This is by no means a “what to do in Honolulu” blog post. Unfortunately, we were only able to spend a few short hours in this bustling, oceanfront city. Even if you combine our two stops in Honolulu, we spent less than 24 hours on the island.
In that short amount of time, we did some incredible things before boarding The Pride of America cruise ship and after leaving it for the final time.
Porting in Honolulu, O'ahu, Hawaii
We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village – Waikiki Beach Resort after enduring the flight from Dallas Fort Worth to Honolulu. The resort hotel was unlike anything we expected. There are five towers with over 10 floors each. We were welcomed by a lobby full of hundreds of people waiting to check in, eat at the al fresca restaurant, hit the beach, or dip into one of many pools.
When the sun went down, we began to take a stroll around the beach when we discovered there would be a fireworks show that night and rerouted our trip to make sure we could get back in time to watch.
We walked down the beach and stopped by the local food stand Sun’s Up near a rocky pier. We ordered some Samoan-inspired rice and noodle dishes and ate them on the rocky shore patiently waiting for the fireworks display. We finished our meals before the show started, so we went back and ordered some Dole Whips for dessert. It was the perfect sweet treat to accompany the upcoming light show.
We ooh'ed and ah'ed at the booming display till the end before meandering back to the hotel to call it a night.
The next morning, we woke up around 5 a.m. to catch the sunrise atop Diamond Head Crater. It’s a short trip to the top of the summit (only about .8 miles), but we didn’t quite make it to the top of the crater by sunrise.
Instead, we had a great viewpoint about halfway up the trail. The sun continued to rise over the choppy water as we made the rest of the ascent. When we got to the top, it was a bit crowded, but we enjoyed the panoramic views for as long as we could. Read more about our hike here!
After the same trip back down the mountain, we continued walking out of the park to a local farmers market at Kapi’olani Community College. We walked around the tents eyeing different meats, tropical fruits, and drinks.
We first chose to get specialty drinks out of fresh pineapples. I had regular pineapple juice while my sister had a pina colada. We then picked up a pack of empanadas and sat on the curb to enjoy the chicken and steak combinations we had chosen.
After our breakfast, we called an Uber to take us back to the hotel so we could really start our vacation. This morning to ourselves was a perfect tease of what was to come: unbelievable natural wonders, good weather, and even better food!
My sister and I's week-long cruise was nothing short of a Hawaiian Islands tour. We stopped in Maui, Kona, Nawilwili, Kauai, and passed by the Nepali Coast on Norwegian Cruise line's Pride of America. I've written about most everything we did, and you can find it all on the Hawaii page.
Porting back in Honolulu
After our cruise around the Hawaiian islands ended, we ported back in Honolulu and started our journey home. We had arranged a bus to take us from the dock to the airport where we were able to check in for our flight later that afternoon.
We had several hours to spare, so my sister and I broke off from the group and went to the Pearl Harbor National Monument.
The memorial itself is a beautiful tribute to those who served and fought for their nation not only in Pearl Harbor but all around the world during World War II. Standing on the shores, where hundreds of soldiers fought and died alongside their shipmates, was one of the most humbling experiences I'd had.
We spent as long as we could at the memorial before we needed to head back to the airport and catch our flight home. After a week on some of the planets most beautiful islands, our trip to Pearl Harbor reminded us of the reality we were heading back to.
Although a few hours on Oahu would never be enough, we managed to see and do as much as we could. We are forever thankful for the family who brought us along to help with their Hawaiian vacation. We couldn't have gone to any of Hawaii's incredible places if it weren't for them.
Seven Day Cruise Around Hawaii's Islands
Hiking Diamond Head Crater at Sunrise - Honolulu, Hawaii
Pearl Harbor National Monument
Talkin' 'bout Tacos:
I'm Taylor, aka Tacos! I am sharing my journeys and experiences from across the world hoping to inspire travel and adventure in all who read!