Manoa Falls#14 in Best Things To Do in Honolulu - Oahu
This approximately 100-foot-tall waterfall, which sits 5 miles northeast of downtown Honolulu, is easily accessible. All you need is proper footwear, insect repellant, drinking water and the stamina to hike about 1½ miles on a well-worn path. The rainforest scenery is otherworldly, with enormous prehistoric ferns and the snaking roots of banyan trees. It's no wonder why Steven Spielberg filmed scenes from "Jurassic Park" here. You probably won't see any dinosaurs, but be prepared: The path to the falls can be quite slippery with mud, so wear sturdy hiking shoes that you don't mind getting dirty.
If you're new to hiking, past visitors said this is the trail for you. It'll get your blood pumping, but you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the falls. To enjoy the beauty of the falls without rubbing elbows with hordes of tourists, previous travelers suggested arriving before 10 a.m.
You can hike in the Manoa Falls area from sunrise to sunset. Entry is free, but there's a $5 parking fee if you use the lot by the trailhead. The No. 5 bus also travels between the falls and Ala Moana Center. A gift shop, restrooms and a snack shop are available in the parking area. Visit the Manoa Falls Trail section of the State of Hawaii's Division of Forestry & Wildlife website for directions and more about trail conditions.
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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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