Top 10 things to see and do in Honolulu

Top 10 things to see and do in Honolulu

Nestled between the white sand beaches and picturesque mountains of Hawaii lies Honolulu. This vibrant city is a melting pot of cultures, with influences from Japanese and Polynesian cultures co-existing with the traditional Americana style.

Whether you’re looking for a laid-back holiday or an active adventure, Honolulu is sure to provide you with incredible experiences that you won’t soon forget. To help you make the most of your time in this captivating city, here are the top 10 things to see and do in Honolulu!

Waikiki Beach

A visit to Honolulu wouldn’t be complete without spending some time at the famous Waikiki Beach. This world-renowned beach is known for its gentle waves, making it a great spot for swimming, surfing, and stand-up paddleboarding. Don’t miss out on strolling along the beachfront promenade, people watching, and soaking up the sunny Hawaiian days.

Private Surf Lesson at Waikiki BeachWaikiki Aquarium – A visit to Waikiki Beach isn’t complete without paying a visit to the Waikiki Aquarium. Located on the beach, this aquarium is home to an array of marine life including turtles, sharks, rays and many more. Explore the Hawaiian reef exhibit and get up close and personal with colorful tropical fish.

Kapiolani Park – Just a short walk away from Waikiki Beach lies Kapiolani Park, a favorite destination amongst locals and tourists alike. The park is packed with attractions such as tennis courts, playgrounds, an old-style carousel, food vendors and more. On any given weekend you can find families enjoying picnics or participating in some of the festivals hosted throughout the year.

Diamond Head

If you’re looking for breathtaking views of Honolulu, look no further than Diamond Head. This volcanic crater is one of the most iconic landmarks in Hawaii and can be seen from almost anywhere on the island.

Diamond Head is open to the public and there are a number of different ways to enjoy it. You can hike to the top of the crater for unbeatable views of Honolulu and the surrounding area. Or, take a leisurely stroll around the crater’s perimeter for some great photo ops.

The area is also home to several park trails, picnic areas and an observatory. If you’re looking for some of the best views in Hawaii, Diamond Head is a must-see.

No matter how you choose to experience Diamond Head, it’s sure to be a highlight of your trip to Honolulu!

Hanauma Bay

Snorkel Gears for Hanauma BayHanauma Bay is one of Honolulu’s top attractions, and for good reason. This stunning bay is home to a beautiful coral reef, making it perfect for snorkeling and swimming. There are also plenty of fish to see, including the colorful Hawaiian triggerfish. Hanauma Bay is also a great place to relax on the beach and take in the incredible views.

Be sure to visit Hanauma Bay before you leave Honolulu. Keep in mind that there is an entrance fee and that visitors must watch an educational film about the bay before entering.

Punchbowl National Cemetery

Punchbowl National Cemetery is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Honolulu. The cemetery is the final resting place for many U.S. servicemen and women who died in the Pacific Theater during World War II. The cemetery is also home to the national memorial to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the cemetery, which includes a stop at the Visitor Center. The Visitor Center features exhibits on the history of Punchbowl National Cemetery and the Pearl Harbor attack. Visitors can also watch a short film about the cemetery and pick up a free map of the grounds.

The best time to visit Punchbowl National Cemetery is early morning or late afternoon, when it is cooler and less crowded. The cemetery is open daily from 8:00am to 5:00pm.

Shangri La

Shangri La is one of Honolulu’s most popular tourist attractions. The beautiful gardens and architecture make it a must-see for anyone visiting the city. Shangri La is open daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Admission is free for children under 12, and $5 for adults.

The gardens of Shangri La are filled with vibrant colors and fragrances, and feature a variety of plants from around the world. Visitors can stroll through the gardens, enjoy the water features, or take part in one of their many activities such as yoga or tai chi classes.

Shangri La also offers guided tours that explore the history, art and architecture of the gardens. Here visitors can see works by famous artists like Frank Lloyd Wright and Isamu Noguchi.

Finally, guests can visit Shangri La’s museum galleries to learn more about Islamic art and culture. The galleries feature rotating exhibitions of artwork from around the world, including pieces from India, Japan, China and Central Asia.

Lanikai Beach

Diamond head crater & Kailua / lanikai beach dayAs one of the most beautiful beaches in Hawaii, Lanikai Beach is a must-see when visiting Honolulu. With its powdery white sand and turquoise waters, the beach is truly a paradise. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, kayaking, and windsurfing.

Lanikai Beach is also home to the large Mokulua Islands, which are situated just off the shore. These two islands make for a great spot to have a picnic or simply relax and take in the breathtaking views.

The beach is very busy during peak hours so it’s best to arrive early if you plan on enjoying a peaceful day of relaxation. Amenities at Lanikai Beach include restrooms, showers, and lifeguards. There are also plenty of restaurants and shops nearby.

Kailua Beach Park

Kailua Beach Park is one of the most beautiful and popular beaches in Honolulu. The sparkling white sand and clear blue water make it a perfect place to relax and enjoy the incredible views. There are also plenty of activities to keep you busy, including swimming, sunbathing, paddle boarding, and windsurfing.

The park has a great number of amenities, such as restrooms, showers, picnic tables, and grills. There are also plenty of food stands to get snacks and drinks. The beach park is also home to a variety of birds and other wildlife, making it a great place for animal lovers. With its stunning scenery, excellent amenities, and fun activities, Kailua Beach Park is one of the best places to visit in Honolulu.

Honolulu Zoo

The Honolulu Zoo is located in the heart of Waikiki and is one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island. The zoo is home to over 1,230 animals from more than 170 species, making it one of the largest zoos in the United States.

Some of the most popular animals at the zoo include lions, tigers, elephants, giraffes, and monkeys. The zoo also has a reptile house, an aviary, and a children’s petting zoo. Visitors can take advantage of several educational programs offered by the zoo, including behind-the-scenes tours and animal encounters.

The zoo is open daily from 9am to 4:30pm, and there are several restaurants and snack stands located around the grounds. Admission to the Honolulu Zoo is free for children under 3, and discounted rates are available for seniors, students, and military personnel.

Sea Life Park Hawaii

Sea Life Park Hawaii is one of the top tourist attractions in Honolulu. The park is home to a variety of marine life, including dolphins, seals, sea lions, sharks, and turtles. Visitors can interact with the animals through a variety of programs, such as swimming with dolphins and feeding stingrays. The park also has a number of educational exhibits that teach visitors about the ocean ecosystem and the importance of conservation.

Sea Life Park is located on the southeastern shore of Oahu, just a few minutes from Honolulu International Airport. Visitors can easily get to the park via private car or public transportation. The park is open seven days a week, year-round and admission is free for children under four years old.

Snorkling and whale watching

Snorkeling and whale watching are two of the most popular tourist activities in Honolulu. There are many different snorkeling and whale watching tours available, so it is important to do some research before booking a tour.

When snorkeling in Honolulu, it is important to wear sunscreen and to drink plenty of water. The sun can be very intense, and it is easy to become dehydrated. There are many different types of fish that can be seen while snorkeling in Honolulu. Some of the most common include: parrotfish, triggerfish, angelfish, and clownfish.

Whale watching is also a popular activity in Honolulu. Humpback whales can often be seen from the shore, and there are also whale watching tours available. When going on a whale watching tour, it is important to dress warmly as the weather can be cool out on the water.

Pearl Harbor USS Arizona Memorial

The USS Arizona Memorial is a memorial located in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It was opened on May 30, 1962 and commemorates the 1,102 sailors and Marines killed aboard the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941.

USS Arizona Memorial Deluxe TourThe memorial consists of a white marble structure that spans the sunken battleship and has a shrine room in the center with walls listing the names of all those who perished aboard her. Visitors can view the memorial from an observation platform at one end of the structure or take a guided tour to access shrines and other features within it. The memorial is operated by the National Park Service and is open daily from 7am-5pm.

The memorial is a powerful reminder of the tragedy that occurred at Pearl Harbor and serves as a reminder of those who sacrificed their lives in service to their country. It is also a place of reverence and respect, especially for those who lost loved ones in the attack. The USS Arizona Memorial has become an iconic symbol of American patriotism and courage, as well as a solemn reminder of the cost of war.


With its white sand beaches, lush green rainforests, and vibrant culture, Honolulu is a destination like no other. From catching the sunrise atop Diamond Head to exploring historic sites such as Pearl Harbor, there’s plenty of amazing things for visitors to experience in this magical city. Whether you’re looking for an adventure or simply want to relax on the beach with a good book in hand – make sure that you take some time out of your vacation schedule to explore all that Honolulu has to offer!