Known as the pearl of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii is a great destination for those who love to explore the majestic beauty of nature and the sea, especially when summer comes. Hawaii is the 50th state of the United States and is the only US state surrounded by an ocean (Pacific) and is not bordered by any country. Hawaii is also the only state that continues to rise up, due to flowing lava flows, especially from volcano of Kīlauea. Honolulu is the capital of the state, the highest temperature of Honolulu is 31 degrees Celsius and the lowest is only 13 degrees Celsius. There are many large and small islands, famous for many beautiful atolls. Hawaii attracts tourists with its fresh air, stunning natural landscape, clear blue sky and beautiful ocean. So, what to do in Hawaii and how to visit Hawaii? Let’s check out our Hawaii travel blog (Hawaii blogs travel, Hawaii blog) with the fullest Hawaii travel guide blog for the best and budget trip to Hawaii for the first-timers.
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Hawaii is famous for its fresh air, beautiful natural landscape, wonderful beaches and countless memorable experiences. Thanks to that, the archipelago has been chosen as the setting for many films such as “Pearl Harbor”, “Jurassic Park”, “50 First Dates” … This is also a resort place is choose by many stars of America and the world as well.
Hawaii travel blog (Hawaii blogs travel): When to visit?
The weather in Hawaii is quite similar to Vietnam but in particular Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), winters are a bit colder, about 25 degrees Celsius, and in summer it ranging from 30-35 degrees Celsius. Hawaii also rain but not too much and last, only a few hours so you can travel to Hawaii at any time of the year. There are a few high mountains in Hawaii, which are colder up there, so if you plan on climbing, be sure to prepare.
In the summer, between April and November, the weather is warmer and drier, the average temperature is 21.5-28 degrees Celsius while in winter, between December and March, the weather is colder around 18-24 degrees Celsius. However, you should go in May or November every year due to the nice weather and the price at this time is very reasonable with much cheaper flight tickets compared to the months of Christmas or summer vacation.
The best time to visit Hawaii is in April, May, September and October. April and May are pleasant weather and a good time for whales watching. Meanwhile, September and October are the low season so the price is more affordable and you can also enjoy the Aloha festival. You should avoid coming here in June, July and the last 2 weeks of December, because that’s when the students are off school, so many families will bring their children here to rest, flights can be overload and prices of services will increase.
Hawaii travel guide blog: Before you go
- You need to prepare documents according to regulations and pass a strict interview to get an US visa.
- When holding an US visa in hand, you must fill out the agricultural safety declaration form for the Hawaii Department of Agriculture Plant Quarantine Office to inspect at the baggage claim area. In addition, you need to comply with not carrying prohibited luggage at the airport such as not wearing shoes, clothing, jewelry and other accessories containing metal, ensure the luggage does not exceed 2 suitcases per person, …
- The advice for clothing for your trip to Hawaii is to hit the road with light, loose, and comfortable clothes. However, if you choose to explore the islands, you should bring a jacket and pants to keep warm.
- Weather warnings are equally important. The Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) of the United States National Weather Service will help you keep track of the weather and issue weather and disaster alerts (if any) before you you go to Hawaii.
- People in Hawaii communicate in English, so you need to prepare well the language to not have a language disadvantage when traveling.
Hawaii travel guide blog: How to get to Hawaii?
Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) on Oahu Island is Hawaii’s main airport, doing immigration procedures for tourists to Hawaii. So you can getting to Hawaii from all over the world. You can choose Eva Air, Air France, Korean Air, Philippine Airlines, ANA, Delta, American Airlines or Vietnam Airlines with various prices depending on the ticket class, travel time, transit points. The average price for an air ticket to Hawaii is 1.100 USD. From experience, you can save money and time by choosing Korean Airlines with more than 12 hours of flight and 2 hours of transit. As for other carriers, you have to transit for a long time and fatigue.
Hawaii blog: Getting around islands of Hawaii
In Hawaii, you can easily getting around by car, taxi or bus if only traveling within an island, if you want to travel between islands, you can take a boat. To travel on islands like Honolulu or Maui, you can use Uber or Lyft. I see that Lyft is much more popular and easier to catch on these two islands than Uber, so remember to have this app installed, bring your credit card when needed. A Lyft trip can be cheaper than taking a taxi from USD5 to USD10, so I love it, I also actively know when the driver arrives, choose any type of car you want.
Those who have an international driver’s license can rent a car for self-driving, this will be the cheapest solution and it will be cheaper if you go with many people to sharing the cost. Self-driving in America also helps you to freely traveling, not depending on a taxi or anyone else.
Particularly in the Waikiki area in the city of Honolulu, this is one of the most crowded tourist areas on this island, can be seen as the city center to find anything. Here you can rent a Biki bike to cycling around the center, which is very interesting and convenient, cheap. Biki bike stations are completely automatic, you can go there and swipe your credit card and take a bike. The price for 300 minutes of cycling is USD20, it can last for days until you run out of minutes. If you take a single trip from A to B within 30 minutes, the price is USD3.5.
Hawaii travel blog: What to do and best places to visit?
Traveling to Hawaii, you cannot help but visit the world famous Pearl Harbor in the south of the capital Honolulu. The “Pearl Harbor attack” (December 7, 1941) that shocked the world took place here. In addition, great beaches will attract you such as Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Haleakala Beach, Maui, Polihua Beach, Lanai, Akaka Waterfall, Hawaii … you should also visit the volcanoes – one of the most astonishing scenes in Hawaii and the world, especially visit the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where you will learn the history of volcanoes, eruptions in the past and joining volcanic tours.
Waikiki is a central district of Honolulu, and all fun activities and public beaches can be found here. The water of Waikiki Beach is clear and turquoise, extremely smooth sand, it perfects for swimming. Going to Hawaii without swimming is totally wrong 😀
Waikiki beach is very long, you can choose an deserted spot to swim. Be sure to watch for lifeguard’s commands and flag signs for bathing and not bathing areas. You should take a Biki bike to go from the hotel to the beach, there is a place to lock the bike right at the beach, so you do not fear losing (and also no charge for extra time).
The bay has an arc shape with clear water that you can see the bottom and thousands of fish of all colors swimming freely around this place. Not only that, Hanauma also has beautiful coral reefs for you to explore. This place is a paradise for those who are passionate about diving as well as love watching the vivid and diverse creatures under the sea. It’s easy to rent diving gear in the shops nearby or bring your own.
Diamond Head State Monument
This place is also known as Howling Winds Peak and is located on the island of Oahu. Come here, you will be able to admire the majestic scenery of nature with the mountain hidden in the mist. In particular, after climbing to the top, you will hear the unique screams of the wind amidst the wild mountains in a certain location, but once you leave, only the silence and silence remains.
Address: Honolulu, HI 96815, United States
Wall of Tears Waterfalls
Bearing a very poetic name, meaning “wall of tears”, this waterfall is formed with 17 streams falling down the cliff. The way to fully admire the beautiful scenery of the waterfall is take a panoramic view from helicopter.
Maui Ocean Center (The Aquarium of Hawaii)
This place is considered a miniature ocean of Hawaii with all the typical sea life here as well as other species, extremely rich and diverse. You can walk around and watch marine life through a thin layer of glass. There are sections where you will be able to walk on a lake full of water, some sections are fish swimming right above your head, all these interesting experiences are attractive not only to children but even adults. Visiting Maui Ocean Center, you will have the opportunity to be in close contact with the ocean world full of surprises, and the most unforgettable experiences for you.
Address: 192 Maalaea Rd, Wailuku, HI 96793, United States
This is America’s only Royal Palace and one of the most beautiful palaces in the world. Built in the years 1879-1882, Iolani has a very unique architecture bearing important historical values as well as a place to keep the remains of the royal family members of Hawaii. Coming to the Iolani Palace, you can visit the bedrooms as well as the special tomb area of the old royal family.
Address: 364 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96813, United States
Hours: 9AM–4PM / Sunday: Closed
Nā Pali Coast State Wilderness Park
If you are not sure where to go when traveling to Hawaii, the Nā Pali Coast State Wilderness Park will be a great suggestion for you. This is a famous sightseeing spot in Hawaii that attracts a large number of domestic and foreign tourists. Coming here, you will have the opportunity to admire the wonderful natural scenery, along with giant old trees to diverse marine life.
Address: Kapaʻa, HI 96746, United States
Pearl Harbor National Memorial
Referring to the famous sights in Hawaii, it is impossible not to mention the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, this place attracts more than 2 million visits of tourists each year. This is the largest natural port in Hawaii and is also the sea with a very large number of pearls, so the local people named it as Pearl Harbor.
Pearl Harbor is the place where Japan sudden attacked the US on December 7, 1941 with a lot of Zero planes bombing the The United States Pacific Fleet (USPACFLT) anchored here. Due to not being well prepared, the US was severely damaged. When visiting Pearl Harbor, you should visit 4 spots as follows:
When visiting Pearl Harbor, you have the following 4 points to visit:
- USS Bowfin Submarine (SS-287), one of the American submarines that destroyed the most enemies in World War 2. Here you can get on the submarine to visit the inside, very meaningful.
- USS Missouri (BB-63) (also known as the Mighty Mo): Where Japan signed the Treaty of surrender to the Allies, marking the end of World War II.
- Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum: Terminal 37, which contained many aircrafts at the time Pearl Harbor was attacked, was transformed into a museum with real aircrafts in it. The next terminal also has more modern aircrafts for you to visit.
- USS Arizona Memorial: This is the battleship was sunk in the Attack on Pearl Harbor.
Address: 1 Arizona Memorial Pl, Honolulu, HI 96818, United States
Opened: May 30, 1962
One of the highlights of my trip was that I cycled along Kalakaua avenue and saw the beautiful scenery. I saw the excellent beaches, the luxury resorts, visited the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology, cycle across Diamond Head Mountain (a large volcanic cliff jutting out in the city). The air is cool, peaceful, the streets are not too crowded, plus the golden sunshine spreads everywhere at 3pm makes my trip more interesting.
Kona Coffee Farms
Whether you like coffee or not, when traveling to Hawaii you should also visit the coffee farm in Kona once. Coming here, in addition to exploring the coffee garden and coffee factories, you can also enjoy a delicious cup of coffee made directly in the garden. Also, if you come to Hawaii in November, you also have the opportunity to participate in the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival. Some famous coffee farms in Kona you should visit: Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation, Hilo Coffee Mill, Greenwell Farms, …
Polynesian Cultural Center
This is the most poetic place of the Hawaiian Islands and is a must-visit place when traveling to Hawaii. With unique architecture, coming here you will be immersed in vibrant dances, mesmerizing music and cultural performances recreating ancient living customs of the Polynesians.
Address: 55-370 Kamehameha Hwy, Laie, HI 96762, United States
Hours: 12–9PM / Monday, Wednesday: Closed
This is a popular tourist destination in Hawaii, attracting a large number of tourists during the summer. It has a beautiful Sandy Beach, perfect for bathing and windsurfing with huge waves.
In addition, you can visit other famous spots below:
- Halona Blow Hole
- King Kamehameha Statue
- China Town
- Hawaii State Capitol
- National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
Hawaii blogs travel: Where to stay?
My experience is to book hotels near the center of Waikiki beach, so traveling, shopping, sightseeing are easy and convenient. I stayed at a hotel called Shoreline Hotel Waikiki (Agoda.com or Booking.com), the price per night is about USD120, the room is quite good, the color is beautiful, modern, inspiring for my trip and clean, new. Shoreline Hotel is designed in a neon style, so it’s a bit colorful, in return, it is very young, going to the beach, must have fun :D. The downside is probably that the Wakiki area is more expensive than the outskirts.
Below we recommend more best cheap, budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
Finding accommodation in Hawaii is easy from quaint hotels to modern hotels and international standard resorts available in Hawaii for you to choose from. However, on holidays, hotel room rates can be 3 times higher than normal days. Hotel reservations are made easy with Agoda.com, Booking.com or Airbnb.com that offer many good deals if you plan to book early.
Hawaii travel blog: What to eat?
For Hawaiian cuisine, you should try Ahi Poke (Tuna Poke – Hawaiian Raw-Tuna Salad) made from raw tuna, Luau Cupcakes (chocolate-covered muffins) is a famous dessert in Hawaii, enjoy Poi Mochi (Sweet Hawaiian Fried Snack) is made from taro created by the first-timers set foot on Hawaii islands around 400 years AD. This dish still exists to this day and has become the favorite dish of the local people. In addition, Hawaii has countless other attractive dishes such as Spam Musubi (combined of salted rice with a slice of raw or cooked ham and rolled by a dried seaweed), Furikake (a mixture of dried fish, ground fish, sesame, seaweed, sugar, salt and spices), …
Sweet bread is probably not a new dish, because there are many famous sweet breads in many countries around the world. However, in each place, sweet bread is processed in its own way, with its own color and flavor, compared to other types, the Hawaiian sweet bread has a much softer, light sweet taste.
The main ingredients of sweet bread are flour, sugar, salt, lemon juice, chips and eggs, … This dish is quite popular in Hawaii, visitors can easily find sweet bread in stores to the roadside stalls. This dish is considered a prominent street food in Hawaii.
Kalua Pork – Hawaiian Style Slow Cooker Kalua Pork
Kalua pork is a traditional dish in Hawaii that is processed by the people here in a strange and unique recipe. The pigs, after being preliminarily cleaned, they put them to a large pit or a specialized burial kiln (this form is called ima) with layers of banana leaves underneath, then arrange lava rocks around the pig and make a big fire. Finally, a layer of fresh banana leaves and wet sacks are covered and covered with soil and sand. You will have to wait at least 8 hours to enjoy this wonderful dish, with its soft, juicy, delicious meat.
Poi mochi is one of the special traditional dishes in Hawaii, this dish originated from the people who first arrived in Hawaii around 400 years AD.
Poi mochi is made by crushing the stem of the taro plant into flour and then cooking it. Poi mochi is milky white and gelatinous like mash, local people often eat it with salted fish or caviar. This is a popular dish, but it is considered quite difficult to eat.
Haupia Coconut Cake
Haupia first appeared when Hawaiians knew how to use coconut in cuisine, over a long time of processing and using, people have improved this dish, bringing a more delicious and attractive taste. With the main ingredient made from pure coconut, add chocolate, Haupia has a very strange sweet taste, very attractive.
Loco moco is also considered one of the best traditional dishes in Hawaii. For this dish, you can use it as breakfast or lunch. The way to cook Loco-Moco dish is diverse, rich and quite simple, just a little white rice and covered with meat, eggs, gravy can already enjoy. Each recipe brings its own unique flavor.
Tuna Poke, Tako Poke
Referring to Hawaiian cuisine, it is impossible to ignore the rich and extremely delicious seafood dishes here. Among popular seafood dishes, Ahi (Poke Tuna – Hawaiian Raw-Tuna Salad) is the most beloved, the specialty of Hawaii, this dish consists of rice or salad mixed with diced raw fish, usually tuna or salmon or Tako poke – usually made from sliced baby octopus, add chili peper, sesame oil, soy sauce, chopped onion.
Hawaii travel blog: Shopping
Traveling to Hawaii, you should be assured of gifts for loved ones because there are bustling shopping streets, luxury department stores selling brand goods, fashion shops, jewelry and shops selling products made in Hawaii. Many shopping malls also offer free delivery to hotels.
Kalakaua Avenue Shopping
Kalakaua is an avenue running through Waikiki central area, this is also home to many large and small restaurants and eateries and a lot of shopping malls, including Apple Store. Strolling along this street you can see lots of products, shops with full of price ranges for you to choose from.
Taxes in Hawaii are also lower than those in the US mainland, only 4.5% to 5.37% depending on the area, so buying goods here is extremely cheap, especially technology products. If you go to mainland America, some places have 6% tax, some 8%, so you will have to spend more money.
If you are looking for cheap shopping places in Hawaii then Kahala Mall Center will be the ideal suggestion for you. When you come here, you will see a wide variety of goods on sale throughout the mall from clothes, shoes, cosmetics, toys to foods … Moreover, not only helps satisfy the shopping needs, but here you will have the opportunity to discover delicious and attractive dishes in Hawaii, the great cinemas in Kahala Mall.
Address: 4211 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816, United States
Royal Hawaiian Center
Is a famous shopping place in Hawaii with a large area, up to 293,000 square feet. There are more than 150 large and small stores selling a variety of items such as fashion, electronics, cosmetics, furniture … Besides, there are also many delicious restaurants in Hawaii also gathered here.
Address: 2201 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, United States
If you’re looking for good books or stationery items, head to Borders Bookstore, now merged with Barnes & Noble. This is a large and famous bookstore in Hawaii and it sells all kinds of books from science, novels, books specializing in economics, administration … to help you have more options when buying books. Especially, when you come here you can find yourself a quiet corner to read and feel the content is also very interesting.
Address: 1200 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814
Hours: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Hawaii travel blog: Recommended travel itinerary for Hawaii with 6 days 5 nights:
Day 1: SAIGON – HONOLULU
- Waikiki Beach
- Diamond Head
- Blow Hole
- Hanauma Bay Lookout
Day 2: HONOLULU
- Pearl Harbor
- King Kamehameha statue
- China Town, State Capitol Building
- Iolani Palace, Punchbowl National Cemetery.
Day 3: HONOLULU
- Shopping at the commercial centers.
- Hawaii Polynesian Cultural Center
Day 4: HONOLULU – FREEDOM
- Shopping at major shopping malls in Honolulu as introduced above.
Day 5: HONOLULU – SEOUL (transit)
Day 6: SAIGON
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Hawaii you can refer to
- Hawaii Atlantis Submarine Experience
- Go Oahu Card – All Inclusive Pass
- Shared Honolulu International Airport (HNL) Transfers for Honolulu
- Germaine’s Luau in Oahu
- Hawaii Polynesian Cultural Center Day Tour
- Shark Encounter Adventure Private Trip with Sea Life Park Admission in Hawaii
Are you looking for more top things to do in Marina: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Let’s check it out here. And What to buy in Hawaii? — 18+ best Hawaii gifts & best things to buy in Hawaii.