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Honolulu's Harbor and Coastline Tour (Self Guided), Honolulu

Honolulu's Harbor is the main historic seaport of Hawaii. It is called Kulolia or Ke Awa O Kou, by native Hawaiians. It is situated on Mamala Bay and was the area that contributed most to the urbanization of the island. This self-guided tour will take you all the way down from Honolulu's Harbor to the Ala Moana Beach, and along Honolulu's beautiful coastline.
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Honolulu's Harbor and Coastline Tour Map

Guide Name: Honolulu's Harbor and Coastline Tour
Guide Location: USA » Honolulu (See other walking tours in Honolulu)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 Km or 2.7 Miles
Author: helenp
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Kakaako Ala Moana Pump Station
  • Kakaako Waterfront Park
  • Children's Discovery Center
  • Kewalo Basin
  • Martin and MacArthur
  • Long’s Drug Store
  • Ala Moana Beach Park
Kakaako Ala Moana Pump Station

1) Kakaako Ala Moana Pump Station

During the Victorian Era, Honolulu was a very rapidly growing city. This was good for a lot of things, but sanitation wasn't one of them. The Kakaako Alo Moana Pump Station was the city's first sewerage pumping station, and was designed to address the problems caused by Honolulu's sudden growth spurt.

The Pump Station was built in 1900, of locally-quarried blue lava rock, and green tile. Oliver G. Tapenhagen, famous for designing the Moana Hotel, designed and built the Pump Station. It was replaced by a more modern facility in the mid-1950s, when it began to fall into disrepair, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

Rather than tear down the historic building, several developers have proposed alternative uses for it. The Weiser Companies put forth an idea to build several other buildings around the old Pump Station, in a style that would blend in with it. Unfortunately, this never came to fruition. In 1997, a commercial fishing company expressed interest in turning it into a fishing museum, but this didn't come to pass, either. After that, others expressed interest in turning it into a restaurant, to no avail. In 2005, Louis Vuitton used the Pump Station as a party venue to celebrate the opening of his new store in Hawaii.
Kakaako Waterfront Park

2) Kakaako Waterfront Park

Kakaako Waterfront Park is a public park south of downtown Honolulu. It was created on a capped, disused municipal landfill, immediately adjacent to the ocean. The park is 35 acres, and features water fountains, picnic tables, miles of jogging paths, and an amphitheater. It's also the home of two popular surfing spots- Point Panic and Flies. There's a seaside promenade along a lava rock wall, and concrete steps leading to the ocean.

Though the Kakaako Waterfront Park originated as a landfill, don't let that fool you- the park is nothing but rolling, green, grassy hills down to the ocean. The only traces of the old landfill left are a few vents scattered throughout the park. The park itself does not have beach access, but the promenade extends out to Diamond Head, where visitors can watch surfers and enjoy fireworks every Friday evening. The park is also adorned by a number of sculptures, include Lahui, by Sean K.L. Browne, Ano Lani, by Frank Sheriff, and a monument to those lost in the collision between the high school ship Ehime Maru and USS Greeneville submarine in 2001.

Today, the park is managed by the Hawaii Community Development Corporation.
Children's Discovery Center

3) Children's Discovery Center

The Hawaii Children's Discovery Center is a fun place to visit, not only if you have children, but also if you're young at heart. The center represents a perfect environment to discover the world that surrounds us. The interactive nature of the museum helps the visitors touch, see, hear, and smell to explore the world around them.

Hours: Tuesday - Friday: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.; Saturday - Sunday: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Kewalo Basin

4) Kewalo Basin

Kewalo Basin is a harbor in the city of Honolulu, situated close to Ala Moana Beach Park. It hosts commercial ships and tourist vessels. The basin is isolated from the ocean by the Kewalo channel. Formerly, this area was used by Hawaiians as a place for sacred rituals. On the ocean side of the Kewalo Basin is situated a small park.
Martin and MacArthur

5) Martin and MacArthur

What to buy here: Koa Accessories. 

One of the more precious gifts one can take home to family or a friend is something made from the wood of the majestic Hawaiian Koa trees. Grown only in Hawaii this tree fills the forests of the Big Island. Known as some of the hardest and rarest wood in the world, the trees they especially valued for their rich orange color and iridescent grain. Koa is the wood of choice for ocean going outrigger canoes and paddles. The price of koa continues to escalate each year so purchasing even a handcrafted item is a worthy purchase that will increase in value over the years. 

There are several stores and outlets that sell Koa wood accessories. One can even find them at craft fairs and even swap meets. However, the very best place to find a wide section of artisan quality accessories is at any Martin and MacArthur store on Oahu. Martin and MacArthur’s items are high quality Koa and not the lesser inexpensive Koa-like acacia wood from Northern California. All items are designed and crafted in the Oahu factory and for every piece of furniture that is purchased, a Koa tree is planted on the slopes of Mauna Kea. Martin and MacArthur has several locations throughout the islands, however, the flagship store is located at the Ward Centre at 1200 Ala Moana Boulevard. Store Hours are: Monday through Saturday 10AM-9PM, Sundays 10AM-6PM.
Long’s Drug Store

6) Long’s Drug Store

What to buy here: Macadamia Nut Oil. 

Many have long been enamored with the meaty thick shelled Macadamia nut for over a generation. The meaty nuts have a reputation for being the most elite of nuts in the world and for their abilities to lower cholesterol when eaten regularly. However, more recently many including everyone from the gourmet to the casual kitchen chef have discovered Macadamia Nut Oil. Extracted and processed in the islands these bottles of oil offer the perfect addition to a Macadamia nut pesto, salad dressing and sautéed fish. Remember, this item must be placed in check baggage for travel, no exceptions.

A single bottle of oil is listed at around $10. 

Although a bottle of the rich flavored pale colored oil can be found at high-end specialty stores and tourist boutiques, it’s best to seek out one of the more favorite places where locals go to find realistic prices and a grand variety of items from toothpaste to tequila. Any islander will tell you that Long’s Drug Stores is the go-to place for everything and anything at reasonable prices. Yes, it was recently purchased by CVS, this popular store still has retained that special local appeal. Visit Long’s Drug Store in the Ala Moana Shopping Center at 1450 Ala Moana Boulevard. Store hours are: Monday – Sunday: 6:00 am – 11:00 pm
Ala Moana Beach Park

7) Ala Moana Beach Park

Ala Moana Beach Park is a free public park on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, located between Waikiki and downtown Honolulu. This 100-acre (0.40 km2) park has a wide gold-sand beach that is over a half-mile (800 m) long. It is man-made and was created by the owner of the Dillingham Dredging Company, who was looking for a place to dispose of his dredged earth. So in the 1950s, sand was dumped at this park, which created the beach.

The water is almost always calm because the beach is protected by an outer reef. This makes it a good spot for long-distance swimmers and small children. There is a 25-foot-deep (7.6 m) swimming channel and a former boat channel that was dredged out of the reef.

Ala Moana's ocean bottom drops quickly, so novice swimmers should use caution. Big grassy areas, banyans and palm trees make the park a good place to picnic, barbecue, play all kinds of ball games or go running. There are lifeguards, showers, restrooms, phones, tennis courts, picnic tables, food concessions and a music pavilion. Ala Moana Beach Park is a favorite among Honolulu residents. On the weekends, they come here with their whole ohana (family) to picnic, swim and spend time together. It is right next to "Magic Island" where many cultural events are held.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Honolulu, Hawaii

Create Your Own Walk in Honolulu

Create Your Own Walk in Honolulu

Creating your own self-guided walk in Honolulu is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Diamond Head Volcano Tour

Diamond Head Volcano Tour

Diamond Head Volcano is perhaps one of the best-known attractions on the island of Oahu. The volcano's rugged cone is seen from almost every part of the island. However, at its base, along the coastal line, are situated a couple of other spectacular sights. Take this walking tour to admire one of the most ancient treasures of Hawaii - Diamond Head.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.0 Km or 3.7 Miles
Kai Self-guided Tour

Kai Self-guided Tour

The Hawaiian Kai region is especially attractive for two reasons: Koko Head Park and Hanauma Bay. Today, the entire area has been developed, but without harming the picturesque landscape. Here, you can rent a boat, take diving lessons, or simply take a walk. The self-guided tour through Kai is a perfect opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of the capital city, so we encourage you to take...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.9 Km or 4.9 Miles
Cultural Tour of Honolulu

Cultural Tour of Honolulu

From ancient times, the cultural life of Honolulu has been diverse due to numerous influences. The Hawaiian islands are inhabited by more than seven ethnic groups. Nowadays, Honolulu is full of museums, art galleries and theaters that represent the 200-year history of the island. We invite you to discover the most popular cultural spots in Honolulu on this self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Hickam Air Force Base Tour

Hickam Air Force Base Tour

Hickham Air Force Base was opened in 1935 and named after Lieutenant Colonel Horace Meek Hickam. The air force base began operations three years later and in 1941 the first bombers arrived there. In 1980, this site was declared a National Historic Landmark for its high importance during World War II. Today, it is of huge importance in the history of the U.S. Take the Hickam Air Force Base Tour and...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 Km or 2.9 Miles
The Capitol District Tour in Honolulu

The Capitol District Tour in Honolulu

The Capitol District represents a historic area in downtown Honolulu. This civic center includes the biggest majority of governmental buildings at federal, state and city levels. The district is situated among Richards Street, Ward Avenue, Vineyard Boulevard and Nimitz Highway. Some of the largest buildings in the city are located here. Take this walking tour and enjoy the treasures of historic...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles
Pearl Harbor Tour

Pearl Harbor Tour

Pearl Harbor, a US deep-water naval base in Honolulu, made history in 1941 when came under attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service prompting the United States' entering World War II. Since 1964, Pearl Harbor has been declared a National Historic Landmark, featuring a number of military objects and installations turned-monuments. This self-guided tour invites you to pay tribute to the...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.0 Km or 4.3 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

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