Things to do in Honolulu

From shark dives to scenic hikes, you get a real island mix of things to do in this Polynesian capital.

Our most recommended things to do in Honolulu

Honolulu: Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona, and City Tour

1. Honolulu: Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona, and City Tour

Spend the day visiting the most important historical sites and landmarks of Honolulu, Hawaii. Visit Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona Memorial, Iolani Palace, Kawaiahao Church, the Hawaii State Capitol, Honolulu City Hall, and more. Begin your tour with a visit to Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Enjoy the exhibits, galleries, and displays before boarding a Navy boat shuttle for a tour of the harbor along “Battleship Row.” Step off the boat to explore the USS Arizona Memorial, then continue to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl Crater. See the historical landmark against a backdrop of rolling hills and lush foliage. Wrap up your experience with a narrated tour of downtown Honolulu. Spot the impressive state buildings and learn about the Iolani Palace, the official residence of Hawaii’s last reigning monarch and the only royal palace in the United States. Make your way to the Hawaii State Capitol grounds. See the Eternal Flame, Korean and Vietnam War Memorials, Liberty Bell, the majestic statue of King Kamehameha, and Kawaiahao Church.

Waikiki: Turtle Canyons Cruise and Snorkel Excursion

2. Waikiki: Turtle Canyons Cruise and Snorkel Excursion

Experience the magical underwater world of sea turtles. Dive under the waves with a snorkel and see the rainbow of tropical fish. Connect with the wide array of stunning marine life on this immersive tour. Start off with a cruise along the coast, where you can potentially spot spinner dolphins and humpback whales during the wither months. Once at the Turtle Canyons, you’ll get a brief lesson on snorkeling and your snorkeling equipment.  Snorkel alongside the sea turtles and tropical sea life under the supervision of a certified lifeguard, returning to the boat whenever you please to relax with complimentary refreshments.

Honolulu: USS Arizona Memorial & Battleship Missouri Visit

3. Honolulu: USS Arizona Memorial & Battleship Missouri Visit

Visit Pearl Harbor and discover what really happened on that fateful day in 1941. Benefit from guaranteed access to the USS Arizona Memorial and board the Battleship Missouri on Ford Island. Start with a convenient pickup from Waikiki and travel in the comfort of an air-conditioned vehicle to reach Pearl Harbor. Once there, your guide will escort you into the Pearl Harbor Visitor's Center and give you specific instructions on how to make the best of your visit. Explore the visitor center and the accompanying “Road to War” and “Attack” exhibit galleries that display pictures and recovered items from the events which transpired at Pearl Harbor and WWII. Then, watch a short film explaining the fateful day and its significance. Followed by a boat ride to the USS Arizona Memorial, the final resting place of the ship's 1,177 crewmen. Take a short break for lunch and grab some refreshments from the snack shop or food truck, then set out to discover the USS Battleship Missouri. Visit the battleship lovingly known as "Mighty Mo". After fighting in the last year of the war with Japan, Mighty Mo served as the location where Japan would sign the official surrender documents. It also offers a glimpse into what life at sea was like aboard a battleship. On the way back to Waikiki, enjoy a quick drive through the city to check out the National Cemetery of the Pacific and Historic Honolulu City.

Oahu: Afternoon Glass Bottom Boat Tour in Waikiki

4. Oahu: Afternoon Glass Bottom Boat Tour in Waikiki

If adventure is what you seek, join this daily boat tour. Enjoy the beauty of Hawaii’s South Shore as you head out from the slip in the Kewalo Basin Harbor and head toward Lē’ahi. Discover the underwater world while staying dry with the glass-bottom boat. Aboard the Haleiwa Queen, enjoy the clear view of the Pacific Ocean floor as you cruise over live tropical reefs and one of Hawaii’s shipwrecks. Keep an eye out for honu sea turtles, eels, reef sharks, dolphins, and schools of tropical fish, all from the deck of the vessel through the glass bottom boat viewports. Experience a unique perspective of Honolulu, above and below the surface.

Honolulu: Queens Waikiki Luau

5. Honolulu: Queens Waikiki Luau

Get entry tickets to the Queens Waikiki Luau feast in Honolulu, with traditional foods and entertainment. Enjoy cultural activities, Polynesian performances, and a buffet dinner, and drinks right in the heart of Honolulu. Sit back and relax as you go on a journey through Polynesia. This spectacular event includes unique cultural activities where you can learn the hula, delicious Hawaiian food, and an authentic Polynesian show. Begin with some cultural activities before you taste traditional flavors and finish by watching a Polynesian performance including the fireknife dance. Menu Rice Macaroni salad Tossed green salad with lilikoi dressing Kalua pig cabbage BBQ shoyu chicken Long rice noodles with garlic Steamed vegetables Cake with haupia drizzle

Oahu: Shark Cage Dive on the North Shore

6. Oahu: Shark Cage Dive on the North Shore

Swim with the sharks during this tour that offers you the unique adventure of a shark dive, while ensuring your safety at all times. Discover the wonders of the sea on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii alongside a certified guide. Bring your own masks and snorkels or use the ones provided on board. Your guide will give you a safety briefing at the start of the tour and will answer all your questions concerning this special adventure. See up to 200 feet (60 meters) in the crystal-clear, cobalt blue water. Depending on the season, you will encounter such magnificent animals as the Hawaiian Green Sea turtles, playful dolphins, and Humpback whales. Admire the sharks from the ship's deck, or experience the rush of entering the shark cage which allows you to be only inches away from sharks that can grow up to 15 feet (5 meters) in length. Capture pictures with your underwater camera of their grace and majesty in the water. Have 20 minutes to marvel at the sharks and cherish this unforgettable moment. Up to 8 people can be in the cage at the same time, so you can experience the sharks with someone you love.

Oahu: Waikiki Trolley Holiday Lights Tour

7. Oahu: Waikiki Trolley Holiday Lights Tour

The Holiday Lights Tour will take you through historic downtown and drive-by viewing of the magnificent Honolulu City Lights at Honolulu Hale. We will explore the festive decorations, marvel at the city’s 50-foot Christmas tree, Shaka Santa and Tutu Mele, Frosty the Snowman and his family, oversized displays, holiday message board displays along King Street. With plenty of joyous sing a longs for the whole family and jolly Christmas stories told by your guide, this tour will get you in the perfect holiday spirit.

Honolulu: Pearl Harbor Tour with Arizona Memorial

8. Honolulu: Pearl Harbor Tour with Arizona Memorial

Hear fascinating stories on this tour of Pearl Harbor and downtown Honolulu. Witness the key sites and memorials to the 1941 attack, and experience the island's wartime history. Begin this tour with pickup in Waikiki. Travel first to Pearl Harbor and ride the navy launch to the USS Arizona Memorial. Visit the sombre monument above a sunken battleship from the day of the attack. Explore the memorials to the many groups who lost their lives, and pause to reflect at the wall of remembrance. Return to your waiting van for a historic tour of downtown Honolulu. Your expert guide will explain what it was like to live on the island during wartime. See sights including Iolani Palace, the State Capitol, King Kamehameha Statue and Aloha Tower as you learn about the fascinating history of this historic place.

Waikiki Parasailing Paradise Water Sports

9. Waikiki Parasailing Paradise Water Sports

Soar above the vibrant city of Oahu on a peaceful but exciting parasailing trip. Take off from the scenic Waikiki Beach and take in views of the island's golden sand beaches, turquoise waters, and cityscape. You'll even catch a unique glimpse of Diamond Head from a privileged perspective. Enjoy a truly introspective experience by flying away from the hustle and bustle of the area. All the noise from the boat and the city will cut away as you ascend, leaving you and your flight buddy in your own bubble of paradise. Make the most of your Hawaii holiday and experience Oahu in a unique way. Seize this incredible opportunity to go parasailing in the company of a professional team, providing all the necessary instructions and high-quality equipment to keep you safe at all times.

Honolulu: Turtle Canyon Guided Snorkeling Adventure Tour

10. Honolulu: Turtle Canyon Guided Snorkeling Adventure Tour

Snorkel over coral reefs with green sea turtles on a guided boat tour from Honolulu. Look beneath the waves and have the chance to see sharks, stingrays, octopus, and colorful fish. Experience beautiful views of the Waikiki coastline on the way. Make your way to the dive shop and meet your guide and group for the day. Briefly go over the different snorkeling spots before cruising off the coast towards Turtle Canyon and enjoying the views of Oahu disappearing behind you. Warm up with a light surface session and see how many fish you can spot in the crystal clear water. Move on to one of the favorite reef sites in Honolulu and have the chance to swim alongside green sea turtles in their natural habitat at a safe distance. Get back into the boat and share your experience with your crew as you relax on deck and stare out into the stretching sea. Watch the shoreline of Waikiki coming quickly into view and return to the dive shop.

Frequently asked questions about Honolulu

What top attractions are a must-see in Honolulu?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Honolulu?

The best day trips and excursions from Honolulu are:

Diamond Head, Hawaii

Other Sightseeing Options in Honolulu

Want to discover all there is to do in Honolulu? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Honolulu

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 6,707 reviews

I went with my husband and we enjoyed ourselves. The coloring is a blue-green because of the porthole and you are not able to see the brilliant colors of the reef or coral.

We were absolutely surrounded by sharks the entire time. The boat ride out and back is a beautiful bonus but the star of the show -sharks- do not disappoint!

Amazing experience!! Mike & RJ were so welcoming and personable! Very organized and new-user friendly! Thank you!!!

The crew were very helpful and informative - we had a great time and learned a lot!

It was a very nice evening see the sunset and fireworks!