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Top Things To Do In Honolulu

You don't have to leave America to find white sand beaches, volcanoes, and active Polynesian culture — you only have to leave the continental United States. Hawaii offers a wildly different travel experience due to its island excursions, art, Hawaiian food, and a tropical backdrop. As the largest city and capital of Hawaii, Honolulu is a popular destination that’s earned its place as a common bucket list item. Still, no visit to Oahu would be complete without seeing all the island has to offer. Read the following list for things to do in Honolulu, a bustling island metropolis.

Photos don’t do the immaculate landscapes of Honolulu and greater Oahu justice. Visit any of the island’s attractions, there is a lot of fun to be had in Honolulu and around the island.

The best activities near Honolulu include:

  • Seeing the World War II valor in the Pacific National Monument
  • Visiting Diamond Head State Monument, a volcanic tuff on Oahu
  • Taking a seaside photo with a scenic background at Waikiki Beach
  • Seeing the island wildlife at Honolulu Zoo
  • Doing some upscale shopping at Ala Moana Center

With excursions taking up most of your time in Oahu, there’s plenty of affordable or even free activities to do when you’re back in the city. Whether it’s relaxing at the beach or watching whales, Honolulu has something for everyone.

Cheap attractions near Honolulu include:

  • Whale watching at Makapu’u Point
  • Seeing Friday night fireworks on Waikiki Beach
  • Gong to a Jose Dynamite & Friends Comedy Show at O’Toole’s Irish Pub
  • Seeing the views along The Lanikai Pillbox Hike
  • Exploring the Ko Olina Beach Lagoons

With so many tourist attractions around Honolulu to explore, there’s plenty to pack your trip with. Consider booking excursions to iconic waterfalls or walk around downtown to learn more about Honolulu’s storied past.

Popular attractions near Honolulu include:

  • Visiting ‘Iolani Palace, the residence of historic Hawaiian royalty
  • Boarding the USS Missouri Battleship Memorial
  • Visiting Aloha Tower, a lighthouse considered a Hawaiian landmark
  • Taking a leisurely walk along Lanikai Beach
  • Walking around the Koko Crater Trail

Leaving space in your itinerary to explore Honolulu is essential. Enjoying it’s natural beauty and lively culture are the best ways to experience the island like a local. Try touring coffee farms, finding a picnic spot, or going off-the-beaten-path.

Exciting activities near Honolulu include:

  • Touring of Hawaii State Capitol Building
  • Scaling the walls of Arch Project Climbing Center
  • Going on a self-guided tour at Green World Coffee Farm
  • Picnicking at the Kapiolani Park
  • Trying new things at Tikis Family Fun Center

Honolulu’s inviting atmosphere ensures that no time is wasted in this bustling island metropolis. Whether you want to sing karaoke or go on a nightly excursion, there’s always something to do at night in Honolulu.

Nighttime activities near Honolulu include:

  • Going on Nocturnal Adventures Hawaii’s stand-up paddle board at sunset
  • Singing your heart out with karaoke at Nocturna Lounge
  • Grouping up for trivia night at Osoyami Bar and Grill
  • Exploring the twilight tours at the Honolulu Zoo
  • Tasting craft cocktails and jazz at Lewers Lounge

Waikiki Beach is one of the best places to spend your Hawaiian weekend. Its sandy outskirts host charming restaurants, bars, shops, and more.

Weekend activities near Honolulu include:

  • Exploring the Hawaiian Railway Society’s historical railroad
  • Traversing the Spitting Caves of Portlock
  • Visiting Aloha Stadium Swap Meet, just 20 minutes away from Waikiki Beach
  • Having a personalized scuba diving experience with Reef Pirates Diving
  • Exploring the bustling Honolulu Chinatown

If you’re off to Hawaii on a family vacation, you’ll be excited to find plenty of fun things to do with the kids. You can even stay in the city to get your fill of adventure — go to the aquarium, botanical gardens, or water parks together.

Family-friendly attractions near Honolulu include:

  • Planning a marine history lesson at Waikiki Aquarium
  • Seeing the sea creatures at Sea Life Park Hawaii
  • Exploring island natural habitats at Foster Botanical Garden
  • Heading for a day trip to Wet’n’Wild Water Park Hawaii
  • Bouncing around at iTrampoline Hawaii

Romance is in the Hawaiian air. Lucky for couples, Honolulu date spots are found around every corner — book a romantic dinner for two or see the city’s natural beauty with your special someone.  

Date night ideas near Honolulu include:

  • Going skating at Ice Palace ice skating rink
  • Booking a sunset dinner at the Top of Waikiki’s Pacific Rim Restaurant
  • Seeing the stars at Waikiki Starlight Luau
  • Dining in the dark at Formaggio Grill
  • Listening to tunes together at Jazz Minds Honolulu Jazz Club

Honolulu is a great place to travel in groups. Whether you’re here with coworkers, family, or your best friends, there’s plenty of group attractions to experience in Honolulu.

Things to do with your friends near Honolulu include:

  • Making a group trip to Ala Moana Beach Park
  • Exploring the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park
  • Going on a Ko Hana Rum Tasting Tour at the Manulele Distillery
  • Kayak rentals and tours from Kailua Beach Adventures
  • Solving puzzles at the Mysteries of Hawaii Walking Tours

See the Oahu landscape from a different perspective. Arts, culture, dessert-making, and power yoga are just a few indoor attractions to experience on the island.

Things to do indoors near Honolulu include:

  • Going on a self-guided tour through Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum
  • Seeing contemporary art at Honolulu Museum of Art
  • Seeing authentic Hawaiian art pieces at Hawaii State Art Museum
  • Taking a Power Yoga Acroyoga class
  • Taking a Madre Chocolate Bean-to-Bar chocolate making class

There’s plenty of sightseeing to do in Honolulu and Oahu. Whether you want to dive under the shallow waters or go find a hidden waterfall, a lot of your time in here will be spent outdoors.

Best outdoor activities in Honolulu include:

  • Snorkeling in Hanauma Bay
  • Finding a panoramic view at Nu’uanu Pali Lookout
  • Seeing the iconic waterfalls at Manoa Falls
  • Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden, open daily and free of charge
  • Kailua Beach Park, which offers clear water, fine sand, and accessible aquatic activities

With so many attractions and places to visit that are unique to Honolulu, you may stumble upon under-the-radar spots by accident. That’s the best way to make your trip to Honolulu special.

Must-see places near Honolulu include:

  • Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, a WWII-focused museum presents historical aircraft, exhibits, and even a simulated flight experience
  • National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, where visitors can pay respects to past war veterans
  • Lyon Arboretum, which houses more than 5,000 thriving plants
  • Aloha Stadium, home to University of Hawaiʻi Rainbow Warriors football team
  • Visiting Shangri La, an Islamic-style mansion