Honolulu Museum of Art#12 in Best Things To Do in Honolulu - Oahu
In 2011, the Honolulu Academy of Arts joined forces with the Contemporary Museum to create the Honolulu Museum of Art. Together, this museum and its sister property, Spalding House, feature an art collection that spans across seas, styles and centuries. For the price of entry at one museum, you can also explore the other within the same day. (But note: They're 2 miles away from each other.)
Along with pieces by Europe's great painters (Picasso, Gauguin and van Gogh, to name a few), the Honolulu Museum of Art's main campus showcases one of America's best Asian art collections. Many visitors praise the property's Asian art exhibit, but for a truly unique experience, several recommend checking out the Arts of Hawai'i collection, where you can view Georgia O'Keeffe's Maui landscapes and indigenous feather capes. Others suggest saving time for Spalding House's permanent David Hockney installation.
You'll find the Honolulu Museum of Art's main campus about a mile away from Iolani Palace and Ala Moana Center near the eastern end of the city center. Fee-based street or lot parking is available nearby, or you can take the Waikiki Trolley or bus No. 1, 1L, 2 or 2L to the property. From the main campus, you can reach the Spalding House via the No. 13 bus or the museum's free courtesy shuttle, which is available every Tuesday. The Honolulu Museum of Art welcomes visitors Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., while Spalding House is open Tuesday to Sunday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets cost $20 for adults; children 17 and younger get in for free. Tickets cover entrance to both the Honolulu Museum of Art and Spalding House, plus a cafe, a gift shop and an art library. Visit the museum's official website for more information.
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#1 Waikiki Beach
Nineteenth-century Hawaiian royalty used to come to the Honolulu neighborhood of Waikiki to relax and surf, just as scores of tourists do today. That's because this area's famous beach (which is a string of several beaches dotting the island's southwest coastline) is the go-to spot for its soft, honey-colored sand and the high waves that lap the shores during the winter months. But you don't have to be a surfer to appreciate Waikiki Beach; just lie back on a beach towel, relax and gaze up at the majestic Diamond Head State Monument in the distance.
When you need a break from the beach itself, there are scores of shops and restaurants lining the adjacent Kalakaua Avenue. The street is home to some of the world's most exclusive (read: expensive) designer boutiques, including Cartier, Coach, Hermès and Louis Vuitton. Many of the best Oahu hotels also overlook Waikiki Beach.
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