Top Things To Do in Honolulu
Hawaii is one of the most enthralling tourist destinations in the world and one of the major cities here where you can enjoy doing adventure activities in Honolulu. This city is one of the best cities to visit on your trip to Hawaii. You will find sun-kissed beaches, glitz and glamour, exciting nightlife, and a ton of adrenaline activities to do, apart from the usual relaxing ones that include beach games, beach walks, and relaxation. These are our top picks for all the best places to do these activities in Honolulu. So if you are trying to find an answer to the question of ‘what is there to do in Honolulu’ then this might be the answer you are searching for.
Honolulu, the capital of the pretty state of Hawaii, is home to all facets of travel one can envision- a gleaming nightlife, a myriad of shopping hotspots, a tropical climate, and a culturally rich archipelago. Here are some top things to do in Honolulu Hawaii enlisted when you are interested in exploring this scenic piece of beauty:
Enjoy Hawaiian culture at Paradise Cove Luau
Paradise Cove Luau is one place where you will not only get a taste of Hawaiian food but indulge in the best of what Hawaii can offer you. You can give your best at Hawaiian games, and join the dance of the Polynesian dancers. You can stroll through the Hawaiian villages and get a peep inside the wonderful cultural attractions of local Hawaiian people. It can prove to be an unforgettable adventure at Paradise Cove Luau. You can relish the best of Hawaiian cuisine, as you bite off chunks from the Kalua Pig. The seafood is tempting too and so are the varieties of tropical fruit that are grown here. The sunsets here are no less amazing and this is one of the unique things to do in Honolulu at beach.
Circle Island Tours
One of the best ways to get a taste of what the Hawaiian Islands can offer you is to go on Circle Island Tours. You can go on the Circle Island Tours from Honolulu. You will see wonderful sights and places on these tours. It also is a chance to see the history of these gorgeous islands. Nu’uanu Pali is one such place where you can revisit the era when King Kamehameha united the Hawaiian Islands. You can see the magnificent landscapes of Ko’olau and stop by to visit the Buddhist temple of Byodo-In Temple. This tour can reveal so much about the Hawaiian ways of life when you visit Macadamia Nut Farm Outlet and get a taste of local snacks. You can visit the Banzai Pipeline surf spot and see the beauty of the North Shore on the island of Oahu. The tour winds up with the last stop at Dole Plantation where you can taste the juicy pineapple.
Pearl Harbour and USS Arizona Memorial
One of the fun things to do in Honolulu for free is visit to the famous historical sites of Hawaii during your stay at Honolulu. Pearl Harbour is one of the most important historical sites in the entire United States. You will see special attractions like Iolani Palace and the statue of King Kamehameha during this visit. Visit the next big attraction and that is the military warship the USS Arizona Memorial. The battleship is the place where Japan surrendered and ended World War II.
Dolphin Watching and Snorkelling
One of the unique things to do in Honolulu at beach is snorkeling and dolphin watching. While on your trip to Honolulu, you can have exciting underwater adventures like scuba diving and snorkeling. These underwater tours usually last about 3-4 hours and include snorkeling and lunch on board the ship. You can swim with the manta rays, and turtles and see the amazing underwater life with your own eyes. You will see colorful fishes, underwater coral reefs, and so much aquatic life on these tours. That’s not all!!! You can have more relaxing activities like water sliding, and paddle boarding. The icing on the cake is the hula performance which is performed by traditional Hawaiian dancers.
Hidden gems of Oahu
One of the best top things to do in Honolulu Hawaii during your trip to Honolulu is to go on and find out some hidden spots on the island of Oahu. One such beautiful spot is the Diamond Head State Monument. You can see scenic landscapes from here and the two best ones are Halona Blowhole and Makapu’u Point. You can then taste the tasty snacks at Macadamia Nut Farm Outlet. One of the best attractions nearby is the Kualoa Valley where the famous dinosaur movie Jurassic Park was shot. Enjoy the crimson sunset from Sunset Beach and enjoy fruits at Kahuku Farm. You will see the amazing natural beauty of the North Shore on this tour. Stop by to appreciate the scenic views from Waimea Botanical Gardens and enjoy freshly plucked pineapple at Dole Plantation.
Go hiking at Diamond Head Trail
Diamond Head is a dormant volcano in Oahu and the hike to the crater of Diamond Head is an exciting hike to do during your trip to Honolulu. The view from the 760-foot summit is rewarding and gives you sweeping views of the surrounding waters. The hiking lasts about 3 hours but every moment is to be cherished as you encounter the natural heritage site of Diamond Head State Monument. This can be the best fun things to do in Honolulu for free.
Snorkeling at North Shore
One of the most exciting places to visit during your trip to Honolulu is the North Shore, which is at the northern end of the island of Oahu. Some of the best places here are Sunset Beach and Turtle Beach, and these are best if you want to do a bit of snorkeling. Clear blue waters teem with wildlife such as turtles. You can enjoy swimming with them and see other forms of wildlife too. You can stay on the beach and enjoy some relaxing time having a stroll or just lie on the sands, admiring the magical sunsets.
Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay is one of the best places to do snorkeling. The waters are just perfect to dive beneath the surface and come face to face with the underwater world. Take your snorkeling gear and dive beneath the waves. You can see sea turtles and little fish swimming about. The tropical fish are colorful and look pretty in their world. This is also a protected area of marine conservation. Snorkeling can be just one of the several fun things to do in Honolulu for free.
You can plan some very exciting excursions during your stay in Honolulu and one such exciting adventure comes in the form of Whale watching tours. The waters around Honolulu are the warm and best place in Hawaii to watch whales. This is their breeding ground, and they can be seen doing their playful antics. This is also the migration route of Humpback Whales. You should take your binoculars with you to get the most amazing close-up views of these gentle giants of the oceanic world. That is why whale watching can be one of the best things to do in Honolulu with friends.
Shopping at Ala Moana Center
Shopping can be one of the amazing things to do in Honolulu for couples. Honolulu has some of the best places in Hawaii to do shopping. Ala Moana Center is one such shopping place in Honolulu. This shopping mall is 4 stories of pure shopping extravaganza. You can indulge in some serious shopping in this open-air shopping mall. Buy souvenirs or shop for branded products from departmental stores here. There are 350 such departmental stores in this huge shopping mall. Plus, you can eat and have some coffee while you shop around. Some eateries here are Island Vintage Coffee, Sephora, and many more.
Enjoy a Poke Bowl
One of the best top things to do in Honolulu Hawaii is to enjoy a delicious Poke Bowl. This is like a seafood platter served within a bowl. There are some best seafood eateries in Honolulu and Sato Seafood is one of the best. Fresh Catch is another one which is almost as popular as the other eateries in Honolulu. You can enjoy fresh seafood here. You should try their Spicy Maui Maui bowl, which is spicy tuna fish layered on top of a bed of rice, and topped with chopped onions. Every bite is juicy and oozes fresh ingredients.
Relax at Waikiki Beach
One of the amazing things to do in Honolulu for couples is to have a relaxing time at Waikiki Beach. Waikiki Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the whole world. This beach is pure white sand with the foamy waves of the ocean lapping up its shores. Here you can do the best things to do in Honolulu Waikiki today with friends. Some parts of Waikiki Beach are best for swimming. You can also play beach games or engage in beach sports. You can go on canoe cruises or do other activities like surfing, catamaran cruises, and boogie boarding. Do not miss the fabulous sunsets at Waikiki Beach.
Explore Iolani Palace
Iolani Palace is a historical place in Honolulu. It is the palace of the Hawaiian king and was constructed in 1882. This historic palace has several plush rooms, royal décor, political offices, and acres of spacious land. You can listen to audio recordings of the rich history of the palace. There are vintage furniture, royal clothing, and several other objects that were used by a royalty on display here. The museum here is one of the best that you will see in Hawaii.
Hiking at Manoa Falls
Hiking is one of the best things to do in Honolulu with friends. Manoa Falls is a 150-foot waterfall that is located in the Manoa Valley near Honolulu. This is one of the best hiking destinations in Honolulu. Scenes from movies like Jurassic Park and Hunger Games: Catching Fire were shot here. The environs are very tropical and the green foliage and surroundings lend a tranquil look to the location. The hike is very enthralling in itself and is open from sunrise to sunset.
Relax at Kuhio Beach Park
Kuhio Beach Park is one of the best places in Honolulu where you can relax in tranquil surroundings. The attractions here are many and the monuments like Duke Kahanamoku Statue, Prince Kuhio Statue, and Stones of Kapaemahu are the highlights of this place. You can stroll around the place and enjoy the sweeping views of the sea and culture here. The hula performances here are very popular among tourists. If you are searching for amazing things to do in Honolulu for couples, then it has to be Kuhio Beach Park.
Marvel at the Halona Blowhole
One of the most popular attractions and unique things to do in Honolulu Oahu is visit Halona Blowhole. The waves here are very rough and they crash onto the high cliffs making a pretty sight. The force of the waves causes water to erupt with a great force out of the cliffs making them look like a blowhole. There is a beach near the place and it is called Eternity Beach, and it is also a great place to visit. This is one of the unique things to do in Honolulu at beach.
Honolulu Botanical Gardens
One of the top things to do in Honolulu at weekend is to visit the botanical gardens. The botanical gardens in Honolulu are spread over a huge space and each one of them is an attraction in itself. Take, for example, the Wahiawa Botanical Garden, which is green throughout the year due to its high elevation. The Koko Crater Botanical Garden, on the other hand, is well-known for its cacti and shrubs. You can have a relaxing time when you visit these botanical gardens. There are more such botanical gardens in Honolulu like Foster Botanical Gardens and Liliʻuokalani Botanical Garden. You can see different flowering plants, trees, shrubs, cacti, and other plants here.
Explore the art scene at Kaka’ako District
One of the top things to do in Honolulu today is to explore the street art in Kaka’ako District. Kaka’ako District is an artsy kind of neighborhood in Honolulu, and it is famous for its cafes, art galleries, street art, and eateries. It is a buzzing district where you can explore trending art, shop around in galleries, eat and dine in cafes and restaurants and have an entertaining nightlife. You can taste delicious Hawaiian food which is made from authentic ingredients.
Honolulu Museum of Art
The Honolulu Museum of Art came up in 1927 and features the largest collection of Asian art and Pan-Pacific art in the US. The campus has a rich collection of works by artists like Picasso, Van Gogh, Gauguin, and others. You can visit the Doris Duke Theatre, where you can view concerts, lectures, and seminars. Honolulu Museum of Art can be one of the top things to do in Honolulu today.
Go diving at the Corsair Wreck Site
If you want to visit historic World War II sites in Hawaii, then you should visit the Corsair Wreck Site, where you can see the wrecks of the WWII warplane which is at the bottom of the sea. You will have to dive into the sea with your scuba diving gear and see the wreck. The wreck is to the southeast of Oahu. You will need to take a certified guide and boat to reach the wreck site.
Hike on the Koko Crater Trail
Koko Crater is a 1208-foot-high crater that is one of the best hiking places in Hawaii. You will have to climb steep steps to reach the ridge of the volcano. The hiking trail is also the best opportunity to spot some wildlife on the way to the top. The views from the top are magnificent.
A walk in Kualoa Regional Park
A stroll down the Kualoa ranch will give one a glimpse of popular Hollywood movies we have grown up watching, Jurassic Park, 50 first dates and Hawaii Five-0 to name a few. It offers you with all the different terrains of natural beauty you can imagine. Rejuvenating your mind while sitting on the clean beaches with clear water and calm mountains adding to it is what a trip to this peaceful spot entails.
Celebrate King Kamehameha Floral Parade with the locals
If you’re lucky enough to travel in or around the 11th of June, you will get to cherish the colourful and enthralling celebration of the Kamehameha Day. You will see Honululu in its raw form- garlands of wild flowers as decor, ancient but intriguing wears from the King’s times coupled with great music and delicious delicacies.
A ferry ride of the USS Arizona memorial
Albeit World War 2 bringing heights of destruction and loss of lives, it provided us with learnings the world will adore till the end of humanity. This site is located at Pearl Harbor, the well known site of the Japanese attack that virtually obliterated the US Pacific Fleet. It now consists of a museum as well as a theatre that depict the exact happenings of the unfortunate day and helps us have an in-depth yet enchanting understanding of the same.
A hike to Ka’ena Point
Your trip to Honolulu can never be called complete without experiencing the exciting adventures of hiking. This hike of 2.5miles from the two available points will take you up to the sights of exotic wildlife in the form of Laysan albatross or a monk seal. Both access points, the Waianae side or Mokuleia side, are easy to climb with a break taking view of the coastline that will motivate you to trek to the top will full zeal.
Seafood at Legend Restaurant
Every time you think of Honolulu, your vision is sure to include an influence of China, especially in the form of cuisine. With an exhibition of tantalizing seafood, this place is an amazing spot to sensitize the taste buds of a food lover, and there’s one amongst us all.
Final words on top things to do in Honolulu
These places in Honolulu are the best if you want to do sightseeing in Honolulu. You can enjoy a range of exciting activities like hiking, whale watching, shopping, and relaxing at the beach in addition to some others. Taste the local cuisine of Hawaii, while you shop. You will love Honolulu and the freedom it offers to do these exciting activities. This is the reason, why Honolulu is one of the best places to visit in the US.
If you are looking for some of the best places to visit in Hawaii and top things to do in Hawaii then don’t forget to check our other travel guides.