Honolulu

Things to do in Honolulu

You'll likely spend most of your time here at the beach. For those times when you're not digging your toes into the soft sand, turn to this list of top things to do in Honolulu.

Catch a live performance of either an off-Broadway play or musical at the Diamond Head Theater.

For the largest collection of Asian, Western, and Islamic art in Hawaii, head to the Honolulu Museum of Art. 

The Aloha Stadium, located near Pearl Harbor, holds many American football and soccer paraphernalia. It's a great family-friendly way to spend an afternoon.

Thousands of animals, including mammals, reptiles, and birds, are on view at the Honolulu Zoo. The zoo offers gardens where you can relax and hosts overnight family camping trips.

History buffs flock to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Pair your excursion with a guided tour through Pearl Harbor to view the USS Arizona, which was bombed during World War II.

Hawaiian monarchs still reside at the grand Iolani Palace. Take one of the guided tours or classes, or attend one of the free music events, which take place each Friday.

The Veranda at the Kahala Hotel & Resort transports guests to a bygone era in Hawaii’s history. This plantation-inspired lounge overlooks the resort’s Dolphin Lagoon with both indoor and and al fresco seating.

A National Historical Landmark, ‘Iolani Palace is the official residence of Hawaii’s monarchy. Built by King Kalakaua in 1882, the fortress was home to both Kalakaua and his sister Queen Lili’uokalani.

Owned by the Kona Brewing Company, the Koko Marina Pub is located on the docks of the Koko Marina Center and provides diners with expansive views of the marina and the surrounding mountains.

Founded with the purpose of promoting Hawaii as a bastion of the arts and fostering artistic relations between the east and west, thirtyninehotel is part art gallery, part performance venue.

Located at the east end of Waikiki, Kapiolani Park is home to Hawaii’s famous Diamond Head (a volcanic crater), as well as the Honolulu Zoo. The park is named after Queen Kapiolani, the wife of King Kalakaua, and was established in the 1870’s.

This shop offers a vast treasure trove of Japanese antiques, from lacquered 19th-century chests to small combs.

Henry Adaniya might be the city’s most improbable new restaurateur. He closed his acclaimed Chicago restaurant Trio—where chefs Rick Tramonto and Grant Achatz made their names—to bring the upscale hot dog craze to Honolulu in 2007.

In the 1990’s the project committed $585 million in public and private funds to transform eight acres of dive bars and budget hotels within an elbow of land framed by Lewers Street, Fort DeRussy Park, and Kalakaua Avenue.

This slightly off-the-beaten-path bar in Chinatown is known among locals for its impressive selection of beers — more than 150 from around the world.

Some of the most envied views in town of curved Waikiki Beach can be had from this 30th-floor restaurant, accessed by a ride in a glass elevator. It’s somewhat touristy, sure, but the view is amazing, the food stacks up, and it’s been a Waikiki favorite for decades.

Two native Oahu women lead hiking and driving adventures that focus on the local cultural heritage, sacred sites, and the fragile environment.

Opened in 1994, this eatery has been at the forefront of Chinatown’s trendy renaissance.

Hours are easily whiled away digging through the hodgepodge of Hawaiian paintings, Depression glass, aloha shirts, collectible toys, costume jewelry, and kitschy hula girl figurines at this circa-1997 shop.

Segway of Hawaii provides tours of the island of Oahu on wheeled, human gliders. A number of excursions are available, including the Diamond Head and Waikiki Tour, as well as the Honolulu History Tour.

One of the last of the old-school tiki bars, this everyman’s establishment has occupied the waterfront of Keehi Lagoon for more than five decades—in a location even island residents rarely get to.