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Layover Ideas Honolulu Airport HNL

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Top 5 Layover Ideas for Honolulu Airport

Long layovers can be a drag, but not when you're waiting at Honolulu Airport. With the beautiful island of Oahu at your disposal, there are plenty of exciting activities to explore. Here are the top five layover ideas that will turn your waiting time into an unforgettable mini vacation.

1. Kailua Beach

Located on Oahu's windward coast, Kailua Beach is a haven for swimming and windsurfing. This beautiful beach offers stunning views of the area and is less crowded than other island beaches. Here, you can enjoy a variety of aquatic activities, hire equipment for a game of volleyball, or simply relax and enjoy the view. The beach is equipped with picnic areas, restrooms, showers, and food services, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable visit.

2. Lanikai Beach

Another gem on Oahu's windward coast, Lanikai Beach, offers incredible waters and the picturesque presence of two small, offshore islands. This beach is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and windsurfing. The waters are calm thanks to an offshore reef, making it a peaceful spot for relaxation and water sports.

3. Battleship Missouri Memorial

Step back in time and visit the Battleship Missouri Memorial. This imposing battleship, nicknamed "Mighty Mo," was in commission from 1944 until 1998. Today, it invites visitors to browse her decks and learn about her history. To reach her mooring point off Ford Island, guests must first purchase tickets at the USS Bowfin Submarine and Museum site.

4. Waimea Bay Beach Park

Waimea Bay Beach Park is a scenic cove that is home to some of the planet's most unforgiving surf. In winter, the waves can rise to thirty feet, attracting the best surfers. In summer, the waters calm down, making it a perfect place for swimming and picnicking. The beach is equipped with picnic areas, restrooms, and showers.

5. Sea Life Park

Sea Life Park is fun for everyone and ideal for children. This marine park lets you get up-close with all sorts of sea creatures. Watch dolphins and killer whales perform, observe penguins, and watch trainers feed fish and interact with the animals. The park also has children's play areas, souvenir shops, restaurants, and facilities to treat injured creatures.

Helpful Tips & Resources

Need help navigating your way through an unfamiliar airport? Look no further than iFly.com for expert tips and advice. Here are some helpful tips to help you travel stress-free through HNL Airport:

  • Don't let heavy bags slow you down! Make use of our airport's complimentary baggage carts, available for all travelers in the baggage claim area.
  • If you have some time before your departure, relax, grab a bite at one of HNL's restaurants, peruse the shops, or jump on the free internet and surf galore!
  • If you are flying in business or first class (or are a member), check out where the airline club lounges are located.
  • Once you have passed through security, you can use the airport map to find your gate, as well as the various restaurants and shops that are available on your route.
  • Surf to your heart's content. Jump on Honolulu airport's internet (free!)
  • For those (dreaded) early-morning flights, consider one of the airport hotels on or near HNL to spend the night prior to your flight. In many cases your parking for the trip's duration is free!
  • Have a flight arriving and want a fast way to get to your destination? Here are a few taxi and limo airport service providers that service the airport.

Nearby Attractions for an Extended Layover

If you find yourself with an extended layover of 12 to 48 hours in Honolulu, consider venturing a bit further from the airport to experience even more of what Oahu has to offer. Here are a few attractions that are within reasonable proximity to the airport and offer unique experiences.

1. Pearl Harbor National Memorial

The Pearl Harbor National Memorial is a must-visit for history buffs. It commemorates the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and honors the individuals who lost their lives during this pivotal moment in World War II. The memorial includes the USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum, and the USS Missouri Battleship, offering visitors an immersive experience into the past.

2. Diamond Head State Monument

For those who love nature and hiking, the Diamond Head State Monument is a great choice. This iconic landmark offers a moderate hike with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Honolulu. The trail winds through a tunnel and old military bunkers before reaching the summit, where you can enjoy the breathtaking scenery.

3. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

Explore the underwater world at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. Known for its rich marine life and clear waters, it's a paradise for snorkeling. The bay is home to over 400 species of fish, including the state fish of Hawaii, the Humuhumunukunukuapua'a. Remember to arrive early as the preserve limits the number of visitors to protect the marine ecosystem.

4. Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach is one of the most famous and visited beaches in the world. With its white sand, crystal clear waters, and numerous dining and shopping options nearby, it's a perfect place to relax and soak up the sun. You can also try surfing, as the beach is known for its long rolling break.

5. Iolani Palace

Visit the Iolani Palace, the only royal palace in the United States. Once the residence of the Hawaiian monarchs, the palace is now a museum that showcases the Hawaiian Kingdom's history. Take a guided tour to see the grand hall, throne room, and private suites and learn about the palace's past.

Updated on: November 22, 2023