The 5 Best Pearl Harbor Tours ⚓ [2022 Reviews]

See the famous Pearl Harbor and pay your respects to the people that gave their life for our nation

Pearl Harbor is the undisputed top visitor destination in Hawaii. It is the most famous harbor in the world for a tragic reason. Many visitors take Pearl Harbor tours mainly to pay their respects at the USS Arizona Memorial.

But Pearl Harbor is also a place to celebrate America’s Naval and military successes. History lovers will enjoy taking USS Missouri tours and USS Bowfin tours. And there are many other interesting historic sites to visit on a Honolulu tour.

Whether you simply want to pay your respects to the brave heroes who died in defense of our nation or you are interested in learning more about Hawaii’s fascinating history, there is a Pearl Harbor excursion to suit your tastes.

If you would like some ideas of other things to do, please see our list of the Top 15 Things To Do In Oahu and Top 10 Things For Couples.

Best Tours of Pearl Harbor

 Pearl Harbor Premium Tour with Pick-Up from WaikikiOahu: Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona, and City Highlights TourWaikiki: Pearl Harbor and Honolulu City Tour

Best Full Day Tour

Best Combination Tour

Best Value Tour

editors choice
Pearl Harbor Premium Tour with Pick-Up from WaikikiOahu: Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona, and City Highlights TourWaikiki: Pearl Harbor and Honolulu City Tour
Departure:Pick-up from Waikiki hotelsPick-up from Waikiki hotelsPick-up from Waikiki hotels
Start:6:45 AM9:00 AM or 10:45 AM8:00 AM
Duration:9 hours6 hours4 hours
Includes:Pearl Harbor Tour, Punchbowl National Cemetery, & downtown HonoluluPearl Harbor Tour, Punchbowl, Iolani Palace, & King Kamehameha’s statue, Pearl Harbor Tour, Iolani Palace, Ali'iolani Hale, King Kamehameha’s statue, & Kawaiahao Church

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking

Quick Answer: The 5 Best Rated Pearl Harbor Tours For 2022

  1. Best Full Day Tour: Pearl Harbor Premium Tour with Pick-Up from Waikiki
  2. Best Combination Tour: Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona, and City Highlights Tour
  3. Best Budget Tour: Pearl Harbor and Honolulu City Tour
  4. Best Guided Tour: Pearl Harbor Heroes Full-Day Tour
  5. Best Value Tour: Full Day Tour to USS Missouri, Arizona, & Punchbowl Cemetery

We have selected 5 top rated guided tours of Pearl Harbor that we think you will love. Check out our reviews below.

Pearl Harbor Tour Reviews

1. Best Full Day Tour: Pearl Harbor Premium Tour with Pick-Up from Waikiki

Pearl Harbor Premium Tour with Pick-Up from Waikiki

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Pick-up from Waikiki hotels
  • Departure Time: 6:45 AM
  • Duration: 9 hours
  • Includes: Skip-the-line Pearl Harbor Tour, visit Punchbowl National Cemetery, and tour downtown Honolulu

This is the best tour for visitors who want to see everything related to Pearl Harbor in one day. You won’t need to worry about anything. You will be picked up from your Waikiki hotel by a luxury minibus that offers frame-less windows for the best possible panoramic views.

Aboard the minibus, you will benefit from a live narration of the history and culture of the places you see throughout the day. Smooth air-ride suspension and air-conditioning ensure you’ll enjoy a comfortable experience.

At the Punchbowl National Memorial Cemetery, you can pay your respects to a wide range of people who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. Most people interred here are soldiers from World War II, but there are also close family members of those who served and a noted war correspondent who lost his life while doing his part for the war effort.

The Punchbowl is also an interesting geological feature. It is a volcanic crater created between 75,000 to 100,000 years ago and played an important part in Hawaii’s history even before it became a national cemetery. The original islanders offered sacrifices in this sacred spot. Later, it hosted a defensive gun battery. Its rim offers breathtaking views of the island.

But the highlight of this tour is the boat tour to the USS Arizona Memorial and the corresponding audio guide. Most of the servicemen who died on that fateful day in history were aboard the USS Arizona, and many still lie beneath the waves. This is a place where you can offer thanks to those who sacrificed everything so that we can live the free lives we do today.

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience

2. Best Combination Tour: Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona and City Highlights Tour

Oahu: Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona, and City Highlights Tour

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Pick-up from Waikiki hotels
  • Departure Time: 9:00 AM or 10:45 AM (dependent upon day of the week)
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Includes: Skip-the-line Pearl Harbor Tour, Punchbowl National Cemetery, Iolani Palace, King Kamehameha’s statue, Kawaiahao Church, and highlights of Honolulu’s historic district

This is an ideal tour for visitors who are interested not only in the history of Pearl Harbor but also Hawaii’s royal history. This tour features Iolani Palace and King Kamehameha’s statue.

The highlight of this tour is a ride in a Navy launch to visit the USS Arizona Memorial. This monument is the grave of many brave sailors who sacrificed their lives in service to the nation. An audio tour helps to immerse you in the events of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

At the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center, you will see military memorabilia on display and watch a film about the fateful day that changed American history. Continuing to pay tribute to the brave men and women who have served our nation in the past, you will also visit the Punchbowl National Cemetery of the Pacific. This is the resting place of service men and women from several wars, including World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

To end off this comprehensive tour of Hawaiian history, you will see the main historic landmarks of Honolulu, including the Iolani Palace, Ali’iolani Hale (Hawaii-Five-O building), King Kamehameha’s statue, Kawaiahao Church, and the Mission Houses Museum. By the end of the day, you will have developed a better appreciation of the men and women who shaped the nation we have inherited today.

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience

Other Experiences You May Enjoy:

3. Best Budget Tour: Pearl Harbor and Honolulu City Tour

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Pick-up from Waikiki hotels
  • Departure Time: 8:45 AM
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Includes: Pearl Harbor Tour, Iolani Palace, Ali’iolani Hale (Hawaii-Five-O building), King Kamehameha’s statue, Kawaiahao Church, and highlights of Honolulu’s historic district

This is the best tour if you are interested in learning how Hawaii became the fiftieth state in the union. It includes a stop at the Ali’iolani Hale which was originally the home of Hawaii’s royal government but now houses the Hawaii Supreme Court.

Both here and at the Iolani Palace, you will learn about the Hawaiian monarchs, American business interests, and how the last queen was deposed to pave the way for statehood. The contributions of the royal family have not been forgotten, which is why a statue of Hawaii’s founder — King Kamehameha the Great — still stands in front of the Ali’iolani Hale.

But the main focus of this excursion is Pearl Harbor. At Pearl Harbor, you will watch a 21-minute film exploring the historical background of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Then you may decide to take an optional boat trip to visit the USS Arizona Memorial.

You will have access to the visitors center and be able to view the battleships currently anchored in Pearl Harbor alongside the submarine USS Bowfin. This is a great opportunity to take photographs of this iconic harbor and the many US Navy ships still based there today.

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience

4. Best Guided Tour: Oahu Pearl Harbor Heroes Full-Day Tour

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Pick-up from Waikiki hotels
  • Departure Time: 6:45 AM
  • Duration: 9.5 hours
  • Includes: Skip-the-line Pearl Harbor Tour, audio tour of USS Bowfin, guided tour of USS Missouri, and Pearl Harbor aviation museum

This is the premium tour for lovers of World War II history. If you are enthusiastic to learn as much as possible about the attack on Pearl Harbor and the role of Oahu during the war, you should take this tour.

Like other tours, you will watch a film about the attack on Pearl Harbor and then take a Navy launch over to the USS Arizona Memorial. The USS Arizona Memorial sits atop the sunken battleship where most of the men were lost during that fateful day. This is the best place to pay your respects to the brave sailors who lost their lives in the defense of our nation.

Unlike other tours, this tour also takes you to visit the famous submarine USS Bowfin where you will enjoy an audio tour and learn about the vessel’s role in the fight to control the Pacific Ocean. What’s more, you will also tour the USS Missouri, which is the ship where representatives from the Empire of Japan signed the Instrument of Surrender ending the war in 1945.

Your guided tour of the USS Missouri is likely to be the highlight of your day. They literally don’t make battleships like this anymore. The USS Missouri was commissioned in 1944 and fought at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. She also served in the Korean War and Operation Desert Storm. You will be amazed at the scale of this vast ship and learn firsthand how sailors lived at sea during wartime.

As an added bonus, this tour also includes a visit to the Pacific Aviation Museum. There you can learn all about the airplanes used by the Navy and the Japanese during World War II as well as other interesting facts about aviation.

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience

5. Best Value Tour: Full Day Tour to USS Missouri, Arizona, & Punchbowl Cemetery

Full Day Tour to USS Missouri, Arizona, & Punchbowl Cemetery

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Pickup from selected Waikiki hotels
  • Departure Time: 6:45 AM
  • Duration: 7 hours
  • Includes: Guided tours, all entrance fees, hotel pickup

This tour represents the best option for someone who wants to see all that Pearl Harbor has to offer. The first thing you will do is climb aboard a navy launch to the USS Arizona Memorial. Here you will learn about the 1,000 sailors that gave their life here. Learn about the heroic efforts to save them and the complete history of this iconic ship.

From here you will continue your day with a guided tour of the USS Missouri. Your guide will give all the background and information on the history of this ship and the eventual surrender of the Japanese aboard this ship.

After your day at Pearl Harbor you will have some time in Honolulu to explore historic attractions and even see the Lolani Palace and of course the famous King Kamehameha statue.

This is a fantastic tour if you want to learn about the complete history of Pearl Harbor!

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience

Oahu Travel Guide

USS Bowfin Pearl Harbor

Although Hawaii has been a US State since 1959, it still feels like another country. Oahu is the most popular of the Hawaiian islands, hosting many of its iconic attractions.

Where else in the US can you visit not just one but two genuine royal palaces?

Whether you’re most fascinated by volcanic features like Diamond Head, the abundance of marine life in the surrounding ocean, or local traditions like lei greetings and luaus, you’ll find something amazing to see and do in Oahu.

Airports & Entry

For most visitors, the only practical means to get to Oahu is by air. There are no ferries from the continental US to Hawaii.

However, you can opt to join a cruise to Hawaii from Vancouver, San Francisco, or Los Angeles.

By Air

Hawaii’s main airport is Honolulu International Airport in Oahu, which is also known as Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.

Most visitors to Hawaii arrive here, and the airport handles over 21 million passengers a year. By air, you can reach Oahu from almost anywhere in the world.

If you compare the price of flights on a ticket site like Skyscanner, you’ll find one-way flights from LA for as little as $232, from NYC for $367, and from London for $484.

As one of the 30 busiest airports in the US, Honolulu offers all the facilities you’d expect inside a large airport.

International flights land at Terminal 2, which is the main terminal sometimes referred to as the Overseas Terminal.

You’ll find most of the food outlets, stores, and other services in Terminal 2. All 3 terminals of the airport are linked by the Wiki-Wiki shuttle bus service.

You can reach central Honolulu or Waikiki from the airport by shuttle bus, public bus, taxi, or hire car. Some hotels offer a free shuttle bus service.

Shuttles are the easiest economical option, costing around $16 one way. The public buses are cheaper, but they’re slow and don’t allow luggage. Taxis usually charge between $40 and $45.


Cruises from the continental US depart from Los Angeles and San Francisco, and Canadian cruises depart from Vancouver.

The shortest duration of such a tour is 11 days from Vancouver, but that would involve 5 days at sea and 5 in port.

A 14-day cruise from LA consists of 9 days at sea and 4 in port. If you want to reach Oahu by cruise liner, you’ll sacrifice half your vacation to just getting there.

But the biggest disadvantage of taking a cruise over flying is that a cruise will typically only spend one day in each port.

You won’t have enough time to adequately explore Oahu or any other Hawaiian island.

Traveling in the time of Covid

Like many other destinations worldwide, tours and visitor attractions in Oahu have adopted special procedures.

Wearing a mask in mandatory in many locations. You will be expected to supply your own mask and wear it when you enter public buildings.

Keep your distance from other visitors who are not in your family group or bubble. You will be expected to keep your distance inside minibuses and other vehicles and when seated in restaurants.

At the time of writing, the State of Hawaii welcomes visitors but requires pre-travel testing for Covid-19. You can obtain the most up-to-date information directly from the State of Hawaii Portal.

Visiting Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor is an active military base and a memorial to the brave men and women who have died defending this nation. For that reason, there are several things you should keep in mind during your visit.

You will not be allowed to carry bags into many buildings. You may only carry your cellphone and a water bottle in many places. So, if possible, leave your bags behind or in your tour company’s minibus.

Although it may be hot and humid when you visit, dress appropriately for visiting a grave site. You don’t need to wear a suit and tie but avoid garish Hawaiian shirts and other inappropriate attire.

General Planning Tips

Oahu is arguably the most interesting of the Hawaiian Islands to visit, boasting many of the top attractions in the state. Here are 5 tips to help you plan your visit.

Tip #1: If you love whales, go in winter

Every winter, humpback whales migrate from Alaska to the waters around Hawaii to mate and calve.

If you want to see whales breaching the surface, do a whale watching tour in Oahu between December and April.

Between 10 and 12 thousand whales gather in the nearby ocean. You can often see them from the beaches, and they are known to circle small boats that approach their pods.

If you’re not interested in whales, the best time to visit Oahu is between September and November.

There are fewer crowds in the shoulder season, and accommodation prices can be cheaper. The fall isn’t as hot as summer but not as busy as winter.

Tip #2: Explore beyond Honolulu and Waikiki Beach

Many visitors to Oahu don’t travel far from their hotel in Honolulu, but many of the island’s more interesting attractions are further afield.

During your stay, make sure you explore some of the more unusual and remote attractions Oahu has to offer.

Tip #3: Book Oahu accommodation and tours in advance, especially during winter

Oahu is a popular destination, so accommodation and tours are sometimes fully booked well months ahead.

To ensure you get the room you want and tickets for the tours you’re interested in, book in advance.

Tip #4: Pack smart clothes and raincoats

Because Oahu has a tropical climate, you’ll spend a lot of time in shorts and T-shirts. However, occasional heavy rainstorms do occur, especially during the summer months.

For that reason, you might want to pack a light raincoat.

And, if you plan to attend any special events in the evenings, such as a traditional luau, or you want to visit a plush cocktail lounge for a romantic evening, then ensure you pack some more formal clothes for such occasions.

Tip #5: Buy traditional local craft souvenirs

You’ll see “authentic Hawaiian crafts” in gift shops around the island, but many of the carvings and traditional clothes are actually “made in China”.

However, there are several arts and crafts stores around the island that specialize in locally produced goods.

For example, check out Na Mea Hawaii, 1200 Ala Moana Boulevard, Honolulu.

Na Mea Hawaii is a store where you can buy books written by and about Hawaiian people, original art, crafts, and cultural products.

Tip #6 : Try Other Adventures

Oahu is known as “adventure island” because there are so many things to do here. If you love the water, consider a parasailing adventure tour. Here you will float 500 feet or more above the water harnessed to a parachute. Enjoy views of the harbor from above along with seeing Waikiki.

You should spend some time in nature in Oahu. A great way to see the wildlife in the rainforests while you zoom from tree to tree is a ziplining tour! There is no better way to enjoy nature while enjoying an exciting adventure at the same time.


fruit market Honolulu oahu hawaii hotels world travel guides
A traditional fruit market in Honolulu

Restaurants & Eating Out

Oahu is an island where the indigenous Polynesian inhabitants boast an uninterrupted cultural history. This means it’s a great place to sample authentic Polynesian food.

But the vast numbers of immigrants who have settled here from Asia, Puerto Rico, and Mexico add to the rich cultural mix.

Oahu is also a great place to eat traditional Korean, Japanese, and Mexican dishes.


Because it’s an island, you’ll find lots of seafood dishes in Oahu. Poke is a popular traditional delicacy. Poke is similar to sashimi but the fish is presented in chunks instead of slices.

Monchong is marinated and grilled, deep-water fish. And opakapaka is baked, grilled, or steamed crimson snapper.

If you want to sample traditional poke, check out the Highway Inn in Waipahu. This renowned, award-winning restaurant has served authentic Hawaiian food since 1947.

The Highway Inn also has branches in Kaka’ako and inside the Bishop Museum in Honolulu.


A popular Polynesian cooking technique is using an earth oven called an imu. Any dishes cooked this way are described as luau.

Luau parties are actually named after this kind of food because it is often served at Hawaiian parties.

A popular luau dish is laulau, which features fish, chicken, or pork wrapped in taro leaves.

These wraps are slow-cooked for hours until the meat grows tender. The resulting delicacy has a smoky taste.

For hand-wrapped laulau, again head over to the Highway Inn in Waipahu. While there, also check out the smoked meat loco moco with mushrooms over brown rice. Delicious!


In Oahu, taro is the staple food source. This versatile root crop is often found crushed down into poi, a steamed or baked paste.

Poi is thick and tastes a little sour because of the fermentation that occurs during preparation.

For the best hand-pounded poi, check out the Waiahole Poi Factory on the Kamehameha Highway north of Kahaluu.

Here you can not only eat delicious poi in their restaurant, but you can also attend Hawaiian traditional food demonstrations and tastings. You can also enjoy laulau here.

Asian Food

Honolulu Kitchen in Waipahu, despite its name, is a great place to taste traditional Asian dishes, such as Sichuan pork eggplant, furikake garlic chicken, and kung pao chicken.

Manapua (cha shao bao) are popular all over the island, and Honolulu Kitchen serves a broad variety from spicy, deep-fried Korean style to traditional steamed manapua.

If you enjoy Korean dishes, Sara’s Café (Jun Café) on Beretania Street in Honolulu is popular with the locals. It has a reputation for good-quality, affordable Korean meals.

But if it’s authentic sushi you desire, check out Sushi Sasabune on South King Street in Honolulu. It’s highly rated on both TripAdvisor and Google.


Kulolo is a traditional pudding made from steamed taro, sugar, and coconut milk. You won’t be surprised to hear that you can taste it at the Highway Inn.

Breadfruit is often eaten as a dessert, served steamed, baked, deep-fried, or boiled.

You’ll also love Haupia, a delicious pudding made from coconuts. You can sample haupia, fresh apple bananas, pineapples, and kulolo at Haili’s Hawaiian Food in Honolulu.

Nightlife & Entertainment

Nightlife on Oahu is focused around Honolulu and Waikiki. Typically, the night doesn’t get started until sunset.


With so many tourists here ready to have a good time, Hawaii’s capital is blessed with lots of great bars.

Check out Buho Cantina, a swanky rooftop bar and Mexican restaurant in the Waikiki Shopping Plaza that features panoramic views of Waikiki.

It’s a great place to watch the sunset and start the night. Or if you’re looking for something more upscale, head over to the Halekulani Hotel.

Inside, you’ll find Lewers Lounge, where you can sip cocktails in a plush environment while listening to live jazz.

This is one of those places where they won’t let you in wearing flip-flops and T-shirts.


If you’re looking for a lively nightclub where you can dance to live music and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere, you’ll love The Republic.

This popular club is centrally located opposite the famous Ala Moana Shopping Center. They feature regular concerts and special events.

Nearby is the more upmarket The District. You must be 23 to get inside. They feature a broad dance floor, a VIP section, 3 bars, and live DJs.

Alternatively, check out Addiction Nightclub inside the Modern Honolulu Hotel. Addiction features a stunning light show, with 40,000 lights to light up your dance moves.

Luau and hula hoops

While you’re in Hawaii, it would be a shame not to experience some of the traditional evening entertainments.

You can enjoy a FREE traditional torch lighting, Hawaiian hula show, and blowing of the conch shell at around sunset on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

Go to the Kuhio Beach Hula Mound near the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Hotel.

The show starts at 6 pm November through January, 6:30 pm February through October, and lasts for an hour.

If you want a fun-packed evening of laulau food, drinks, traditional songs, and epic stories, go to a traditional luau.

At a luau, you can experience a lei greeting and eat traditional cuisine cooked in an imu while watching indigenous performers perform traditional acts.

At the best luaus, you’ll see locals dressed in authentic Hawaiian clothing and performing Ha: Breath of Life, one of the most famous traditional epic sagas.

There might even be brave fire-knife dancers and fire walkers. Just don’t stand too close.

There are several venues where you can enjoy a luau, such as the Germaines Luau and the Paradise Cove Luau.

Getting Around

If you’re staying around Waikiki, many great attractions, bars, entertainment venues, and restaurants are within easy walking distance.

However, if you’re staying elsewhere on the island, or want to explore the island, you probably ought to hire a car.


The major urban area around Honolulu and Waikiki features pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods. You’ll also want to explore the beaches in this area on foot.

When walking any great distance, remember to take a light raincoat. Rain showers are always a possibility, especially during summer.


Cycling is a great, eco-friendly way to cover longer distances. It’s faster than walking but still provides you with the freedom to stop wherever you want and explore.

Bicycles and mopeds are easy to hire around the island.

However, if you’re headed anywhere hilly, or you want to visit other towns, you must make sure everyone in your group is fit enough to go the distance.

Hotel shuttles

Many of the larger resorts and hotels provide shuttles to help you reach the beach and major attractions around the island. These are often complimentary.

However, some hotels charge for their shuttle services, and often those services are limited. Before you set off for the day, ensure you know what your hotel shuttle is going to cost and the timetable.

The Bus

The public bus service in Oahu is literally called The Bus.

There are mixed opinions about The Bus, with some travelers finding the service great for getting around the island, but others complaining about crowding and slow services.

The Bus does provide 93 routes around the island with an astounding 4,200 stops. You can go anywhere on The Bus!

You pay cash on the bus or purchase a bus pass. You can buy a 1-day pass on the bus for $5.50.

When traveling, keep an eye out for your destination. To stop The Bus, you must pull the cord in advance.

For information about ticket prices, concessions, maps, and schedules, visit The Bus website.

Waikiki also has a trolleybus service with stops along Waikiki Beach. Trolleybuses are great fun for short journeys in the immediate area but useless for really exploring the whole island.

Car hire

If you want the freedom to travel anywhere whenever you want, you can always hire a car. It’s a lot more expensive than purchasing a 1-day bus pass, but you will get places quicker.

You can easily hire a car at the airport, though some rental companies require drivers to be over 25.

However, note that parking in Honolulu and Waikiki is difficult.

Traffic all around the island gets congested during the busy winter months. And speed limits are lower than in the continental US and strictly enforced.


Because of the problems with parking, congestion, and navigation, you’ll find it easiest to explore the island on a tour where the tour operator provides the transport.

You won’t have the same flexibility as when you rent a car, but you’ll get where you need to go with less hassle.

Taxis and Uber

Taxis in Oahu can be expensive, and they’re difficult to find outside of the main urban area. Hailing taxis isn’t common practice in Hawaii.

However, Uber and Lyft can often offer more affordable solutions to your travel problems.

Honolulu beach oahu hawaii hotels world travel guides
View across Honolulu Beach


Most accommodations for tourists in Oahu are found in Waikiki. But you can also find a range of accommodations in Leeward Waianae, along North Shore, and Windward East.


Premier hotel brands, such as Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, and Sheraton, are found around Waikiki.

Business-class hotels are clustered around the downtown and airport areas of Honolulu.

Prince Waikiki is the top-rated hotel in Honolulu on TripAdvisor and is also highly rated on and Google.

Prince Waikiki is a modern and stylish luxury hotel with an infinity pool, wall-to-ceiling windows, and a popular rooftop bar.

If you’re working to a tight budget, you can also find cheaper hotels in this area.

The Inn On The Park in Waikiki offers low rates and free parking, which is useful if you intend to rent a car.

And the Ambassador Hotel is also affordable, though it does have relatively low ratings on both Google and TripAdvisor.

Leeward Waianae

The Makana Valley area contains a luxury resort, championship golf course, and a few vacation rentals.

The Hawaiian Princess Resort is highly rated and offers great surfing conditions in a much quieter setting than Waikiki.

North Shore

This area mainly offers B&Bs and vacation homes, though there is a major resort at Turtle Bay.

The Turtle Bay Resort is situated in a stunning location on a peninsula overlooking the bay. If you love snorkeling and turtles, it’s a great place to stay.

Windward East

This is a residential area, and the accommodations in this area are mainly vacation homes.


The weather in Oahu doesn’t fluctuate much over the year. There are really only two seasons: winter and summer. Most of the rain falls during the summer.

And there is only around an hour’s difference in sunrise and sunset times between midsummer and midwinter.

Generally, the leeward (west) side of the island is drier than the windward (east) side. This is why the eastern coast is greener than the west.

The hurricane season is from June to November, though bad hurricanes are rare.

The coldest winter month is February, with an average daily high of 780F and a low of 630F. By May, temperatures have risen to an average high of 810F and low of 670F.

August is the hottest month of the summer, with an average high of 850F and a low of 710F. By November, the average high drops to 810F and the low to 680F.

Honolulu oahu hawaii hotels world travel guides
View across Waikiki and Diamond Head


Oahu boasts many iconic attractions that make it the most visited of the Hawaiian Islands.

Royal Palaces

Honolulu boasts 2 authentic royal palaces!

The more sumptuous of the 2 is the Iolani Palace. It was built in 1882 for King Kalakaua and became the official residence of the Hawaiian Royal Family.

In recent years, the palace has been lovingly restored. Docent-led tours of the grand halls and opulent rooms are available.

Queen Emma Summer Palace (Hanaiakamalama) was built as a summer retreat in 1857.

This house is a museum filled with displays of the personal possessions of Queen Emma, her husband King Kamehameha, and their son Prince Albert Edward.

You can enjoy a self-guided or docent-guided tour of this royal residence.

Pearl Harbor

While you’re in Oahu, it’s only polite to pay your respects to the servicemen who lost their lives to defend your freedom here during WWII. The Arizona Memorial draws 1.8 million visitors each year.

The USS Missouri (WWII battleship) and USS Bowfin (WWII submarine) are permanently anchored in the harbor.

You can explore these nautical relics and learn about sailors’ lives during the war. You can also visit the Pacific Aviation Museum.

Diamond Head

You can’t not notice Diamond Head while you’re strolling along Waikiki Beach. The Diamond Head Trail is a great way to explore the volcanic cone that dominates the Honolulu skyline.

Although there are some steep sections, and it looks daunting, the hike to the summit is easier than it looks. It only takes between 40 to 60 minutes for the average hiker.

From the top, you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Waikiki and the Pacific Ocean.

Waimea Falls

This waterfall at the back of the Waimea Valley is relatively easy to reach. The 15-feet waterfall is surrounded by botanical gardens, and you’re allowed to swim in its plunge pool.

The Waimea Falls trail is only ¾ miles long. Your whole family can follow the paved path that passes important archaeological sites to reach the waterfall.

And if your walk leaves you hungry, you can find the Na Mea Ono Snack Bar at the visitors center.

Waikiki Aquarium

Your whole family will love the Waikiki Aquarium. Inside you’ll find 3,500 species of marine life native to Hawaii, including crabs, jellyfish, sea horses, octopus, squid, sharks, and seals.

You’ll find the aquarium across from Kapiolani Park near San Souci Beach. It’s a great place to see all of Hawaii’s marine life in one place.

Polynesian Cultural Center

This is a great attraction for anyone fascinated by Hawaiian culture.

The center demonstrates traditional music, dances, food, and other traditions. But it’s not only limited to Hawaiian culture.

The center features 7 separate villages each representing a different region of the South Pacific. You can learn about all Polynesian cultures at the Polynesian Cultural Center.

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Robert Baker

Robert is a content writer and editor at World Guides to Travel where he shares his love for the great outdoors. He also writes in-depth travel blogs for other websites around the world. Robert is passionate about the environment and uses his writing to educate people about the advantages and importance of sustainable living. Robert enjoys creative writing. In 2009, his children’s novel Sally Hemings & the Good Associates won the Children’s Fiction section of the You Write On Book of the Year Award.
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