Things to do in Honolulu for an Epic Vacation: Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii, is a stunning tropical paradise that is a must-visit destination for any avid traveler. This breathtaking city boasts golden sand beaches, turquoise waters, lush green landscapes, and a vibrant culture that is sure to leave you enchanted.
Whether you’re looking for an adventure-packed vacation or a relaxing getaway, Honolulu has something for everyone.
From exploring the history and culture of the city at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, to indulging in the local cuisine at the famous food trucks on North Shore, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy during your visit to Honolulu.
Take a stroll through the Waikiki Beach Walk, a vibrant outdoor shopping and dining destination, or go for a hike up to the top of Diamond Head Crater for panoramic views of the island.
If you’re a fan of water activities, Honolulu has plenty to offer.
Snorkel with sea turtles at Hanauma Bay, surf the world-famous waves of the North Shore, or take a sunset cruise along the coast to catch a glimpse of the stunning Hawaiian sunset.
No trip to Honolulu would be complete without experiencing the rich culture of the island.
Attend a traditional Hawaiian luau, learn to hula dance, or visit the Bishop Museum to discover the history and traditions of the Hawaiian people.
With so much to see and do in Honolulu, it’s no wonder why it’s such a popular vacation destination.
So pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready for an epic vacation in paradise.
Here are the List of Things to do in Honolulu for an Epic Vacation
Waikiki Beach #1
Waikiki Beach is a world-famous destination that needs no introduction. Located in Honolulu, Hawaii, this iconic beach is renowned for its stunning views, crystal-clear waters, and warm tropical climate. It’s the perfect spot to soak up the sun, surf, or simply relax with a good book.
There’s no shortage of things to do at Waikiki Beach. Take a surf lesson or rent a stand-up paddleboard for an adventure on the water.
For a more laid-back experience, grab a beach towel and soak up the sun. You can also explore the many shops and restaurants located along the beachfront promenade.
One of the most iconic landmarks at Waikiki Beach is the Diamond Head volcanic crater. Hike to the top for breathtaking views of the beach and the surrounding cityscape. You can also catch a traditional Hawaiian hula show or attend a luau for a taste of local culture.
Hike Diamond Head State Monument #2
Hiking to the top of Diamond Head State Monument is a must-do activity for any visitor to Honolulu. This iconic volcanic crater offers stunning panoramic views of the city and the surrounding ocean, making it a popular spot for photographers and nature enthusiasts.
The hike to the summit is approximately 1.6 miles round trip and can be challenging, with steep stairs and uneven terrain.
However, the views from the top are worth the effort, and there are several rest stops along the way to catch your breath and enjoy the scenery.
At the summit, you’ll find a historic observation deck and a navigational lighthouse that dates back to 1917. From here, you can see all the way to the neighboring island of Molokai on a clear day.
Be sure to bring water and sunscreen, as the hike can be hot and exposed. Also, it’s recommended to wear sturdy footwear as the trail can be rocky in places.
Overall, hiking Diamond Head is a rewarding and memorable experience that should not be missed on a visit to Honolulu.
Explore Pearl Harbor #3
Pearl Harbor is a must-visit destination for history buffs and anyone interested in learning about one of the most significant events of the 20th century.
Located on the island of Oahu in Hawaii, this historic site is home to the USS Arizona Memorial, which honors the 1,177 sailors and Marines who died on the USS Arizona during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
In addition to the memorial, visitors can also explore the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, which features a WWII-era submarine and other exhibits related to naval warfare.
The Pacific Aviation Museum is also located on site, showcasing a variety of aircraft and artifacts from the Pacific theater of WWII.
With knowledgeable guides, fascinating exhibits, and breathtaking views, Pearl Harbor is an immersive and moving experience that should not be missed.
Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking to learn more about this pivotal moment in world history, Pearl Harbor is a must-see destination.
Visit Iolani Palace #4
If you’re planning a trip to Honolulu, visiting the Iolani Palace is a must-see destination. As the only royal palace in the United States, Iolani Palace offers a glimpse into the fascinating history of Hawaii’s monarchy.
The palace was built in 1882 by King Kalakaua and features stunning architecture and interior design elements that reflect the merging of Hawaiian and European styles.
As you explore the palace, you’ll see grand staircases, intricate woodwork, and beautiful artwork.
Visitors can take guided tours of the palace, which offer insights into the lives of Hawaii’s monarchs and the palace’s historical significance.
You’ll learn about the political and cultural changes that took place during the kingdom’s transition to a republic and eventually, to a state of the United States.
In addition to the palace itself, the surrounding grounds and gardens are also worth exploring. You’ll find statues, fountains, and beautiful flowers, providing a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown Honolulu.
Honolulu Zoo #5
If you’re an animal lover, a visit to the Honolulu Zoo should definitely be on your itinerary. Located in the heart of Waikiki, the zoo is home to over 900 different animals from around the world, including elephants, tigers, and monkeys.
One of the highlights of the zoo is the African Savanna exhibit, which features giraffes, zebras, and other African animals roaming in a spacious savanna-like environment.
You can even feed the giraffes for a unique and memorable experience.
Another must-see exhibit is the Komodo dragon, the largest species of lizard in the world. These fascinating creatures can grow up to 10 feet long and weigh up to 300 pounds.
For a more interactive experience, you can sign up for a behind-the-scenes tour or a “zoo camp” program for kids.
And don’t forget to check out the daily animal shows and feedings for a closer look at some of the zoo’s most beloved creatures.
Overall, the Honolulu Zoo is a fun and educational destination for visitors of all ages, and a great way to support conservation efforts for endangered species.
Go Surfing #6
If you’re planning a trip to Honolulu, surfing is an activity you absolutely must try.
With some of the best waves in the world, it’s no wonder that Hawaii is considered the birthplace of surfing. Waikiki Beach is the most popular spot for beginners, with gentle waves that are perfect for learning the basics.
If you’re more experienced, head to the North Shore, where the waves are bigger and more challenging.
There are plenty of surf schools and instructors available for lessons and rentals, so you can easily get started.
Make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen and a rash guard to protect your skin from the sun and rough surf.
With its warm tropical waters and stunning scenery, surfing in Honolulu is an unforgettable experience.
Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, don’t miss the chance to catch some waves during your trip to Hawaii.
What is the best time of year to visit Honolulu?
Honolulu is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit is from April to June or from September to November. During these months, the weather is pleasant, and there are fewer crowds compared to the peak summer months.
What are some family-friendly activities to do in Honolulu?
Honolulu has plenty of family-friendly activities to choose from. Some of the top options include visiting the Honolulu Zoo, going to the Waikiki Aquarium, and taking a submarine tour to see the marine life up close.