From water sports, Diamond Head, Pearl Harbor to the David Hockney L'Enfant et les Sortileges environment in the Contemporary Museum, there are so many things to do while you're in Oahu. The Halekulani Concierge (Frank Hernandez leading the way) has graciously put together a list of activities in Honolulu.
I also recently discovered a wonderful website called Honolima that talks about Hawaiian culture, history, traditions, language and more. The photos on the site are also very beautiful!
SHARK CAGE DIVING TOURS
Hawaii Shark Encounters
One of two companies which specialize in the complete shark tour experience. They are located on the North Shore of Oahu, in the historic surfing town of Haleiwa.
North Shore Shark Adventures
The other company which operates out of the same boat harbor in Haleiwa. North Shore Shark Adventures does usually operate with smaller tour groups which can lead to a more personal experience.
SNORKELING & CATAMARAN TOURS
There are several options, one of which is, Hanauma Bay. Hanauma Bay is located approximately twenty-five to thirty minutes away from Waikiki. Visitors will enjoy a short introductory video of the natural marine preserve and learn the different ways the Marine Education Center helps to protect the fragile living reef environment at the Hanauma Bay. Hanauma Bay is open daily except on Tuesdays; the gates open at sunrise (approximately 6:00am.) Admission is $7.50 for visitors, plus $1.00 parking per vehicle. Hanauma Bay has a wonderful facility inclusive of changing rooms and showers, food concessions and snorkeling equipment (available to rent). We do recommend arriving early if you will be driving, as parking is limited and tends to fill up rather quickly.
If you do not have a rental car, there is a transportation service by the name of Kaimana Tours which offers round trip transportation from Waikiki to Hanauma Bay. They also include high quality, sanitized snorkel equipment. Please call (808) 230-0023 for more information.
And finally the ‘Maita'i Catamaran’ or ‘Outrigger Catamaran’; they are located next to Halekulani at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel & Outrigger Reef Hotel. They offer a wide range of different catamaran sails. Including day catamaran sails, snorkeling sails, sunset, and evening sails.
Ty Gurney School of Surf
For surfing, Ty Gurney, owner and Head Surf Instructor for the Ty Gurney School of Surf, offers the BEST surfing lessons on Oahu. He is licensed, CPR Certified and Lifeguard Certified and offers private, semi-private and group lessons.
One Hour Lesson
Private - $99.48 per person
Semi Private - $73.30 per person
Two Hour Lesson
Private - $157.07 per person
Semi Private - $125.65 per person
Paddle Board Lessons are the same price as regular surf lessons.
Short and Longboard rentals:
$36.65 for half day
SWIMMING WITH DOLPHINS PROGRAMS
Dolphin Quest Hawaii
Located at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, which is a 15 - 20 minute taxi ride from the hotel.
Sea Life Park Hawaii
Located on the South Shore of Oahu, which is approximately 30 - 40 minutes away from the hotel. For further information you can visit there web-site at or www.dolphindiscovery.com
Happy Trails Hawaii
Horseback riding through forests, ranch land, and orchards in the lush Waimea Valley on the north shore of Oahu. Trails have beautiful canyon and ocean views.
This ranch on the northeast shore of Oahu offers guided horseback riding tours in the Ka'a'awa Valley, through grassy meadow with views of the sea and the Kualoa Mountains.
Turtle Bay Resort Horseback Riding
The Stables at Turtle Bay offers lessons and guided horseback riding tours on the Kawela Bay trails near the resort. Evening rides, carriage rides, and wagon rides are also available.
HULA & LEI-MAKING
The Waikiki Shopping Plaza
The Waikiki Shopping Plaza offers free Hula lessons daily from 10 – 11am on third floor.
The Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center
Offers a variety of free classes including hula/lei making classes.
Lei Making @ 1st level, building A, Aunty Bella’s Lei Stand 1pm – 2pm
Hula Lessons @ Royal Grove 11am – 12pm
Hula Lessons @ Royal Grove 4pm – 5pm
Lei Making @ 1st level, building A, Aunty Bella’s Lei Stand 1pm – 2pm
Waikiki Beachwalk 2nd Level @ Mana Hawaii
Offers complimentary cultural programs daily.
Monday – 4pm - 4:45pm, The Art of Lei Making
Wednesday – 4pm - 4:45pm, Entry to Hula
Friday – 10am – 10:45am, Hula Lessons
Click here to download the golf chart. Frank (Halekulani concierge) personally recommends Luana Hills, Ko’Olau Golf Club, Ko’Olina Golf Club and the Palmer Course at Turtle Bay. IF you are current members of a golf club back home, you may be able to get reciprocal golf benefits at the Waialae Country Club (which is Frank's first choice). For a reservation at the Waialae Country Club you have to have a Golf PRO from their current golf club call (and eventually fax a letter of reciprocity) the head PRO at Waialae. His name is John Harman (808) 732-1475. Waialae is where the current Sony Open in Hawaii is played.
Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center
Provides a stimulating and Educational experience for the young and young at heart. Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center, formerly known as the Hawaii Children’s Museum, opened its door in 1998. The Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center is fronted by 30 acres of park and the Pacific Ocean.
The Honolulu Zoo
Open daily from 9am – 4:30pm and on Saturdays they have twilight zoo tours from 5:30pm – 7:30pm. Only a twenty minute walk from Halekulani, the Honolulu Zoo makes for a great last minute excursion for you and your family. Great for all ages, but especially children, their new Children’s center is amazing!
The Waikiki Aquarium
Come explore the hidden wonders of the Pacific. Our award-winning exhibits are home to more than 2,500 marine creatures that live in Hawaii and the tropical Pacific. Come face to face with reef sharks, sea dragons, Hawaiian monk seals, living corals, sea jellies and an array of colorful native fishes.
MUSEUMS, PEARL HARBOR & MORE
As you might expect from any world-class city, the Honolulu area offers a wide range of things to see and do. Explore museums that house ancient Hawaiian artifacts and Royal feather cloaks, in addition to Chinese treasures from the Ming Dynasty and original masterpieces by Van Gogh, Gauguin and Warhol. You can also reflect on Hawaii's pivotal role in American history as you peruse the WWII archives at Pearl Harbor and the Arizona Memorial. Best of all, we make it incredibly easy to do it all. Our "For you, Everything" program invites Halekulani guests to enjoy many of Honolulu's top cultural offerings with complimentary tickets. Included in the program are the Honolulu Symphony, the Honolulu Academy of Arts, Bishop Museum, The Contemporary Museum, and Iolani Palace. I can arrange tickets and/or admission for you to any of the below mentioned. There are a few activities which guests can enjoy on the hotels premises. There are daily health and wellness sessions for all guests – activities ranging from yoga, cardio & fitness sessions, and aqua aerobics.
The Bishop Museum
The Bishop Museum was built in 1889 by Charles Bishop as a tribute to his wife, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, who was a member of Hawaii’s royal family. The museum features the largest Asia/Pacific natural history collection in the world, along with displays of ancient Hawaiian crafts and exquisite royal artifacts.
The Contemporary Museum
Located in Honolulu’s scenic Makiki Heights, this cultural oasis combines exhibitions of contemporary arts with the natural beauty of Hawaii. The museum features seven galleries with rotating exhibits by celebrated international and local contemporary artists.
Honolulu Academy of Arts
Hawaii’s oldest and largest art museum was founded in 1927. It is recognized for its outstanding collection of Asian, European, Pacific, American and African art, showcased in some 30 galleries surrounding six garden courts.
Built in 1822, this Renaissance-style mansion is the only royal palace in the entire United States. It was once the official resident of Hawaii’s last monarchs, King Kalakaua, Queen Liliiuokalani and Princess Kaiulani. Painstakingly restored, the Palace today is a mounument of the Hawaiian monarchy’s grandeur.
Pearl Harbor, the Arizona Memorial & the U.S.S Missouri
The U.S.S Missouri secured its place in history as the site of Japan's unconditional surrender to the United States, bringing an end to World War II. Today the Missouri shares the harbor with the sunken U.S.S. Arizona, a memorial to all who lost their lives during the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Thus, both the beginning and end of World War II are memorialized forever at Pearl Harbor today in the form of these battleships - The submerged Arizona and the proud U.S.S Missouri. Each year more than 1.5 million people visit the Pearl Harbor Navy Base, located about 35 minutes west of Waikiki, and pay tribute to the many that lost their lives there. We recommend that guests make it a priority to visit Pearl Harbor & the Arizona Memorial early in the morning due to the popularity and draw which the center encounters on a daily basis.
OAHU'S FAMED NORTH SHORE
Renowned for its legendary beaches, Haleiwa is a favorite refuge for Hawaii’s residents and a must-see for visitors. Nowhere else on Oahu will you find quaint shops and cafes housed in plantation-era buildings less than five miles from world-famous surf spots. From the vast pineapple plantations near Wahiawa, to the tropical orchards of Waialua, to the more than colorful atmosphere of Haleiwa town, there's plenty to do and see. Travel down the road and you come upon the world-renowned beaches of Pipeline, Sunset Beach, and of course Waimea Bay. Take a hike in Waimea Valley or explore Peacock Flats in Mokuleia on the Waianae Range. Stop by a roadside stand in Kahuku, pick up a fresh papaya or savor a fresh catch shrimp plate and you have the makings of a fun-filled time on the Northshore.