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3 Days in Honolulu Guide

The city of Honolulu is one of the largest hubs within the Hawaiian Islands and a starting point for many travelers. If you’re island hopping between the Hawaiian Islands, three days in Honolulu is a good amount of time. To see everything Honolulu has to offer you’d need more time, but you can cover the highlights during your short stay. Here’s a guide on how to make the most of your three days in Honolulu.

Day 1 – Relaxing and Recovering

Hawaii is a long flight from most places in the world, and there’s no better cure for jet lag than relaxing on the beach. The best place to lay your beach towel is the world-famous Waikiki Beach. Centuries ago the beach was a retreat for Hawaiian Royalty. Now this city beach is frequented by holidaymakers from around the world. Get there early and snag a piece of sand to watch the beach boys give surf lessons, or better yet, grab a board and give it a go yourself. Waikiki is within walking distance to a majority of Honolulu hotels and is a great spot to spend your first day in Honolulu.

Photo by Kimo Ventura via

Photo by Kimo Ventura via

Day 2 – Hiking, Snorkeling, and Adventures

With your jet lag behind you, gear up for some of the islands best adventure activities. Put on your hiking shoes and head over to Diamond Head State Park and challenge the famous peak. The view from the top is worth all the steps involved. You’ll be rewarded with a birds-eye view of the city skyline and beaches. In the afternoon take a short ride to one of the island’s best snorkeling spots, Hanauma Bay. The shallow bay offers top-notch snorkeling filled with colorful fish and a strong sea turtle population.

After a day of adventures, reward yourself with a posh dinner with a view. Head to the Top of Waikiki restaurant for 360-degree views of the city. The restaurant rotates as you eat, giving views of the entire city and Diamond Head.

Day 3 – Explore the Island

The city of Honolulu has plenty to offer tourists, but there are some gems outside the city, too. Consider renting a car for a day or two to explore the rest of the island. With a car you can make a nice day trip, taking in the Pearl Harbor Memorial and scenic drive to the North Shore. A trip out to the somber white memorial that sits over the sunken USS Arizona is a must while visiting Honolulu. The memorial was built to commemorate the soldiers that lost their lives during Japanese attacks on December 7th, 1941.

From the memorial head north toward the shores on the opposite side of the island from Honolulu. The North Shore, as most call it, is a surfer’s paradise. Hundreds of surf competitions are held on the waves off this shore. Setup a beach chair and watch pro surfers attack famous surf breaks like Pipeline, Off-the-Wall, and Gas Chamber.

Oahu has a lot to offer, and if you only have three days in Honolulu, you are going to want to make the most of them.

This post is part of the #hipmunkcitylove project.

Francesca @onegrloneworld

Friday 20th of March 2015

Amazing!! I really want to snorkel and see the turtles ^_^ I can't wait to go to Hawaii!


Saturday 21st of March 2015

The sea turtles in Hawaii are great! When are you heading to Hawaii?


Friday 20th of March 2015

YUCK corporate finance! I remember those days reading tax releases in my cubical...glad we got put a smile on your face! Do you have any trips planned in the future?


Wednesday 18th of March 2015

Reading about relaxing in beautiful Hawaii just made my day. I have been reading lots of Corporate Finance so you might imagine how a breath of fresh air was this!