What to Do in Honolulu
Collected by Tommy Alexander , AFAR Staff
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."
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...
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...
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...
37 Manoa Rd, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
One of the shortest and usually easiest hikes on Oahu is on the Manoa Falls Trail. The trailhead is easy to find, with the Rainbow's End Snack Shop nearby. The trail can be a little treacherous in wet weather. The muddy path becomes quite slick. A...
1185 Kaluanui Rd, Honolulu, HI 96825, USA
Escape the hubbub of Honolulu and stretch your legs on this 4.4-mile, moderate, out-and-back path. Somewhat steep, this serious glute workout attracts a lot of trail runners, especially on the weekends. The hike begins among rocks and small...
Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
If there is one geological formation that represents the island of Oahu, and perhaps the entire state of Hawaii, it is Diamond Head. This crater, formed about 300,000 years ago, prominently sits right next to Waikiki and makes its way into many...
2335 Kalakaua Ave #116, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
Surfing legend Duke Kahanamoku grew up here, and you can dine amid his memorabilia at this kitschy Waikiki classic. Pair one of the restaurant’s signature mai tais with a pupu (appetizer) like ahi poke or panko-fried...
Kapiolani Park Beach, Diamond Head / Kapahulu / St. Louis Heights, HI 96815, USA
The Hawaiian Islands are made up of many more cultural groups than Hawaiian Islanders and white settlers. Located between Asia and North America, the blend of cultures is much different than the other 49 States. Every time I host guests in ...
Magic Island, Honolulu, HI 96814, USA
Even before I moved to Hawaii, I knew I wanted to be a part of the Lantern Floating Festival. It takes place on Memorial Day weekend in May at Ala Moana Park in Honolulu. An estimated 40,000 people turned out for the 2012 celebration where...
417 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA
Known today as the Hawaii Five-O headquarters façade, Aliiolani Hale means "house of the heavenly king" in the Hawaiian language. The building was designed under King Kamehameha V and served as a palace with government offices for the Kingdom of...
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...
49-227 Kamehameha Hwy # A, Kaneohe, HI 96744, USA
For one of the best tours in Hawaii, I send my friends and family to Tropical Farms. The talented, laid back, and comical tour guides provide an entertaining history of the Hawaiian Islands through the fruits that grow on the Islands - including...
Maunawili, HI 96734, USA
Eons of running water are responsible for Hawaii’s escarpments and canyons. After a rainfall, innocuous streams, pools, and waterfalls can swell to impressive sizes. For an easy hike, walk along the Maunawili Falls trail on Oahu to glimpse the...
2760 Round Top Dr, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
You are lucky the sun only rises and sets once a day on Hawaii—otherwise, you’d spend all of your time transfixed by the horizon. Hike to the leeward (eastern) side of any island on a clear evening and train your eye over the ocean in search of...
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,...
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,...
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