Explore Honolulu with Expedia’s Travel Guides to find the best hotels, flights, holiday packages and more!
Honolulu is the capital of Hawaii and the epicentre of beach and surf culture. The city is home to 400,000 people living in a strip sandwiched between the azure ocean and the looming volcanoes behind. It’s an easy place to find your way around and you’ll be catching waves, looking for ukulele lessons and saying ‘Aloha’ like a local in no time. Hiring a carin Honolulu is the perfect way to explore the best that Hawaii has to offer.
Honolulu International Airport welcomes thousands of visitors every day and you’ll have no difficulty finding a scheduled flight with a major airline here. After touching down among the palm trees, you can pick up a rental car at the airport where several major companies operate. It’s just a five mile drive eastwards to the city centre along the H1 highway, or you can head out into the rest of Oahu island.
If you prefer to hire a car in the centre of Honolulu, you’ll be spoiled for choice. There are more than a dozen hire car companies operating in downtown Honolulu and you have the option of hiring a rental car here then dropping it off at the airport when you leave.
Both the international airport and downtown Honolulu have several major rental car brands on offer. You can choose from Enterprise, Dollar, Avis, National Car Rental, Hertz, and Thrifty, with a host of local Honolulu car hire companies also competing for your business. At the airport, counters open as early as 4am and shut around 1am. In central Honolulu, the hours are around 7.30am to 6pm.
The island of Oahu is very compact and easy to navigate. You can drive from Honolulu in the south to the northernmost tip at Kawela Bay within an hour – it’s just 36 miles away. The white sands of the island’s most secluded beaches are fringed with coconut palms and ironwood trees – it’s a real treat to visit. There are 139 beaches on the island and perhaps the most famous are those in Waikiki, a short drive from downtown Honolulu. This is Oahu’s playground with great food, marvellous shopping and a lively atmosphere.
Don’t miss Pearl Harbor, with the memorial and museum commemorating the Japanese attack that brought the US into World War Two.
And surfing Hawaii is a must, whether you’re trying a longboard lesson for the first time or you’re an expert. On the other islands you’ll find Lahaina and Hilo which are well worth a visit and have car hire options.
Traffic in Honolulu can get busy, but the relaxed Hawaiian attitude is everywhere. Outside the capital, the winding coastal roads and highways are perfect ways to enjoy the spectacular scenery. The speed limit is 55mph on most highways, although some of the major routes allow 60mph. Expect to go much slower on narrower routes, especially those in steeper sections. Police sometimes patrol in unmarked cars so don’t be tempted to speed.
To start organising your trip to Honolulu and other parts of Hawaii, use the Expedia search tool to help you find the best car hire, flight and hotel deals and research the best attractions and activities.