Honolulu, United States

Taking its lead from holidaying royalty over the years, the Hawaiian capital is no stranger to recreation – surfing began on a local beach, and major tournaments are still held here. Waikiki, a glitzy stretch of high-rise hotels and buzzy beach, is the entertainment epicentre, but it’s surrounded by mountains, rainforests and pineapple plantations. Oahu is Hawaii's most developed island, but it hasn’t lost its Pacific heritage – ancient Polynesian traditions are alive, and chances are you’ll have a flower lei around your neck, wear a loud floral shirt, and throw some authentic hula moves at some point. Come say aloha.

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Areas in Honolulu

When to go

The mild climate doesn’t change much throughout the year, but the islands are at their busiest between December and March. Oahu’s waves get huge between October and March, and this is when the surf championships kick off.

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Getting there

  • Planes

    Honolulu airport is Hawaiian Airlines’ main hub, and the arrival point for their international and inter-island flights (www.hawaiianairlines.com). Direct flights leave from all over the US mainlaind, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland. From Australia, Qantas has flights to Honolulu from Sydney (www.qantas.com).
  • Automobiles

    Pick up some wheels at the one of the airport’s several car-hire desks. The island’s roads are easy to navigate. Highway 92 leads the way from the airport, and becomes the Ala Moana Boulevard, which comes straight into Waikiki.
  • Taxis

    There’s no shortage: easy to flag, cabs also gather outside the main hotels and shops. You might even find yourself in a customised stretch limo. If you want to book, try the Cab (+1 808 422 2222) or Charley’s (+1 808 233 3333).