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Offering much more than its justifiably famous beaches, Honolulu is Hawaii's hub for culture, dining, shopping and entertainment.

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Beyond the Sea: Port Mini-Breaks
Honolulu: Pre- or Post-Cruise Mini-Break
No matter how you define the "perfect Hawaiian vacation," Honolulu, the capital of the Aloha State on the main island of Oahu, is the place where your holiday is most likely to begin.

Honolulu is easily the most urban area on all the Hawaiian islands. While its most obvious charms are well catalogued -- the beaches of Waikiki, resorts ranging from family-friendly to oh-so-luxe, museums and monuments, fabulous shopping, and culture that ranges from festivals to opera, symphony and theater -- there is plenty of room on Oahu for more exotic fare. Such as? Hiking Diamond Head, cycling, visiting the less-populated beaches of the North Shore, kayaking, touring sugar cane plantations and cantering through wild lands on horseback.

In a sense, on Oahu you get the best of all of the worlds that make up America's 50th state.

--By Honolulu-based Cheryl Tsutsumi, who writes "Hawaii's Backyard," a weekly column for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. She's also written seven books about Hawaii, the most recent of which, "Hanauma Bay: Hawaii's Coastal Treasure", was just released by Island Heritage Publishing.

Photo: Chuck Painter
Honolulu: Family Mini-Break Honolulu: Couples Mini-Break Honolulu: Senior Mini-Break
Honolulu: Family Mini-Break
Kids won't be homesick long in Honolulu -- after a surfing lesson or two, they'll feel like they fit right in!
Honolulu: Couples Mini-Break
With its swaying palms, brilliant sunsets, colorful flowers and golden beaches, Hawaii greet lovers with open arms.
Honolulu: Senior Mini-Break
In accessible, affordable Oahu you'll find history, culture and the scenery for which Hawaii is famous -- all without breaking a sweat.
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