Things to Do in Honolulu

Finding fun and interesting things to do in Honolulu is a breeze, as this Hawaiian capital city is full of great opportunities for travelers. Among the Honolulu attractions are a world-class beach, an extinct volcanic crater, and a number of inviting shops and restaurants. Golfing at the Ala Wai Golf Course is also an option when it comes to things to do in Honolulu, and when you combine all of the attractions here, there really is something for everyone. The following Honolulu attractions and activities are just some of the things that you won't want to miss during your Honolulu vacation.


The Honolulu neighborhood of Waikiki is one of the world's most famous beach destinations, and you can bet that most Oahu visitors look to spend at least a few days here. Waikiki Beach is what attracts most visitors to Waikiki, as it's not only a great place to sunbathe, but also to people-watch. Honolulu attractions such as Kapiolani Park help make Waikiki such a hot destination, and the numerous lodging choices also lend to its overall popularity. Great shopping, fantastic dining options, and a lively nightlife scene are just some of the other things that make spending time in Waikiki one of the top things to do in Honolulu.

Waikiki Aquarium

Even if you don't plan on spending a lot of time in Waikiki during your Oahu vacation, dropping in on the neighborhood to visit the Waikiki Aquarium is strongly recommended. Sharks, eels, monk seals, and green sea turtles are just some of the fascinating marine creatures you can view on your trip to the aquarium, which also boasts a chambered nautilus that is the only living mollusk of its kind to be born in captivity. Kids and adults alike are bound to enjoy the interactive displays, as well as the other exhibits. When it comes to Honolulu Hawaii attractions that are family-friendly, few rival the Waikiki Aquarium.

Diamond Head Crater

The Diamond Head Crater, which lies on the eastern edge of Waikiki, is one of the top attractions in all of Hawaii, partly because of the stunning views from its summit. This extinct volcanic crater rises some 750 feet from sea level, and though the hike to the top takes around 30 minutes, it is a fairly easy one that most visitors can handle. When it comes to top Honolulu activities, hiking to the summit of Diamond Head certainly deserves a mention.

Cruises and Boat Tours

Honolulu is a great place to be if you are interested in Oahu boat tours. In Honolulu, numerous companies offer dinner cruises and sunset cruises, as well as general sightseeing boat tours. As such, enjoying a cruise or boat tour is one of the top Honolulu activities. Most of the Honolulu cruises and boat tours only last a couple of hours, so they are easy to include on the itinerary. Round trip transportation is available to Honolulu visitors who are also looking to enjoy boat tours at other Oahu destinations. On the island's leeward coast, destinations such as Waianae and the Ko Olina Resort & Marina are ideal for whale watching cruises and dolphin swims.


Exploring the city streets by foot is one of the top Honolulu activities, and while you're walking around town, it's recommended that you venture into Chinatown for a look. This vibrant neighborhood is home to a mix of peoples, including those of Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, and Thai descent. As one might imagine, shopping is among the top things to do in Honolulu's Chinatown, as there is an array of interesting stores to duck into.

Honolulu Botanical Gardens

Botanical gardens figure among the top Honolulu Hawaii attractions, partly because these gardens provide a quiet place to relax in the middle of a busy city. There are five gardens that are part of the collection of Honolulu Botanical Gardens, and while most can be found outside the city limits, there is one that lies right in the heart of Honolulu. The Foster Botanical Garden is one of the oldest Honolulu Botanical Gardens, and its collection of tropical plants is nothing short of impressive.

Kawaiahao Church

The Kawaiahao Church, which dates back to 1842, is one of the Honolulu attractions that you won't want to miss if history and culture interest you. This church was the first Christian church to be built in Hawaii, and the portraits of Hawaiian Royalty found inside are fascinating. Admission is free at the Kawaiahao Church, and when you're not exploring the church itself, you can take some time to admire the Mausoleum of King Lunalilo, which is found in the church cemetery.

Events in Honolulu

Concerts, wine tastings, street festivals, and art shows figure among the numerous events in Honolulu, so checking the schedule is always a good idea when planning an Oahu vacation. A Honolulu luau is an event that most visitors look to add to the itinerary, and if you find yourself in Honolulu on the last Saturday before June 11, the King Kamehameha Celebration and Floral Parade is an event that you will be privileged to take part in. The colorful parade is reason enough to plan your Honolulu trip around the King Kamehameha Celebration and Floral Parade. Summer travelers might also consider attending the Pan-Pacific Festival, which takes place in early June. This festival, which highlights the various cultures of the Pacific islands, also features a colorful parade, not to mention a half-marathon and an exciting block party.

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