Here in Honolulu, away from the crowded haunts of Waikiki, you get to shake hands with the real Hawaii. A boisterous Polynesian capital, Honolulu delivers an island-style mixed plate of experiences. Eat your way through the pan-Asian alleys of Chinatown, where 19th-century whalers once brawled and immigrant traders thrived.
Gaze out to sea atop the landmark Aloha Tower, then sashay past Victorian-era brick buildings, including the USA’s only royal palace. Ocean breezes rustle palm trees along the harborfront, while in the cool, mist-shrouded Koʻolau Range, forested hiking trails offer postcard city views.
At sunset, cool off with an amble around Magic Island or splash in the ocean at Ala Moana Beach, a rare beauty in the middle of the concrete jungle. After dark, migrate to Chinatown’s edgy art and nightlife scene. You won’t even miss Waikiki, promise.