Honolulu offers several hostels to choose from. The city is located on the island of Oahu and has the dual distinction of being not only the capital city of Hawaii, but also the largest Hawaiian city. Most of the hostels are in Waikiki, but there are also hostels in the Ala Moana, and Manoa Valley area. Hostels in Honolulu are known to fill up pretty quickly so I recommend you visit their sites and reserve your room at least for the first few days that you plan to be in town.
Honolulu is sheltered from the tropical rain by a row of dormant volcanic peaks just north of the city. The mountains provide not only a lush green background for the skyline, but also miles of hiking trails and some magnificent waterfalls. Along the coastline in eastern Honolulu lies the Waikiki Peninsula. Waikiki has some of the world's most beautiful and best known beaches. The gentle surf off-shore at Prince Kuhio and Queen's beach are an ideal place to learn to surf or body board. Waikiki also offers an extravagant array of shopping, dining, and nightlife.
Just down the road from Waikiki is the World famous Ala Moana Beach Park. The park's beach is home to Ala Moana Bowls surf break. During summertime you can find surfing pros from all over the world tearing up the waves in the bowls. Across the street from the park is Ala Moana shopping mall, one of the largest malls in the United States, and the world.
As you follow the coastline to the west you'll find many more attractions. Some of the more famous Honolulu attractions include Ward Center, Aloha Tower, China Town (cheapest groceries on the island) and of course Pearl Harbor, and the U.S.S. Arizona memorial. With all this and more Honolulu is an excellent choice to begin your Hawaii backpacking adventure.