Honolulu Escape (HNL)
Visiting Honolulu is always a great get-a-way year round - -but extra special when it's a bit cold at home. It's a long flight from the east coast (11 hours) - but it is totally worth the trek. Once you get there -- -you are truly in a special place.
For me -- I always love walking down Waikiki Beach - -moving from one vintage hotel to the next. One treat is always the Royal Hawaiian. The minute you walk through the lobby you can just imagine what it must have felt like to be part of the Pan Am crowd in the 1920's. The place is oozing colonial glam. Make sure you stop there for a cocktail - -or even better, morning breakfast.
The other two gems on the strip are the Moana Surfrider (vintage glam again) - and The Halekulani. You must go to The Halekulani for a sunset aperitif -- where the views are absolutely stunning. Their "House Without a Key" oceanfront bar is one of the most popular gathering spots in Oahu. You can't help but feel romantic watching the sunset under the century old Kiawee tree - - while listing to Hawaiian music.
No trip to Honolulu is complete without visiting the moving USS Arizona Memorial. It's the final resting place for 1,177 crewman that were killed on December 7, 1941 when the Japanese Naval Forces bombed Pearl Harbor. It's the number one tourist attraction in Hawaii. Go EARLY. They only give out 1300 tickets a day - and lines can be as long as three hours after lunch.
WORTH THE VISIT
The Bishop Museum houses the collection of the the Hawaiian royal family and the last descendants of King Kamehameha. The museum is a great place to learn more about the history of the islands -- and it is a great window on how the original Hawaiians lived. And if you have kids - they are going to love the 50-foot sperm whale skeleton.