The number of activities available to tourists in Honolulu can be overwhelming, so take some time before your trip to plan and budget. Not that you can’t splurge on some spur-of-the-moment activities, but having an idea of what you’re facing before you jump on that flight can make things a bit easier.
So, whether it’s for your honeymoon, an anniversary, or just because, you and your significant other will want to plan some romantic activities ahead of time for your trip to the busy city of Honolulu. Or maybe you’ll want some adventure during your stay! Either way, we’ve got you covered with some ideas to get you started.
It isn’t just Hawaii that is a tourist destination regardless of the reasons like the ones mentioned above because current generation couples are simply looking for some excuse or another to stay away from the society and enjoy their time of leisure as much as they can so Honolulu as a destination isn’t as simple as a Denver International Airport to Breckenridge kind of trip but it require taking permission from elders at the earliest.
It’s hard to visit the gorgeous island of Oahu, or really any of the islands, without taking a few hours to go snorkeling. Near Honolulu, about a half hour from Waikiki, is the picturesque and quite popular, Hanauma Bay. Wake up a little early to ensure that the two of you get there in the morning to avoid crowds, as it can get quite crowded by noon any day of the week. My husband and I arrived in the late morning and it was already pretty packed. Even with the crowds, it is totally worth it; where else is swimming with sea turtles so accessible?
Another bonus is the cost; it’s only a few bucks to rent the snorkel equipment plus $7.50 per person for the entrance fee. Skip the underwater camera that’s offered at the park itself; get a disposable ahead of time at a Wal-Mart to save yourselves a little money.
What is the best thing about Hanauma Bay? No time limit! Spend an hour or seven; the white sand beach itself with the comfy grassy areas is relaxing and spacious. Even with the inevitable crowds, you will easily find a comfy spot to relax.
By far, the best experience my husband and I had together on Oahu was renting a convertible and driving around the entire island. Why a convertible? We experienced the coastal views more readily than we would have inside any other car; for just about twenty bucks more, it’s worth it.
By driving on our own without the direction of an annoying tour guide, we were able to see areas outside of busy Waikiki and Honolulu, stopping along the way wherever we wanted. Our favorite spot was a little secluded beach right off Highway 83 on the North Shore. It was so small there were no road signs or any indication of the name of the beach; there were lots of beaches and spots like this along the entire route!
Starting in Honolulu, take Highway 1 west which quickly turns into Highway 72. Take this around the west coast and venture on any side roads you wish; you’ll be glad you had that extra little adventure together! Just make sure to acquire a road map so you can choose from a few relatively easy to follow routes. Make your way to Highway 83 (Kamehameha Highway) to view the amazing North Shore up close. There are beaches right off the highway that are isolated compared to the usually crowded Waikiki Beach.
You won’t even have to turn around to make your way back to Honolulu. Stay on Highway 83 to Highway 99, which takes you into the heart of Honolulu via Highway 2 to Highway 1, which is back to where you started.
All rental car companies have free easy to follow maps available; don’t be afraid to make up your route as you go!
After a relaxing day spent sunbathing in Waikiki, head back to your hotel for a shower and a change of clothes for an unforgettable evening together enjoying a dinner cruise. A popular choice is the Star of Honolulu which offers a variety of options. If you’ve already traveled this far, consider splurging for the Five Star Sunset Dining and Jazz. For $172 per person, your three hour cruise (arrive 4:45pm, disembark 8pm) includes a welcome reception, a 7-course gourmet French style dinner (menu changes quarterly), three alcoholic beverages and live entertainment (jazz, Hawaiian musicians and hula). For an extra $10 per person, a motorcoach can transport you from Waikiki. Looking for something even more luxurious?, Spend an additional $60 per person for a limousine to take you both to the ship. Although in my opinion, this seems a bit frivolous; you won’t be spending much time in the limo!
Naturally, the Star of Honolulu offers more casual options while still giving you the same view of the sunset and the gorgeous coastline of Oahu. Still, I do recommend the Five Star cruise for a truly unforgettable experience.
One last piece of advice: Don’t forget to pack nice sets of clothing; this dinner cruise requires that gentlemen wear slacks!
There are a few different companies to choose from if you want a memorable aerial view of the gorgeous island of Oahu. Our pick? The Waimea Helicopter Tour offered by Genesis Aviation. Cost varies according to the time of year, varying between $185 to $265 per person. Keep in mind that this is still less expensive than what others offer. This tour will take you both, along with one other couple (bonus: other helicopters seat six instead of four), along the East and North Shores, down the center of the island above the pineapple fields, then along the entirety of the South Shore. Additionally, Genesis Aviation provides the option of flying with the doors either on or off; others don’t provide this!
Helpful hints for any helicopter tour: Wear comfortable dark clothing to reduce glare from taking pictures behind the glass window; book online a few weeks in advance for the best deals; take motion sickness medication a couple hours before the tour (such as Dramamine).
While the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) may be the most popular choice for tourists, try to broaden your horizons and see what other choices you have, like Hale Koa! Compared to the oft-reviewed as mediocre dinner buffet at PCC, you’ll have a nice sit-down dinner with just the two of you at Hale Koa. Also, they serve alcohol (PCC does not).
Conveniently located in Waikiki, you’ll be classically greeted with a lei as your arrive for your romantic evening. Your ticket includes dinner, one cocktail, dessert, live music, a lei making demonstration and of course a very entertaining luau show. What’s even better is tickets only cost $49.50 per person. Compared to the close to $100 per person at PCC, this is a fantastic deal!