Downtown Honolulu is the commercial and governmental center of the Hawaiian Islands, with a number of cultural attractions for visitors to enjoy. Unlike many cities in the United States, Honolulu’s downtown has few hotels, with the city’s major concentration of hotels located in the tourist center of Waikiki. Nevertheless, Downtown Honolulu and its adjacent neighborhoods have many historical and cultural attractions for the tourist to see, as well as a few nice parks and a smattering of restaurants and bars.
From Waikiki, taking Ala Moana Boulevard west will take you to the waterfront section of downtown, Aloha Tower, and Chinatown. To get to the Capital District from Waikiki, take Kalakaua Avenue and follow it until it ends at Beretania Street; Beretania Street will lead you into downtown.
From the airport and points west, you have the option of taking the H1 freeway eastbound to the Nimitz Highway (State Road 92) and following it into Downtown, or staying on H1 and getting off at either Vineyard Blvd (State Road 98) and following it into Downtown, or the Pali Highway (State Road 61) and turning south. From points east of Waikiki, get on H1 westbound and get off at Vineyard Blvd (State Road 98).
If you plan on driving to downtown Honolulu, be sure to bring a lot of quarters. Parking meters are easy to find, but the charge is 10 minutes per quarter. Many parking garages and parking lots are only equipped with parking meters. These include the ones underneath the state capitol building and at the Iolani palace. Without coins, it is extremely difficult to find a place to park.
Many bus routes serve Downtown, making it pretty easy to get to by mass transit. From the airport, routes #19 and #20 travel through Downtown, passing by the waterfront before continuing on to Waikiki. Routes #2 and #13 also connect Downtown to Waikiki, traveling along King and Beretania Streets pass the capitol district.