20 Free Things to Do in Honolulu, HI

Honolulu, HI

Get ready to experience the free things to do in Honolulu, Hawaii!

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the following individuals for their invaluable contributions to this article: Sara McDonald, Linda Garcia, Billy Forsyth, Julio Kelly, Rhea Winters, Sabrina Balog and Megan Ditto.

Visit the Pearl Harbor National Memorial

View of the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
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Every time I visit Pearl Harbor National Memorial, I am struck anew by the weight of history and the power of this beautiful tribute to the heroes of our past.

The site commemorates the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack and features the haunting USS Arizona Memorial, an insightful museum and galleries that take you on a journey through time.

Likewise, the Memorial is a meticulous work of art and history from the moment you step foot on the grounds.

With so many exhibits to discover, planning is critical - I always recommend grabbing the Passport to Pearl Harbor online before you arrive.

It's a six-hour journey through time that can be embarked on at your own pace, and the $7 online parking fee is worth every penny for its convenience.

Remember, bags are not allowed inside the memorial due to security restrictions!

The USS Arizona Memorial is worth special mention.

Visitors walking out of the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
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A boat ride takes you to where the ship was sunk during the attack, marking a grave for the many who lost their lives that fateful day.

The sobering ferry ride and the limited time, just 45 minutes, on the memorial itself add to the heavy sense of respect and reflection the place commands.

When hunger pangs strike, I always head to the nearby 806 restaurant - a short walk away that guarantees you don't have to give up your parking space.

The place offers a fantastic yacht harbor view and delicious, reasonably-priced food.

Visiting the Pearl Harbor National Memorial is a humbling experience, a tribute to the brave souls who protected our nation.

And while the entry is free, I make it a point to leave a donation every time as a small gesture of gratitude and respect.

If you're ever on the island of Oahu, put this on your list.

It's an experience that leaves you with a profound sense of history and a deep admiration for the heroes of our past.

People enjoying their day at Pearl Harbor National Memorial
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Conquer the Koko Crater Railway Trailhead

View of the Koko Crater Railway Trailhead
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You wouldn't believe the thrill of taking on the Koko Crater Railway Trailhead.

Imagine climbing the equivalent of a 40-story building, but in this case, it's an abandoned railway track scaling the majestic Koko Crater.

It's a test of endurance and a tribute to Hawaii’s rugged beauty.

I usually start my hike around 5 a.m., just in time to catch the sky transitioning from a starry spectacle to a palette of beautiful pastels as the sun rises.

The ascent is steep, and the path is made of old, wooden railway tracks that served as a funicular railway for the military during World War II.

You read that right – you'll be stepping on railway tracks!

As a fitness enthusiast, I take pride in conquering the 1,044-step hike.

Every 100 steps, you'll find a marker# Hiking Up the Koko Crater Railway Trailhead.

There's a certain thrill that comes from facing a challenge head-on and overcoming it, especially when the payoff is a sight that leaves you breathless.

One such challenge in my everyday life here in Hawaii is the hike up the Koko Crater Railway Trailhead.

My usual day begins with a hearty breakfast, and then it's time to lace up my hiking boots.

The trail is not your typical walk in the park.

It's an abandoned railway track stretching up the side of the Koko Crater, with 1,044 steps - or should I say, railroad ties.

A women enjoying the view from Koko Crater Railway Trailhead
Jakub Maculewicz / Shutterstock.com

Every hundred steps, a marker on the rail reminds you of your progress.

The hike is steep, especially towards the top, but the view that awaits is out of this world.

The panoramic spectacle of the city and the ocean, with the skyline of Waikiki glistening under the sun, is enough to take your breath away, literally and figuratively.

Moreover, the best time to embark on this journey is early morning to avoid the scorching midday sun.

Remember to carry plenty of water.

It's a demanding hike, but trust me, it's a workout with a view.

But the trail is not just about physical endurance.

It's a test of mental resilience, too.

I've seen some people do the trail two to five times in a row, which is an incredible feat.

Once you reach the top, all the sweat and toil seem worthwhile.

So, if you're ever in town looking for an adventure or a killer workout, head to the Koko Crater Railway Trailhead.

No matter how many times I hike up, the view amazes me.

But remember, these are not just stairs. They're your stairway to heaven!

People hiking the Koko Crater Railway Trailhead
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Discover the Unspoiled Beauty of Lanikai Beach

Clear water at the Lanikai Beach
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One morning, as the first light of the day sparkled on the clear waters of the Pacific, I found myself strolling along the pristine white sands of Lanikai Beach.

This heavenly slice of Oahu, known for its picturesque views, is a place I frequent and could not recommend more enthusiastically.

You can't help but notice immediately how clean it is.

Nestled within a residential area, the surroundings are immaculate, and you won't find any litter marring your beach day.

The sand underfoot is fine-grained, and the crystal-clear water feels refreshing as you wade in.

Likewise, the panorama is breathtaking, and it's no surprise that many consider it the best beach in Honolulu.

Picturesque view of the Lanikai Beach
Zoia Kostina / Shutterstock.com

But the magic of Lanikai Beach doesn't stop there.

Imagine watching the sunrise from this dreamy location.

The sky paints a picture that's nothing short of magnificent, and as the sun blooms over the horizon, the sight is a sight you won't soon forget.

It's a favored spot among local canoeists, who often line up their vessels along the beach's edge and paddle out with the dawn.

Adventure seekers will be thrilled to note that there are also two islands nearby that can be reached by canoe or kayak.

However, remember that one of these islands is a bird sanctuary, and no human can set foot on it.

As for amenities, remember that there are no restrooms or rinse-off spots here, so come prepared.

Despite this, the beach rarely feels overcrowded, and there's always a tranquil spot where you can unwind, soak up the sun, or explore the underwater world with your snorkel gear.

Lanikai Beach is a hidden treasure worth discovering for those looking for a place to escape, breathe, and bask in nature's glory.

Hiking trial near the Lanikai Beach
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Experience Hawaiian History at Aliʻiolani Hale

View of the Aliʻiolani Hale
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Every time I pass by Aliʻiolani Hale on my way to work, the striking gold statue of King Kamehameha I, standing majestically in the courtyard, always catches my eye.

It symbolizes unity and strength, commemorating the king who brought all the Hawaiian islands together.

Stepping into this historic building, home to our State Supreme Court, is like stepping into the past.

The air is thick with the rich history of Hawaiian governance.

You feel immediately connected to the influential individuals who once walked these halls.

The docent-led tours are informative, and I always learn something new whenever I go for one.

Being a Hawaii 5-0 fan, it's a thrill to visit the spot where many scenes of the renowned TV series were shot.

Walking around the area is a bonus because it has several other tourist attractions.

If you love history and architecture or are simply curious about Hawaiian governance, then visiting Aliʻiolani Hale is a must.

Visit the Lyon Arboretum

Waterfall at Lyon Arboretum
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Nestled in the heart of Manoa Valley, the Lyon Arboretum is my oasis in the city.

Its sprawling 194-acre tropical rainforest is home to over 5,000 exotic plants and a symphony of singing birds.

You're greeted by a peaceful water feature outside the visitor center when you walk in.

My children can't get enough of the fish swimming around and the frogs hopping by.

With its big and small fish, the Pavilion is a hit with the younger ones.

The trails here are a hiker's paradise.

We often take the side trail that goes around the great lawn, return via the pavilion trail, and pay our respects to the Buddha statue.

Though we’ve explored only a fraction of the arboretum, its diverse Hawaiian flora never fails to impress.

Remember to register for free on Eventbrite before you head over!

Beautiful flowers at Lyon Arboretum
Lisa Strachan / Shutterstock.com

There's also a small gift shop from where you can buy plants.

The drive up to Lyon Arboretum is an adventure in itself.

You'll need to drive past the Falls parking lot and continue up a winding road until you reach the visitor center.

I suggest reaching out early in the day as it gets pretty busy.

Pack mosquito repellent and water, and wear long sleeves and pants.

While the humidity can get relatively high, the lush greenery and occasional breeze more than make up for it.

The journey is steep and requires careful footing, but the view is breathtaking if the waterfall is on.

Lyon Arboretum is a hidden gem, a beautiful hike, and a well-manicured garden all rolled into one.

With their commendable efforts in protecting ascension species and battling non-native and invasive plants, it's no wonder I keep coming back.

Thick vegetations at Lyon Arboretum
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Visit Kawaiahaʻo Church

View of the Kawaiahaʻo Church
Mark Miller, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sunday is a day for reflection, and what better place to find peace than the historic Kawaiahaʻo Church?

Nestled in the heart of the city, this coral-brick marvel stands as a testament to our island’s rich history.

Every inch of this church, built in 1842, whispers tales of yesteryears - stories from when royalty used to grace its halls.

Visiting this church is a journey into the past.

As I step into the hallowed hallways, I'm awe-struck by the royal portraits adorning the walls.

Each one seems to tell its tale, tales one could spend hours getting lost in.

However, the church's simplicity is what truly takes me by surprise.

The stark contrast to the exterior's grandeur is almost startling, yet it is a beautiful reminder of humble beginnings.

And the acoustics are phenomenal!

Whether it's the choir singing or a musical performance, the sound resonates magnificently within these walls.

And while you're there, don't forget to visit the cemetery.

It is usually closed, but it's worth a visit when it's open.

So, if you're ever in town and want to experience a slice of local history, drop by the Kawaiahaʻo Church.

It's a place that combines history, spirituality, and community in a way that's truly unique to our island.

Make Unforgettable Moments at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific

Entrance to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
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There's a unique place tucked away in the heart of my hometown, Honolulu, an oasis of history and honor nestled in a volcanic crater that takes your breath away.

I'm talking about the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, a historic burial site that pays tribute to the heroes of four major wars.

Every visit to this monumental landmark is a poignant journey through time.

The meticulously planned layout showcases an immense respect for the veterans who laid down their lives to protect our freedom.

As I wander through this magnificent homage on the slopes of a volcano, I'm always struck by the myriad points of interest that fill the space.

The views from the cemetery are beyond words.

On one side, there's the iconic Diamond Head, and on the other, the historic Pearl Harbor.

Between them, the Honolulu skyline spreads out, blending nature and urban sprawl that mesmerizingly merges where the sky meets the ocean.

View of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
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Walking across the manicured lawns dotted with headstones, I feel a deep sense of reverence wash over me.

The chapel, the mosaic war map murals, and the monument adorned with countless names of World War heroes are incredibly awe-inspiring.

For me, this place is a sanctuary for meditation, reflection, and gratitude.

The visitor center is equally impressive, housing authentic artifacts from our Medal of Honor recipients.

There are also kiosks to help you locate the final resting places of our fallen heroes.

It's a humbling reminder of the sacrifices made by so many for our freedoms.

Whether you have a personal connection to a veteran or value the freedoms we enjoy, the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific is a place of inspiration and gratitude.

It's a surreal, touching part of my hometown that continues to fill me with pride and appreciation for every soldier who fought for us.

View of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
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Enjoy the View from the Top at Viewpoint

One of the best things about living in Hawaii is the endless ocean and city views, and there's no better place to appreciate them than at Viewpoint.

Set in the island's heart, it offers a breathtaking panorama.

I like to start my day early, ensuring I reach the top before 5:30 a.m.

Trust me, there's no better way to start your day than with the sunrise painting a thousand hues across the sky.

Even better, there's no trekking involved - you can drive up and enjoy the view.

The scenic drive up there is just as rewarding.

As you wind your way up, you'll realize how big the island is, more like a burgeoning city set in the middle of the Pacific.

I often reflect on life as I take in the vast expanse of the cityscape and the endless ocean.

Viewpoint is also a photographer's paradise.

The clear view of the downtown area is a fantastic opportunity for some tremendous urban photography.

And even if photography isn't your thing, you can chill and soak in the beauty of the surroundings.

It's our collective responsibility to preserve and protect these natural spaces for future generations.

Enjoy Life at Waikiki Beach

Surfing boards at Waikiki Beach
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Who needs a vacation when paradise is in your backyard?

Every day, I wake up to the shimmering turquoise waters of Waikiki Beach, a place that feels like a dream even to those who call it home.

Mornings here are precious.

I start my day by padding along the palm-lined beach, the soft sand between my toes and the gentle ocean breeze brushing against my face.

The statue of Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, the surf legend, stands majestically against the backdrop of cheerful high-rise hotels, watching us locals and visitors alike.

But Waikiki Beach is more than just a picturesque paradise.

It's pulsating with life and energy.

The vibrant atmosphere, created by a melange of cultures, is truly contagious.

Street-side stalls selling fresh fruit and local delicacies, musicians performing traditional Hawaiian songs, and surfers riding the azure waves contribute to this place's magic.

Aerial view of the Waikiki Beach
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As the day progresses, the beach becomes a hub of activities.

Children building sandcastles, tourists trying their hand at surfing, families having picnics - there is something for everyone.

And when it comes to food, the options are endless.

From food trucks offering a taste of local Hawaiian cuisine to upscale restaurants serving global delicacies, your taste buds are in for a treat here.

As the sun begins to set, painting the sky with hues of pink and orange, the beach takes on a new persona.

The rhythm of live music fills the air, and hula dancers sway gracefully to the beats.

It’s a spectacle you don’t want to miss.

Living here, in the heart of Oahu, I’ve learned to appreciate life's simple pleasures.

A dip in the warm ocean waters, a lazy afternoon spent under a palm tree, and the beauty of a perfect sunset makes Waikiki Beach a true tropical paradise.

And I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.

People relaxing at the Waikiki Beach
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Experience the Enchantment of Manoa Falls

Trail along the Manoa Falls
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There's a certain magic that comes with living near Manoa Falls.

It's not just the 150-foot waterfall that impresses; the tropical vegetation and arboretum make each hike a new adventure.

I've walked this trail countless times, and each visit unfolds a different story.

The experience begins with the trail.

If you're someone who loves to wander through Mother Nature's finest work, you'll find this path nothing short of captivating.

It stretches for about 2.5 miles round trip, an ideal journey for a family outing.

But as a word of advice, don't wear your new shoes here.

The trail can get muddy, and spoiling your fresh kicks is not worth breaking.

Don't worry about the mud too much; it adds to the overall hiking experience.

View of the majestic Manoa Falls
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As you walk, you'll come across the arboretum and botanical garden.

The lush greenery serves as a reminder of Hawaii's ecological richness, and the diverse species of plants there are a testament to the island's unique biodiversity.

Then, there's the waterfall.

Some visitors may feel underwhelmed, expecting a grander spectacle.

But the beauty of Manoa Falls is in its serenity, not its grandeur.

It's a calming sight, a gentle cascade against vibrant tropical flora.

But a word of caution- prepare yourself for the mosquitoes and carry a bug spray.

It's a small price to pay for the breathtaking views and the rare encounter with a rainbow that might form near the waterfall on a sunny day.

For just four dollars, you get to park your car and embark on an unforgettable journey through nature's wonderland.

Manoa Falls is the place to be whether you're a nature lover, a tree hugger, or simply someone looking for a serene escape.

Trail at the Manoa Falls
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Take a Stroll through Kapiʻolani Regional Park

View of the Kapiʻolani Regional Park
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Whenever I need an escape from my hectic routine, I am drawn toward the serene oceanfront at Kapiʻolani Regional Park.

It seems like the volcanic views and the vibrant flora effortlessly wash away the stress of life.

The park is a perfect place for relaxation, offering an expansive beach where I often indulge in a game of volleyball with some friends.

Meanwhile, the soft sand and the rhythmic crashing of waves are a blissful backdrop for a friendly match.

When I want a more peaceful day, I grab my favorite book, pack a picnic, and find a quiet spot under a shady tree.

On weekends, I take a canoe and paddle out into the ocean.

The view of the park from out there is just stunning, with the silhouette of the volcano standing tall against the sky and the lush green park slowly fading away.

Walking around the park is another delightful experience.

I've mapped out my route where I can catch the best sights, and three laps take me well past 6,000 steps, excellent for keeping fit while enjoying beautiful surroundings!

One of the highlights of this place is the Waikiki Art Festival held here, a treasure trove of locally made artisan items.

I always make it a point to attend these markets full of unique handmade creations.

It's a joy to watch the pride with which local artists present their crafts.

If you're looking for a peaceful getaway to enjoy stunning volcanic views, a beachfront, and a peek into local culture - Kapiʻolani Regional Park is the place to be.

Spend the Da at Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Beach

Bronze statue at the Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Beach
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You wake up to the break of day, knowing exactly where you're headed - Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Beach.

It's a slice of paradise right in the heart of a bustling shopping district.

Something about that 9-foot bronze sculpture of Duke himself, standing tall and proud, calms your spirit.

You can find more information here if you're interested in seeing it.

Heading out early, the beach is peaceful, the sand still cool beneath your feet.

The water is like a mirror reflecting the dawn, and it's so clear you can see fish darting about beneath the surface.

It's a sight that never fails to take your breath away.

As the day progresses, the beach comes alive.

It's like the city's communal backyard.

Families gather, picnickers spread their blankets, and surfers ride the waves.

Statue at the Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Beach
EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

Grabbing a bite is never a problem here.

You never have to go far, with dozens of food shops around the corner.

Find a quiet spot under a palm, digging into your meal while people-watching.

See tourists gaping in wonder and locals going about their day, all against the backdrop of the endless ocean and the ever-watchful gaze of Duke Kahanamoku, the father of international surfing.

The beach doesn't lose its allure as the sun begins to dip; the water, still warm from the day's sun, beckons you for one last dip.

As you wade in, the world around you slows down.

The day ends as it began - peaceful, beautiful, and surreal.

That's just another day in the life at Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Beach.

Plank with information about Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Beach
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Take a Stroll through Fort DeRussy Beach Park

People relaxing at the Fort DeRussy Beach Park
okimo / Shutterstock.com

The early morning sun casting golden hues on the azure water, the rhythmic sound of waves crashing against the shore, and the whistle of the tropical breeze through the palm fronds - this is how my day begins.

Living close to Fort DeRussy Beach Park, I've made it a tradition to start my day with a brisk jog along this picturesque beach, basking in the warm Hawaiian sunshine.

Following the scenic route, you'll come across fellow joggers, yoga enthusiasts, and families enjoying a morning picnic on the lush green landscape.

The park has grills for those impromptu barbeque parties, showers to rinse off the salty ocean water, and even picnic tables for a lazy outdoor brunch.

During the day, this beach park transforms into a social hub, bustling with activity.

Despite its popularity, the beach maintains its pristine appeal.

It's not uncommon to see responsible community members volunteering their time to keep the shores clean.

Volleyball court at the Fort DeRussy Beach Park
Benny Marty / Shutterstock.com

And the ice cream stand is a must-visit.

The flavor of the creamy, chilled treat seems to taste better with the beachside view.

As the day winds down, a spot at the beach bar is the perfect place to unwind.

Try out the local beer – it's a personal favorite.

As the sun dips below the horizon, painting the sky with hues of orange and purple, the silhouette of palm trees against the glowing backdrop is a sight to behold.

Fort DeRussy Beach Park truly captures the essence of island life.

Whether you're a fitness enthusiast, a beach bum, or just someone seeking tranquility, this place has something for everyone.

I couldn't imagine a better place to call home.

View of the Fort DeRussy Beach Park
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Discover the Treasure of HoMA

Outside view of the Honolulu Museum of Art
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The first time I stepped into the Honolulu Museum of Art, I was overcome by a sense of tranquility, as if I had stumbled upon a secret oasis amidst the bustling city.

The museum is a true gem tucked away in the heart of Honolulu, housing an impressive collection of over 50,000 works of art.

I've always been fond of places that serve as a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle, and HoMA is precisely that.

The museum's layout is a journey, leading you through beautifully manicured courtyards that never fail to induce a sense of calm and awe.

While I love soaking up the sun on the beautiful beaches of Hawaii, I often find myself drawn to the museum, craving a break from the ordinary to immerse myself in the art world.

Statue displayed at Honolulu Museum of Art
Eric Broder Van Dyke / Shutterstock.com

The beauty of this place is that it's not just about the artwork; the entire experience is art.

Whether sitting in the museum's charming cafe, sipping on a cup of coffee while listening to jazz, or wandering through the museum's various exhibits, I feel like I'm a part of something much larger.

What's more, it's not just about international art.

The museum also showcases local Hawaiian arts, allowing you to taste the rich local culture.

And the best thing is, the museum is free!

Getting to the museum from Waikiki does require a bit of a journey, but trust me, it's worth every step.

The Honolulu Museum of Art is a momentary escape from the world, allowing you to get lost in beauty and tranquility.

Interior view of the Honolulu Museum of Art
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Visit Kewalo Basin Park

View of the Kewalo Basin Park
okimo / Shutterstock.com

When the hustle and bustle of life takes over, I escape to my sanctuary, the Kewalo Basin Park.

It's a bit off the beaten path, unlike the always crowded Ala Moana, and that's precisely what makes it so unique.

This serene park offers a perfect blend of tranquility, leisure, and adventure, all in one spot.

The park is a treasure trove for fishing enthusiasts and surfers.

I've spent countless mornings casting lines over the basin's gentle waves, and the thrill of catching a big one never gets old.

As for surfers, the park offers a prime spot for catching those perfect waves away from the crowd.

What Kewalo Basin Park lacks in beachfront, it makes up for its numerous shaded bench areas.

The waterfront view is nothing short of mesmerizing.

Harbor near the Kewalo Basin Park
okimo / Shutterstock.com

I've spent hours here, just sitting and basking in the tranquility.

It's also an excellent spot for picnics.

I've shared many a meal with my friends and family here, the soft hum of the ocean in the background.

Speaking of the ocean, if you're a fan of swimming, this park offers an easy access spot to dive in.

There are steps leading down to the water, so there's no need to navigate rocky terrain.

Just remember to stay in the park; there's a free parking lot, but you might find your car towed if you leave the park.

Lastly, the park houses a beautiful building that hosts various events, including weddings.

I've had the pleasure of attending a few celebrations here, and let me tell you, nothing beats partying with the breathtaking view of the basin as a backdrop.

Do yourself a favor in Honolulu and step away from the crowd.

Visit Kewalo Basin Park and experience the tranquility it offers.

Trust me, you won't regret it.

Find Serenity at the Eternal Flame Memorial

View of the Eternal Flame Memorial
Christian Mueller / Shutterstock.com

Every time I pass by the Eternal Flame Memorial, I can't help but admire its striking beauty.

Set in the city's heart, this memorial is a daily reminder of the sacrifices made during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

It's where city hustle takes a pause, replaced by an atmosphere of respect and peace.

Though nestled amidst the busiest bus transit center on the island, the statue's allure is undiminished.

Its simplicity, elegance, and sense of history make for a unique sight.

Closeup of the Eternal Flame Memorial
Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

However, I wish more places to sit and relax around the park.

It's an area that seems to call for quiet reflection, but sadly, a spot to sit down and soak in the surroundings is hard to come by.

I promise you, it's a sight to behold in person.

So, if you're passing by the area, do take a moment to stop and pay your respects.

You'll leave with a renewed sense of peace and an appreciation for the history that shaped our island.

Feel the Heartbeat of Hawaii at the State Capitol

Exterior view of the State Capitol
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Every day, I pass by the grand Hawaii State Capitol, a gem from the 1960s with its magnificent atrium, vibrant courtyards, awe-striking memorials, and statues that tell a thousand stories.

This building is a living testament to Hawaii's history, culture, and the spirit of aloha.

Unlike traditional capitol buildings, it's open to the elements, allowing the island breezes, sun, and even rain to be part of the experience.

I've enjoyed many walks on all floor levels and peeked into the Lieutenant Governor's outer office areas.

I once had the opportunity to step into the room where she holds high-profile meetings and press conferences.

Interior view of the State Capitol
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The halls of the Capitol are adorned with captivating artwork, reflecting Hawaii's vibrant culture and history.

It's like walking through a gallery, each piece telling a unique tale of our island paradise.

On one occasion, I was fortunate enough to witness the Senate in full swing – an unforgettable spectacle of democracy.

The Hawaii State Capitol remains an iconic piece of architecture and a unique seat of power.

It's the island's pulse where the past, present, and future merge, and every local and visitor should experience it.

So, if you're nearby and stroll around the Capitol, you never know what fascinating piece of Hawaii you might stumble upon.

State representative chamber at State Capitol
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Discover the Charm of Aloha Tower

View of the Aloha Tower
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What a sight to behold! The Aloha Tower stands tall daily, gracing the Honolulu skyline with its timeless charm.

First built in 1926, the tower is no less than a historical monument, making it one of Hawaii's most recognizable buildings.

I remember my first visit as a kid, completely amazed, craning my neck to take in the full view of this ten-story lighthouse.

Today, as I walk by, I still pause to appreciate its beauty, even if I can't step inside anymore since it's permanently closed.

Top view of the Aloha Tower
Nenad Basic / Shutterstock.com

But the charm of the tower isn't limited to just the structure.

The area around it, from the convenience store where I grab my spam musubi each morning to the spot between the tower and the old maritime museum, is teeming with life.

Here, you can witness a spectacle of beautiful and colorful fish swimming around.

The area is worth a visit.

And if you do, remember to respect this place, keep it clean, and cherish the opportunity to be a part of this island’s history and natural beauty.

Fountain with Aloha Tower in the background
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Explore Aloha Tower Marketplace

Entrance to the Aloha Tower Marketplace
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Believe me when I say the Aloha Tower Marketplace is more than just a mall.

Located on the waterfront, this iconic destination has been my go-to spot for years.

This place has everything from shopping to dining to simply soaking up the gorgeous views.

My typical day at Aloha starts with a brisk walk around the area.

You can capture some great photos of the tower and the surrounding area.

It's also an integral part of the Hawaii Pacific University.

I'm not a student there, but from what I hear, it's quite a spectacular campus.

Hola girl statue at Aloha Tower Marketplace
Jeff Whyte / Shutterstock.com

On rainy days, I find solace in the indoor mall.

I usually window-shop my way through until the rain stops.

It's a shame that not all shops are open; the tower had some unique ones.

But don't let that discourage you.

Once the rain ceases, I venture outside.

The large compound offers a lot of space to roam around and explore.

I often find myself gravitating towards the restaurants. They have so many different options.

My personal favorite is The Old Spaghetti Factory.

Their food is simply divine and never disappoints.

Another highlight of the marketplace is the Ka Manoa Luau.

It's a cultural feast that immerses you in the heart and soul of Hawaiian tradition.

Trust me, you won't want to miss out on this.

So, next time you're near the waterfront, visit Aloha Tower Marketplace.

It's a place where memories are made and good times are had.

View of the Aloha Tower Marketplace
Theodore Trimmer / Shutterstock.com

Explore Chinatown Honolulu

Entrance to the marketplace at Chinatown, Honolulu
Pamela Au / Shutterstock.com

Ever since I can remember, my life in Honolulu has revolved around Chinatown.

A world unto itself, it's an explosion of sights, sounds, and tastes that never fails to excite me.

Whether it's the bustling Asian markets, the mouthwatering Chinese restaurants, or the ever-inspiring art galleries, each visit is a new adventure.

The day usually starts with a leisurely walk through the Asian markets.

Likewise, the lively chatter of vendors selling fresh produce and exotic ingredients instantly energizes me.

It's the perfect place to test your haggling skills, and trust me, the thrill of striking a good deal is simply unmatched.

Food, of course, is a significant part of the Chinatown experience.

With a multitude of Chinese eateries around, you are spoilt for choice.

An old man selling delicious food at Chinatown, Honolulu
ja-images / Shutterstock.com

My favorite has to be the Dim Sum House.

Their delicious dumplings have been the hero of many of my Sunday brunches.

If you ever visit Chinatown, I highly recommend you try them.

Art lovers are in for a treat, too.

The art galleries in Chinatown are brimming with talent.

I can spend hours on end, losing myself in many contemporary and traditional pieces.

Seeing local artists get a platform to showcase their work is a joy.

But the jewel in Chinatown's crown has to be the Hawaii Theatre Center.

This historic venue adds a dash of old-world charm to the vibrant community.

With its grand performances and stunning architecture, it's a cultural landmark that's very close to my heart.

So, if you're ever in Honolulu, visit Chinatown.

It's the heart and soul of the city and a true testament to the rich cultural diversity we're so proud of

Trust me, it's an experience you wouldn't want to miss.

Street view of the Chinatown in Honolulu
Richie Chan / Shutterstock.com

Final Thoughts

Living in Honolulu is like living in a paradise that never ceases to amaze me.

Each day, I'm reminded of the extraordinary beauty of nature, the rich cultural history, and the welcoming aloha spirit of the people.

Each place holds a special place in my heart, and I'm sure it will be yours, too.

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