Say aloha to the sun, waves, beaches and the locals of Honolulu, Hawaii!
With three days in paradise, you want to experience everything you can—and a sunburn isn’t one. Here is how you should spend 72 hours in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Morning: Start your day with a fresh cup of macadamia nut iced coffee at beachside Hula Grill in Waikiki. Stroll around Waikiki’s center and make sure to snap a picture in front of the Duke Kahanamoku statue at the aptly-named Kahanamoku Beach. Bring a lei to drape on the Duke (who many call the inventor of modern surfing) statue. Before the sun gets too high in the sky, hike Diamond Head Crater, an iconic vestige of a volcanic eruption nearly 300,000 years ago. The nearly 1.6-kilometer ascent chronicles Hawaii’s military past and offers sweeping, stunning payoff views of Waikiki.
Afternoon: Head back to Waikiki for your first surfing lesson with Kai Sallas’ Pro Surf School Hawaii. Their team of pro surfers will help you catch your first wave on the quieter side of Waikiki so you don’t have to worry about getting hit by other wave chasers.
Evening: You can’t come to Hawaii without sampling some of the freshest seafood on Earth. Head to Sansei in Waikiki for their take on Hawaiian-style raw ahi tuna topped with Maui sweet onion, sprouts and tossed in a spicy sauce. After dinner, check out Waikiki Beach for a sunset stroll. Watch the sky change from baby blue to brilliant hues of orange, purple and pink as the day comes to a close.
Catch your first wave on Waikiki Beach
Morning: Rise and shine get a dose of American history at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. Here you’ll witness the sight of the Pearl Harbor attack that catapulted the United States into World War II. You can also arrange to visit nearby USS Oklahoma, USS Utah, and USS Arizona.
Afternoon: It wouldn’t be a trip to Honolulu without a visit to Ala Moana Shopping Center, one of the largest open air malls. Ala Moana isn’t just any old mall though. Where else on Earth could you attend a free hula show, eat dim sum, shop for iconic brands like Chanel, visit the post office and watch live music – all under one roof?
Evening: As the hunger undoubtedly sneaks up on you, opt for a dinner of pupus (appetizers) for a fun, local and social take on sharing a meal. There’s hardly a more appropriate place than Uncle Bo’s Pupu Bar & Grill in the up and coming, hip Kapahulu neighborhood.
The USS Arizona Memorial
Morning: Avoid the lines and get an early start with breakfast at Koko Head Café, Chef Lee Anne Wong’s (of “Top Chef” fame) brunch restaurant. Next stop: Hanauma Bay State Park marine life conservation area for some of the best snorkeling on the island. You'll be in awe when you’re face to face with Hawaiian sea life like green turtles (honu), parrot fish and the state fish, the Humuhumunukunukuapua'a.
Afternoon: There’s nothing closer to heaven than watching a Hawaiian sunset from out in the ocean. Keeping the party going won’t harm your good vibes, either. Check out Tom’s Barefoot Tours’ Sunset Mai Tai Sail: you get to enjoy views of Waikiki, Diamond Head and Honolulu with unlimited Mai Tais, champagne, beer and wine. Let the good times roll.
Evening: After soaking up an incredible Waikiki sunset from the water, dinner’s at Marukame Udon on Kuhio Avenue. With quick moving lines and a no-frills, casual atmosphere, Marukame is the perfect quick bite before sinking into your bed, exhausted, but exhilarated from all your days’ adventures. Do you want to learn even more about beautiful Honolulu? Visit our city guide!