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Honoulu, Hawaii

Waikiki Beach from Diamond Head
Waikiki Beach from Diamond Head

Introduction

Honoulu is the capital of Hawaii and is home to the world famous Waikiki Beach.

Where You're Docked

Cruise ships dock at either Pier 11 at Aloha Tower or Pier 2 (1/4 mile to the south and primarily used by NCL for Hawaiian cruises). Aloha Tower is conveniently located next to the downtown area and Aloha Tower Marketplace. http://www.alohatower.com/ Cruise schedule here for all Hawaiian ports (choose Oahu for Honolulu) http://hidot.hawaii.gov/harbors/passenger-cruise-schedules/

Pier 11 Aloha Tower

View Larger Map

Money and Tipping

Hawaii is a US state. When dining in restaurants, it is customary to leave 15-20% tip for good service since servers typically make minimum wage. Taxi drivers should be tipped the same rate. Banks and ATM's can be easily found downtown and in Waikiki.

Local Transportation

Honolulu has an extensive bus network called TheBus which can be confusing with the large number of routes. Fares are $2.50 ($1 for seniors with ID, exact change, Feb 2016) one way only with two transfers allowed within 2 hrs. You need to request a paper transfer when boarding. No single day pass is available though a 4 day pass can be purchased at ABC or 7-11 for $35. Most buses have an automatic system which announces the next stop. http://www.thebus.org/

There is a hop-on hop-off style trolley service as well. The red line stops at Aloha Tower. http://www.waikikitrolley.com/

From Aloha Tower, Walmart may offer a free shuttle.

Enterprise car rental has a location near the piers at 677 Ala Moana Blvd.

Lyft and Uber operate in Honolulu.

To/From the Airport

Honolulu International Airport (HNL) is located eight miles northwest of Waikiki Beach. There is public bus service though they don't allow large bags and don't have luggage racks. Transport options are listed here http://hawaii.gov/hnl/ground-transportation

Hotels

Search hotels in Honolulu here

Sights

Waikiki - This area is the main tourist zone with hotels, malls, restaurants and Waikiki beach. Direct bus routes are bus 2 or 13 from Hotel and Bishop Street, or 19, 20, or 42 from King and Bishop Street. You can also take buses 55, 56, 57, 65 from Aloha Tower Drive (bus stop located at the next pier to the south and also by Pier 2 on Ala Moana Blvd) and transfer at Ala Moana Beach Park for Waikiki-bound buses. Return on bus 19, or 20 and get off on Alakea Street at Nimitz Highway or bus 2, or 13 and get off on Bishop at Hotel street for Aloha Tower. Alternatively, take any bus heading to Ala Moana and transfer to 19,20,55,56,57 or 65.

Pearl Harbor - Visiting the USS Arizona Memorial is free but you need to get a timed ticket and you will also need to pay to check in any large bags outside the gate. While waiting, you can wander around the exhibits or visit the USS Bowfin Submarine and the USS Missouri battleship (entrance fees required). Take bus 20 from Aloha Tower (longer since it takes a side trip through the airport) or walk 7 blocks east to N Beretaria St and take bus A, 40, 40A, 42, or 62. http://www.nps.gov/valr/index.htm

Diamond Head - You can hike up the crater for great views of Honolulu. Take bus 22, 23, or 24 from Kuhio Ave in Waikiki and get off at Diamond Head Rd/18th Ave (two stops after reaching Diamond Head Road). There is a bit of a walk to get to the park entrance in the middle of the crater. http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/oahu/diamond-head-state-monument/

Shopping & Restaurants

  • Ala Moana is the island's largest mall. Nearby to the north is a Walmart and Sam's Club. Take bus 19, 20, 55, 56, or 57 (same stops as going to Waikiki).
  • Hilo Hattie's (famous for their Hawaiian shirts) had financial difficulties in 2015 and closed many stores throughout Hawaii including their flagship store on Nimitz Hwy. They still operate online and have a few stores remaining including one at Ala Moana.
  • You can find macadamia nuts and chocolates at ABC stores (everywhere in Waikiki), Walmart, and Long's drugstores.
  • Aloha Tower Marketplace beside the pier has several restaurants including Hooter's and a Gordon Biersch brew pub. It has been revitalized as a campus with dormitories for Hawaii Pacific University.
  • The downtown area close to the pier has a Ross Dress for Less, Walmart (opened July 2014, old Macy's location, hours 6am to 10pm daily) and Long's drugstore. This area is very quiet and a bit dodgy at night. Walmart is a good option for both souvenirs and groceries.
  • Some big box stores such as Home Depot, Best Buy and Costco can be found off Nimitz Highway west of downtown.
  • Chinatown is right beside downtown to the north. There are two indoor markets: Oahu Market (corner of N King and Kekaulike) and Maunakea Marketplace (1120 Maunakea St) which has a food court as well.
  • For supermarkets, the downtown Walmart is the closest to the pier. There is a Safeway about 10 blocks to the east of the pier along Fort St. You can also get some groceries items at Long's. In Waikiki, there is a Food Pantry supermarket on Kuhio Ave. At Ala Moana, there is a Foodland supermarket and Long's in the mall and Walmart nearby.
  • The old International Market Place in Waikiki with it's stalls set among Banyan trees closed at the end of 2013. It re-opened in Aug 2016 as a modern shopping center with 90 stores and 10 restaurants. The offer a free cultural show every evening.
  • Aloha Stadium Swap Meet & Marketplace sets up Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 8am to 3pm. Located very close to the Arizona Memorial and with over 400 vendors. Continue on any bus from the Arizona Memorial two more stops to Aloha Stadium or take the VIP Trans shuttle from Waikiki. http://www.alohastadiumswapmeet.net/
  • Ward Centers is a complex of five malls with more than 130 stores, 40 restaurants, movie theaters and a Saturday morning farmer's market. Located west of Ala Moana mall.

Some recommended restaurants

  • Duke's Waikiki - right on the beach. 2335 Kalakaua Ave, Suite 116. Serves their famous Hula Pie.
  • Marukame Udon - Honolulu branches of a Japanese chain. Freshly made udon noodles, cafeteria style, inexpensive, and long lines at peak times. 2310 Kuhio Ave, Waikiki or 1104 Fort Street Mall, Downtown
  • For chinese food, try Legend Seafood (100 N Beretania St) or Happy Garden (1113 Maunakea St) for dim sum or Little Village Noodle on Smith St (all three in Chinatown).
  • Teddy's Bigger Burgers - Located at 134 Kapahulu Ave near the Honolulu Zoo
  • Lulu's Waikiki - A beachfront American restaurant. 2586 Kalakaua Ave
  • Zippy's - a casual 24 hr chain considered a Hawaiian version of Denny's
  • Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin - Specializes in Japanese-style deep fried pork chops
  • Helena's Hawaiian Food - A popular local favorite.
  • JJ Dolans is an Irish pub serving NY-style pizza in Chinatown. 1147 Bethel St.

Internet

Aloha Tower Marketplace and the Pioneer Plaza food court across the street from Aloha Tower on Fort Street may have free wifi. The Apple store in Ala Moana has free internet. Restaurants and cafes may provide free wifi for customers.

Maps

Downtown

Downtown Honolulu Map

Waikiki

Waikiki Map

Weather

Honolulu Weather Forecast

Find more about Weather in Honolulu, HI
Click for weather forecast

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Page last modified on July 12, 2017, at 03:40 AM
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