15 Best Things To Do in Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu is located in Hawaii and is the heart of the city. From kings and queens to world-class surfers, you can find everyone flocking this town. The beaches here will make you forget your stress and will provide you a place to relax and unwind. In Honolulu, you will never be bored, and that is guaranteed by the several places to visit in Honolulu. Visit a museum, surf, have some good food and wine or simply lie down at the beach and watch the ocean. If you are planning to visit Honolulu, then this list of the top tourist attractions in Honolulu will help you plan your vacation and give you an idea of all the things you can do.

Let's explore Honolulu points of interest and 15 best things to do in Honolulu:

1. Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach - ImageImage Source: wikimedia.org

When in Honolulu you really have to appreciate the beautiful beaches, and the vibe on these beaches are captivating. One of the most famous beaches is the Waikiki Beach. This beach has been the favorite beach for the kings and the royalties of Hawaii. Moreover, it still remains as one of the most popular beaches in Honolulu. You will find expert surfers riding the waves and all kinds of crowd here. Due to the popularity of the Waikiki beach and to serve the visitors with good food and a night’s rest, several premium hotels and restaurants have sprung up along the beach. This beach is a must if you ever visit Honolulu.

2. World War 2 Valor in the Pacific National Monument

Pacific National Monument - ImageImage Source: wikimedia.org

Hawaii was in the center of the World War 2, and we all have heard about Pearl Harbor which was attacked by Japan. This is the final resting place of 1,177 sailors and is the most visited historical site in Honolulu. You can still see the sunken ship that floats above it. The trip consists of a documentary that tells the story about the ship and also a 15-minute visit to the USS Arizona memorial. You can expect a long waiting line, but the passes are free. If you wish to know more about the history of Hawaii and the battle of Pearl Harbor, then this is the perfect place for you.

3. Try out your surfing skills

If you are in Honolulu then surfing is something that you need to absolutely try since such a favorable spot is rarely found anywhere else. The southern coast of Oahu is full of such spots where you can try out your surfing skills. Waikiki beach is one among the spots which also includes the Sunset Beach and the Banzai Pipeline.

4. Honolulu’s Chinatown

Honolulu’s Chinatown - ImageImage Source: wikimedia.org

Honolulu’s Chinatown is one of the most popular and the largest oriental districts in America. You can find this marketplace in between the Downtown and the residential neighborhoods of Kalihi-Palama. Once you arrive there, you will be astonished at the level of energy emanating from the market. This market is filled with colors and scents of exotic tropical fruits and a wide variety of meats. You will also find traditional temples such as the Japanese Shinto shrine of Izumo Taishakyo and the Kuan Yin. Apart from temples and markets, you will also find eateries serving delicious perking ducks and stir-fries.

5. Lanikai Beach

In Honolulu, you cannot get enough of beaches, and among the finest beaches the Lanikai beach is one of them. Tourists have praised this beach due to its beautiful setting, and since it is near the residential parts of the town, there is less of a crowd here. If you want to spend some time relaxing and away from the crowds of the city then this is the best place to do so. 

6. Lolani Palace

Things to do in HonoluluImage Source: wikimedia.org

Honolulu was the ancestral home of the Kalakaua Dynasty which is revered till now by the locals. This palace was the grand project of the monarch David Kalakaua. He traveled throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia. This palace is located in the midst of the latest residential projects which makes this look like out of place. The interiors give off an Italianate charm that is enticing, and the classical nooks and corners give the building a pleasurable atmosphere. Currently, the exhibitions contain the Queen Liliuokalani’s and King Kalakaua’s personal belonging and some military artifacts. You can also watch the daily performance by the Royal Hawaiian band.

7. Go shark diving

If you are an adventure loving tourists and want something to give you an adrenaline rush, then shark diving is the best choice for you. Swimming with the shark may sound too dangerous, but you will be able to see them closely without the fear of getting eaten by them. The trips include taking small groups of participants to the spots where the sharks are commonly sighted. Then, a strong steel cage will be lowered into the water which will protect you from the dangerous but majestic creatures. Once underwater, you can see a variety of sharks that include grey reef sharks, Galapagos Sharks, and the famous hammerheads. You can also see green sea turtles which are comparatively rare and some rare marine flora. If you are lucky, then you might also see a humpback whale. 

8. Diamond Head State Monument

Diamond Head State Monument - ImageImage Source: wikimedia.org

The formation of the Diamond Head State Monument was done about 300,000 years ago when a volcanic crater spewed out magma and ash into the earth’s atmosphere, and over the years the ash stagnated and is today one of the most popular hiking trails in Honolulu. Though the 750-foot hike may be a bit difficult, the view from the top is absolutely worth the trouble. It is best to arrive early so that you can avoid the crowd. 

9. Battleship Missouri Memorial

This battleship is a witness, and a part of many wars and several historically important events took place on the boards of this ship. In 1945, several Japanese Ministers and Generals boarded this ship to sign the official documents for the surrender of Japan. This colossus frigate has been operated in the Middle East as well as in the Pacific region. You can join other tourists to take a tour of this ship and know more about the history of this battleship. Moreover, young tourists can stay back at the ship to spend a night in the bunkers as a true US sailor. 

10. Honolulu Beer Works

If you are a fan of beer then the Honolulu Beer Works is a place you will find interesting. This is a premium brewery in the entire state. This brewery is housed in an industrial spot and surrounded by the stylish and modern neighborhoods of Kaka’ako. The tasting room is an interesting combination of Hawaiian styled surfer shacks with a cool artsy vibe. You can taste a variety of beers such as the Pia Mahi’ai Farmer’s Beer and the spicy Delta hops. With the beer, you also get a menu containing delicious Pacific salmons and Italian styled hoagies.

11. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

This is a protected bay that is located near the Ko’olau Mountain range and is easily accessible from the streets of Honolulu. The water is astonishingly clear, and the beautiful coral gardens attract more than three thousand tourists every day. You can easily swim in the shallow water among the fishes. This bay houses a number of species of fish, and you will surely appreciate the marine biodiversity present here. 

12. National Memorial Cemetery

This memorial attracts a lot of visitors who pay their homage to the numerous battles in the Pacific region. This is also the location of the Honolulu Memorial which houses the soldiers who lost their lives during the Pearl Harbor attack. This place has a calmness and serenity that is addictive and if you visit Honolulu do not miss this spot.

13. USS Bowfin Submarine Museum

The USS Bowfin was commissioned to strengthen the navy during the Korean War. This submarine offers a glimpse into the life of sailors when they were stationed in this submarine and were out on patrol. You can see the onboard living quarters, the mess and the corridors. The most interesting section is the collection of a variety of weapons used by the submarine that also includes a Japanese Kaiten torpedo. If you are interested in submarines and wish to know the history of the various wars in the Pacific region, then a trip here is a must.

14. Koko Crater Trail

The Koko Crater Trail starts from the outskirts of the city and then slowly rises up along the Ko’olau Mountains. The path gives a glimpse of the countryside in the state. Walking along the sun-baked path among the cactuses and other plants is a nice way to spend an afternoon. 

15. Shangri La

Shangri La is an interesting piece of architecture that sits under the Diamond Head. The mansion combines designs and styles from Egypt and Iran. You will also see signs of Mughal architecture found in India. You will also see the Duke’s collection of treasures and artifacts from the Islamic world. 

These are the few things that you can do in Honolulu. This town has everything for everyone, and you will never have a dull moment in here. You will surely leave with a lot of memories in tow.

Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Honolulu

Check out the list of top tourist attractions in Honolulu! These are some inspiring things to do in Honolulu to create a wish list of your dream destinations.

  1. # 1 of 2091 Things To Do in Honolulu | Added 6169 times in trip plans
    U S S Arizona Memorial

    Tags: Memorial

    Address: 1 Arizona Memorial Place, Honolulu, Hawaii 96818

    Timings: 07:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The World remembers the fateful day when Pearl Harbor was attacked. It was an even that led to even more death and destruction than what it was a part of. The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center stands as a r...Read more

  2. # 2 of 2091 Things To Do in Honolulu | Added 1954 times in trip plans
    Diamond Head

    Tags: Outdoors, Trail

    Address: Diamond Head Tunnel, Honolulu, HI 96815, United States

    Timings: 06:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    Hiking through Hawaii is an experience in itself and the Diamond Head State Monument is no exception. Explore the historic trails and see a saucer-shaped crater formed 300,000 years ago! The hike take...Read more

  3. # 3 of 2091 Things To Do in Honolulu | Added 4341 times in trip plans
    Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

    Tags: Waterfront, Park, View Point, Walking Area

    Address: 100 Hanauma Bay Rd, Honolulu, HI 96825, United States

    Timings: 06:00 am - 07:00 pm Details

    Hanauma Bay is a glorious and rich bay not far from Waikiki that is sure to leave any traveler absolutely stunned. The semi-circular shoreline is home to the diverse flora and fauna of Hawaii. The ama...Read more

  4. # 4 of 2091 Things To Do in Honolulu | Added 6463 times in trip plans
    Waikiki Beach

    Tags: Beach

    Address: Wakiki Beach, Wakiki, Honolulu

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Hawaii is known for its sun sand and sea trinity. So why not enjoy exactly that on your visit to Honolulu? The Waikiki Beach is the perfect place for the beach lover. The buff sand and the blue sea be...Read more

  5. # 5 of 2091 Things To Do in Honolulu | Added 2445 times in trip plans
    Pearl Harbor

    Tags: Historical Site, Harbour

    Address: 1 Arizona Memorial Pl, Honolulu, HI 96818, United States

    Timings: 07:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Paying respect to the soldiers who lost their lives during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, the WW II Valor in the Pacific National Monument is the resting place of 1,1...Read more

  6. # 6 of 2091 Things To Do in Honolulu | Added 2970 times in trip plans
    Polynesian Cultural Center

    Tags: Entertainment, Performance

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

    Timings: 12:00 pm - 09:00 pm Details

    Hawaii's famous Luaus are celebrated by the Polynesian Cultural Center. Not just this, you will also be able to see the traditions of several other places from around the world that are beautifully di...Read more

  7. # 7 of 2091 Things To Do in Honolulu | Added 2087 times in trip plans
    USS Missouri

    Tags: Museum

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

    Timings: 08:00 am - 04:00 pm Details

    The USS Missouri is the exact place where the World War II formally ended. The Battleship Missouri served the nation during three tough wars- the World War II, the Korean War and the Operation Desert ...Read more

  8. # 8 of 2091 Things To Do in Honolulu | Added 4250 times in trip plans
    Iolani Palace

    Tags: Palace

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

    Timings: 09:00 am - 04:00 pm Details

    Iolani Palace stands for absolute opulence. The gorgeous palace with its exquisitely furnished rooms is a real sight to see and a popular tourist attraction in Honolulu. If you want to be taken back i...Read more

  9. # 9 of 2091 Things To Do in Honolulu | Added 1966 times in trip plans
    USS Bowfin Submarine Museum And Park

    Tags: Museum, Specialty Museum

    Address: 11 Arizona Memorial Dr, Honolulu, HI 96818, United States

    Timings: 07:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The USS Bowfin (SS-287) Submarine was launched on 7th December 1942, exactly a year after the Pearl Harbor attack and was named the ‘Pearl Harbor Avenger’. All through it service time, the...Read more

  10. # 10 of 2091 Things To Do in Honolulu | Added 4361 times in trip plans
    Manoa Falls

    Tags: View Point, Waterfall, Nature

    Address: 37 Manoa Rd, Honolulu, HI 96822, United States

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Manoa Falls are a beautiful attraction in the midst of nature and are a very popular tourist attraction in Honolulu. You need to take a short hike to see them but they are every bit worth the effort. ...Read more

  11. # 11 of 2091 Things To Do in Honolulu | Added 4270 times in trip plans
    National Memorial Cemetery Of The Pacific

    Tags: Memorial, Cemetery

    Address: 2177 PuowainaDr, Honolulu, HI, United States

    Timings: 08:00 am - 06:30 pm Details

    The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific is quite a somber place to visit in Honolulu. A stark reminder of those who lost their lives in World War II. It is also a very important burial place for...Read more

  12. # 12 of 2091 Things To Do in Honolulu | Added 3795 times in trip plans
    Bishop Museum

    Tags: Museum

    Address: 1525 Bernice Street Honolulu, HI 96817

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The Bishop Museum has a curious collection of all things Hawaii making it quite a popular tourist spot. The various travelling exhibits also make the place an interesting one to visit. The story of Ha...Read more

  13. # 13 of 2091 Things To Do in Honolulu | Added 1584 times in trip plans
    Ala Moana Center

    Tags: Shopping Center

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

    Timings: 09:30 am - 09:00 pm Details

    Known as the largest mall in Hawaii and the largest open-air shopping center in the world, the Ala Moana Center is just what you need if shopping is your fetish! Note many malls can boast about their ...Read more

  14. # 14 of 2091 Things To Do in Honolulu | Added 799 times in trip plans
    Koko Crater Trail

    Tags: Trail, Park, Hiking Trail

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

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Beginning with a hike of 1,048 steps built more than 60 years ago, the Koko Crater Trail is a treat of nature’s untouched pathways. The crater is home to a botanical garden where you can explore...Read more

  15. # 15 of 2091 Things To Do in Honolulu | Added 775 times in trip plans
    Makapuu Lighthouse Trail

    Tags: Light House, Trail

    Address: Waimanalo, HI 96795, United States

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    A pair of sturdy shoes and comfortable clothes and you are ready to explore the views that surround the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail. The trail takes you to a height of around 700 feet to reach the 100-ye...Read more

Activities And Tours

Explore these activities and tours for awesome experiences in Honolulu:

  • Save 10% Oahu Circle Island with Pearl Harbor Tour
    Oahu Circle Island with Pearl Harbor Tour19 Reviews

    Duration: 12 Hrs

    This 5 star tour highlights Oahus top spots in one adventurous day. Start your day with a trip to Pearl Harbor to visit the U...

    Book Now
  • Save 9% Oahu Shark Dive
    Oahu Shark Dive281 Reviews

    Duration: 2 Hrs

    Book the Oahu Shark Dive to enjoy a thrilling encounter with sharks! Cruise from Oahu's beautiful North Shore to your viewing...

    Book Now
  • Save 7% Half-Day Tour of Pearl Harbor from Honolulu
    Half-Day Tour of Pearl Harbor from Honolulu57 Reviews

    Duration: 4 Hrs 30 Mins

    Stand at ground zero of the infamous attack and gaze up at a sky once filled with enemy planes. This is the place where histo...

    Book Now
  • Save 7% Oahu Three Star Dinner Sunset Dinner and Show Cruise
    Oahu Three Star Dinner Sunset Dinner and Show Cruise78 Reviews

    Duration: 2 Hrs

    While the sun goes down, relax on a casual Honolulu dinner cruise on the beautiful Hawaiian waters off Diamond Head. Dine on ...

    Book Now