Discovering the Charm of Honolulu: From Luau to Pearl Harbor

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Curated By

Deborah Ortloff

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  • Active Travel

  • Adventure Travel

  • Arts & Culture

  • Island

  • Beach Town

  • History

  • Local Culture

An aerial view of a battleship at Pearl Harbor.
Curator’s statement

Stepping foot in Honolulu is like stepping into a tropical paradise with a twist of cosmopolitan flair. Set on the island of Oahu, Hawai'i, this city offers not only stunning natural beauty but also a wealth of cultural and historical experiences. From vibrant city life and traditional luaus to sun-drenched Waikiki beach and historic Pearl Harbor, Honolulu has a charm all of its own.

The Fora Difference

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Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay in Honolulu

Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort on Oahu

Discover the beauty of Waikiki Beach at this iconic resort, offering breathtaking ocean views, luxurious accommodations and a variety of dining and entertainment options.

Vive Hotel Waikiki

Vive Hotel Waikiki offers a contemporary and vibrant stay in the heart of Honolulu, Hawaii, combining modern design with Hawaiian influences, providing guests with a stylish and comfortable urban oasis near iconic Waikiki Beach.

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Things to do in Honolulu

Waikiki Beach's vibrant atmosphere and stunning view.

Waikiki Beach

This illustrious strip of golden sand epitomizes beach life on the islands, serving as a haven for sun-seekers and surfers alike. Here, you can tap into the island spirit by learning to surf in the birthplace of the sport or float over the azure waves on a paddleboard.

Pearl Harbor

Venturing into Pearl Harbor transports you to a pivotal juncture in U.S. history. The solemn USS Arizona Memorial, reachable by boat, hovers over the remnants of the sunken battleship, stirring poignant memories of those who perished.


The traditional Hawaiian luau is an absolute must when visiting Honolulu. A luau is an enthralling celebration of Hawaiian culture, interwoven with mouthwatering food, enchanting music and spellbinding hula dancing.

Places to eat & drink in Honolulu

Dining with Luau entertainment at Chief's Luau.


Island Vintage Coffee

The shaved ice is yummy, especially on a day at the beach.


Chief's Luau

The food was very hawaiian and excellent. The entertainment was outstanding.

Need to Know

Dive into the rhythm of Honolulu city life, a vibrant fusion of contemporary urban hustle set against a canvas of breathtaking tropical splendor. As you navigate the lively streets, you'll find yourself in a diverse cultural nexus, where east meets west in a kaleidoscopic spectacle. Honolulu boasts a unique tableau where futuristic skyscrapers harmoniously stand next to historical landmarks. Feel the creativity flourish during the Chinatown Art Walk, soak in serenity at the tranquil Foster Botanical Gardenso r time travel at the majestic Iolani Palace, the sole royal palace in the United States. The city pulses with life and color, inviting you to immerse yourself fully in its captivating allure.

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Takeoff to Travel’s guide, An Insider's Guide to Honolulu.

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Travel Advisor

Deborah Ortloff

Get in touch with Deborah

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Hawai'i.