Aloha! Honolulu, the vibrant capital city of Hawaii, is a tropical paradise that seamlessly blends the rich cultural heritage of the islands with the conveniences of a modern metropolis. Nestled on the island of Oahu, this bustling urban center is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty.

Top things to do while in Honolulu

Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach, located on the island of Oahu in Hawaii, is a world-renowned destination known for its stunning beauty and vibrant atmosphere. This crescent-shaped, palm-fringed beach boasts golden sands and warm, turquoise waters, making it an ideal spot for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports like surfing and paddleboarding. Against the backdrop of the iconic Diamond Head crater, Waikiki Beach is not only a natural paradise but also a hub of activity, with an array of hotels, restaurants, shops, and entertainment options lining its bustling shores. Whether you’re looking to relax in the sun, catch a wave, or soak up the lively Hawaiian culture, Waikiki Beach offers a quintessential Hawaiian experience.

USS Arizona Memorial

The USS Arizona Memorial in Honolulu, Hawaii, is a solemn and poignant tribute to the tragic events of December 7, 1941, when Pearl Harbor was attacked, which drew the United States into World War II. The memorial is built over the sunken remains of the USS Arizona battleship, which still entombs the remains of over 1,000 servicemen who lost their lives during the attack. Visitors can access the memorial via a short boat ride, where they can pay their respects, reflect on the history, and view the “Wall of Remembrance” inscribed with the names of those who perished. The USS Arizona Memorial stands as a reminder of the sacrifices made during that fateful day and serves as a symbol of peace and reconciliation.

Diamond Head

Diamond Head, often referred to as Leahi by locals, is a renowned volcanic crater and iconic landmark located near Waikiki in Honolulu, Hawaii. The name “Diamond Head” was coined by 19th-century British sailors who mistook the calcite crystals in the crater for diamonds. The hike to the summit of Diamond Head offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city of Honolulu, the sparkling Pacific Ocean, and the lush Oahu landscape. The moderately challenging trail takes you through a tunnel and up a series of stairs to reach the summit, rewarding hikers with an unforgettable vista that makes it one of Oahu’s most popular outdoor activities. This natural wonder not only offers a fantastic hiking experience but also a chance to appreciate the geological history and beauty of the Hawaiian Islands.

Iolani Palace

Iolani Palace, located in downtown Honolulu, is a historic and architectural gem that holds a special place in Hawaiian history. Built in 1882 during the reign of King Kalakaua, it served as the official residence of the Hawaiian monarchs until the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893. The palace is a masterpiece of Hawaiian architecture, featuring a blend of European and indigenous Hawaiian design elements, including ornate koa wood furniture and beautiful stained glass. Today, Iolani Palace is a museum that offers guided tours, allowing visitors to step back in time and learn about the rich heritage and royal history of Hawaii. It stands as a symbol of Hawaii’s royal past and its enduring cultural significance.

Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay, situated on the southeastern coast of Oahu, is a stunning and protected marine nature preserve renowned for its crystal-clear waters and vibrant underwater ecosystem. This crescent-shaped bay was formed within a volcanic crater and is a popular destination for snorkeling and underwater exploration. The bay is home to a diverse array of marine life, including colorful fish and coral reefs. To protect this delicate ecosystem, Hanauma Bay has implemented strict guidelines for visitors, including an educational video briefing on marine conservation and responsible snorkeling practices. It’s a beautiful place to appreciate the natural beauty of Hawaii both above and below the water’s surface.

Waikiki Aquarium

The Waikiki Aquarium, nestled along the shores of Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, is a fascinating destination for those interested in marine life and the unique ecosystems of Hawaii. Founded in 1904, it is one of the oldest public aquariums in the United States. The aquarium features a diverse collection of Pacific marine species, including Hawaiian monk seals, sea turtles, colorful tropical fish, and mesmerizing coral displays. Visitors can learn about the region’s marine conservation efforts and gain a deeper understanding of Hawaii’s rich aquatic biodiversity. The Waikiki Aquarium offers an educational and engaging experience for all, making it a great complement to a day at the beach or exploring the island’s natural wonders.

Manoa Falls

Manoa Falls is a captivating waterfall located in the lush and verdant Manoa Valley, just a short drive from downtown Honolulu on the island of Oahu. The falls cascade gracefully from a height of approximately 150 feet (46 meters) into a serene pool below, surrounded by dense tropical foliage. A well-maintained hiking trail leads visitors through the enchanting rainforest, providing a relatively easy hike suitable for most fitness levels. The journey to Manoa Falls offers the opportunity to immerse oneself in Hawaii’s stunning natural beauty, including towering bamboo forests and vibrant flora. It’s a popular destination for nature lovers and hikers seeking a tranquil escape from the bustling city.