Honolulu

Honolulu Travel Guide

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.

Located in the Ala Moana shopping center, Panya Bistro is an offshoot of the Panya Bakery, a Japanese bakery founded by Alice and Annie Yeung. The bistro is a sort of expansion on the original bakery concept, providing customers with a full-service restaurant, a bakery, and a full bar.

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

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

The Honolulu Museum of Art is home to a 60,000-piece collection of art, with an emphasis on Asian works, including Buddhist and Shinto sculptures and Korean ceramics. More than 10,000 examples of Japanese ukiyo-ewoodblock prints comprise the James A. Michener collection.

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.

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.

Located in Chinatown, this Honolulu department store is easily recognizable by the words “LAI FONG” written in large red letters across the building’s slightly worn, white façade.

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.

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.

Located at the Moana Surfrider Hotel, the Beach Bar faces famous Waikiki Beach and provides customers with unparalleled views of the sand and water from beneath its signature banyan tree.

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.

Sit under a pink umbrella while drifting off to the island melodies of slack-key guitarist Ledward Ka’apana. Later, sip Hawaiian rum at the volcanic island’s new hot spot.

Make the trip to the zoo, pausing to inspect a massive immobile tortoise taking a dust bath, then gawping at the unlikely spectacle of an ambulating landmass, which turns out to be a black rhinoceros.

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.