So you need to get straight from HNL to the Honolulu Zoo. Are you that excited about seeing the giraffes who extend their necks to taunt passer-byers along Paki avenue who haven’t paid the price of admission? OK, we know, you probably have some time to kill before you check into your Waikiki accommodations. Given the convenience of the zoo on Kapahulu it makes sense to check that activity off your list while waiting in queue. In order to help you get the most out of the experience, we’ve detailed everything you need to know before leaving baggage claim.
4 Things You Need to Know Before Heading to the Zoo in Waikiki from Honolulu International Airport
1. Best Way to Get from HNL to the Zoo
If you plan on going from HNL to this attraction then you’re likely arriving in the late morning or middle of the day (the zoo is no fun, when closed). That means you’re coming during high-traffic time, traveling along I-H-1 E or HI-92 E (not advised during prime time). Choosing the right transportation option is crucial to making this trip and the hours to follow a success.
A traditional taxi is too expensive and hard to secure at this time of day at HNL. Ride-sharing apps (Uber/Lyft) are too pricey at this time too, plus you have to walk from baggage claim to the designated pickup zone and if you don’t order an Uber XL (even more expensive) the Yaris probably won’t have space for your entire party and luggage. What about a car rental? You don’t want that hassle of getting from baggage claim to the rental service, waiting to secure a preferred vehicle, and then dealing with the hassle of finding parking at the zoo. Wait until you’ve done that and checked into your hotel before doing the whole car rental thing. About about taking the city bus? Don’t ask. Too late? OK, here’s why you definitely don’t want to go that route. Another option you may be considering is a traditional shared shuttle to Waikiki, but this will take a long time, a really long time. The zoo is located at the end of the main Waikiki strip, which means you’ll have to sit patiently (and not comfortably) as each and every passenger gets off at their designated hotel. This is known as the HNL to Waikiki resort gauntlet (we just made that up) and it will deliver you to a hotel by the zoo, completely exhausted and irritated.
Instead of the hassles above, pre-book (just 24 hours in advance) a no-share flat-rate direct shuttle from the airport to Honolulu zoo for just $35 for your ENTIRE party (up to four).
2. What It Really Costs
General Admission for the zoo is $19.00 for adults and students 13 and up, $11.00 for children aged 3-12, and free for children 2 and under. The food and drink costs about what you’d expect at a major attraction, but what you really have to prepare for (those of you with kids) is the gift shop. We’ve seen many moms and dads fold under the pressure of puppy dog eyes as their kids beg for stuffed renditions of Honolulu Zoo animals and the bells and whistles found in the store. Be prepared.
3. It’s HOT in There. Get Supplies
One thing can ruin your zoo experience more than an escaped tiger (well, maybe not). The heat. It gets really hot in the zoo on a sunny Waikiki day, and with little shade in sight you may come out drenched in your own sweat. In addition to carrying bottled water with you, consider heading into the local ABC Store (across Kapahulu beside Starbucks) to grab a handheld mini-fan or misting device and a sun-visor. You’ll probably need them at some point on your trip anyways.
4. What’s Nearby If You’re Done Early
While a popular attraction, it’s not a very big one so if you planned on using a visit to bide the time until you can check into your hotel, you will need something to supplement that window. Luckily, you’re in world famous Waikiki. Even if you have a lot of bags with you, you can stroll through Kapiolani Park, check out the small pier across Kalakaua, or grab a bite to eat at LuLu’s (second floor on top of Starbucks across the street from the zoo) or Teddy’s Bigger Burger (also across Kapahulu). The possibilities are endless given the convenient location of our little wildlife safari.
If you have any further questions about transportation from Honolulu Airport to the zoo, do not hesitate to contact Honolulu Airport Transfer toll-free 1-800-929-1219 or locally at 808-227-1111 at your convenience.
~ ALOHA ~