the Foster Botanical Garden is best enjoyed when the sun is out. Found on the north side of Chinatown, the Foster Botanical Garden is a natural wonderland spread out over fourteen acres.

When you're interested in physical activities on your Honolulu vacation, consider snorkeling at the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. Surfing is understandably one of the top activities you can enjoy when you travel to Honolulu. Part of Waikiki Beach is reserved for surfers, and while the waves on this end of the island aren't as monstrous as those known to crash into the rugged North Shore, they can entertain even the most seasoned of surfers. Long-boarding is especially popular. Horseback riding and bicycling are some of the other activities that can be enjoyed on a Honolulu vacation.

Millions of people travel to Honolulu every year, and Waikiki Beach fills up fast on sunny days. Since Honolulu is such a popular Hawaiian tourist destination, it's often wise to visit the main attractions before midday, as you will have a better chance of beating the crowds. Come late afternoon in Honolulu, many residents and visitors alike head to the beach or to one of the beachfront bars or restaurants to take in the sunset. It's also common for these sunset revelers to relax with a mai tai in hand, an alcoholic beverage that features rum as its base. It's one of the more popular adult beverages in the Hawaiian islands.

Trying new things and taking advantage of a diverse range of attractions is what travel to Honolulu is all about, and you could easily spend weeks in the Hawaiian capital and still find new things to do. The options only increase when you look to visit destinations outside of the city as well. Visiting the USS Arizona Memorial Museum in nearby Pearl Harbor is easily one of the top things to do in Oahu, and as the list of Oahu attractions is a long one, staying busy won't be a problem on an Oahu vacation. Compiling a list of ideal things to do in Honolulu is a good first step toward creating a perfect Hawaiian getaway.

Top image: Edmund Garman (flickr)

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