Bucket List: Tourist Attractions and Best Things to do in Honolulu, Hawaii
Honolulu is the capital of Hawaii. It is the main entry point for most visitors to the state. It is easily accessible by direct flights from North America, Asia, and various destinations around the South Pacific. The city is a major tourist destination with tourists coming from all over the globe to enjoy the beaches and the city’s tropical climate. There are many things to do in Honolulu which will make your trip to this city memorable.
Top 10 things to do in Honolulu
Explore Pearl Harbor
This is the largest natural harbor in Hawaii, and it is called Pearl Harbor because of the numerous pearls that were once harvested from its depths. It is an active naval base, and it is home to several attractions which are part of the World War II Valor in the Pacific Monument. You can also go to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, where you will learn about the tragic 1941 attack and other aspects of the harbor’s natural and military history.
Have fun at Waikiki
This is located on the southern shore of Honolulu, and it is famous for its high-end resorts, shopping, entertainment, and dining; the neighborhood also has a stunning beach to relax. Visiting Waikiki is one of the top things to do in Honolulu. You should also see the Royal Hawaiian Center and International Marketplace, tourist hotspots. There are many restaurants and boutiques that you can go to along Kuhio and Kalakaua Avenues. The area also has vibrant nightlife as cafes and nightly entertainment on the boardwalk.
Take up your surfboards and hit the waves
One of the top things to do in Honolulu and your trip will not be complete in this fun-loving, surf-mad capital without you trying out the most popular pastimes of locals. There are many surf spots in Honolulu which are popular across the globe, which you can visit. You can take the crashing Bowls of Ala Moana and the adjoining park where the reefs and the sandbars provide the perfect barrels. If you are a beginner, you can try out surfing at Waikiki.
Hike up the Diamond Head State Monument
This is the most recognizable natural landmark in Hawaii, and it has a diamond head which is how it came by its name. The milestone is located on the eastern portion of Waikiki’s coastline, and it was once a crucial part of the island’s coastal defense. You can hike up the steep trail of this monument, and you will see a huge lighthouse built in 1917 and bunkers, and the Fire control station which controls artillery at the Fort Ruger and Waikiki. You will get a panoramic view of the shoreline below from this monument.
Go sightseeing in Chinatown.
Chinatown is sandwiched between the downtown and the residential area of the Kalihi-Palama, and it is among the largest and most original Oriental districts in the United States. You will visit the Maunakea Marketplace, and the smells and sights of numerous stacks of tropical fruits and meats around Oahu Market will welcome you. You can also see impressive temples like the Japanese Shinto shrine, and you can feed your taste buds with Chinese foods at various restaurants.
Have fun at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
The bay was formed within the crater of an ancient volcano, and it was a popular snorkeling destination before it got polluted and damaged by overuse. The restoration efforts started in 1990 brought the bay back to its former glory, and you will be able to enjoy the reef and the diverse aqua faunas found there. The number of visitors here is limited, and you will be required to watch an educational video so that while you are there, you will not harm the reef and ecosystem.
Visit Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design
This is one of the top things to do in Honolulu; you will see a complete collection of the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, the museum feature. The museum’s highlight is the ceramic art, tile-work which includes medieval Persian examples. You will also get to see textiles, glass, wood, and decorative objects from Spain, India, The Middle East, and Asia. The museum collection is up to 2,500 pieces.
Go sightseeing at Lolani Palace
This is an ancestral home of the Kalakaua Dynasty, located in the Honolulu downtown. You will love the unique architecture and build of this Neoclassical building which contrasts with the modern facilities. The palace was built by David Kalakaua, who traveled around Asia, Europe, and Africa to find inspiration for this palace. The exhibitions in the museum are around the personal collections of the Queen Liliuokalani and King Kalakaua with military artifacts and regular performances by the royal bands.
Visit Bishop Museum and Planetarium
This is a state museum that homes one of the best collections of Polynesian arts and artifacts in the state. The permanent exhibits in the museum are kahills and Hawaiian feathered capes, and helmets. The museum’s first floor is dedicated to Kai Akea, a world of Hawaiian legend. The other area of the museum focus on the region’s natural history and collections of artifacts from the South Pacific and object that was brought by the Japanese, Korean, German, Filipino, Chinese, Portuguese, and other early settles.
Explore the Mission Houses Museum
This museum will see three historical properties from the early 19th century. The homes were listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and it documents the lives and living conditions of the early missionaries. The properties were the oldest Western-style building that is still standing, and they are the Mission House, Chamberlain House, the printing works built by Levi Chamberlain.
Go swimming with the sharks in the Pacific
If you want an adrenaline-pumping adventure, swimming with the sharks is suitable for you. You will go on a trip to the roaring swells off the northern coast, where sharks sighting is common. You will be inside a secure steel cage which will be lowered into the water, and you will get to watch different species of sharks like grey reef sharks, hammerheads sharks, sandbar sharks, and Galapagos sharks. You will get to see rare green sea turtles, colossal humpback whales if you are lucky.
Visit the USS Bowfin
This is a museum that offers a glimpse of the life of US seamen during the years of conflict between 1942 and 1945 and the days of the Korean War. This is not a place to miss as you will walk through the mess rooms and corridors, visit the onboard living quarters and control rooms, all with the aid of a recorded audio guide. You will also see the memorial to all American submariners who lost their lives during World War II.
Go on walking at the Koko Crater Trail.
You can go on a walking trail at the southern fringes of the city as you go up the volcanic foothills of the Ko’olau Mountains and above the waters of the stunning Hanauma Bay. You will get a glimpse of the rugged backcountry of the Aloha State as you walk the streets of Portlock. You will get a 360-degree view of the south-eastern Oahu coast if you follow the disused train tracks, climb the ridges, and weave back the scrublands and rocks.
Visit the USS Arizona Memorial
This is the most visited tourist attraction in Hawaii, and it is among Pearl Harbor’s locations which are part of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. You will get a free tour of the memorial, which will begin at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, where you will watch a film about the attack and its historical context before you will then board the U. S Navy boat and then be taken to the memorial. You will then get to see the names of all who lost their lives when the ship was bombed.
Tour the Honolulu Beerworks
You should visit the Honolulu Beer Works, which brings the island’s numerous communities together with hops and barley creations. The brewery is located in the industrial depot between the streets of the stylish and edgy neighborhood of Kaka’ako. The tour’s highlight is the tasting room which fuses the salt-washed character of Hawaii’s surfer shack with a vibrant artsy vibe. You can try out the various beers, and there are diners with Italian-style hoagies and Pacific salmon-packed taro buns.
Our Top Hotel Picks for Honolulu, Hawaii
Honolulu Travel and Tour Packages
iVenture Honolulu Flexi Attractions Pass
- Enter your choice of 3 or 5 top Honolulu attractions, including Kualoa Ranch, a volcano tour, and a catamaran cruise.
- Have extended choices from water activities, guided tours, and museums.
- A free color handy guide with helpful information on participating attractions comes with the card.
Honolulu is filled with tourist attractions and activities that you can try out, and you will love the weather, which will keep you here for a long time.
Find Hotels in Honolulu, Hawaii according to your budget via Agoda.
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