Western Honolulu is an area of Honolulu, made up of the neighborhoods between Downtown Honolulu and Pearl Harbor. The neighborhoods of Kalihi, Moanalua, Salt Lake, as well as the Honolulu International Airport and Pearl Harbor are covered in this article.
Getting to this area from anywhere else in Honolulu is a simple matter of getting on the westbound H1 freeway and following it in. The freeway passes by the main points of interest here: the Bishop Museum (take the Kalihi Street/State Road 63 exit), the airport, and Pearl Harbor (get on State Road 99 westbound), continuing west into the suburbs past Pearl Harbor, ending at Kapolei. If coming from Waikiki or Honolulu, get on Ala Moana Boulevard and follow it west; it will become the Nimitz Highway and merge into H1 near the airport.
TheBus route #20 connects Waikiki and Downtown with the airport, continuing past Pearl Harbor. Also serving Pearl Harbor from Waikiki and Downtown is the #42. If heading to Kalihi and the Bishop Museum, the #2 runs from Waikiki and Downtown.
- 1 Bishop Museum, 1525 Bernice St (H-1 west from Waikiki to exit 15B Houghtailing St, right on Houghtailing, then left on Bernice), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 9AM-5PM. Founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop, the last direct descendant of Kamehameha I, this massive museum is by far the largest in Hawaii, with a complex of buildings holding an excellent collection of artifacts from the islands. The main building, the Hawaiian Hall, holds three floors of exhibits on the history and culture of Hawaii, with numerous artifacts, recreations of Hawaiian villages, and a complete whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling. The Science Adventure Center has exhibits on the natural history and environment of Hawaii, including a large simulated volcano that "erupts" regularly. The museum also features a planetarium, a Hawaii sports hall of fame, and plenty of traveling exhibits. $24.95/adult, $21.95/senior, $16.95/child, children 3 and under free, $14.95/military/resident; $2 discount if booked ahead online, parking $5/vehicle.
- 2 Moanalua Gardens, 2850 Moanalua Road (bus #3), ☏ , email@example.com. Closed temporarily, was daily 7:30AM-30min prior to sunset. A scenic public park is the Moanalua neighborhood, home to a small cottage which was home to Prince Lot Kamehameha (who would later become Kamehameha V) and a large monkeypod tree known as the "Hitachi Tree". $5/adults, $3/child, $1/residents/military, children 12 and under free.
3 Pearl Harbor, At Kamehameha Hwy (Hawaii 99) and Kalaoa St (take H-1 west to exit 15A (Arizona Memorial, Stadium) onto Kamehameha Hwy; or Honolulu public transit buses #20 and #42). Visitor center: Daily 7AM-5PM; closed Thanksgiving, 25 Dec, 1 Jan. Well known for 7 December 1941, the "day that lived in infamy", when a surprise attack by Japanese forces killed over 2,000 U.S. military personnel and brought the U.S. into World War II. Today the harbor, still functioning as a navy base, is the site of several memorials honoring the fallen of the war.
- 4 USS Arizona Memorial, ☏ , fax: . Daily 7:30AM-3PM; closed Thanksgiving, 25 Dec, 1 Jan. This memorial, built over the hull of the sunken battleship USS Arizona, commemorates the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which brought the U.S. into World War II. It also serves as the final resting place for many of the 1,177 who died here. Visitors view an interpretive film, then board ferry boats which run from the visitor center to the memorial. Tickets must be reserved ahead of time online and are limited. Previous day reservations usually sell out in less than one minute. Same day visit possible depending on no show reservations. $1 reservation fee.
- 5 USS Bowfin Submarine Museum, 11 Arizona Memorial Dr, ☏ . 7AM-5PM. A WWII-era submarine that is open for tours, giving you a look at a life aboard a submarine. A museum attached to the submarine has artifacts from the submarine. Enter through the USS Arizona entrance. $21.99/adult, $16.99/military/residents, $12.99/chilid.
- 6 Battleship Missouri Memorial, ☏ . Sept-May: 8AM-4PM; Jun-Aug: 8AM-5PM; closed Thanksgiving, Dec 25, and Jan 1; ticket window closes 1 hour early. A perfect companion to the USS Arizona Memorial, this battleship is best known the site where World War II ended when the Japanese military surrendered to the Allied forces. Tickets may be purchased at the USS Bowfin Museum. Visitors board buses to the USS Missouri itself at the USS Bowfin Museum. $35/adult, $17.49/child.
- 7 Pacific Aviation Museum, 319 Lexington Blvd, Ford Island, ☏ . Daily 8AM-5PM; closed Thanksgiving, 25 Dec, 1 Jan. A large hanger full of military aircraft from WWII, with both authentic American and Japanese aircraft. Tickets may be purchased at the USS Bowfin Museum; visitors board buses to the museum; $25 adults, $15 residents/military, $12 children 4-12.
- 1 Aloha Stadium site, at Salt Lake Blvd and Kamehameha Hwy. Before its closure in 2020 due to structural issues, it was home to the University of Hawaii football team and the annual NCAA football Hawaii Bowl every December. (Both the team and bowl game have been moved to the UH campus for the time being.) The stadium is set for demolition, with plans for a new and somewhat smaller venue on that site.
- 2 Ice Palace, 4510 Salt Lake Blvd, ☏ . An ice rink is probably the last thing you'd expect to find in a tropical city, but at least it makes for the perfect getaway if the hot climate is too much for you. If you don't own a pair of skates, there is a skate rental desk immediately when you enter the building. If skating is not of interest there is a concession stand and two arcade game rooms.
- 3 Sand Island Beach Park, Sand Island (from the Nimitz Highway, take the Sand Island access road to the harbor). Tucked away behind an industrial area facing the Honolulu Harbor, this large park offers plenty of green lawns, excellent views of Downtown, and a very calm sandy beach that's never crowded and with fairly good swimming. No lifeguards; restrooms and picnic tables available.
- 1 Aloha Stadium Swap Meet, Aloha Stadium, 99-500 Salt lake Blvd, ☏ . W, Sa 8AM-3PM, Su 6:30AM-3PM. Hawaii's largest swap meet, which goes on despite the closure and impending demolition of the stadium. Bring your hat, sunscreen, and bottled water and plan at least 1/2 day. The swap meet is like a giant outdoor flea market, surrounding Aloha Stadium, and features merchants offering local food items, clothing and Hawaiian souvenirs. You are unlikely to find Hawaiian souvenirs for less money anywhere else. The prices are reasonable, haggling allowed, unique items from local artists and merchants abound. Most places are cash only, but there are a few standalone ATMs on the outskirts of the swap meet. $1 per buyer, under 12 free.
- 2 Pearlridge Center, 98-1005 Moanalua Rd, ☏ .
- 1 Helena's Hawaiian Food, 1240 North School St, toll-free: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-F 10:30AM-7:30PM. Serving freshly-prepared local food in the plate lunch style, Helena's is known for their Korean-style short ribs (galbi) and their lau lau. They tend to fill during mealtimes, and parking is scarce, so arriving just after the lunch rush or walking from the nearby Bishop Museum is recommended.
- Zippy's. The island equivalent of Denny's, though far more popular with the locals. There's a wide variety of food, including plate lunches at reasonable prices; their signature dish is their chili, which they prepare in many different ways: served over rice, over a burrito, or over french fries, to name a few.
- 1 La Mariana Sailing Club, 50 Sand Island Access Road, ☏ . Not much to speak of in terms of food or drink (their Mai Tai is alright) but the decor is straight out of a tiki-lovers paradise.
- 1 Best Western The Plaza Hotel, 3253 N Nimitz Hwy, ☏ . Located 1/2 mile from Honolulu Airport and offers rooms and suites in a tropical setting. Features an outdoor pool, a restaurant and lounge and meeting facilities.
- 2 , 1275 Saratoga Blvd. Bldg. 78, ☏ , email@example.com. Requires a military ID.