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I have family who live in Honolulu, so I’ve had the pleasure of visiting more than a few times.

  • South
    • Hanouma Bay: snorkeling with lots of fish; make sure you book beforehand and consider buying snorkels rather than renting because it’ll be cheaper
    • Ala Moana Center: outdoor shopping mall
    • Kāhala Beach: secluded beach with less people than Waikiki; the Kāhala Hotel has a nice pool and does free dolphin shows
    • Koko Head Trail: relatively difficult hike with views of the island and Hanauma Bay
    • Diamond Head Trail: medium hike with views of the city; a bit more touristy than Koko Head
    • Lulumahu Falls: unofficial trail to hidden waterfall
    • Manoa Falls: relaxing walk to very tall waterfall
  • North Shore
    • Laniakea Beach: for sea turtles
    • Dole Plantation: for pineapple-related activities and dole whip (pineapple-flavoured ice cream)
  • East
    • Secret Island: hidden beach with mountainous backdrop (access by walking on narrow strip from Kualoa Regional Park; there’s no need to go with Kualoa Ranch because it’s a public beach)
    • Kaneohe Sandbar: a strip of exposed sand which takes 30-60 minutes to kayak to (you will need to rent one)
    • Makapu‘u Point Lighthouse Trail: a short hike with cliff views; if you head past the warning signs, you can climb down the rocks to the Makapu’u Point Tide Pools but be careful!
  • West
    • Ko Olina Lagoons: four man-made lagoons
  • Food: Ono’s Seafood for poke bowls, Liliha Bakery for cream puffs, Fumi’s Kahuku Shrimp for spicy garlic shrimp (I’ve heard Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck is good as well), Kickin Kajun for cajun seafood, 7-Eleven for spam musubi
  • Drinks: Buho Cocina y Cantina for rooftop Mexican-themed bar
  • Other tips: Get a car

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