Ever had a longer layover at an airport and wished you had something to pass the time? There are many things to do near Honolulu airport so there is no reason not to experience Hawaii regardless of whether you have a few hours or staying the night in one of the Honolulu airport hotels.
USS Arizona Memorida, Pearl Harbor (photo by Official U.S. Navy Imagery)
Only 4.9 miles away for the Honolulu airport, the memorials at Pearl Harbor are a great way to experience some of Hawaii’s history. The USS Missouri, USS Oklahoma, and USS Arizona memorials honor the sacrifices made at Pearl Harbor when Japanese forces attacked at the beginning of World War II. Interactive exhibits and tours are available to teach visitors about these events. Visitors can also tour the nearby USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park. An aviation museum and military cemetery are also nearby.
Two royal residences of note in Honolulu are Iolani Palace (5.2 miles from the airport) and Queen Emma’s summer palace (6.9 miles from the airport), both built in the 19th century and open for public tours. Iolani Palace features an Italian Renaissance style. Its construction nearly bankrupted the Hawaiian kingdom. It was the last royal residence, used from 1882 until the monarchy was overthrown in 1893. Visitors are encouraged to call ahead if they want to reserve a spot on the "grand tour." Queen Emma’s summer palace is a seven-room New England style home. Here visitors can see royal treasures and emblems, such as feather cloaks, as well as Victorian furniture.
The Bishop Museum is only 3.8 miles from the Honolulu airport and offers great insights into the history and culture of Hawaii. Businessman and philanthropist Charles Reed Bishop started Bishop Museum as a cultural center in memory of his late wife Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last in line of Hawaii’s royal Kamehameha family. The museum houses royal and Hawaiian cultural artifacts, a science adventure center, planetarium, Hawaiian sports hall of fame, and natural history specimens.
The Natural Beauty of Oahu
Oahu Island (photo by Paul Bica)
Natural beauty is what first draws many visitors to Hawaii and Honolulu’s island of Oahu contains much. Of particular note are Waikiki Beach on the south shore (only 9 miles from the airport) and home to numerous resorts and Diamond Head, an extinct volcano crater which serves to symbolize Hawaii. The two-mile Waikiki Historical Trail guides visitors through the area’s scenic beauty and uses surfboard markers to note places of significant interest.
Temples and Churches
Valley of the Temples Memorial Park is 13.7 miles from the Honolulu airport but is worth a visit if you have the time. Faith is important to Hawaii’s history and culture. The Valley of Temples and Byodo-In (Buddhist) Temple in nearby Kaneohe pay tribute to Japanese immigrants, who first came to the islands in the 1860s. Byodo-In Temple features a 9-foot Buddha statue and is a scale replica of a temple in Japan. There is also a meditation pagoda. Kawaiahao Church, near Iolani Palace, is the island’s first Christian church. It was constructed in 1842 using coral slabs. All these and numerous other attractions await visitors to Honolulu.