12 Must-Do Experiences in Honolulu
Collected by Andrea Rip, AFAR Local Expert
Only steps away from any accommodation in Honolulu are numerous must-do Hawaiian experiences that introduce visitors to the aloha spirit of Oahu. These must-do Honolulu experiences include learning hula, lei making, discovering the past, and playing in the ocean waves, and offer visitors the opportunity to create Honolulu-style tropical memories to take home with them.
2201 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
A stroll down Kalakaua Avenue is always great for people watching, shopping, and dining. In September 2013, the Royal Hawaiian Center reopened the Helumoa Hale and Royal Grover on Kalakaua. This beautiful grove provides authentic Hawaiian hula,...
1525 Bernice St, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA
The largest museum in Hawaii studies and preserves the history of the islands and the Pacific—for those interested in local culture, it's a must. The Victorian building originally housed family heirlooms from Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop,...
Honolulu, HI, USA
There's a certain kind of peace that one feels when basking in the Waikiki sun. You go there, banana daiquiri on one hand, and a trusty old camera on the other. You capture the moment and say to yourself, "ahh...this is paradise."
4303 Diamond Head Rd, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA
Get the total Oahu vibe of this most-visited Hawaiian Island just as the locals do. After two years of living "on island," snorkeling at North Shore, shopping at farmers' markets, getting hammered at Buzz’s and partying in Chinatown, here's the...
2169 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
In Honolulu, just a couple blocks off Kalakaua Avenue sits the Outrigger Reef on the Beach hotel. The open-air lobby with several shops on the ground floor and a tropical garden near the entry make this hotel a quieter and beautiful place to stay...
Hanauma Bay, Hawaii 96825, USA
Hawaii's waters boast an exciting wealth of biodiversity, accessible with a swimsuit and a snorkel. The rocky shores of Richardson Beach on the Big Island are a favorite jumping-off point for humans and sea turtles alike, while the island’s...
41-202 Kalanianaʻole Hwy, Waimanalo, HI 96795, USA
Sea Life Park is well-known for their dolphin shows and encounters, and is a park not to be missed. You can easily experience the whole park in a few hours. If you book through a hotel, your transportation is included, and if booking a dolphin...
55-370 Kamehameha Hwy, Laie, HI 96762, USA
When you're ready to see more of Oahu than just Waikiki, spend a day at the Polynesian Cultural Center. This Mormon-owned (but non-proselytizing) cultural center employs many BYU Hawaii students (the campus is next door), and takes pride in having...
Pearl Harbor, HI 96701, USA
Every December 7 at Pearl Harbor, there is a memorial to those who died in the awful attacks that day in 1941. Survivors gather here, though fewer every year remain alive. Oil still rises from where the USS Arizona lies in the harbor. The horrific...
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