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IST 605: Honolulu and Oahu Travel Guide

An in-depth guide to where to stay, eat, and visit in Honolulu, (and to a lesser extent Oahu moreover) Hawaii.

What It's All About!

This LibGuide is your key to touristing like a local! I’m going to share with you what I believe are the most interesting places to see, things to eat, and activities to do to make the most of your Hawaiian vacation (in your mind or in real life)! Everything you read in this guide comes from my direct experience. What that means is that some things you might usually expect from a Hawaiian travel guide; Peral Harbor for example, aren’t included as I didn’t make it there. Don’t fret though! Plenty of big names like Diamond Head did make the list, as did many unknown and underappreciated places like the Manoa Chinese Cemetery. What’s more, this guide is exclusively for the City of Honolulu and its surroundings.

          To make things easier, this guide breaks down attractions by neighborhood.  Simply scroll over the area or sub-area you want to explore, and see what wonders await! There’s something for everyone in this guide: history, relaxation, hiking, kid-friendly activities, etc., though because it’ organized by region, you may have to poke around a bit.


Guide Structure:

Each page of this guide will begin with a “wish you were here” photo of the people, places, or things correlating with the section’s subject. All photos in this guide were taken by yours truly (Nicholas Marinucci). There will then be a detailed description of the place or activity the page is about, with multiple links embedded in the text. Next, you will find a “check it out” video (when available), followed by additional photos to fully immerse yourself in that Hawaiian experience!



This guide is not all inclusive and may be updated to provide additional Resorces in the future. As well, hours of operation, prices, and other elements of locations listed in this guide are to date as of April 2024, though they are subject to change. Make sure to check on location's websites for all the latest details! 


Seach Tips and Strategies:

Finding exactly what you are looking for (especially when you’re not sure of exactly what you’re looking for) as a visitor to Honolulu and Hawaii in general can be a challenge. Keep these search strategies in mind when doing your own research:

Play around with different keywords; if you’re looking for “outdoor family activities in Honolulu”, but aren’t finding enough interesting hits, try rephrasing your search to “kid friendly outdoor events in Honolulu”.

Use Boolean operators to narrow or expand your search: the use of the words “and”, “or” and “not” can change both the quality and quality of your search results. For example, Honolulu can be expensive, but searching “cheap restaurants near me” might bring you to some crummy eateries. Instead, try searching for “cheap or affordable restaurants near me”, or “affordable and good restaurants near me”.

Check your spelling and dialects: Although English is the standard language used today, many place names, titles, and other nouns are still spelled and pronounced either wholly or partly in the Hawaiian language. Use of diacritics including the ʻokina and the macron are common, and there can be multiple ways to spell the same word; Hawaii, Hawai’i, and Havai’i, are all phonetically distinct, but denote the same island chain. Sometimes however, these place names can be quite different: Tantalus in Hawaiian being Pu‘u‘ōhi‘a, for example. What’s more, many Hawaiian words are far more popularly used than English ones; you may be better to search for keiki or kupuna discounts rather than child or senior discounts. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in standard English, try looking up these common place names in Hawaiian, and check out how to pronounce commonly used phrases in Hawaiian.


And remember, if you need any help finding anything, any of the fifty-one Hawaii State Public Library System branches (twenty-five of which are on Oahu) are always there to help!