When making your must-do list in Hawaii, you’ll want to add several of these activities in and around Honolulu that won’t break your budget.
Millions have already experienced the not-to-be missed offered by Maui Divers Jewelry Design Center. The tour is free and available 365 days a year. This 20-minute complimentary, educational tour takes guests through the center where they learn about Hawaii’s natural gemstones and how these stones are turned into beautiful jewelry. At the end of the tour, you’ll have the opportunity to visit Hawaii’s largest fine jewelry showroom and purchase your own Maui Divers jewelry and precious Hawaiian Black Coral keepsakes.
Maui Divers Jewelry Design Center is located at located at 1520 Liona Street, Honolulu, 96814.
Hanauma Bay State Park: One of the most popular attractions on the Island of Oahu and sees on average 3,000 visitors a day, or around one million visitors per year. The vast majority are tourists, but local residents love this beach as well. The bay is closed to the public every Tuesday, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day to allow the fish a day of feeding without interruption. Snorkel and swim in this beautiful bay and get acquainted with a plethora of fish and marine life - offers an overall great experience for people of all ages.
Hike Diamond Head: The trail to the summit of Le?ahi (Hawaiian name for Diamond Head Crater) was built in 1908 as part of O?ahu’s coastal defense system. The walk is a glimpse into the geological and military history of this volcanic crater. Much of the trail is a natural tuff surface with many switchbacks traversing the steep interior slope of the crater wall. The ascent continues up steep stairs and through a lighted 225-foot tunnel. At the summit, you’ll see bunkers on the crater rim and a navigational lighthouse built in 1917 along the coast outside the crater. The postcard view of the shoreline of southeastern O?ahu from Koko Head to Wai’anae is stunning, and during winter, may include passing humpback whales.
Moanalua Gardens: An historic and cultural treasure, Moanalua Gardens is one of the most beautiful places in Honolulu on the island of O`ahu. A 24-acre privately owned Public Park in Honolulu, Hawaii. The park is the site of the Kamehameha V Cottage which used to be the home of Prince Lot Kapuaiwa, who would later become King Kamehameha V. It is also the site of the annual Prince Lot Hula Festival, and the home of a large monkey pod tree that is known in Japan as the Hitachi tree.
Kailua Beach: With a half mile of soft white sand, turquoise water and gentle breezes, Kailua Beach Park located on the Windward Coast is a local favorite. A hub for water sports, Kailua Beach welcomes visitors and locals to windsurf, body board, kayak and parasail. Conveniently, kayak rentals, dive shops and beachwear boutiques are located nearby the beach.
Kailua Beach’s proximity to several small islands makes it an ideal place for adventuring and kayaking. Closest to the shore is barren Flat Island, and far off to the east are the Mokulua Islands, commonly known as “Moks” or “Twin Islands.” To the west of Kailua Beach is Kalama Beach, a family-friendly beach with mild waves great for teaching kids how to surf and body board. To the east is Kailua’s sister beach, Lanikai Beach, which is another beautiful stretch of sand, although less accessible since it’s nestled between residential housing and parking is limited.
Puu Ualakaa State Park: Take a beautiful, winding drive up to the top of this state park that has the best scenic views in Honolulu. From the top you can catch a panoramic view of the coastline of south Oahu. It’s a perfect spot for a picnic lunch and a photo shoot. The best thing about putting Puu Ualakaa State Park on your activities-to-do-in-Hawaii list is that it’s not too touristy, so you’ll get to go where the locals visit when they want to take in the beauty of the island.
Puu Ualakaa State Park is located on Round Top Drive, Honolulu.
Lyon Arboretum: Learn about the unique flora of Hawaii at this beautiful and tranquil arboretum run by the University of Hawaii. Admission is free and visitors are given a map for a self-guided tour through trails, or they can pay $10 for a guided walking tour. There is even a short hike up to a waterfall. The arboretum is less crowded than many other Hawaiian tourist activities so you should have an unobstructed view of all the beauty. Good walking shoes and some bug spray are definitely recommended.
The Lyon Arboretum is located at 3860 Manoa Rd., University of Hawaii-Manoa, Honolulu, 96822.