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Honolulu car hire tips
Where to pick up your car
The most popular car hire location is Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), which is just over 25 mins' drive from the centre (about 20km).
Top car rental brands
The most popular car rental brands in Honolulu are Dollar, Budget, Thrifty, Hertz and Alamo.
US Dollar (USD)
Warmest month: August (28°C)
Coldest month: January (23°C)
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Hire a car in Honolulu
A tropical metropolis, Honolulu is the all encompassing icon of America’s 50th state, Hawaii.
Located on the island of Oahu, the city is the state’s true gathering place, welcoming over half of Hawaii’s visitors to its shores. Relaxed but confident, the city is an attractive getaway for every type of traveller. Away from Hawaii’s stereotypical image of hula dancing and floral garlands, the capital city is an urban hub of contemporary art, creative cuisine and unique heritage.
Make Honolulu your holiday base and hit the road to discover the rest of Oahu. Although the island may technically be small enough to drive around in one day there’s enough to see and do for a week. Head to the north shore for the best surf brakes or to the island’s magnificent volcanoes to witness the power of nature.
Sights to see
In the depths of the Pacific Ocean, on the island of Oahu, lies the city of Honolulu. It may be small, with little over 350,000 residents, but the Hawaii state capital’s range of attractions certainly pack a punch. From idyllic beaches to high-octane watersports and a deep-seated cultural heritage, say aloha to a trip that will take you from paradise and back again in one go!
Things to do in Honolulu:
A little known fact: up until the start of the beginning of the 20th Century, Hawaii had a monarchy. ‘Iolani Palace, situated in downtown Honolulu was the royal residence and is the only such monument on US soil. Take a guided tour of it all, from the throne room to King’s private quarters, for a comprehensive glimpse of Hawaiian history.
A mere 15 minutes’ drive away, lies the iconic Waikiki, ex- royal getaway, where the beaches are sandy and white, the waters are clear, the hotels rise high, and the vibe is easy. You’ll be spoiled for choice of places to shop and eat. Other attractions in the area include Honolulu Zoo, and Waikiki Aquarium, where 490 species of tropical marine life are held.
If you still have a hankering for a beach adventure, 30 minutes’ drive east, Hanauma Bay is a renowned snorkelling spot. Another option is the rewarding hour long hike to Manoa Falls, perfect for the outdoorsy type or any budding photographers! Challenge yourself further and climb Diamond Head (Mount Leahi), arguably one of the world’s most famous volcano craters. At the 230-metre summit, which takes a brisk half hour, there are some breathtaking panoramic views of Waikiki and the rest of the South shore.
Honolulu: Discover more
A sight that every visitor should see, Pearl Harbour, a 40 minute drive west of downtown Honolulu, is more a sombre memorial of Japan’s 1941 attack that plummeted the US into World War II, rather than an attraction, but it’s a must-see nonetheless. In a visit that will exemplify Hawaii’s strategic importance back then, take a ferry ride to the USS Arizona Memorial, a floating white platform whose simplicity beautifully commemorates the fallen ship and its crew members. Bring things back to a slightly lighter note at the nearby USS Bowlfin for a tour of a war submarine.
Situated on Oahu’s North Shore, an hour’s drive from downtown Honolulu, the Polynesian Cultural Center is a theme park and living museum that champions the differences and similarities in the Polynesian culture of Hawaii, Samoa, Fiji, Tahiti, Tonga, New Zealand and the Marquesas Islands. There is an IMAX Theatre and various interactive learning experiences pertaining to each of the aforementioned areas, making this attraction a perfect family day out.