Welcome to Honolulu, Hawaii
Welcome to ICNC 2014, which will be held at one of the world famous tourist places – Honolulu on Oahu island of Hawaii. Sometimes called “The Gathering Place,” Oahu certainly lives up to its name. The third largest Hawaiian island is home to the majority of Hawaii’s diverse population, a fusion of east and west cultures rooted in the values and traditions of the Native Hawaiian people. It’s this fundamental contrast between the ancient and the modern that makes discovering Oahu so enjoyable.
There are generally two seasons on Oahu. Winter (November through April), when temperatures typically range in the low-70s to mid-80s, and summer when the high can run into the low-90s. Average air temperature ranges from 74 degrees F (23 degrees C) to 88 degrees F (31 degrees C) with moderate humidity of 53% during the day. Gentle trade winds keep even the warmest and coldest months comfortable, so any time of year is a good time to visit Oahu.
Honolulu International Airport (HNL) on Oahu is Hawaii’s major airport, serving as the entry point for most of Hawaii’s visitors. All major domestic carriers and many international carriers serve Oahu, so you can get here from just about anywhere.
You can get around by car rental, shuttle, taxi or Oahu’s
public transportation system (TheBus). Many visitors also enjoy taking bus tours
to conveniently explore the Island. Others rent mopeds and motorcycles. But to
really experience all that Oahu offers, you should consider reserving a rental
car in advance from the Honolulu International Airport. All major car rental
companies at mainland can also be found in the airport. Oahu’s city
transportation system is aptly named “TheBus.” Fares are reasonable ($2.50 per
ride for adults). Ask the driver for the transfer ticket and you get a free bus
ride within 2 hours. Routes are extensive and you can also purchase special
visitor passes at any ABC stores in Waikiki for multiple day uses. For more
information on fares, bus routes to popular attractions and other useful
If you’re looking for Waikiki transportation and an easy way to visit nearby
attractions, the trolley is an affordable option. The routes and destinations
are not as extensive as TheBus but the trolley goes to most major visitor
attractions and offer tickets for unlimited rides over a certain number of days.
For more information visit
http://www.waikikitrolley.com or call (808) 593-2822.
Taxis are a great way to travel when in a group and the cost can be shared. You can find taxi stands at most major shopping centers, in the business district and at the airport. Note that rather than hailing a cab, finding taxi stands at major shopping centers and businesses as well as calling for pick-ups via hotel concierge or phone is the norm in Hawaii.
First, let’s start with the cultural destinations. There are lots of great destinations that frequent by tourists and locals alike. To name a handful, places such as Pearl Harbor Memorial, Hanauma Bay, Bishop Museum, Kualoa Ranch, and Polynesian Cultural Center are worth visiting time and again. You can check out these places and more by visiting State of Hawaii Tourism web site. If you are interested in exploring the top cultural destinations, there are many touring companies that offer pick up from Waikiki for free with ticket purchases, or a small transportation fee.
Beaches of Oahu
Whether you’re looking for high adventure on the waves, romantic sunsets or a protected, family friendly swimming spot, Oahu’s beaches have it all. And while you may know world famous Waikiki Beach and the high-octane winter waves of the North Shore, there’s even more to discover along Oahu’s 112 miles of coastline. Explore Oahu’s beaches close to Waikiki are shown below:
Waikiki Beach: The
Duke Kahanamoku Statue
welcomes you to one of the most popular beaches in the world. Waikiki Beach is
host to more than 4 million visitors every year and boasts famous views of
Diamond Head (Leahi).
Thanks to its small but long-lasting wave break, this is one of the best places
in Hawaii to
learn how to surf
or paddle a canoe.
actually made of a few beaches including Fort DeRussy Beach to the west, Waikiki
Beach (fronting the
Royal Hawaiian Hotel
Westin Moana Surfrider),
Kuhio Beach (along Kalakaua Avenue) and Queen Surf Beach, home to quieter
stretches on the Diamond Head side of Waikiki.
Ala Moana Beach Park/Magic Island: Just minutes west from Waikiki, this half-mile beach is protected by a fringing reef for calm waters. Extending out from the beach is Magic Island, a man-made peninsula with large seawalls and a shallow lagoon, making it a perfect place for keiki (children) to swim. Tables are available for picnics.
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve: A marine sanctuary, this gorgeous bay lies between two dormant volcanic craters on the southeast tip of Oahu, its clear, shallow waters hold a multitude of tropical fish and marine life, making it one of the best places to snorkel on Oahu. Gear rental is available on site.
Sandy Beach: A favorite of Oahu-born President Barack Obama, this stretch of sand is 10 minutes past Hanauma Bay near the Halona Blowhole. A popular local beach, the massive shore break here can be dangerous, so bodysurf at your own risk.
Makapuu Beach: Located 35 minutes east of
Makapuu sits below the
on a slope in between the rugged cliffs and jagged lava rocks that contain large
tide pools. This is a popular bodyboarding beach for locals.
Lanikai Beach: Ranked as the world’s No. 1 beach by Conde Nast in 1996, Lanikai, nestled in a residential neighborhood of Kailua, features white sparkling sand, calm waters and, for those wanting to be more active, two mini islands called the Mokuluas (Moks) that can be reached via kayak.
Note: Heed all warning signs and be aware of changing conditions, strong currents and reefs. Use your own best judgment to determine whether a particular beach is appropriate for you and your ability level.
There are too many trails on Oahu that it’s impossible to list them all. One of the famous hiking trails closing to Waikiki is Diamond Head trail (about 0.6 mile long). You can also check out the Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club or Sierra Club Hawaii for their weekly hiking events. Before you head out, make sure to check out Hawaii State Parks to help you map out a hike route and get great safety tips. Remember, always hike with a partner!
Family and Youth Activity
Family day events such as free music concerts, interactive workshops at the Waikiki Aquarium, arts at Children’s Discovery Center, cultural festivals and parades, and twilight tour of Waikiki Zoo are just a few activities that take place regularly. Events are listed on Hawaii Public Radio Community Calendar.Also you cannot miss whale watch which only happens in winter (December to April).
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