Shangri La picture
Graeme Wood/Flickr

Key Info

4055 Papu Circle

Details

Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
3.1scorecard
  • 2.5Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 4.0Atmosphere

The American tobacco heiress Doris Duke spent her winters living in this opulent oceanfront home near Diamond Head State Monument. She began building it in 1937 and then spent nearly 60 years filling its walls and rooms with art and furniture from Egypt, India, Morocco, Spain, Syria and Turkey. By the end of her life, she had amassed approximately 2,500 objects, which are now available for you to see on a tour of her home.

Art lovers should definitely make plans to stop by Shangri La, but you should also consider visiting the home if you're just a teensy bit curious about the enigmatic heiress. Many recent travelers were more than impressed with this museum, describing its collection as "unbelievable" and well worth a visit. Several also pointed out that the property itself – which is often compared to grand estates like Topkapi Palace in Istanbul and the Taj Mahal in Agra – can't be missed. But remember, parts of the museum are currently undergoing renovations.

You'll need to make a reservation several months in advance to visit Shangri La. The two-and-a-half hour-long guided tours, held Wednesday through Saturday, begin at the Honolulu Museum of Art at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Tickets cost $25 per person and must be reserved in advance on the Honolulu Museum of Art's ticket portal. Children 7 and younger cannot tour the property. All tickets include entry to the Honolulu Museum of Art, access to Shangri La's collection and transportation to and from the estate. For more information, visit Shangri La's website.

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Waikiki Beach
World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument
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Time to Spend
1 of 17
#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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