Famed for its beautiful horseshoe-shaped sandy beach and clear, calm turquoise waters, this natural marine sanctuary is home to thousands of colorful tropical fish. The waist-deep water inside the reef is perfect for novice snorkelers to explore. More experienced snorkelers might want to check with the lifeguard before venturing beyond to deeper waters to see sea turtles and other marine life. The Bay is least crowded in the early morning or late afternoon.
On December 7, 1941, the battleship USS Arizona was sunk, taking 1100 sailors with it. In 1961, a solemn white monument was erected above the midsection of the ship. The deck of the Arizona lies now six feet (1.83 meters) below the surface of Pearl Harbor and is clearly visible from the monument. Take the shuttle launch from shore to the monument and view the dark shape of a once-great ship with its silent crew. Free guided tours are offered 8a-1p daily. Visit the Battleship Missouri Memorial afterward.
Also known as Le'ahi, this crater of an extinct volcano got its name when Western explorers mistook calcite crystals they found there for diamonds. Framing the fabric of the island, the crater is riddled with a tracery of vents and volcanic remnants. The historic trail to the 761-foot (231.9 meter) summit starts inside the crater and is an easy, but steep, 0.8 mile (1.3 kilometers) hike to the top. Adorned with craggy corrugations and tufts of sun-bleached grass, Diamond Head affords astounding views of Oahu's charming landscape, including some exceptional views of its beaches and locales.
Built in 1882 by Hawaii's last king, David Kalakaua, this stately three-story building is a real treat to explore. After the overthrow of the King's sister Queen Liliuokalani in 1893, the structure served as the territorial and state capitol until 1969. The Palace Galleries showcase jewels and regalia from the days of Hawaiian royalty. Guided tours are offered every 30 minutes and reservations are suggested.
Stand on the deck of this imposing old structure that has been painstakingly cared for and extensively renovated. The "Mighty Mo" is where General Douglas MacArthur proclaimed the end of World War II in September of 1945. The great vintage battleship now sits at permanent anchor across from the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. You can visit the Arizona Memorial first to get a sense of the complete story.
Tucked in the back of lush Manoa Valley is Manoa waterfall, which is commonly thought to be one of the most beautiful sights of O'ahu. It rushes over a precipice and drops 100 feet to the pool below. The briskly cold water makes a refreshing change from the Hawaiian air. The hike to the waterfall takes approximately an hour and is not particularly difficult. The trail can get slippery during the rain, but on sunny days, it's clearly marked and easy to follow.
From whale and dolphin watching, sailing and diving to discovering volcanoes and waterfalls, Hawaii Activities.com has more than 600 ideas for a fabulous vacation. Take the hassle out of planning your Hawaii adventure and book tickets for activities, tours and attractions online at competitive prices. Popular activities sell out weeks in advance; book early before you arrive in Hawaii to avoid disappointment. Ticekts, maps, itineraries, and directions are delivered free via e-mail or U.S. mail, to your home or hotel. Spend your time experiencing Hawaii, and leave the work of planning to professionals.
Hanauma Bay boasts some of the best snorkeling in the entire world. You can see schools of exotic fish without even wading out past hip-level. However, if you're unfamiliar with the ocean or you've never tried snorkeling before, it's nice to go with an experienced guide. Hanauma Bay Dive Tours is a great option for that. The price of a snorkeling tour includes transportation, instruction and equipment. Depending on which package you choose, you can spend up to four hours at the bay.
Guide Michael Walther has spent his life studying local flora and fauna, and he imparts his knowledge during these interesting eco-excursions. Invigorate yourself with an early morning hike to the 763-foot summit of the Diamond Head Crater. Visit magnificent waterfalls during the afternoon rainforest excursion in the Ko'olau mountains. There are several tours to choose from, as well as combination tour packages. Call for more details.
This is indeed a food-lover's idea of heaven! Culinary tourism in Honolulu has evolved in the form of Hawaii Food Tours, which organizes delicious trips to restaurants around the city. With rates depending on which tour you book, this is the perfect way to indulge in a gamut of delicacies, most of them Hawaiian. Hawaii Food Tours offers different themed tours, including the Hole-in-the-Wall Tour which features food from locations a little off the beaten path, and the Gourmet Trilogy Tour which allows you to taste the offerings from three of Oahu's best restaurants including wine with each course. Each location is unique, making this a food experience you won't soon forget. Bon Appetit!
In addition to owning and operating the popular Navatek I and Atlantis Submarines, this company works in conjunction with several major Honolulu attractions to provide guests with deeply discounted tour packages. Visit Sea Life Park, splurge on a dinner cruise/show package, or take a ride in one of the submarines. Call or check the website for more details.
Head to the Sheraton Moana Surfrider Hotel's private beach to show off your amateur surfing skills. And no harm if you stumble and fall, as only beginners are around for company. You can rent a surfboard from the Aloha Beach Service, who also provide a bodyguard, just in case you lose your balance while trying to impress! But if you are a complete novice, enroll yourself in the private or group classes on offer. Go for canoe rides, if surfing has failed to excite you—equipment is rented out for that too. Also on rent are beach chairs and umbrellas.