When you think of beaches, sand and island vibes, Hawaii and its 100 world-renowned beaches will definitely come to mind.
Its stunning capital Honolulu houses many of Hawaii’s notable attractions.
Some of the sights have been described as surreal and almost otherworldly in their beauty. Plus, with AirAsia X being the first budget airline that travels there 4 times a week, the opportunity to check this place off our bucket list is a closer reality.
Now you know how to get there, we’ve curated a list of activities that are guaranteed to fill your social media feeds with #travelgoals #travellust hashtags from envious friends when your share the incredible photos you take in Honolulu.
1) Hunt down the Mermaid Cave
Yes, a mermaid cave actually exists.
However, it’s not the easiest to find. Not even many locals know of this hidden gem. Rumour has it that this cave is located on the coast of Oahu but keep in mind that there won’t be any official signs indicating where it is.
If you do manage to find the cave, you’ll be greeted with a majestic view of turquoise-hued waters surrounded by sun-warmed pebbles. If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll even see the tail flick of a mermaid swimming past? Or, you can even immerse yourself in the waters to live out your Little Mermaid dreams.
A head’s up, this cave is not one to seek out during the winter times as the waves would make it too dangerous to find so plan wisely.
2) Get on over to Manoa Falls
Described as one of the most fascinating waterfalls on Oahu to be seen, Manoa falls cascades 150 feet down the mountainside. It’s located in the 1.6 mile Manoa Falls Trail.
In one particular spot you can stand and look up at the waters falling endlessly down the rocks.
There is a fee of $5 to get to the waterfall but it’s definitely worth it for the chance to stare at the opaque waters and contemplate what wonders might be beneath.
3) Visit the heritage landmark, Iolani Palace
Iolani Palace is one of Oahu’s National Historic Landmarks. Located in the civic center downtown Honolulu, it is actually the second palace that was commissioned to be the official residence of the Hawaiian monarchy.
If you’re looking to learn more about Hawaii and its royal history, this palace is a great place to go to. It portrays their lifestyle in the past, displays some of the treasured artworks, and the beautiful detailed finishes and architecture of the palace itself make great backdrops for #OOTD shots.
4) Go snorkelling at Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay is the most famous of all Hawaii’s snorkeling beaches because of its high aquatic population, calm shallow water, and white sand.
It’s said that this beach has the tamest fish in Hawaii. Some of the fishes you’ll be able to see are Butterfly fish, parrot fish, damsel fish, and surgeon fish and several other species you’ve probably seen on Finding Nemo.
Located on the east side of Oahu, this old volcanic crater is protected from all but the biggest of ocean swells, making it very safe to swim in. The bright blue waters of the bay highlighted by the white sand will make the perfect holiday shot.
5) Visit Kauai’s Glass Beach
Located in Hanapepe near the Port Allen Harbor, this incredible beach is covered with millions of sea glass pebbles in brilliant hues of aqua, blue and brown.
The glass at this beach was mainly from broken bottles and auto glass that was dumped years ago then smoothed by time and ocean tides.
This is another gem that may be pretty difficult to find, but taking some shots here with the glass pebbles in the palm of your hand can definitely up your #hipster cred.
6) Take a hike up Diamond Head
Specially for hiking enthusiasts, Diamond Head Trail is one of the most rewarding Oahu hikes.
It offers amazing 360 degree views when you reach the top of the crater. The 760-foot summit may seem like a challenging goal but it only takes about 40 to 60 minutes to reach it.
The beginning of the Diamond Head trail starts on the west side of the crater up a switchback dirt pathway. Do keep in mind that there are lots of loose gravel and dirt potholes on the trail, so take caution with your footing to prevent slipping and falling. Ensure you wear sensible shoes and clothing and set aside at least two hours for this trail.
7) Check out David Hockney’s L’Enfant et les sortilèges
No true artsy Instagrammer should pass the chance to visit Honolulu Museum of Art’s second location that sits on the hillside of Oahu’s Makiki Heights. It features a site-specific installation by David Hockney called L’Enfant et les sortilèges with backdrops and props inspired by Maurice Ravel’s children opera of the same name.
The immersive space simulates an eerie and magical place from another world and has interactive platforms that are the perfect backdrop for that #deep quote you’ve been saving. The admission costs about $10 for adults and is free for children.
8) Eat Malasadas
A tasty treat that has Portuguese roots, malasadas are basically deep-fried donut ball that is coated in sugar and has a variety of flavoured fillings.
If you’re a malasada connoisseur though, you’ll know that the best spot to get these little balls of happiness in Honolulu is at the historic Leonard’s Bakery. Take a photo with their classic red-and-white awnings or just capture the Malasada against the blue Hawaiian sky.
9) Try out zip-lining at Kualoa Ranch
Kualoa Ranch offers many activities such as horseback riding and hikes but one of their most scenic activities is their ziplines. They offer seven tandem ziplines and two rope bridges that span almost 1,300-feet in length.
You’ll spend about two hours zipping over and exploring Oahu’s oldest working cattle ranch which has become the set for a number of films and TV shows including Jurassic Park, Pearl Harbor, Lost, and The Hunger Games.
For the more adventurous, this is the best place for an in-the-air selfie, but make sure you bring a selfie stick to take the panoramic shots.
10) Go to a lava tube lookout
Hawaii is known for a few unique things, one of them being lava tubes. They’re basically cave-like structures that were once pipes for underground lava rivers. Where they exit into the ocean make great spots to stand, take in the amazing view of the ocean and perfect cover images for your Facebook profile.
Accessing the views offered through the lava tubes is easy, but the surfaces you will be treading on are rocky, so stick to flip flops or covered shoes.
One of Honolulu’s famous tubes would be the Halona Blowhole, just past the Hanauma Bay entrance as you’re heading away from Waikiki and towards Kailua.
11) Eat at Vintage Cave
For an indulgent meal that photographs well, the Vintage Cave is a good place to check out. Don’t forget your wallet though as the menu starts off with a whopping amount of $295. This swanky restaurant is located through a discreet door in the middle of a parking lot under the Ala Moana Center mall.
The interior has been decked out with Picasso drawings and Baccarat crystals estimated to amount to $1 billion. Also, ex-president Obama and his wife have dined in there before. How’s that for treading where the great have gone before?
Sounds #lit, now to head on over
So you’re ready to pack your bags and cameras to head out and capture the sights of Honolulu. Good news for Malaysians is that AirAsia X now has flights four times a week to Honolulu—the first budget airline to offer this deal.
And, until March 11 2017 flight tickets are available for an all-in one way fare starting from RM999 for travel period from November 1 2017 till February 6 2017. For travellers who’d like an upgrade, there is also a premium flatbed option for RM3499.
To find out available dates and fares, click here for more information.
This article was brought to you by AirAsia X.
Feature Image Credit: unrealhawaii.com