Hawaiian Island Discovery
Day 1 You'll See:
- Honolulu Lei Greetings
- Kualoa Ranch
- Learn the Hula
Day 2 You'll See:
- Hike Diamond Head
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:
- Authentic Hawaiian Luau
- Beach Time
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 boatloads 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, like 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.
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. 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.
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.
Pearl Harbor & USS Arizona Memorial - 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. 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 - 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. 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 contrast nicely with the respectable white granite and stonework strewn about the cemetery.
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. 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. 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.
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.
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.
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 every day at 5:30 pm, with locally genuine food buffet options starting at 5 pm.