Did you know that the United States’ only royal palace is located in Honolulu?
This special island is unlike anywhere else on the planet. The skies are almost always clear, there are white sand beaches, and the ocean is warm and welcoming. Since there are so many things on the island, visitors often feel overwhelmed.
To help you figure out the best things to do in Honolulu, we’ve written a guide. Keep reading and we’ll tell you what you need to know.
1. Take a Dip in Manoa Falls
You need to walk through the rainforest to get to these waterfalls, which are around one hundred and fifty feet tall. They plummet into a glittering pool that you can swim in if you’d like.
To get to the falls, all you need to do is make a two-mile hike. On the way, you’ll walk through a forest that’s so thick that sunlight barely peaks through the tree canopy.
Manoa Falls are so spectacular that they’re actually famous. Parts of Jurrasic Park and The Hunger Games: Catching the Fire were both filmed here.
If you’re also interested in visiting the Lyon Arboretum while in Honolulu, then you’re in luck. Since this arboretum is located next to Manoa Falls, it’s possible to visit both attractions on the same afternoon.
2. Swim with the Dolphins
Even though one of the most popular things people include on their bucket lists is to swim with dolphins, very few people actually get the opportunity to do it. But thanks to Dolphin Quest Oahu, it’s easier to do than you might think.
When you arrive at Dolphin Quest Oahu, you’ll find that there are several different packages to choose from. The simplest option is known as “encounters.” Those who purchase this package can wade through the dolphin pool and take photographs.
There are other packages for purchase that allow you to feed, touch, and play with the dolphins while snorkeling beside them.
3. Honolulu Shopping: Visit Waikiki
This popular neighborhood in Honolulu is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the entire island. People like to visit this neighborhood so that they can dine at top-rated restaurants and visit unique shops. The neighborhood also has various top-rated museums and resorts.
When you’re finished shopping, all you need to do is walk to the beach and take a dip in the clear blue sea.
Those who visit Waikiki in the springtime will also have the chance to attend the Honolulu Festival.
Since there are so many great hotels and resorts to stay at in Waikiki, tourists often change their minds after making reservations. This is why it’s important to know about the hgvc cancellation policy.
4. Go to the Mall: Ala Moana Center
If you go shopping at the Ala Moana Center, you’ll be able to tell your friends and family that you went to the world’s largest open-air shopping center. The Alo Moana Center is kind of like its own city. You’ll find many different shops, restaurants, and even a public amphitheater.
5. Hike to Diamond Head
Diamond Head is one of Honolulu’s many volcanoes. What makes it unique is that it offers spectacular views of the surrounding landscapes.
If you get hungry or thirsty while hiking to or from the summit, don’t worry. There are many shops and restaurants nearby.
6. Grab a Pastry at Leanard’s Bakery
When you first arrive at Leanard’s Bakery, you might wonder what the big deal is. The small shop has a vintage feel and is located in a residential part of the city.
But once you try one of Leanard’s signature malasadas, which are a kind of fried doughnut, you’ll know why this bakery is so popular.
7. Spend Time at the Polynesian Cultural Center
People who expect the Polynesian Cultural Center to be just another typical museum are blown away when they step through the entrance gates. This cultural center is actually more like a theme park than a museum.
It has six different villages, each of which represents a different part of the Polynesian islands, such as Fiji, Samoa, and Hawaii.
Each of the villages has different activities to participate in. You can play games and dance with poi balls in the Aotearoa village, and you can go canoeing in the Tonga village.
8. Go Downtown
There is never a dull moment in downtown Honolulu. This multicultural hotspot has the best restaurants and most popular resorts.
There are also several great things you can do with kids while you’re downtown. Two of the most popular places are the Wild Tiki Fun Zone and the Children’s Discovery Center.
It’s even possible to have a great time if you don’t have much money to spend because there are various plazas where skilled musicians play popular local tunes.
While visiting downtown Honolulu, you should also make sure to keep your eyes peeled for murals that have been painted by local artists.
9. Swim in Shark’s Cove
Many people come to Honululu for the single purpose of swimming in Shark’s Cove. If you’re afraid of sharks, fret not because there aren’t any. The area actually gets its name because the nearby coastline looks like a shark head to those who see it from above.
It’s possible to snorkel in sharks cove, but those who are adventurous go scuba diving into some of the caves and caverns.
10. Get Close to Wild Animals at the Honolulu Zoo
This zoo has more than nine hundred species, including some of the world’s rarest and most interesting animals. You’ll find poison-dart frogs, ferocious lions, and multi-colored insects.
Since many of the zoo’s animals are nocturnal, it’s possible to take tours at night. There is even a program known as “snooze at the zoo,” which lets you stay the night at the zoo and have a warm breakfast in the morning.
11. Pay Your Respects at Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor is one of the most important historical sights on the island. It was here that Japan made its surprise attack on the United States on December 7th, 1941.
This is one of the most popular Honolulu attractions. Make sure to visit the USS Arizona Memorial, which stands on top of the remains of the ship where more than seventeen hundred people lost their lives.
If you want to learn more about the history of the monument, consider visiting the visitor’s centers and museums that are located at the site.
12. Go on a Submarine: Atlantis Adventures
If you’ve ever dreamed of going on a submarine, then this is your chance. Atlantis Adventures has a submarine that can seat almost fifty people that takes tourists to the bottom of the sea.
While aboard, you’re likely to see large fish, sharks, eels, and coral reefs. People sometimes even report that they come across shipwrecks.
13. See the Halona Blowhole
This is one of the best things to see in Honolulu because it’s been featured in many photos and films.
It’s best to visit the blowhole when the tide is strong and when it’s windy because the water will spray higher into the air. If you’re there during the right time of year, you might even see a humpback whale while it makes its annual migration past the cove.
14. Take a Stroll in Kuhio Beach Park
This park has some of the best beaches in Honolulu. The park itself has a laid-back feel and doesn’t get too crowded. It’s a good place to head with your friends and family to lay out your beach towels and relax.
People often go to this park to visit the “Wizard Stones of Kapaemahu,” which legend says will heal those who visit them.
If you’re a photographer, don’t forget to bring your camera because it’s one of the island’s best places for photography.
15. Learn About Rare Plants at the Honolulu Botanical Gardens
The Honolulu Botanical Gardens are composed of several different botanical gardens which are located in various locations on the island. Each one has its own special flora and fauna.
For example, you’ll encounter a desert-like environment at the Koko Crater Botanical Garden since it’s located in the middle of a volcanic crater.
You might also find yourself interested in visiting the Wahiawa Botanical Garden. It’s located on a plateau. Since the temperatures are colder, it’s filled with many green plants and colorful flowers.
There Are Many Great Things to Do in Honolulu
If you’ve been trying to figure out the best things to do in Honolulu, remember that there are many great sights. If you’re with your family, consider going to swim with the dolphins. If you want to learn about the island’s cultural history, it’s a good idea to visit the Polynesian Cultural Center.
If you want to find out more about visiting the world’s top beach destinations, don’t forget to check out the Travel section of our website.