Best Things to Do in Honolulu, Hawaii

Things to Do in Honolulu
Things to Do in Honolulu

Looking for the best things to do in Honolulu?? Located on the stunning Oahu island, Honolulu is Hawaii’s capital and the US island chain’s major gateway. So, people call “Oahu is the heart, and Honolulu is the racing pulse of the state of Hawaii.” It is true, Honolulu contains Hawaii’s many top tourist attractions. Ex: the historic Pearl Harbor, Hawaiian royal family, Iolani Palace, Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head State Monument, Koko Crater Trail, world-class museums, and many more.

You won’t find these experiences anywhere else on this planet other than in Honolulu. So, let’s discover the best things to do in Honolulu, Hawaii. 

Things to Do in Honolulu

1. Pearl Harbor

Being the largest natural harbor in Hawaii, Pearl Harbor is one of the world’s most beautiful harbors.

Why is it call “Pearl Harbor”?

The name “Pearl Harbor” came due to having numerous pearls in the ocean near the harbor a long time ago. (Most of them were harvested by the people at that time)

Pearl Harbor Honolulu HI
Pearl Harbor

Everyone knows what happened to Pearl Harbor after the Japanese attack in 1941. But still. it is an active naval base and opens to the public as well. Especially, the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is always open for you to inform you the importance of the harbor, military and natural history about the harbors, and 1941’s tragic story.

Anybody can visit the scenic Pearl Harbor and its attractions.

What are the other attractions in Pearl Harbor?

You can visit the World War II Valor in the Pacific Monument, USS Utah, USS Arizona, USS Oklahoma, Pacific Aviation Museum on the Ford Island, and the Battleship Row. 

Pearl Harbor Historic Sites definitely should be on the top of your Honolulu list. And do not forget to pay your respect to this meaningful destination. (Things to do in Honolulu)     

2. Things to Do in Honolulu: Lyon Arboretum and Manoa Falls

Managed by the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Lyon Arboretum is a stunning botanical garden located in a lush rainforest. Spreading over 200 acres, the arboretum contains over 5000 tropical plants that exist in Polinesia and Hawaii. 

Actually, Lyon Arboretum is well managed, and it has impressive gardens under various themes. Ex: Palm Garden, Spice Garden, Beatrice H. Krauss Hawaiian Ethnobotanical Garden, bromeliad garden, butterfly garden, orchid conservatory, and many more.

Especially, its palm collection is one of the largest collections that is maintained under a botanical garden.

On the other hand, Lyon Arboretum is an active research center that conducts researches on preserving the fauna and flora of tropical forests.

Lyon Arboretum and Manoa Falls
Lyon Arboretum and Manoa Falls

Apart from that, Lyon Arboretum offers you a lush waterfall trail called Manoa Falls Trail. At the end of the two miles hike, you’ll find the impressive Manoa Falls. Once you see it, you’ll realize hiking Manoa Falls Trail is one of the best things to do in Honolulu, HI. 

Actually, it is a very famous waterfall in the world. It has featured in many blockbuster movies like Jurassic Park and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. If you are a fan of those movies, you’ll remember movie scenes once you see the waterfall. 

Manoa is a 150-foot waterfall that falls into an awesome rock pool where you can bathe. So, get ready for that. 

If you are a nature lover, add Lyon Arboretum and Manoa Falls to the top. (Things to do in Honolulu)       

Address: 3860 Manoa Rd, Honolulu, HI 96822, United States

3. Waikiki, Honolulu

Waikiki is the most famous place in the entire Hawaii state. Many travelers think that Waikiki is a city in Hawaii. But, it is a sensational neighborhood in Honolulu HI.  

Waikiki is one of the best places for it if you dream of an unforgettable tropical beach holiday.

Waikiki offers you scenic beaches, colorful shops, delicious restaurants and cafes, entertaining museums, theaters, and many other fun things. 

Waikiki Honolulu HI
Waikiki, Honolulu

There are unique souvenir shops and beach equipment rentals on the beach (surfboards, kayaks, boats, etc.). So, you can experience any beach adventure on the Waikiki beach. 

And also, Hawaii is famous for its unique and decorative lei making. On the Waikiki beach, there are lei-making classes that teach you how to make lei. Just join with them and make your own lei.

Or, if you like a relaxing beach picnic day, visit the bay area.     

Spring is the best time to visit Waikiki beach (from April to June). Especially, the Honolulu Festival also hosts in the spring. So, you can participate in and enjoy the authentic Hawaiian culture.     

To experience all these fun things, you should visit Waikiki. Just add it to your Honolulu bucket list.  (Things to do in Honolulu)     

Address: Waikiki, Honolulu, HI 96815, United States.   

4. Things to Do in Honolulu: Iolani Palace

Iolani Palace is one of the top tourist attractions in Honolulu because it was the royal residence of the Kingdom of Hawaii’s rulers. (Built-in 1879)

Yes, Hawaii used to be a monarchy/dynasty until the late 19th century. The name was “The Kingdom of Hawaii.” And it is very lesser-known information as Hawaii is more famous as a fun beach destination.  

After the 19th century, Hawaii became a part of the United States. Until then, the islands were ruled by a set of kings and queens under various dynasties. Ex: King Kamehameha III and Queen Liliʻuokalani.

Things to Do in Honolulu Iolani Palace
Iolani Palace

Iolani Palace is the best place to have an idea about Hawaii’s ancient royal lifestyle. As it is located in downtown Honolulu, you can easily find this gorgeous palace. 

You are offered a tour inside the palace to see ornate throne rooms, political offices, vintage clothes displays, authentic furniture, and artifacts. And an audio recording will help you by providing more information about each exhibit. 

Actually, the most important fact about Iolani Palace is that it is the only royal palace built in the United States. So, it is definitely one of the best landmarks in the entire country.

If you are interested in learning about Hawaii’s culture and history, Iolani Palace is the ideal place for you. (Things to do in Honolulu)     

Address: 364 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96813, United States     

5. Makapuu Lighthouse Trail

Are you ready for a hike?

Makapuu Lighthouse Trail is a little tough one for hikers as it is dry and windy surrounding. But, in the end, you’ll feel like it is totally worth it when you see the breathtaking views of the blue ocean. 

The trail is surrounded by cactus and kiawe like dry trees. On the other hand, the climate is mostly dry and windy. Therefore, you may feel tired so soon. Do not forget to bring enough water to drink. And it will take around 2 hours to climb to the top. 

Makapuu Lighthouse Trail Honolulu HI
Makapuu Lighthouse Trail

Makapuu Lighthouse Trail’s top will show you the stunning O’ahu’s coastline, Koko Crater, and the Koko Head. Especially if you visit between November and May, you can see migrating humpback whales as well. Finally, you are rewarded with those spectacular views.

And also, you can see the historic Makapuu Lighthouse, which was built in 1909.

If you are looking for a real hike in Honolulu, you should definitely try Makapuu Lighthouse Trail. (Things to do in Honolulu)        

6. Things to Do in Honolulu: Diamond Head State Monument

Get ready to get the best panoramic views of Honolulu. Diamond Head State Monument Trail will lead for that.

We all know that Hawaii has a lot of volcanoes. Spreading over 475 acres, Diamond Head is the most famous volcano in Honolulu HI. So, a 0.8 miles long scenic trail was developed to the summit of Diamond Head in 1908.

Although the trail is quite steep and difficult, it is totally worth hiking it.

You’ll really feel it once you reach the top. The wonderful views of the blue ocean, blue sky, and the city will give you plenty of Instagrammable photos.

Diamond Head State Monument Honolulu HI
Diamond Head State Monument

This volcano trail has several names. Locals call it Tuna Brow or Le’ahi as it is like a fin. But, in the 19th century’s sailors named this volcano the “Diamond Head.”

But, why diamond?

Because when sailors saw the glittering calcites from a distance, they thought of them as diamonds. However, finally, it became Diamond Head State Monument. 

Actually, its breathtaking views made it one of the best places to visit in the United States. So, your Honolulu tour cannot finish without hiking this 300,000 years old volcanic crater. (Things to do in Honolulu)     

Address: Diamond Head State Monument, Honolulu, HI 96815, United States 

7. Dolphin Quest Oahu- Swim with Dolphins

Are you ready to swim with dolphins? 

Dolphin Quest Oahu offers you several packages, including wading in the dolphin pools, taking photos with dolphins, swimming, feeding, and petting dolphins in an enclosed lagoon.

The most highlighted package is socializing and snorkeling with dolphins in the lagoon. And it is surely a big dream of every traveler and animal lover. 

Dolphin Quest Oahu- Swim with Dolphins
Dolphin Quest Oahu

Located in the Kahala Hotel and Resort, Dolphin Quest Oahu is one of the top tourist attractions in entire Hawaii.

So, if you are looking for a real dolphin experience, there’s non other place than Dolphin Quest Oahu. They always ready to offer a safe and quality dolphin experience for you and your family. Even for your kids. 

Address: 5000 Kahala Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816, United States   

8. Things to Do in Honolulu: Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

This is an impressive marine bay made with a tuff ring of a volcano.

Located on the southeast coast of Oahu, in the Kai neighborhood of East Honolulu, Hanuma is one of the top tourist attractions in Hawaii. It is lovely and offers you scenic views. That’s why it attracts thousands of visitors annually.   

Simply, Hanauma Bay is a tropical paradise. The water is turquoise clear. And even the coastline is clean and has rare seashells here and there. On the other hand, sea turtles, parrotfish, and many other wonderful marine creatures are very frequent in this bay. Therefore, Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is very famous among snorkelers, divers, surfers, and swimmers.

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve Honolulu HI
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

Also, Beach lovers can spend some quality time stretching on the clear sandy beach.   

Due to having such a huge tourist demand for this natural wonder, it had to face some problems as well. Ex: erosion, coral damages, and marine creatures displacements. Therefore, the Hawaii government took steps to protect this natural cove by applying some rules for the visitors.

They established Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve and Marine education Center. And it shows a presentation for every visitor that highlights the importance of protecting this cove and gives strict guidelines on how to observe corals and marine creatures without damaging them.

This paradise closes every Tuesday. So, plan it for the weekend or other weekday. (Things to do in Honolulu)     

100 Hanauma Bay Drive, Ueber Kalanianaole Highway, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96825, Phone: 808-396-4229

9. Battleship Missouri Memorial

USS Missouri Battleship (BB-63) is the third ship of the United States Navy named after the United States’ Missouri state. And also, it was the last battleship that was built and commissioned by the United States. 

Since the Empire of Japan surrendered on Missouri’s deck at the end of WW II, this became a memorial battleship.          

Battleship Missouri Memorial Hawaii
Battleship Missouri Memorial

USS Missouri Battleship was launched in 1944 with a weight of 40,820 tons. Now it is placed on the Ford Island’s dock in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, as a reminder of all world wars and American soldiers. 

Tourists can visit the ship and imagine how it was in WW II. American five-star general Doughlas Mcarthur was the USS Missouri’s commander in WWII. Now, you can see many remnants as exhibits in this memorial. Ex: guns, crew’s quarters, captain’s chair, and many more. 

Do you like to go back to the WW II era? 

Address: 63 Cowpens St, Honolulu, HI 96818, United States 

10. Things to Do in Honolulu: Ala Moana Center

Being the largest open-air shopping mall globally, Ala Moana Center is located in Honolulu’s Ala Moana neighborhood. The owner of this shopping mall is the famous Brookfield Retail Group.

Ala Moana Center was opened in 1959, and now it is the 9th largest shopping mall in the United States. So, it is clear that Ala Moana is so special compared with the other shopping malls in Honolulu. 

The whole shopping mall is almost like another city. And it contains thousands of expensive shops as well as cheap boutiques. So, Ala Moana Center surely has almost everything you are looking for. 

Things to Do in Honolulu Ala Moana Center
Ala Moana Center

After shopping, you can rest while eating delicious food from one of the restaurants in the mall. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes that offer you any kind of food. On the other hand, Ala Moana Center’s public amphitheater always provides fun, live music for the visitors.

Ala Moana neighborhood attracts over 42 million visitors annually. This shopping mall is a huge reason for that.

If you are looking for shopping in Honolulu HI, with your friends or family, Ala Moana Center is the best place.  

Address: 1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814, United States       

11. Koko Crater Railway Trailhead

Koko Crater Railway Trailhead offers a wonderful opportunity for hikers.

This is a 1,208 tall volcanic tuff cone located in Koko Head Park District, Honolulu HI. And it is one of the unique and recognizable landmarks in Honolulu, as its peak is visible for miles. Therefore it is very famous among local and foreign hikers.     

Once you hike to the top, you can get a huge view of the whole area. It is such a nice lookout point. That’s why almost every hiker adds Koko Crater Railway Trailhead to their bucket lists.  

Koko Crater Railway Trailhead
Koko Crater Railway Trailhead

To reach the lookout point, you have to climb 1048 steep steps made almost 60 years ago with railroad ties. Since the lookout point was helpful for military purposes, there were bunkers on the top. So, the steps were built for soldiers and their supplies. 

There are some terrifying points along the trail. So, especially, this is ideal for adventure seekers. 

However, once you made it to the top, Koko Crater retreats you with spectacular views. On the other hand, you can visit the wonderful Koko Crater Botanical Garden before heading back. Get some rest, breathe fresh air and head back. (Things to do in Honolulu)       

Address: 7604 Koko Head Park Rd #7602, Honolulu, HI 96825, United States

12. Things to Do in Honolulu: Leonard’s Bakery

Opened in 1952, Leonard’s Bakery is famous for its delicious Portuguese donuts, Malasadas. 

Although Leonard’s Bakery is not an attractive shop and not famous among tourists, it is a hot spot for locals. The reason is, locals know the authentic taste of Leonard’s bakery items. 

It is a vintage-looking, non-glamorous shop that sells tasty Malasadas. What is it? 

Leonard's Bakery Honolulu HI
Leonard’s Bakery

Malasadas are fried, hole-less Portuguese donuts that are covered with powdered sugar. Locals visit this place to buy those donuts as they are delicious.

Actually, Malasadas are quite famous in entire Hawaii. You’ll find a variety of malasadas with various flavors and fillings. But, the Malasadas in Leonard’s Bakery, Honolulu, are unique and special. 

So, be like a native and taste Malasadas and other bakery items from Leonard’s Bakery. 

Address: 933 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816, United States               

13. Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design

Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture, and Design were founded by the famous American horticulturist Doris Duke. Actually, it is located in a former house of this famous heiress. (near the Diamond Head)

She was passionate about collecting impressive Islamic artwork. Especially on her honeymoon tour of the Middle East, she collected many Islamic artworks, including jewelry, portraits, tiles, wood carvings, and paintings to display in Shangri-La.

Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design
Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design

Now, it is open to everyone as a public museum. And is still maintains by the Doris Duke Foundation.

Are you an art lover? Just book your ticket and observe more Islamic artwork at Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture, and Design. (Things to do in Honolulu)       

14. Things to Do in Honolulu: Polynesian Cultural Center

Normally, cultural centers are very boring for the visitors. But, this is not like other cultural centers; Polynesian Cultural Center gives a different definition for the cultural centers. 

It is a family-centered, fun cultural travel attraction located in Lie, north shore, Oahu, HI. Opened in 1963, this is a living theme park where you can see all the authentic Polynesian cultural activities.     

So, it is divided into six villages under different Polynesian island names. Ex: Fiji, Tahiti, Hawaii, Samoa, Bora Bora. Each village represents various arts, crafts, and traditions of each country through live activities. 

Polynesian Cultural Center Laie, HI
Polynesian Cultural Center

So, if you visit the Polynesian Cultural Center, you’ll learn not only about Hawaiian culture but also about nearby islands’ cultures.

For example, Tonga Village offers you a chance to canoe on the water while watching colorful dancers and drummers’ performances. 

And also, you can see bare feet coconut tree climbers in the Samoa Village. Surprisingly, they climb to 40 feet coconut trees so quickly. 

On the other hand, when you visit the Aotearoa Village, you can dance with the famous poi balls and play cultural games. Aotearoa Village is really a fun section. 

Just like that, there are six villages filled with culture, fun, and entertainment. It is really one of the most fun things to do in Honolulu with your family. So, never miss it. 

Address: 55-370 Kamehameha Hwy, Laie, HI 96762, United States

15. The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum and Planetarium

The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum and Planetarium in Honolulu was founded in 1889. Who is Bernice Pauahi Bishop?

She was the last of the royal Kamehameha family descendent. When she died in 1889, her husband, Charles Reed Bishop, founded this museum to honor her and the family.

The museum contains an impressive collection of the royal Kamehameha family’s artifacts, heirlooms of the princess, and many other Hawaiian artifacts. 

Today, this museum is considered one of the biggest museums in the world with natural history specimens. Also, it is the largest museum in Hawaii as well.

Just look at its impressive Hawaiian architecture. 

Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum Honolulu HI
Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum

There’s a planetarium called J. Watumull Planetarium as an additional feature. 

So, visit there with kids to learn more about Hawaiian history, pacific islands, tropical nature, and more.           

Address: 1525 Bernice St, Honolulu, HI 96817, United States

16. Things to Do in Honolulu: Downtown Honolulu

Welcome to Hawaii’s political and business hub, Downtown Honolulu.

Filled with impressive skyscrapers, commercial buildings, shops, shopping malls, and other tourist attractions, downtown is the most entertaining area in Honolulu. 

You already know that the Hawaiian royal residence, Iolani Palace, is also located in downtown Honolulu. And there are some other top tourist attractions as well. Ex: Hawaiian State Art Museum and Aloha Tower.   

All the streets are sensational and thriving. Whether you are looking for a luxury resort or a cheap food truck, everything is there on downtown streets. 

Downtown Honolulu HI
Downtown Honolulu

For high-end visitors, downtown offers you the Hilton Hawaiian Village. It contains infinity pools, spa sessions, and golf games like luxury experiences. 

If you are a budget traveler, downtown offers you many things like live street music, affordable plazas, street food trucks, ice cream huts, street arts and murals, and much other fun stuff.   

On the other hand, travelers with kids can visit the Kid’s Discovery Center or Wild Tiki Fun Zone in downtown Honolulu. 

So, you’ll find visitors from all over the world with different nationalities, social classes, genders, and of all ages. That means downtown offers something for any kind of traveler. That’s why it calls the melting pot of Oahu. Don’t skip it. (Things to do in Honolulu)     

17. Honolulu Museum of Art

Honolulu Museum of Art is one of the largest art museums in the United States. Especially, it has one of the largest collections of Pan Pacific and Asian Art in the world.

It was founded by the famous patron of art Anna Rice Cooke in 1992. But, it was officially opened in 1927. 

Since there are over 50,000 impressive artworks, art lovers attract to this museum from all over the world. It contains wonderful paintings, sculptures, artworks done by Hawaii’s indigenous tribes, and many more. 

Honolulu Museum of Art
Honolulu Museum of Art

Especially, there are precious artworks done by world-famous artists like Monet, Gauguin, Hokusai, Picasso, Warhol, Van Gogh,   

There’s Dorris Duke Theater as a part of the museum that hosts movies, classes, courses, lectures, social gatherings, and exhibitions.  

While entertaining the events and exhibits, you can also get more educational information from the Honolulu Museum of Art. The Honolulu Museum of Art School and Robert Allerton Art Research help you with that. 

Do not forget to give a call to the museum before you visit. Usually, the museum closes on Mondays. However, it is better to call and make sure it is open or not. 

Address: 900 S Beretania St, Honolulu, HI 96814, United States Phone: 808-532-8700

18. Things to Do in Honolulu: Shark’s Cove

We all know that Hawaii is one of the best snorkeling and scuba diving destinations in the world. Yes, it boasts over 12,000 colorful coral reefs.

What is the best place for snorkeling?

Shark’s Cove is one of the best places to see unique and colorful corals in Hawaii. Don’t worry; there are no sharks at the Shark’s Cove. The name came from its land shape. If you see at this coastline from the sky, it looks like a shark head. 

Things to Do in Honolulu Shark's Cove
Shark’s Cove

You’ll see so many colorful fish and corals in the area. And also, there are series of caverns and caves made with volcanic eruptions to discover. Some of them are deep for about 40 feet. So, try only if you are an adventurous diver.

However, Shark’s Cove is not only for skilled divers; it has many things to see by any kind of diver and snorkeler. So, pack your swimming suit and visit Shark’s Cove in Pupukea, Oahu, Hawaii. (Read more from this link)

19. Things to Do in Honolulu: Honolulu Zoo

Featuring over 1230 animals, Honolulu Zoo is located in Royal Queen Kapi’olani Park in Honolulu. Actually, it is the only zoo built with a sovereign monarch’s grants in the United States.

Spreading over 42 acres in the Queen Kapi’olani Park, the Honolulu Zoo contains over 900 species, including rare and exotic animals, in specially designed habitats.

You can closely observe lions, elephants, orangutans, komodo dragons, reptiles, birds, poisonous tree frogs, and many other creatures.

Things to Do in Honolulu Honolulu Zoo
Honolulu Zoo

After that, you can do some fun things too.

Honolulu Zoo offers you camping sessions and special events on every seasonal holiday. And also, there are some programs like “Twilight Tours” and “Snooze at the Zoo.”

Twilight Tours offers you a chance to tour around the zoo after it closes. And Snooze at the Zoo offers you a chance to spend a fun night at the zoo.

So, do not forget to contact them and check the upcoming schedule. Your kids will love it. (Things to do in Honolulu)     

Address: 151 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, United States Phone: 808-971-7171     

20. Magic Island Beach

Magic Island is not a natural island. It is a man-made, small peninsula adjacent to the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor and Ala Moana Beach Park. 

The project was started in 1964, targeting construct a resort complex. But, finally, the land became a nice beach park. 

Magic Island Beach Honolulu HI
Magic Island Beach

Since Magic Island’s beach is protected from a rock barrier, it is safe for swimmers. But, sadly, its bottom is rocky, and sand is not so smooth. When there are big waves, many surfers come to this beach. 

For picnickers, there’s a smooth grass area, trees, picnic tables, and other facilities. On the other hand, there are workout sessions and yoga classes on the beach. Also, it is close to restaurants, movie theaters, shops, and other facilities.

Yeah, this magical beach park offers a lot of fun things to do. So, do not miss it.    

Address: 1201 Ala Moana Blvd, At the end of Ala Moana Beach Park, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96814-4205, USA

21. Things to Do in Honolulu: Aloha Tower

Aloha Tower is the most popular lighthouse in Hawaii. Constructed in the early 20th century (on 11th September 1926), this lighthouse tower helped many land explorers and sailors. That’s why Hawaiians treat it as the Statue of Liberty. 

Following a gothic architectural style, the tower has an impressive interior and exterior.    

Located exactly at Pier 9 of the Honolulu Harbor, Aloha Tower is tall, around 180 feet. Surprisingly, it still functions as a lighthouse. But, currently, the major function of Aloha Tower is attracting tourists.

Things to Do in Honolulu Aloha Tower
Aloha Tower

Yes, it is one of the top tourist landmarks in Honolulu. As it offers you an opportunity to climb the top and view the stunning Honolulu coast, thousands of tourists attract annually. Also, it has a marketplace at the base for shopping and dining for the visitors.

Do not miss breathtaking panoramic views of the Honolulu coastline from the Aloha Tower. (Things to do in Honolulu)     

Address: 155 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96813, United States. 

22. Atlantis Adventures

Here’s the chance to see the amazing Honolulu’s underwater world. 

Atlantis Adventures is always ready to take you on an underwater submarine tour. So, don’t miss this wonderful chance. 

They have a 48 seat submarine, and it takes you to see wonderful sharks, fish, stingrays, eels, colorful corals, and many other marine creatures. Also, you may see some shipwrecks too. 

Atlantis Adventures Honolulu HI
Atlantis Adventures

If you can’t swim, dive, or snorkel, this is the best way to see the underwater wonder world. On the other hand, if you fear going for a deep-sea ride, you can join with a regular Atlantis Adventure boat tour.   

Whether you are taking an underwater tour or a regular boat tour, it will be so much fun for sure. That’s why it considers as one of the best things to do in Honolulu. 

If you are planning an adventurous thing to do in Hawaii, Atlantis Adventure will help you.           

23. Things to Do in Honolulu: Halona Blowhole

Halona Blowhole is a special rock formation with a blowhole located in Oahu.

It considers as one of the most dangerous landmarks in entire Hawaii because this ocean area has too dangerous currents. Therefore, the waves powerfully crash the rock formation and create this amazing blowhole. 

Those dangerous currents can unexpectedly drag a diver to the sea as well. So, if you visit this place, please be careful and observe it from a distance. 

Things to Do in Honolulu Halona Blowhole
Halona Blowhole

Such a beautiful scene to see. That’s why it considers as a top natural wonder in Hawaii. Actually, you may have seen this blowhole in so many movie scenes, music videos, and television shows.   

Summer is the ideal time to visit this place since there are so much wind and strong waves to create a magnificent view. As a bonus, you may see humpback whales passing through the cove in the summer as well.

Actually, not only humpback whales but also you may find various sea turtles as well.

So, surely add Halona Blowhole to your bucket list, as it is one of the unique things to do in Honolulu.      

24. Kuhio Beach Park

Kuhio Beach is one of the most photographed places in Honolulu HI. If you are looking for a scenic, relaxing beach in Honolulu, Kuhio Beach Park is ideal because it is not crowded. 

So, you can stretch on the beach and spend a quality beach day in this calm and relaxing atmosphere, with no disturbance from surfers, joggers, volleyball players, and dog walkers.   

Being part of the Waikiki Beach, Kuhio Beach was named after the former prince of the kingdom of Hawaii, Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole. He was lived near Kuhio Beach with his wife, Princess Elizabeth Kahanu. 

Kuhio Beach Park Honolulu HI
Kuhio Beach Park

Apart from relaxing on the beach, Kuhio Beach Park offers you some attractive landmarks as well. For example, you can see a 9-foot bronze statue of the Hawaiian Olympic champion Duke Paoa Kahanamoku. He was an Olympic swimmer, surfer, and canoeist and famous as the father of international surfing. 

Another statue established in this park is Price Kuhio Statue, made by the famous sculptor Sean Browne. 

Also, Kuhio Beach Park features “The Wizard Stones of Kapaemahu,” representing the four legendary men Kahaloa, Kapuni, Kapaemahu, and Kinohi. And people believe this place offers healing properties for every visitor.   

Address: Kuhio Beach Park, Honolulu, HI 96815, Phone: 808-373-8013

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25. Things to Do in Honolulu: Honolulu Botanical Gardens

Honolulu has several botanical gardens scattered around the city. And each of them is unique and shows you unique trees, flora, and impressive landscapes. Especially based on the location and its climate. 

Wahiawa Botanical Garden is a lush and green garden since it is located in a cool temperature environment. So, you can see plenty of colorful flowers. 

Honolulu Botanical Gardens

On the other hand, Koko Crater Botanical Garden is located in a desert-like environment close to a volcanic crater. Therefore, you can see native shrubs, cacti, and other succulents. 

If you like waterfalls, Liliuokalani Botanical Garden is located near a stunning waterfall.

Also, there’s another highlighted botanical garden called Ho’omaluhia, which is located near a lake.    

Nature lovers have plenty of botanical gardens to visit in Honolulu HI. Are you ready?

26. Things to Do in Honolulu: Corsair Wreck Dive Site

We all know that Honolulu has many amazing diving sites. Most of them are natural, and some of them are artificial. 

People have added man-made shipwrecks, fish, and corals to attract divers and swimmers to artificial sites.

But, Corsair Wreck Dive Site is totally a different diving site because it has a real plane remnant that crashed in WWII. So, it has attracted fish, stingrays, jacks, eels, and many more over the years. And now it is almost like a natural diving site.

Corsair Wreck Dive Site Honolulu HI
Corsair Wreck Dive Site

The plane crashed and was placed 115 feet below the ocean surface. So, you need to hire a local guide to reach the exact place. And also, you should have a good diving skill level. 

If you are confident with your diving skills, you can see genuine remnants of a WWII plane in the ocean. So, surely this is one of the most adventurous things to do in Honolulu.    

27. Things to Do in Honolulu: Hawaii Food Tours

Who doesn’t like to try Hawaiian foods? 

After touring around Honolulu, if you need to recharge yourself, just join Hawaii Food Tours. They are always ready to take you to to the best eateries in Honolulu.   

Foodies, are you ready?

Things to Do in Honolulu Hawaii Food Tours
Hawaii Food Tours

Honolulu has different kinds of restaurants. Whether you are looking for Mexican, Chinese, Indian, or whatever, Honolulu has everything in an authentic Hawaiian way.

And Hawaii Food Tours is there to help you to find the best Hawaiian cuisines. Their “Hole-in-the-Wall Tour” is more famous among tourists.  

Juicy pineapple pizza, handmade ice cream, delicious doughnuts, unique pork dishes, and more Hawaiian dishes are waiting for you.  

28. Things to Do in Honolulu: Kaka’ako

Kaka’ako is one of the most famous neighborhoods in Honolulu. Especially for those who like to know more about Hawaiian art and culture, Kaka’ako is the ideal place. 

Although Kaka’ako was a boring neighborhood filled with warehouses and auto parts, now it has one of the most vibrant surroundings in Hawaii.

Actually, everything started to change with the murals and artworks of Kaka’ako’s artists. They started to draw creative murals on the walls, bridges, and buildings. 

Things to Do in Honolulu Kaka'ako
Kaka’ako Murals

Then, it became a famous trend. Finally, the whole neighborhood became colorful and attractive. Therefore, it attracted many tourism-related businesses (restaurants, bars, breweries, bistro, hotels, and more) to Kaka’ako. Now, nobody remembers the old, boring Kaka’ako. (Things to do in Honolulu)     

If you are an art lover, definitely take an art walk in Kaka’ako.           

29. Things to Do in Honolulu: Royal Hawaiian Center

Royal Hawaiian Center is another wonderful shopping mall in Honolulu. This is the best place if you are looking for luxury brands, fine jewelry, and gifts.

So, high-end customers are the target market of this shopping mall. That’s why Royal Hawaiian Center differs from the other plenty of shopping malls in Honolulu.     

Royal Hawaiian Center Honolulu HI
Royal Hawaiian Center

The mall is filled with five-star restaurants, luxury boutiques, and gift shops. Its Bobble-headed hula dancer souvenirs are more famous among tourists. 

If you do not have that kind of budget, don’t worry; just hang out and experience the impressive architecture and atmosphere inside Royal Hawaiian Center as it offers free entrance. 

Address: 2201 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, United States Phone: +1 808-922-2299

30. Things to Do in Honolulu: Sea Life Park

Sea Life Park is a mix of a Hawaiian marine mammal park, aquarium, and bird sanctuary located just a few miles north of Honolulu.   

So, it offers various kinds of activities to do with your whole family.

Sea Life Park Hawaii
Sea Life Park

Ex:  Its Ocean Theater shows you dolphins, sharks, sea lions, penguins, sea turtles, and many other marine creatures. And also, it offers you a chance to swim and interact with these creatures. 

You can try the impressive bird sanctuary or the penguin habitat to have fun as for dry activities.

Yeah, Sea Life Park is ideal for the whole family. So, if you are in Honolulu for a great family vacation, Sea Life Park should be on your list.      

Address: 41-202 Kalanianaʻole Hwy, Waimanalo, HI 96795, United States

31. Sans Souci Beach Park

Looking for a relaxing tropical beach in Honolulu? 

Sans Souci Beach Park has all the qualities of safe, clean, and shallow water. Anybody can visit this beach park and spend a quality beach day. Since it is totally safe and having clean shorelines, you can take your kids to play on the beach.

Sans Souci Beach Park
Sans Souci Beach Park

On the other hand, you can experience the topical sun while stretching on the beach. The mild waves will give soft wind while the palm trees provide shade.

Sans Souci Beach Park has all the features that should be on a wonderful tropical beach. Try to catch the sunset at Sans Souci. It will surely be unforgettable. (Things to do in Honolulu)          

Address: 2863 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815-4016, United States. 

32. Things to Do in Honolulu: Honolulu’s Chinatown Historic District

Almost every major town in the world has a Chinatown. So, Honolulu also has one. But, it is so special and unique. 

Hawaii has several Chinatowns. But, Honolulu’s Chinatown Historic District is one of the oldest Chinatowns in Hawaii. So, you can experience unique things there.

Spreading over 10 acres of land, this historic district offers you authentic Chinese culture, food, fashion, and more. 

Honolulu's Chinatown Historic District
Honolulu’s Chinatown Historic District

We all know that Chinses food has a huge demand. You can try authentic Chinese flavors in this neighborhood. Starting from Chinses tofu soup to Chinese fried rice to stir-fried chicken is available in this destination.  

If you like to buy Chinese items, there are plenty of souvenir shops, fashion boutiques, and other shops. And they are not so expensive.

One of the most highlighted landmarks in Honolulu’s Chinatown Historic District is the Kuan Yin Buddhist temple. Since its architecture and the garden is attractive, many tourists visit there. Actually, that temple has a calm and relaxing atmosphere. And it is filled with colorful flowers, statues, and many other Chinese artifacts. (Things to Do in Honolulu)

Visiting Honolulu’s Chinatown Historic District is just like taking a short tour of China.  

33. Kualoa Ranch

Have you watched Hawaii Five-O and Lost like famous TV shows? Then, you should be familiar with Kualoa Ranch’s hills, cliffs, and fields. 

Kualoa Ranch is a wonderful nature retreat that spreads over 4000 acres. And it offers you many fun things like zip-lining, ATV rides, adventurous beaches, kayaking, horseback riding, biking, Hollywood film location tours, and many more. 

Kualoa Ranch Hawaii
Kualoa Ranch

It is totally worth driving a half-hour from Honolulu to grab those outdoor adventures in Kualoa Ranch. You won’t regret it at all as it is surely one of the best things to do near Honolulu HI. 

Address: 49-560 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744, United States       

34. Things to Do in Honolulu: Wailua Shave Ice

Shave Ice is an ionic snack in Hawaii, and it is so famous among locals and tourists.  So, you can find it on every street corner in Honolulu. Just because of that, there’s huge competition among sellers. Every seller tries to offer unique flavors artistically.

Wailua Shave Ice is more popular and offers fresh and tasty flavors. They usually offer unique syrup flavors with various colors, juices, and toppings.

Wailua Shave Ice Honolulu HI
Wailua Shave Ice

When mango, cherry, passionfruit, strawberry, papaya, and watermelon-like fruit flavors are mixed with chocolate, green tea, margarita, and mochi-like flavors, it makes a delicious dessert. 

If you have any favorite flavor, you can request it from Wailua Shave Ice as they have a large range of flavors.  

Are you ready to shave ice?

Address: 4-1306 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaʻa, HI 96746, United States

35. Tantalus Lookout – Puu Ualakaa State Park

Tantalus Lookout is a scenic viewpoint that features the Waikiki skyline and Diamond Head volcano cone. Located in Puu Ulakaa State Park, Tantalus Lookout offers you Honolulu’s breathtaking views. 

You have to climb around 1,048 feet to reach this lookout. But, it is totally worth hiking. In the end, it will retreat you with beautiful sceneries and totally calm surroundings.  

Tantalus Lookout - Puu Ualakaa State Park
Tantalus Lookout – Puu Ualakaa State Park

Waikiki Beach, Honolulu town, Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head Crater, Honolulu International Airport, and Manoa Valley are clearly visible from the Tantalus Lookout. 

You are no allowed for camping or mountain biking on the Ulakaa Trail. So, plan for a picnic with your family and experience Honolulu’s natural beauty. And do not miss the spectacular sunset. (Things to Do in Honolulu)     

Address: Nutridge St, Honolulu, HI 96822, United States. 

36. U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii

U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii offers you a chance to experience Hawaii’s past in an unusual way. It is filled with old guns, bunkers, tanks, and helicopters, highlighting great Hawaii’s military history. 

U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii
U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii

On the other hand, the location of this museum is unique. U.S. Army Museum is located inside Battery Randolph which was built to protect Hawaii. It is a former coastal artillery battery located at Fort DeRussy Military Reservation. Then, it was converted into a museum in 1976. 

You can see photographs, stories of soldiers, machines, and many other historical things about the Hawaii islands. If you are a history buff, do not miss the U.S. Army Museum of Hawai.  

Address: 2131 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815, United States

37. Things to do in Honolulu: Waikīkī Aquarium

Opened in 1904, Waikīkī Aquarium is a top tourist attraction in Honolulu. The University of Hawaii handles it, and it is the second oldest still operating public aquarium in the United States. (First one is the New York Aquarium)

Located in the Waikiki Marine Life Conservation District, Waikīkī Aquarium has around 300 marine specimens and 500 live marine species. 

Waikīkī Aquarium in Honolulu
Waikīkī Aquarium

New Hawaiian Green Sea turtle, octopus, live colorful Corals, and many other exciting things are available in this aquarium. If your kids are aquarium lovers, this place is ideal to surprise them. (Things to Do in Honolulu)

You can also join with classes, special programs, and other sessions organizes by Waikīkī Aquarium. 

Address: 2777 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, United States

Where to Stay in Honolulu? 

Hospitality plays a major role in every Hawaiian island, especially in Honolulu. So, here are the best places to stay in Honolulu HI. 

Halekulani Hotel

Halekulani Hotel is a five-star hotel located in Kalia Rd, Honolulu. Guests say this hotel as “house befitting heaven.” Yeah, it is located on such a scenic beachfront.

Halekulani Hotel Honolulu
Halekulani Hotel 

When you wake up in the morning, you can see the stunning ocean and the Diamond Head in the distance. Also, it offers you a wonderful spa with all the Polynesian therapeutic rituals. A pool, wonderful rooms, two delicious restaurants, and many other luxury facilities are also available in Halekulani Hotel. 

Especially the two restaurants, Al Fresco Orchids and French-influenced La Mer, are always ready to offer you different types of delicious food. So, do not hesitate to book your Halekulani Hotel accommodation here. (Things to Do in Honolulu)  

Address: 2199 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815, United States

Prince Waikiki 

Prince Waikiki is a 4-star hotel that offers you a luxury experience in Honolulu. Especially, its floor-to-ceiling windows always offer you breathtaking views of Waikiki Beach and the marina. 

Prince Waikiki, Honolulu HI
Prince Waikiki

Another highlighted feature of Prince Waikiki is the infinity pool. It also offers you spectacular views of the ocean. Apart from that, the hotel offers you all the other luxury amenities as well. 

Book your Prince Waikiki Hotel accommodation from here. 

Address: 100 Holomoana St, Honolulu, HI 96815, United States

Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club

Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club is a 4-star film located on Lewers St. If you are looking for a 1960s beach vibe, Surfjack is the ideal place.

All the decorations in this hotel are done in hip and surfer style. And there’s a signature courtyard pool (see the photo), facilitated rooms, and all the other luxury features. (Things to Do in Honolulu)

Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club Honolulu
Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club

Also, the hotel’s Mahina & Sun’s restaurant and Olive & Oliver boutique are always ready to impress food lovers with delicious food. 

The best part is, the hotel is located a short walk away from the beach. Isn’t it have all the features that you are looking for? Then, book your Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club accommodation here. 

Address: 412 Lewers St, Honolulu, HI 96815, United States

Vive Hotel Waikiki

Vive Hotel is a 3-star hotel in Honolulu. 

It is a boutique stay hotel that contains all the facilities. Especially, its Recycled Reads Library is more highlighted. Therefore, everything is designed and decorated by using the library and music themes. 

Vive Hotel Waikiki
Vive Hotel Waikiki

Don’t worry about food. Starting from the chilled pineapple juice on arrival until you checkout, Vive Hotel is ready to impress you with delicious dishes. 

So, book your Vive Hotel Waikiki accommodation here. (Things to Do in Honolulu)

Address: 2426 Kūhiō Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815, United States 

Waikiki Beachcomber By Outrigger

Located on Kalakaua Ave, Waikiki Beachcomber By Outrigger is a 3-star hotel. Since this hotel is very close to the beach and all the other entertainment options in Honolulu, it is very famous among guests. 

Waikiki Beachcomber By Outrigger
Waikiki Beachcomber By Outrigger

If you are planning for shopping, enjoying at night, participate in cultural shows, this is the ideal place for you. Book here your Waikiki Beachcomber By Outrigger accommodation here. 

Address: 2300 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, United States

Things to Do in Honolulu