Five years ago, our family holiday destination was Honolulu or as my husband likes to call it Hona.. wooo.. whoo… !!!! 🙂
We combined the two islands of Oahu and Maui on this trip, which gave us two totally different holiday encounters (you can find my previous post on Maui here).
Honolulu being quiet ‘touristy” was a great family vacation. The welcoming bronze statue of Duke Kahanamoku, the Olympic surfing champion, overlooks the golden-sanded beaches of Waikiki. The cosmopolitan vibe emerges along the promenade where a multitude of activities such as surfing, water sports and volleyball are acclaimed.
We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, a huge resort complex with multiple separate accommodation towers. Each tower has its own pool and shopping areas and the staff were extremely friendly. There is no shortage of food choices and entertainment at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. The kids had an amazing time (at the pool, with waterslide) just at the hotel complex and one must not miss the fireworks over the beach and the rainbow tower every Friday night.
Being out first time to Honolulu we had to embark on the Pearl Harbor tour, which also included a historical city tour with a visit to punchbowl cemetery. Rich in history and deep in emotion, Pear Harbor is a learning experience for everyone. The Visitor Centre and Museum displays a vast amount of information and artifacts from the devastating destruction of WW2. As we boarded the US Arizona memorial, a short boat trip from the Information Centre, a deep sense of respect and sorrow was present for all those lives that were lost. There was a dark silence and solemn aura onboard this memorial that sits upon the sunken battleship.
These are the life experiences I’m privileged and blessed to offer my children. Lessons that cannot be learned in a classroom but from real life encounters such as this.
There were plenty of great places to eat in Honolulu. Below is a list of restaurants we tried and tested….
- Wailana Coffee House (near the hotel)
- Kobe Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar (near the hotel)
- Tony Roma’s (Steakhouse) – a must try is the onion ring stack
- PJ Changs
- The Cheesecake Factory
Honolulu was a shopping paradise for us. From the renowned retail stores along the main street of Kalakaua Ave to the massive shopping mall of Alana Mona, bargains were waiting to be snatched up. We had also booked a shopping tour to Waikile Premium Outlets, a huge outlet shopping area of designer labels. Luckily we had actually taken with us a spare empty suitcase, that returned completely full by the end of the shopping tour. So much easier than carrying bundles of shopping bags!!
The Honolulu Cookie Company (HCC) and ABC stores are distinctly unique to Hawaii. From the delicious shortbread cookies at the HCC, to the extensive and affordable range of souvenirs and Hawaiian treasures at the ABC stores, you are always able to find something special for loved ones back home or to simply treat yourself.
Honolulu is an all rounder holiday destination. With so much to offer for all ages, Honolulu delivers vacations of relaxation and adventure.
Follow the link to my recipe for Key Lime Pie