Located on Oahu, Hawaii's third largest Island and the islands’ most popular city, Honolulu mixes historical palaces with bright white sandy beaches. Outrigger canoes meet stand up paddleboards and award-winning mixologists co-mingle with the city's first local brewery while ahi is served alongside BBQ pork. Pack your sunscreen, your appetite and your adventure for 48 incredible hours in Honolulu.
10AM WAIKIKI BEACH SERVICES
The main draw for a trip to Hawaii is obviously the surf and sand. We suggest starting your trip at Waikiki Beach Services, a beach and ocean adventure gear shop located in front of the Royal Hawaiian Resort. The outrigger canoe lessons are a must to experience a one-of-a-kind Hawaiian adventure or rent your own SUPs or kayaks to explore on your own.
1PM ISLAND STYLE BBQ
2011 N. KING ST. HONOLULU, HAWAII UNITED STATES 96819
If you want to try authentic Hawaiian BBQ in Waikiki, the small but tasty Island Style BBQ boasts some of the best boneless short ribs, garlic pork chops and BBQ chicken on the island. The plates are big enough to share so bring your appetite and your crew and get ready for a feast. It’s cash only, so be sure to hit the ATM beforehand.
2PM LOLANI PALACE
America’s only palace is considered to be one of Oahu’s most important historical landmarks. Self-guided walking tours of the grounds and surrounding areas are available Tuesday through Saturday, and are totally worth doing to understand the history and culture of the royal family of Hawaii.
Continuing your Honolulu historical tour, it's just a short walk from lolani Palace to Chinatown. If you’re ready for a refreshment, stop by Manifest for a unique spin on traditional cocktails. If you happen to be visiting on the first Friday of the month, you could spend several hours enjoying live music, dancing and food stalls at their monthly street fest. If this is your first time to Hawaii, you might want to skip Chinatown so you have time to see Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial, a must for Oahu visitors.
7PM HOUSE WITHOUT A KEY
House without a Key makes one of the meanest mai tai’s in all of Hawaii, and a drink at sunset, accompanied by live music, is exactly what you should be doing on your beach getaway. Snack on apps like chicken, shrimp and taro spring rolls and beef kebobs with mint yogurt before a succulent dinner of lobster, lamb and swordfish that will leave you drooling.
6AM DIAMOND HEAD
One of the most popular state parks in Hawaii, we know what you’re thinking: a 6 am wake up call on vacation? No way! But with the time difference from the mainland, you’ll be up with the sun and ready to start your day. It's also smart to head out before the crowds and to beat the heat. An easy 40 minute hike for any fitness level, snap some photos from the peak of Waikiki and the ocean below, as this is one of the best views of the entire coastline. Allow a little while longer if you have kids in tow.
8AM GOOFY CAFE & DINE
1831 ALA MOANA BLVD. SUITE 201 HONOLULU, HI 96815
This upstairs spot is easy to miss, but once it’s on your radar it’ll be hard to eat anywhere else. Goofy’s promises delicious, organic and local foods whenever possible, creating unique spins on traditional dishes. We recommend the pork belly eggs benedict and the fresh fruit French toast for a midday pick-me-up.
10AM HANAUMA BAY NATURE PRESERVE
For majestic views with a side of adventure, take a drive to one of Honolulu's favorite nature preserves. Pack the sunscreen, your snorkeling gear, a few towels, and a floppy hat and get ready enjoy some time in the sun.
Hanauma Bay is a picturesque crater on the southeastern part of the island that boasts some of the best beachside snorkeling with to-die-for landscapes. This special cove was at risk of being destroyed after too many tourists filled the waters. But after much care and protection, the cove is now a thriving ecosystem to hundreds of fish. Remember to care for the cove by taking any trash that you bring with you and treat the coral reef with great care.
Plan to spend about an hour and a half there.
1PM HALONA BLOWHOLE
8699 HAWAII 72 HONOLULU, HI 96825
Continue driving east towards Halona Blowhole and park your car in the small lot on the cliff where you can see the famous blowhole spray upwards of 30 feet in the air.
If you want to a more up close view, head towards the west end of the parking lot and you'll come to a small walkway down by the beach. This spot is popular with bodyboarders and cliff jumpers and absolutely gorgeous with white sand, black rocks and bright blue water all in the same eye line. A photographer could easily spend a few hours here, but we think it's a nice spot to snap some photos and keep on your tour.
2PM MAKAPUU POINT TRAIL
The final stop on your scenic drive, Makapuu Point Trail is a two mile round-trip hike that ends at the picturesque Malakpuu Lighthouse. On super clear days you'll have views of Molokai and Lanai and November through March it's the perfect spot to see migrating Humpback whales. Park in the Ka Iwi State Park lot.
6PM CORNER KITCHEN
After a day of hiking, snorkeling and sightseeing, you're probably famished and The Corner Kitchen is the perfect spot to refuel. Located right outside Waikiki, it frequently has live Hawaiian music for entertainment and always boasts delicious sushi.The combinations are unique and daring, guaranteed to test your taste buds.
WHERE TO STAY: THE MODERN HONOLULU
1775 ALA MOANA BLVD. HONOLULU, HI 96815
Sleek, sophisticated design makes The Modern Honolulu the hotel to stay at for nightlife lovers and those seeking contemporary accommodations. The rooms are outfitted with beach accessories, while keeping the design clean and fun. We love the close beach access (not oceanfront, but just a 5 minute walk) and beautiful pool and bar. While the hotel isn't adults only, it's not especially kid-friendly either.