Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii

A- Overview:
Anyone fortunate enough to be traveling Honolulu doesn’t have to give a reason. They can just say, “We’re going to Honolulu,” and imagination will take over. Honolulu will probably live up to and surpass whatever we dream the experience will be. World-famous beaches and tropical weather set the scene for an amazing mix of Pacific cultures in this Hawaiian capital. There is a reason why Hawaii is consistently rated as one of the nation’s top travel destinations; in fact, there are several of them.

Waikiki Beach is the center of activity for Hawaii’s biggest industry: tourism. It is one of the world’s greatest resort playgrounds, featuring some of the most beautiful beaches and hotels in the world. Visitors flock there to enjoy the sun, the sand, the water, and the incredible nightlife.

Besides enjoying the beaches, visitors to Honolulu take tours of the countryside surrounding the downtown area. The tours highlight the beautiful rainforests and fascinating volcanoes. Animal and plant life thrive, and the scenery is unsurpassed. A five-minute ride from Honolulu brings visitors into some of Nature’s most awe-inspiring sights. Several museums, including the Bishop Museum, combine exhibits of Hawaiian natural history with lessons about the history and culture of its diverse peoples.

The Waikiki Aquarium is the third oldest public aquarium in the United States and features many of Hawaii’s most interesting sea animals. The Honolulu Zoo houses some of the unique mammals, birds, and reptiles that inhabit the forests just outside the city.

The history of Hawaii is rich, as the islands have always attracted people representing many cultures. Visitors can tour the Tolani Palace, the residence of the last of the Hawaiian monarchs. They can also visit Honolulu’s Chinatown, which is authentic in every way. The Arizona Memorial, commemorates the destruction of the Battleship Arizona during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War II.

Honolulu exhibits the best of Hawaii in every way. From its incomparable beaches, its incredible natural preserves, its sophisticated shopping opportunities, to its fine cuisine and entertainment, there is an endless list of reasons to visit and to return as often as possible. It is easy to understand why Honolulu attracts millions of people from around the world. Many visitors have stayed, helping to make Hawaii one of the most cosmopolitan and diverse vacation destinations in the United States. The thought of a visit to Honolulu is an experience to be happily anticipated. The visit itself is a joy to recall.

B- City Information:
Population: 371,657

Elevation: 18 feet above sea level

Land Area: 85.7 square miles

Location: Honolulu is located on the Island of Oahu, part of the Hawaiian Island Chain, in the Pacific Ocean and is the capital of the state of Hawaii.

Time Zone: Located in the Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time Zone (when it is noon in Honolulu, it is 5pm in New York and 2pm in Los Angeles. Hawaii does not observe Daylight Savings Time.

Weather:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Average temp. (°F)
70.7
70.8
71.6
72.3
73.6
75.1
76.1
77.2
77.3
76.3
74.3
72.1

High temperature (°F)
78.1
78.6
78.6
78.9
80.3
81.2
82.0
83.5
83.9
82.9
80.4
79.0

Low temperature (°F)
63.2
63.0
64.5
65.6
67.0
68.9
70.1
70.7
70.6
69.8
68.1
65.1

Precipitation (in)
6.1
5.0
7.0
6.8
4.6
4.8
5.1
3.9
4.0
5.3
7.0
6.6

Climate:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Days with precipitation
9
9
9
9
7
6
7
6
7
8
9
10

Wind speed (mph)
9.4
10.1
11.3
11.6
11.6
12.6
13.1
12.8
11.2
10.5
10.7
10.4

Morning humidity (%)
81
78
74
70
68
67
68
68
69
71
75
79

Afternoon humidity (%)
61
59
57
56
54
52
52
52
53
56
59
61

Sunshine (%)
65
68
72
70
72
74
76
77
77
70
65
63

Days clear of clouds
9
8
8
6
7
6
7
8
8
7
7
8

Partly cloudy days
13
12
14
14
16
17
18
17
16
15
14
14

Cloudy days
9
8
9
10
9
6
5
6
6
8
9
9

Snowfall (in)
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0

Local Seasons:

Winter tends to be the busiest time of the year when visitors come to Honolulu to escape the colder regions of the country. With temperatures averaging around 70 F and with highs near 80, it is a great time to work on that perfect tan, rather than to shovel snow. Spring and fall tend to be the least busy but still offer a wide range of activities for everyone. The weather stays about the same throughout the year, so any time is a perfect time to enjoy a special visit to Paradise and be welcomed with a warm “Aloha”.

Getting There:

By Air

Honolulu International Airport

300 Rodgers Blvd #12

Honolulu HI 96819-1897

808-836-6533

Located on the south shore of Oahu, just west of downtown Honolulu, near Pearl Harbor, the airport is served by many of the world wide airlines as well as certain local island carriers. Many domestic and international charter airlines and tour operators also serve the airport.

By Ship: Cruise ships dock in the Port of Honolulu near the Aloha Tower from which the city and the public transportation system are readily available.

Ground Transportation

All of the major car rental companies are represented at or near the airport and throughout the city. Taxi and limousine service are also available. Parking in downtown Waikiki, although abundant, is expensive.

Getting Around

Whether it’s by car, bus, taxi, moped, motorcycle or bicycle, getting around Oahu is fun and easy.

Experience the wonders of Oahu in less than three hours by car or take a fascinating journey on the island’s public transportation system, The Bus (808-848-5555). It’s inexpensive, convenient and one of the best ways to see the island and its people.

Taxis are plentiful and transport visitors from one point to another in no time. Also available are two wheeled vehicles, and there are a number of companies that rent mopeds, motorcycles and bicycles.

There are three major freeways on the island and hundreds of connecting highways and thoroughfares. To help get better acquainted with Oahu’s roads, east is commonly called the Diamond Head direction; west is called the Ewa direction; Mauka is toward the mountain; and Makai is toward the ocean.

Visitors can also enjoy the stunning beauty of the island through the air as well by seaplane, helicopter or glider.

Currency: US Dollar.

National Holidays:

New Year’s Day, January 1

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the third Monday in January

President’ Day, the third Monday in February

Memorial Day, the last Monday in May

Independence Day, July 4

Labor Day, the first Monday in September

Thanksgiving Day, the fourth Thursday in November

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, December 24 and 25

New Year’s Eve, December 31

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
Arizona Memorial
USS Arizona Memorial and Visitor Center

National Park Service

400 Marshall Road

Pearl Harbor, HI 96860-3139
808-422-0561

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged
This famous white floating memorial was built to remember the 1,102 men who died when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The tour includes a 20-minute documentary.

Aloha Tower Marketplace
101 Ala Moana Blvd.

Honolulu, HI 96813-4815
808-528-5700

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Free
This double-decker mall adjacent to Honolulu Harbor has shops, indoor and outdoor restaurants, and live entertainment. The observation deck offers a fabulous view of the harbor.

Bishop Museum
1525 Bernice St.

Honolulu, HI 96817-2704
808-848-4129

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged
Founded in 1889, the museum began with royal possessions, but it is now world-famous for its displays of the best of Polynesia. There is also a planetarium in the museum.

Chinatown

King St., between Smith and River Sts.

Honolulu, HI 96817-5139
This historic neighborhood has everything from art galleries to Chinese and Thai restaurants. An open-air market completes the scene, making this one of the best Chinatowns in the country.

Hanauma Bay
7455 Kalanianaole Hwy.

Honolulu, HI 96825
808-396-4229
This overlook is one of the most beautiful spots in Hawaii, and the view covers the whole bay. Visitors can even see the reefs through the clear waters, as well as crowds of snorkelers.

Hawaii IMAX Theater
325 Seaside Ave.

Honolulu, HI 96815-2518
808-923-4629

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission charged
With a screen five stories high and 70 feet wide, this theater presents incredible movie experiences. All-digital stereo sound enhances the experience even more. Kids will love the family-friendly films.

Hawaii Maritime Center
Pier 7, Ala Moana Blvd.

Honolulu, HI 96813
808-536-6373
The main exhibits of this center focus on Hawaii’s whaling days, the history of Honolulu Harbor, the Clipper seaplane, and surfing and wind-surfing in Hawaii. A century-old ship serves as part of the working museum, as does a reproduction of the ancient Hawaiian ships.

Hawaii’s Plantation Village
94-695 Waipahu St.

Waipahu, Hawaii 96797-2601
808-677-0110

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged
This plantation is full of authentic furnishings from Hawaii’s plantation period. Asian art and architecture are the stars of the show, along with many interesting antiques and relics.

Honolulu Zoo
151 Kapahulu Ave.

Honolulu, HI 96815-4013

808-971-7171

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged
Noted for its incredible beauty, this zoo offers more than just a look at animals. During the summer months, the zoo produces free programs of singing, dancing and island entertainment.

Iolani Palace
364 S King St,

Honolulu, HI 96813-2900

808-522-0832

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged
Built in 1882, “America’s only royal residence” has been beautifully restored. Guided tours reveal everything from throne rooms to meeting halls.

Kodak Hula Show
2805 Monsarrat Ave.

Honolulu, HI 96815-4020
808-627-3379

Call for exact show times

Admission Free
This free one-hour presentation is one of the most popular attractions in Hawaii. Dancing, music and all sorts of traditional entertainment create a wonderful show.

Moanalua Gardens
1401 Mahiole St.

Honolulu, HI 96819-1750
808-833-1944

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Free
This lovely park is the site of a major hula festival during the summer. It is also a great place to visit for hiking, walking and enjoying the beauty of Hawaii.

Polynesian Cultural Center
55-370 Kamehameha Hwy.

Laie, Hawaii 96762-1113
808-293-3333

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged
Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa, Fiji, the Marquesas, New Zealand and Tonga are all represented in this wonderful center. Shows, demonstrations, IMAX films, shopping and handicrafts complete the experience. This is a great place for families to go, especially for the two-hour nightly show.

Sea Life Park

2552 Kalakaua Ave

Honolulu, HI 96815-3662
808-259-7933

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged
This marine park has everything from dolphins to whales to penguins. A 300,000-gallon Hawaiian reef tank is one of the highlights, as is The Pacific Whaling Museum. The location itself is breathtaking.

Wahiawa Botanical Gardens
1396 California Ave.

Wahiawa, Hawaii 96786-2534
808-621-7321

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged
More than 27 acres of unique plants and flowers fill this lovely garden. The garden is incredibly peaceful and many of its plants are stunning.

Dole Pineapple Pavilion
64-1550 Kamehameha Hwy.

Wahiawa, HI 96786

808-621-8408

Tours held 9am – 5:30pm daily

Admission Charged
This center is dedicated to the pineapple, and it is a wonderful stop on a tour of the island. Exhibits and a tram tour of a field complete the pavilion.

Waikiki Aquarium
2777 Kalakaua Ave.

Honolulu, HI 96815-4027
808-923-9741

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged
More than 300 different types of Pacific and Hawaiian marine life are on display here, including a giant clam. Many exhibits and movies complement the interesting creatures.

Waimea Valley
59-864 Kamehameha Hwy.

Haleiwa, HI 96712-9406
808-638-8511

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged
This 1,800-acre attraction features a look at early Hawaiian life in the midst of an impressive garden that has more than 2,500 species of plants. Visitors can watch amazing cliff dives and participate in less dangerous Hawaiian games

D- Family Fun Attractions:
Atlantis Submarine

Hilton Pier

Waikiki, Hawaii

(808) 973-9811

Note: Children must be at least 36 inches tall

Leaves throughout the day from the pier at Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort (public beach). The submarines(battery powered, quiet, and environmentally friendly) offer an underwater tour in an actual submarine. The sub goes down to depths of 120 feet as passengers view marine life along artificially created reefs consisting of a Navy tanker, a former fishing vessel, and large sections of two airplanes. This phenomenon was created to restore reefs and their healthy ecosystems to the area. As a result, all types of indigenous fish, coral, sea turtles, and other marine life have returned and can be viewed through the large windows of the air conditioned submarine. There is an accompanying guided tour. Some are in English; some in Japanese. It is wise to check before boarding.

Kodak Hula Show
2805 Monsarrat Ave.
808-627-3379
This free one-hour presentation is one of the most popular attractions in Hawaii. Dancing, music and all sorts of traditional entertainment create a wonderful show.

Polynesian Cultural Center
55-370 Kamehameha Hwy., Laie
808-293-3333
Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa, Fiji, the Marquesas, New Zealand and Tonga are all represented in this wonderful center. Shows, demonstrations, IMAX films, shopping and handicrafts complete the experience. This is a great place for families to go, especially for the two-hour nightly show.

Aloha Tower Marketplace
101 Ala Moana Blvd., at Piers 8, 9, and 10
808-528-5700
This double-decker mall adjacent to Honolulu Harbor has shops, indoor and outdoor restaurants, and live entertainment. The observation deck offers a fabulous view of the harbor.

Bishop Museum
1525 Bernice St.
808-848-4129
Founded in 1889, the museum began with royal possessions, but it is now world-famous for its displays of the best of Polynesia. There is also a planetarium in the museum.

Chinatown
King St., between Smith and River Sts.
This historic neighborhood has everything from art galleries to Chinese and Thai restaurants. An open-air market completes the scene, making this one of the best Chinatowns in the country.

Hanauma Bay
7455 Kalanianaole Hwy.
808-396-4229
This overlook is one of the most beautiful spots in Hawaii, and the view covers the whole bay. Visitors can even see the reefs through the clear waters, as well as crowds of snorkelers.

Hawaii IMAX Theater
325 Seaside Ave.
808-923-4629
With a screen five stories high and 70 feet wide, this theater presents incredible movie experiences. All-digital stereo sound enhances the experience even more. Kids will love the family-friendly films.

Hawaii Maritime Center
Pier 7, Ala Moana Blvd.
808-536-6373
The main exhibits of this center focus on Hawaii’s whaling days, the history of Honolulu Harbor, the Clipper seaplane, and surfing and wind-surfing in Hawaii. A century-old ship serves as part of the working museum, as does a reproduction of the ancient Hawaiian ships.

Hawaii’s Plantation Village
94-695 Waipahu St., Waipahu
808-677-0110
This plantation is full of authentic furnishings from Hawaii’s plantation period. Asian art and architecture are the stars of the show, along with many interesting antiques and relics.

Honolulu Zoo
151 Kapahulu Ave.
808-971-7171
Noted for its incredible beauty, this zoo offers more than just a look at animals. During the summer months, the zoo produces free programs of singing, dancing and island entertainment.

Iolani Palace
King and Richards Sts.
808-522-0832
Built in 1882, “America’s only royal residence” has been beautifully restored. Guided tours reveal everything from throne rooms to meeting halls.

Kodak Hula Show
2805 Monsarrat Ave.
808-627-3379
This free one-hour presentation is one of the most popular attractions in Hawaii. Dancing, music and all sorts of traditional entertainment create a wonderful show.

Moanalua Gardens
1401 Mahiole St.
808-833-1944
This lovely park is the site of a major hula festival during the summer. It is also a great place to visit for hiking, walking and enjoying the beauty of Hawaii.

Sacred Falls
Kamehameha Hwy., Hauula
A two-mile hike leads visitors to an 80-foot-high waterfall, which is one of Hawaii’s greatest natural landmarks. Visitors can swim beneath the falls in a clear pool.

Sea Life Park
Kalanianaole Hwy., Waimanalo
808-259-7933
This marine park has everything from dolphins to whales to penguins. A 300,000-gallon Hawaiian reef tank is one of the highlights, as is The Pacific Whaling Museum. The location itself is breathtaking.

U.S. Army Museum
Ft. DeRussy, Bldg. 32, Kalia Rd.
808-438-2821
This museum at Ft. DeRussy includes a great collection of war materials, with a big focus on World War II. The exhibits also include Hawaiian weapons.

Wahiawa Botanical Gardens
1396 California Ave., Wahiawa
808-621-7321
More than 27 acres of unique plants and flowers fill this lovely garden. The garden is incredibly peaceful and many of its plants are stunning.

Dole Pineapple Pavilion
64-1550 Kamehameha Hwy.
808-621-8408
This center is dedicated to the pineapple, and it is a wonderful stop on a tour of the island. Exhibits, an enormous plantation gift shop, a restaurant and a tram tour of a field complete the pavilion.

Waikiki Aquarium
2777 Kalakaua Ave.
808-923-9741
More than 300 different types of Pacific and Hawaiian marine life are on display here, including a giant clam. Many exhibits and movies complement the interesting creatures.

Waimea Valley
59-864 Kamehameha Hwy., Haleiwa
808-638-8511
This 1,800-acre attraction features a look at early Hawaiian life in the midst of an impressive garden that has more than 2,500 species of plants. Visitors can watch amazing cliff dives and participate in less dangerous Hawaiian games.

E- Events & Entertainment:
January

Queen Emma’s Birth

Held in early January

Location: Queen Emma’s Summer Palace

808-595-2167

Admission Free

Queen Emma’s Summer Palace, managed by the Daughters of Hawaii, will be open to the public for tours.

Sony Open in Hawaii

Held in mid January

Location: Waialae Country Club

808-742-7669

Admission Charged

Come to Hawaii for this exciting season launch event, a tournament that brings together top-notch competitors and the stunning tropical splendor of the 50th state. A week long event for visitors, Hawaii residents and TV viewers all over the world to enjoy.

Annual Korean Festival

Held in mid January

Location: Kapiolani Park in Waikiki

808-524-7441

Admission Free

Hawaii Korean Chamber of Commerce presents its annual Korean Festival at Kapiolani Park in Waikiki. Experience Korea’s many sights, sounds and flavors. There is something for everyone including food from Korean restaurants, cooking demonstrations and live entertainment including traditional and contemporary Korean music and dance.

Aloha State Square & Round Dance Festival

Held in late January

Location: Ala Wai Golf Course Ballrooms

808-672-3646

Square Dancers from all around the world join with Hawaii dancers to enjoy a week of “Friendship Set to Music”. Events on the island of Oahu include a luau, local dancing, festival workshops, evening dances, and whale watching cruise. Mainland callers & cuers will lead the festival events.

Whales Tails and Sunset, Stargazing Sails

Held late January – early February

808-306-7273

Admission Charged

Sail on a 42 ft. private catamaran on coastline noted for its clear, warm skies, stargazing, and humpback whales. A quest to experience nature’s most awesome sights – a Hawaiian sunset, the full moon’s path across the water, and possibly humpback whales, along with viewing of the major constellations and planets.

February

Valentine’s Day Special at the Polynesian Cultural Center

Held on or around Valentine’s Day

Location: Polynesian Cultural Center

800-367-7060

Admission Charged

La’ie lights up with a romantic setting under the stars at the Polynesian Cultural Center featuring North Shore dining and entertainment like no other.

February

NFL Pro Bowl

Held in mid February

Location: Aloha Stadium

212-450-2000 (NFL)

Admission Charged

The best players at their positions from the AFC face their counterparts from the NFC in the Leagues All-Star Game NFL Pro Bowl at the Aloha Stadium. Game time is 2:30pm.

Whale Tails, Chocolates and Champagne Sunset Sail

Held on Valentine’s Day

808-306-7273

Admission Charged

Sail takes place on a 42 ft. private catamaran on leeward coastline noted for its clear, warm skies, phenomenal in views of constellations and planets.

The Great Aloha Run, Family Health, Fitness & Sports Expo

Held in mid February

Location: Neal Blaisdell Center Exhibition Hall

808-945-3594

Admission Free to registered runners, charge for others

One of Hawaii’s largest community celebrations of health, fitness & sports; the Great Aloha Run has an event for everyone in the family and culminates on Monday with the Annual Great Aloha Run from Aloha Tower to Aloha Stadium with entertainment along the route and at the finish.

Keiki Great Aloha Fun Run & Circus Party

Held in mid February

808-732-2835

Admission Charged

The approx. 1 1/2 mi. course is open to children 12 years and under. Adults must register with children under 5 years of age. Fun Run starts at 8:30 a.m. starting from the NBC Exhibition Hall entrance facing Ward Ave. (Great Aloha Run Family Health, Fitness & Sports Expo), then around McKinley High School and ending at the West Concourse driveway (parallel to Ward Ave.) of the NBC Exhibition Hall. After the fun run, children will enjoy extreme fun inflatables, entertainment, snacks and refreshments.

Aloha International Spirit Championships

Held in mid February

Location: Waikiki Shell

800-840-4772

Admission Charged

Cheerleading and dance teams from all over the world will compete at the beautiful Waikiki Shell.

Volcano Party Festival

Held in late February

Location: Varies throughout Honolulu

808-242-4900

Volcano Party Festival is a fundraiser for Maui AIDS Foundation. This event is a 3 day weekend of dance parties at various locations in Honolulu.

March

Annual Dance Concert

Held in early – mid March

Location: Honolulu

808-956-7655

Admission Charged

A large cast of UHM dance students/community members perform in this blend of artistry, athleticism, dynamism, and energy. The program closes with a collaboration of UHM’s resident faculty members employing a variety of flying and climbing apparatus to accentuate the beauty of motion in space.

Annual Hawai’I Invitational International Music Festival

Held mid – late March

Location: Throughout Honolulu

800-448-2374

Admission Free

High school, junior high, college band and pageantry units perform in competition for two weeks in Waikiki. Free concerts at Kapiolani Bandstand, plus the Annual “Salute to Youth” parade held at sunset on Kalakaua Avenue starting at Ft. DeRussy.

Annual Easter Sunrise Service

Held on Easter Sunday, usually late March – early April

Location: Held at the National Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) at 6:15 a.m.

Gates open at 4:30 a.m. Parking is available in the Crater. A special bus makes two trips from Waikiki.

April

Hawaii Scottish Festival

Usually held in early April

Location: Honolulu and surrounding area

808-262-7550

Highland games and athletics! Men’s and women’s competition and prizes, entertainment: Piping, music, song & dance, plus traditional food and vendors.

Annual Hawaii Music Award

Usually held in early April

Location: Honolulu

808-951-7550

Admission Charged

A spectacular night of entertainment, music, awards and comedy. The annual fundraising event for the Music Foundation of Hawaii, a nonprofit organization in support of music in the schools. Hawaii’s top entertainers, musicians and celebrities perform a variety of music to include Traditional Hawaiian, Island Music, Jazz, Rock, Latin, Classical, Country Music.

Aloha Marlin Golf Tournament

Usually held mid – late April

Location: Varies by year

408-828-2302

Admission Charged

A unique, interactive travel experience pairing participants with their favorite NFL Celebrities.

Shakespeare’s Birthday Bash

Held in late April

Location: Kennedy Theatre Main stage

808-956-7655

Admission Free

Terence Knapp celebrates the Bard’s birthday with readings, songs and stories.

Hawaii Quilt Guild Annual Exhibition

Held late April – early May

Location: Honolulu

808-532-8700

The Academy Art Center presents the best new quilts by contemporary Hawaiian quilters. Always a popular exhibition, this quilt show is one of the biggest in Hawaii. Sponsored by the Hawaii Quilt Guild.

May

Annual Dolphin Convocation

Usually occurs in early May

808-330-2502

Each year, during this time, huge numbers of dolphins (millions) gather in the waters between Bali and Lombok islands, Indonesia swimming in a gigantic wheel or spiral pattern. No one knows exactly why this happens. In Hawaii, similar occurrences take place (although usually “only” in the numbers of 100-200 spinner dolphins) during the same time. Join a marine biologist team to venture out and look for any correlations in Hawaiian waters in the spring.

Lei Day at the Polynesian Cultural Center

Held in early May

Location: Polynesian Cultural Center

800-367-7060

Admission Charged

May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii and the Polynesian Cultural Center welcomes lei makers from around the islands to show off their handiwork in a lei exhibit and competition. Check out the islands finest or bring your own and see how you place.

The Samoa Festival at the Polynesian Cultural Center

Held in mid May

Location: Polynesian Cultural Center

Admission Charged

The Annual Samoa Festival highlights the culture of Samoa through demonstrations, performances in the Samoan village at the PCC. It features a high school and college arts festival on Saturday, which allows local Samoan clubs to compete in coconut husking, basket weaving, and banana peeling, as well as Samoan oratorical skills, their ability to play the music, and to perform traditional dances. A highlight of the festival is the annual World Fire knife Dance Competition.

Annual World Fire Knife Dance Championships

Held mid May

Location: Polynesian Cultural Center

Admission Charged

Fire lights up the night in Laie once again as the Polynesian Cultural Center holds its annual test of champions in the World Fire knife Dance Competition. Competitors from around the world vie for the title of world’s best. See who can brave the flaming nifo’oti while twisting, turning and innovating routines never seen before. Tickets go fast, so make reservations early.

Great Hawaii Jazz and Blues Blowout

Usually held in mid May

Location: Kapiolani Community College

808-734-0397

Admission Charged

The annual Great Hawaii Jazz and Blues BlowOut features Hawaii’s top jazz musicians and vocalists.

June

Statue Decoration Ceremonies Ali’iolani Hale

Held in mid June

Location: Honolulu Civic Center

808-586-0333

Admission Free

The statue of King Kamehameha I, in the Honolulu Civic Center, is decorated with 13 foot floral leis, which are created on site throughout the day by volunteers. Music and Hula performances add to the colorful display.

Annual Pan-Pacific Festival

Held in mid June

Location: Kalakaua Avenue, Waikiki

Admission Free

Waikiki’s famous Kalakaua Avenue hosts a parade and ho’olaule’a (block party). Get set for a rollicking good time at the block party, with entertainers from Japan and Hawaii on five stages, street performers, ethnic food booths and more.

Annual King Kamehameha Celebration Floral Parade

Held in mid June

Location: On the streets of Honolulu

808-586-0333

Admission Free

The colorful floral floats, glamorous Pa`u riders, outstanding marching bands traverse the streets of Honolulu beginning at King and Richards Streets, Punchbowl Street, onto Ala Moana Boulevard, merging into Kalakaua Avenue, ending at the Queen Kapiolani Park.

Annual Pan-Pacific Festival – Hula

Held in mid June

Location: Ala Moana Shopping Center

808-926-8177

Admission Free

Come see hula performers from Japan perform, along with some local hula halaus (schools).

Annual Pan-Pacific Festival – Culture

Held in mid June

Location: Kapiolani Park

808-926-8177

Admission Free

Under the blue skies at Kapiolani Park, enjoy demonstrations and exhibitions of Japanese and Hawaiian culture, comparing and contrasting the two. Enjoy mask-making, mochi and poi pounding, shamisen and ukulele instrumental corner, traditional Japanese dance, hula, costumes, Mikoshi and other attractions!

Annual Pan-Pacific Festival – Ground Golf Hawaiian Open

Held in mid June

Location: Ala Moana Park

Admission Charged

Come see a friendly competition of Ground Golf. In this simplified version of Golf, the scores of the top three players of each team determine the winner. Enjoy watching teams from Japan and Hawaii battle for the championship of this leisure sport.

Annual Pan-Pacific Festival – Hawaiian Half Marathon

Held in mid June

Location: Race begins at Magic Island

808-926-8177

Admission Charged to run, free to watch

This half marathon starts off at 5AM at Magic Island, goes through Waikiki, around Diamond Head, and finishes at Kapiolani Park, for a scenic, challenging run. Length is 13 miles, and the course is USATF certified. The fun run/walk is 5 miles long, which is two laps around Kapiolani Park.

Annual Pan-Pacific Festival – Parade

Held in mid June

Location: Begins on Dalakaua Avenue

Admission Free

This is the Grand Finale of the Pan-Pacific Festival–Matsuri in Hawaii, wrapping up the three day event.

Annual Pacific Coast & Annual Deaf Women’s Bowling Association

Held in mid June

Location: Leeward Bowl/Aiea Bown

808-836-6204 or 808-671-6205

Admission Charged to bowl, free to watch

The Hawaii Silent Bowlers host the Pacific Coast Deaf Bowling Tourney in Honolulu.

Annual King Kamehameha Hula Competition

Held in late June

808-536-6540

Call for additional information

An international cultural event which features dance schools from the continental U.S., Hawaii and Japan. Dancers compete in both traditional and contemporary hula styles. Categories include male groups, female groups, combined groups, kupuna wahine (senior women) and individual chanters. Colorful event featuring as many as 500 dancers accompanied by live music by the best of island musicians.

Annual Taste of Honolulu

Held in late June

Location: Honolulu Civic Center

808-536-1015

Admission Charged

Easter Seals Hawai`i and the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation celebrate the Taste of Honolulu. Taste of Honolulu is one of Hawaii’s largest outdoor food, wine, and entertainment festivals. Many of Hawaii’s top restaurants participate. There are many fun and educational activities, cooking demonstrations, and non-stop local entertainment. Scrip is sold for tasting portions.

July

4th of July Annual Sunset Sail – Wild Dolphin Foundation Fundraiser

Held on the 4th of July

Location: Varies

808-306-7273

Admission Charged

The boat departs just before dusk to capture the glorious sunset. This annual fundraising event also allows one to view the major summer constellations and planets.

Annual Te Mahana Hiro’a O Tahiti Festival

Held in mid July

Location: Polynesian Cultural Center

Admission Charged

Drums and dances of the islands of Tahiti are featured in this exciting celebration at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Keiki (children) from around the islands will compete in the dance and drumming competition that draws both locals and visitors alike.

Paradise Ride – Hawaii’s Ride to Stop AIDS

Usually held in mid July

Location: Honolulu

808-285-9866

Admission Charged

The Paradise Ride is Hawaii’s fully supported, multi-island cycling adventure that gives participants the opportunity to visit some of the most scenic sites in Hawaii and share in the true feelings of aloha while raising funds for critical HIV/AIDS services. Meals, transportation, safety and mechanical support, and entertainment are all provided during a week on two wheels. This grass-roots event is collaboratively produced by the staffs, friends, and volunteers of Life Foundation on Oahu, Maui AIDS Foundation, and Malama Pono – Kaua`i AIDS Project.

August

Annual Whakataetae Maori Song & Dance Competition

Held in early August

Location: Polynesian Cultural Center

Admission Charged

Join the Polynesian Cultural Center as it celebrates the Maori culture with the annual Whakataetae Festival. Don’t miss this unique glimpse into the culture of New Zealand’s people.

September

Ceremony Commemorating the Anniversary of the End of World War II

Usually held in early September

808-423-0405

Call for additional information

The USS Missouri Memorial Association, caretaker of the Mighty Mo holds a ceremony commemorating the anniversary of the end of World War II. The war ended on the deck of the USS Missouri on Sept. 2, 1945, when representatives of 10 nations, including U.S. General Douglas MacArthur, assembled on her deck in Tokyo Bay, Japan, to receive the surrender documents from Japanese officials.

Girl Fest Hawaii

Held in early – mid September

808-599-3931

Call for additional information

Girl Fest Hawaii a non-profit multimedia festival incorporates dance, spoken word, visual art, music concerts, workshops, a film festival, and a panel/lecture series. The mission is to prevent violence against women and girls through education and entertainment.

October

Ghost Ship

Held on Holloween

808-306-7273

Admission Charged

A local storyteller transforms a serene night boat trip into a Ghost Ship! Hear local legends and “chicken-skin” stories. Proceeds donated to the Wild Dolphin Foundation.

Hydrofest-Pearl Harbor

Usually held in mid October

Location: Pearl Harbor

808-471-0818

Admission Charged

Annual hydroplane races, events, food, rides.

November

Hawaii International Film Festival

Usually held in mid November

808-528-FILM

Admission Charged

100 films from 150 countries, awards.

World Invitational Hula Festival

Usually held in mid November

Location: Waikiki Shell

808-436-3185

Admission Charged

Soloists and hula halau (hula groups) compete from Europe, Asia, Guam, the Mainland and Hawaii.

Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Series

Dates vary in November

Location: Alii Beach Park in Haleiwa

808-638-7266

Admission Charged

Starts with the G-Shock Hawaiian Pro-Men and Women’s Division and Longboard Championships.

December

Annual Honolulu City Lights

Held the month of December

Location: Honolulu Hale

808-523-4674

Admission Free

The Honolulu City Lights are spectacular and a holiday season tradition! The city’s 65-foot Norfolk Island pine is lighted at Honolulu Hale. Light Parade, concerts, indoor Christmas trees and wreaths are all part of the festivities.

Honolulu Marathon

Date varies in December

Location: Race begins in Waikiki

808-734-7200

Admission Charged to run, free to watch

26.2 mile race from Waikiki to Diamond Head. One of the country’s largest marathon events.

Aloha Bowl Football Classic

Held in late December

Location: Aloha Stadium

808-956-6501

Admission Charged

First Night Honolulu Party

Held on New Year’s Eve

Location: Honolulu

First Night Honolulu is an alcohol-free party with over 250 events at 75 stages