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.

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.

In the mall next to the iconic Aloha Tower, this shop has hundreds of unique pieces of island jewelry in sterling silver and 14-karat gold, Chinese jade, puka shell, and Tahitian black pearl, many with tasteful designs of tropical flowers and hula girls.

Ride TheBus, and stop at historic Diamond Head Lighthouse, on the Eastern end of Waikiki Beach.

Located in the Halekulani Hotel, Lewers Lounge evokes the feel of New York’s swankiest cocktail bars with a touch of Hawaiian hospitality. The cocktail menu was crafted by Dale DeGroff, who enjoyed a stint at New York’s famed Rainbow Room.

The largest open-air flea market in Hawaii, the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet takes place every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday in the parking lot surrounding the stadium. More than 700 local merchants set up tents, selling a wide variety of imported, handmade, and vintage goods.

Tobacco heiress Doris Duke stipulated in her will that her opulent and fanciful home (called Shangri La) on the shores of Diamond Head be turned into a museum.