Day 1 You'll See:
Day 2 You'll See:
Day 3 You'll See:
- Pearl Harbor & USS Arizona Memorial
- City Tour of Honolulu
- National Cemetery of the Pacific
- Washington Place
- Iolani Palace
- King Kamehameha Statue
Day 4 You'll See:
Aloha, and welcome to Hawaii!! On this 4-day Island Adventure your group will get to see the most historic and influential local landmarks, spend some quality time with mother nature hiking in Diamond Head and hitting the sand on the beach, and immersing themselves into true Polynesian culture with Luaus and Hula dance lessons.
Honolulu Lei Greetings - There is absolutely no better way to arrive in the stunningly gorgeous Hawaiian islands than with a greeting by the largely inviting company Honolulu Lei Greetings. The tradition of giving guests to the island fresh floral leis can be traced back to the early 1900s, when groups of tourists arriving by boat loads were greeted by native flowers braided together. They would then throw their leis into the sea by Diamond Head upon departure with hopes that they, as the lei, would return to the island soon. Be greeted with a standard, silk, superior, or even candy lei, as well as a sign with your name on it, and then be led to your next terminal, inter-island connector flight, or island transportation system. This is an opportunity to relax upon arrival to a location for once during your travels, any questions and navigational inquiries answered immediately, with a map of Oahu with points of interest and instant baggage claim assistance.
Kualoa Ranch - Welcome to the Kualoa Ranch, the absolutely exquisite 4,000 acre nature reserve and working cattle ranch located just 24 miles away from Honolulu in Kaneohe. This ranch serves as a popular tourist attraction and filming location, aided in the prop department by the natural beauty of the windward coast of Oahu. Considered the "world’s most famous private nature reserve," Kualoa Ranch will provide your group ample beauty and tranquility, eco-tours and outdoor recreation activities. Learn about the sixth generation Kama’aina family working the ranch or eat at local Aunty Pat’s Cafe, an eatery highlighting grass-fed beef dishes and fresh oysters and shrimp. Take any of the many offered tours, from ATV to Horseback Jungle Expedition, or perhaps take a popular Ancient Fishpond or Movie Tour, the location itself host to over 50 movie and TV locations since the 1950s, from Jurassic Park to 50 First Dates!
Learn the Hula - Learning the hula is one of those truly iconic island experiences that you just simply cannot pass up while visiting Hawaii, an essential cultural tradition that visitors and locals alike can learn in many different schools, events, and homes throughout the islands. The hula is a uniquely Hawaiian dance that is performed along with chants or songs that perpetuate and preserve the traditions and culture of both the Polynesian and Hawaiian cultures. You can go for the Hula Auana, the more modern and fluid dance style that is set to the rhythm of western music, or the more traditional ancient Hula kahiko, focused more on dramatic costumes and dramatic chants and percussion. Mostly these dances are learned by kuna hulas (teachers) at festivals and competitions, or perhaps at hotels and resorts throughout the islands. This learning center in particular is located along the Waikiki Beach Walk, a gorgeous sight in Oahu that allows you to hone in on your skills and maybe even take to the stage!
Hike Diamond Head - Get ready for an adventurous day full of hiking and sightseeing at Diamond Head, the extinct volcano located along the eastern edge of Waikiki’s coastline in Honolulu. This popular hiking destination provides a rugged hiking trail and superb panoramic views, a gorgeous and overall most recognized Hawaiian landmark. This historic hiking trail not only provides some of the most breathtaking island views, but tons of historic education as well, lined with military historic structures including the 1911 Fire Control Station, artillery fire batteries, Fort Ruger, old bunkers, and the 1917 navigational lighthouse. See the aftermath of the single explosive eruption that happened here over 3,000,000 years ago, the new rock that has formed called tuff, before heading over to the postcard view that is known as Koko Head. Be sure to wear great hiking shoes or boots and bring water, a hat, and sunscreen while here, as well as a camera and perhaps a little money to spend at the gift shop or interpretive kiosk.
Pearl Harbor & USS Arizona Memorial - The number one visitor destination in all of Hawaii, the landmark attraction that attracts millions of visitors from all around the world yearly known as the Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona Memorial, will start your day today. Located in Honolulu, technically in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, this WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument serves as the resting place of 1,102 out of 1,177 sailors and marines killed on the USS Arizona during the infamous surprise Japanese attack on the Island. The attack happened on December 7th, 1941, and the museum opened in 1962, a today 17-acre, $56 million visitor center owned by the National Park Service a part of it. Here you can see educational museums and sobering galleries, all filled with great information and respectful memorials. Take any of the many tours around this site, such as the simple USS Arizona Memorial Tour, a 75-minute tour including a 23-minute documentary at the theater and shuttle ride to the ship. This is an absolute must-do while in Hawaii!
City Tour of Honolulu - There are several different city tours around Honolulu, each one a really excellent opportunity to immerse yourself into this city full of gorgeous natural beauty and highly important historical information and artifacts. The tour we have chosen to describe is the Polynesian Adventure Tour, a Gray Line company tour that won the 2014 TripAdvisor award for top Hawaiian tour. On this tour you will see the city in style, taking in all the historical significance of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii scenic coastlines, lush tropical forests, and warm Waikiki beaches while feeling the wind in your hair or the cool AC below. This Double Decker Pearl Harbor and Honolulu Highlights Tour will take you by the Arizona Visitors Center, Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona Memorial, National Cemetery of the Pacific and Courts of the Missing Punchbowl, Iolani Palace, Kawaiahao Church, Mission Houses Museum, and even to the statue of King Kamehameha!
National Cemetery of the Pacific - Another highly popular must-see while in Honolulu is the National Cemetery of the Pacific, otherwise known as the Oahu Punchbowl or Punchbowl Cemetery. This 112.5 acre, 34,000 grave cemetery was established in 1949 as a calming military resting place. Originally dubbed the "hill of sacrifice," this location in the middle of the Puowaina Crater became the site of many secret Alii, or royal burials, as wells as the sacrifice site for offenders of kapas, or taboos. This historic burial site honors veterans of four different wars total and provides absolutely striking and unparalleled views of the city of Honolulu from the inside of a volcanic crater. The lush shades of well-manicured greenery contrasts nicely with the respectable white granite and stonework strewn about the cemetery. This cemetery is known by many to be the "most beautiful and moving" cemeteries in the United States and visitors recommend planning at least a couple hours here to take in all the historical points and breathtaking views from Puowaina Lookout.
Washington Place - Welcome to Washington Place, the 3-acre historic mansion of rulers that is located in the midst of Hawaii’s Capital Historic downtown District in Honolulu. This popular Greek Revival Palace was first established in 1847 and was first prominent during the reign of Kamehameha the Great. Perhaps the biggest claim to fame for this home, however, is it being the house of Queen Liliuokalani and her infamous arrest during the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Since 1922 this home has been the official residence for the governor of Hawaii, as well as an educational visit center. Walk around and learn about the Queen’s favorite parts of the house, her home for 55 years first beginning in 1862. The center welcomes guests to learn the significance of the state’s history through the lives of its previous (and current) residents. This is an excellent opportunity to learn something new about Hawaii and the islands of the Pacific!
Iolani Palace - Next stop, Iolani Palace, the extravagant 19th century home of Hawaii’s last living monarchs. Today this home operates as a museum with several different offered daily tours and educational gallery exhibits. First established in 1871 by architects and designers Baker, Wall, and Moore this downtown Honolulu historic home is known as one of the most spectacular living restorations in all of Polynesia. Immerse yourself in royal heritage as you choose between a guided or self audio tour to explore the Grand Hall, Throne Room, Blue Room, State Dining Room, and Private Suites. The 2 floors take about 60 to 90 minutes to tour, be sure to save some time to see the onsite documentary called A King’s Noble Vision every half hour in the barracks. This historic home is located on the corner of King and Richards Streets in the historic district so your group will have the opportunity to catch any local eateries or shopping boutiques on your way out.
King Kamehameha Statue - Another big stop on your royally historic Hawaiian tour today is this one, at the King Kamehameha Statue. This stop can be done in one of two ways: at the closeby and highly popular replacement statue of the king in the yard of Alilonlani Hale, the Supreme Court building, across from Iolani Palace. This statue was dedicated in 1883, after the original statue forged in Florence, Italy in 1880 sank aboard a ship on its way over. This is your other option, the original statue, though further away, in Kapaau just beyond Hawi in North Kohala. This statue sits in front of the Kuhala Civic Center and features the real deal, miraculously found in 1912. There are two more statues as well, one of which is in Wailua and one in Hilo. All serve as truly majestic tributes to the Hawaiian kingdom. This man was a great warrior, diplomat, and leader who eventually united the islands into one larger royal kingdom in 1810.
Beach Time at Waimea Bay - Start your last day in Hawaii with nothing but pure, simple sunshine and sand at Waimea Bay Beach Park. This bay, located right outside Haleiwa, is a popular park to spot dolphins and turtles, tackle big waves in the winter, and swim the calm sparkling surf in the summer. You can find many popular surf competitions here, such as the Eddie Aikau annual surf competition, with a minimum 20 foot high wave requirement. This spot is also great for snorkeling, with its shallow, still, and warm waters inviting locals and tourists alike to explore daily. There are great swimming, cliff jumping, and sunbathing opportunities here as well. Head over to North Shore Beach for wide stretches of sand to picnic, play volleyball, and sunbathe in.Head over to the nearby Waimea Valley to continue the fun with a botanical garden and cultural attraction, including many interpretive kiosks and the famous Waimea Waterfalls. Right outside this park in Haleiwa you can cool off with some popular shaved ice or frozen drinks!
Authentic Hawaiian Luau - Take in this truly authentic Hawaiian experience, an Authentic Hawaiian Luau, at the Polynesian Cultural Center on Kamehameha Hwy, Laie. This cultural center allows guests to explore the rich heritage of the Pacific Islands through its 42-acre tropical paradise, featuring gorgeous scenery and many traditional and hands-on activities. Here your group can dine like royalty at a true Polynesian Luau, complete with a lively and largely traditional song and dance evening show. At the Hale Aloha Venue the show starts everyday at 5:30 pm, with locally genuine food buffet options starting at 5 pm. Your group will have three different dining experience options, the most popular being the Aliiluau buffet option, including tropical steamed fish, glazed chicken, strip loin, salmon, poke, and much more. Settle in for the Royal Court Procession, Imu unearthing, and locally true food and dance. See the sunset, see the show, and sing the songs on the 42 acres of breezy lagoon land and you will easily see why this experience has won the highly regarded Kahili Award for preserving Hawaiian culture.