Stop in at Bob's Ukulele to purchase an evocative and quintessentially Hawaiian four-string guitar. The instruments for sale here are offered in a range of prices and quality: there are the ribbon-grained koa versions that go for hundreds of dollars, soprano ukes of mahogany that sell for $150, and touristy ones of laminated wood for about 60 bucks.
Uncovering authentic local finds and having experiences that make you feel like you've really connected with a place are important elements in ensuring an extraordinary vacation. We’re taking advantage of our partnership with Travel + Leisure to get their editors’ recommendations and insider tips on the places you will want to visit. Here are their picks for just one of the 150 destinations they covered.
A National Historical Landmark, Iolani Palace is the official residence of Hawaii’s monarchy. Built by King Kalakaua in 1882, the Italianate building’s most impressive rooms are the Grand Hall, with its Hawaiian wood staircase and portraits of the royals; the red and gold Throne Room; and the private bedrooms. Palace tours are offered every 15 minutes.
Framed by Diamond Head, one of the world’s most-climbed extinct volcanoes, the iconic beach’s two miles of white sand is almost always brimming with tourists and surfers. That’s because the bathtub-temperature turquoise water is ideal for swimming, and the waves are usually gentle. If you’ve ever imagined what Hawaii looks like at its postcard-perfect best, this is it.
Named for Queen Kapiolani, the wife of King Kalakaua, this 155-acre park on the east end of Waikiki was established in 1876. It claims within its boundaries the Honolulu Zoo, the volcanic crater of Diamond Head, and dozens of picnic sites, as well as a mile-long course that zigzags among century-old trees. The park’s Waikiki Shell hosts a variety of musical performances, and on Sundays, you can catch a free concert by the Royal Hawaiian Band at the Kapiolani Bandstand.
Be sure to visit our Shore Excursions page or speak with our onboard Destination Concierge for arrangements to any of these must-sees.