Jacques Cousteau once famously said, “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” Indeed, no matter where you roam, you always find your travels most enjoyable when you’re in close proximity to the ocean. Perhaps it’s because when you’re submerged in the vast expanse of blue water, you feel free—free to forget about that which worries you and free to enjoy the simplicity of being alive. Navigate your way back to the big, blue ocean and reserve Honolulu lodging today. That way, you’ll be able to spend more than an afternoon reconnecting with the sea.
Things to Do in Honolulu
In the morning, the crashing sound of waves wakes you and so you begin your day on the sand. Kicking off your flip flops, you set your beach bag down on the shoreline and spread out your towel. This little patch of Waikiki Beach is temporarily yours, and you smile knowing that you get to take up space in such a stunning location. From your position in the sand, you happily watch as surfers cut through the water and ride the crests of massive waves. You too join in on the aquatic action by renting a stand up paddle board and viewing the island of Oahu from the calm cerulean waters.
After toweling off, slip into your favorite pair of shorts and tennis shoes at one of the hotels in Honolulu and make your way to Diamond Head. Hiking the 760-foot-tall volcanic crater will be physically intensive, but the sweeping view of the island and the sea from the top will make your effort more than worth it.
If you’re looking for history that’s more man-made than geographical, visit the USS Arizona Memorial. The site marks a dark time in the nation’s history, as it commemorates the location in which over 1,000 American sailors and marines were killed during an attack on Pearl Harbor. An intense wave of emotions will wash over you as you stroll through the saddening displays inside the memorial, but these feelings will be followed by a twinge of relief that people can overcome the largest of obstacles, and that nations and their people can learn from tragedies.
Eating and Drinking
With salt water still dripping from your hair, you decide it’s time for a feast—island style. Many of the best places to stay in Honolulu are in close proximity to some of the tastiest restaurants on the island. If it’s your first time to Hawaii, or are just looking for an excuse to indulge, let your taste buds guide you on a tour out of one of the hotels in downtown Honolulu to traditional Hawaiian fare. If you need a snack as you consider your options, stop at any grocery store or roadside stand and pick up some fresh pineapple spears. The sweet yellow fruit truly does taste better when it’s straight from the source, and Hawaiians rightfully claim that they grow the best pineapples in the world.
With your appetite kicked into gear, find a local restaurant near Honolulu hotels and the sea and order a bowl of poke. This local dish will make you weep tears of joy as you sink your teeth into bite-sized chunks of raw ahi tuna that have been seasoned with soy sauce, sesame oil, scallions, and sea salt; served over rice, it’s the ideal light lunch to enjoy before heading back to swim in the ocean.
If fish isn’t your thing, stick with the classic “lunch plate” that can be found all over Oahu. Simple, filling, and refreshing, the lunch plate normally includes a scoop of rice, a few bites of macaroni salad, and the meat of your choosing—Kahlua pork is a surefire selection that will have you considering moving to Hawaii permanently.
Your stomach still cries for something sweet, and who are you to deny its request while on vacation? End your culinary tour of the island with a syrupy blue raspberry shaved ice or make the executive decision to have a cocktail for dessert. Skip the mai tai and order a lava flow—this rum-based drink captures the spirit of a piña colada with its cream of coconut, but also includes pureed strawberries, causing you to sip, enjoy, and seek out a hammock as you fall into a blissful post-drink nap.
Green Spaces Galore
You could spend weeks combing through the island’s various beaches in search of seashells and solitude, but a trip to He’eia State Park is just as worthwhile. The phrase “state park” might make you think of massive oak trees or large red rock canyons, but the picturesque ocean views from this Hawaiian protected area will have you reconsidering that notion. Hike around the park and overlook the tranquil waters of Kaneohe Bay. From monkeypod trees to palms covered in coconuts, the tropical flora and fauna in the area will have you reaching for your camera as well as trying to commit the sights to memory.
Day Trips from Honolulu
There are tons of things to do in Honolulu, but you will want to spend an afternoon at the North Shore. Twenty-seven miles northwest of Honolulu, the North Shore is hailed as one of the greatest surfing destinations in the world—with more than 7 miles of white sand to stretch out on as you spend the day watching local legends tear through the water with ease. Walk through the sand of Waimea Bay or rent a board and test your balance out on the ocean. Tired, sandy, and unsure as to whether you have what it takes to pick up a career as an amateur surfer, retire to your Honolulu accommodation for some much needed sleep.
Capturing the Aloha Spirit
The spirit of island life is about more than staying at one of the Honolulu beach hotels and taking long walks along the coast. Those lucky enough to live on Oahu cherish the ocean, and you will too with so many cheap hotels in Honolulu to choose from on Travelocity. Something about the sea soothes you like nothing else can, and now that you know where to stay in Honolulu, you can frequent the Pacific Ocean and dive into its mysterious depths whenever possible.