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Under $100: Honolulu

by Nicole Quasté

Mar 3, 2018

Honolulu © Tomas Del Amo | Dreamstime.com

Under $100 / North America

On the beautiful island of O’ahu is Honolulu, Hawai’i’s capital and largest city. In addition to the idyllic beaches and scenic mountains expected of the destination, the city boasts a diverse variety of eastern, western and Pacific culture, as well as its own unique history.

The Waikiki neighborhood is the liveliest on the island, brimming with restaurants, hotels, nightlife and shopping and, while it’s a bustling city with plenty of upscale experiences, there are ways to enjoy it on a budget.

Depending on your sightseeing allotment and interest, The Hawai’i State Art Museum offers a great collection and free admission; the Honolulu Museum of Art boasts more than 50,000 works for a $20 entrance fee; and the Hawaiian Mission Houses offer unique glimpses into 19th-century Hawai’i for $10. If history is of interest, a visit to Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial is a must. It marks the resting place of more than 1,000 sailors and marines killed on the USS Arizona during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Entrance is free, including access to two museums and exhibits. Another great option is Iolani Palace, the home of Hawai’i’s last reigning monarchs. View the beautiful palace and museum exhibitions for $14.75.

Venture outside of the city limits to Diamond Head, a giant volcanic cone crater and state monument, visible from the city. A one-mile hike leads to the rim of the crater, from where you can enjoy views of the city and Pacific Ocean.

As outdoor activities are your best bet in Honolulu, considering the beautiful weather and a limited budget, there are plenty of options in addition to hiking Diamond Head. Head to Hanauma Bay in East Honolulu for snorkeling, scuba diving and hiking; to Makapu’u to lounge on the white-sand beach, surf or swim in the summer when it’s calm; or to Nu’uanu Pali to hike Ko’olau Mountain and witness panoramic views of the Oahu coast.

While Honolulu’s natural beauty and history is reason enough to visit, its food is also a draw. Enjoy the island’s Pacific and eastern influence on a budget at Waikiki Beachside Kitchen, Helena Hawaiian Foods, Musubi Café IYASUME or The Steak Shack.

The cheapest and easiest way around Honolulu is by bus. Use Google Maps to help navigate. Airfare is also shaping up to be a bit cheaper this year, thanks to increased competition and the rise of budget airlines.

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