12 Best Things to Do in Honolulu, Hawaii: Top-Rated Attractions 2022
Want to visit Honolulu but don’t know where to start? This article tells you some of the best things to see in Honolulu (Hawaii). Capital and the largest city of the state of Hawaii, Honolulu, occupies an area of about 600 square kilometers to the south of the island of O’ahu.
Honolulu has spectacular beaches and natural landscapes, unique cuisine, and the air of island life, and a big city at the same time. A city that has seen the birth of not one but two presidents of the United States, such as Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama, or great artists such as Bruno Mars.
1. Practice Water Sports
Unsurprisingly, the state of Hawaii is known worldwide for its beautiful beaches. Honolulu as a territory is made up of different islands; among the best known is the island of Oahu. For this reason, most of the most popular beaches are in Honolulu.
Here you will have the opportunity to practice the best water sports offered in the city. From surfing to kayaking, there is a wide variety of the best water activities you can do in Honolulu, so don’t miss out.
2. Waikiki Beach
As we mentioned before, most of the best beaches in Hawaii are in Honolulu, and the best of all is undoubtedly Waikiki. Waikiki is a beach area that extends through Honolulu. Therefore, this makes it the most important tourist center of the city and the state of Hawaii. Waikiki is packed with the best big-city attributes like shopping, dining, and other attractions.
However, it does not have the frenetic pace that characterizes other large cities in the United States. Suppose you have the opportunity to visit Honolulu. In that case, we recommend calling and staying in the Waikiki area, especially since it is home to most of the best hotels in the state of Hawaii.
3. Iolani Palace: Home of Hawaii’s Last Monarchs
Once you arrive in Hawaii, you must see something in Honolulu, and that is the Iolani Palace. Located in the center of the city, this palace is known as the most important place in the town historically. The palace is a landmark for tourists and the city, essentially because of the history of Hawaii represented there.
Iolani Palace was home to the last two generations of the Hawaiian monarchy. Here you can have fun with the fascinating rides they offer inside the palace, and at the same time, you will learn about the history of Hawaii from its beginnings to the present day. Fun is guaranteed.
4. Aloha Tower
Known in English as Aloha Tower, it is one of the most beloved historical sites by the inhabitants of the state of Hawaii. Built-in 1926, it was the largest building in the entire state and contained the giant clock in the United States.
We recommend you visit the Aloha Tower because it borders other attractions like the Honolulu Museum of Art or the Oahu Center for the Arts. In addition, you will also have the opportunity to know the incredible Chinatown located nearby and where you can see the best Asian cultural exhibitions exhibited there.
5. The Manoa Falls
Something that undoubtedly abounds in Hawaii is natural ecosystems and incredible species of fauna and flora. In the center of the Island of Oahu is the most popular and beautiful waterfall in Hawaii and Honolulu, the Manoa Waterfall. This waterfall is approximately 46 meters high. There are several trails and ways to get there.
During the journey to reach it, you will enjoy incredible natural landscapes that you will not find in other parts of the world. Manoa Falls is one of the must-see attractions in Honolulu. Not to be missed.
6. Climb the fabulous Diamond Head
The wonderful island of Oahu is full of natural treasures. There is the most famous volcanic tuff on this island in the state, called Diamond Head. This volcanic tuff, without a doubt, is a must-see in Honolulu when visiting Hawaii. This natural attraction is a favorite and most popular among tourists.
Although much of its extension is not accessible to people, the most popular and safe areas are open to the public. It would help if you took an approximately 45-minute walk through stairs and nature trails to get there. Trust us when we tell you that the experience is worth it.
7. Visit Rancho Kualoa
Although it is hard to believe, one of the most famous ranches in the United States is Honolulu, Hawaii. Something you can do in Honolulu is visit this fantastic and fascinating ranch known as Rancho Kualoa.
The farm is one of the most loved and sought-after attractions by tourists, and this is mainly because recognized films such as Jurassic Park or Pearl Harbor, among others, have been filmed there.
The ranch has an area of more than 1600 hectares. Therefore it cannot be traveled on foot, and it is necessary to use all-terrain transport. During the visit to Rancho Kualoa, you will have the opportunity to enjoy incredible natural landscapes and interact with the wildlife, and natural beauty found there.
8. Try a rich Halo-Halo
Honolulu may not be well known for its desserts, but they have fabulous traditional ice creams called Halo-Halo. The English meaning of Halo Halo is “mix-mix.” The best Halo-Halo ice cream you’ll see in Honolulu is Magnolia Ice Cream & Treats.
This ice cream shop makes traditional Hawaiian ice creams with an incredible diversity of flavors and textures. When visiting the ice cream parlor, we recommend the Mahalo Halo. This excellent ice cream includes purple sweet potato ice cream (tube), marmalade cubes, condensed milk, banana, and coconut. It is a delicacy of the Polynesian gods.
9. Taste Hawaiian Cuisine
If you travel to Honolulu, you must try its gastronomy, and what better place than Helena’s Hawaiian Food. Opened in 1946 by Helen Chock and now run by her grandson, it is one of the best places in Honolulu to sample the island’s culinary variety.
Dare with the Kalua Pig, pork cooked in a floor oven, try the Pipikaula Ribs or the now internationally known Poke, cold fish salad. For dessert, try the “haupia,” made from coconut milk.
10. Tribute to Pearl Habor
It’s hard to talk about Honolulu and not talk about Pearl Harbor. It is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Honolulu.
Suppose you want to know a little more about the history of Hawaii. In that case, you must visit Pearl Habor, which functions as a tourist center and as a monument to remember the orchestrated attack by Japan on the United States naval fleet during the period of World War II. If you are a history lover, you cannot miss this place.
11. Foster Botanical Garden
Downtown Honolulu is home to the best botanical garden in the state and perhaps one of the best in the United States. It is known as the Foster Botanical Garden. This garden is the largest and oldest in all of Hawaii. It extends over more than 6 hectares, so it is necessary to visit with an experienced guide.
Inside the garden, you will have the opportunity to see trees planted more than two centuries old. In addition, throughout the entire length of the botanical garden, you will be able to see a hundred species of plants and flowers, including prehistoric plant species. It is the best flower paradise you can see in Honolulu.
12. Attend a traditional Hawaiian mass
This is a definite must-see in Honolulu. We talked about attending and seeing a traditional Hawaiian mass. Near the beach is the modern Saint Augustine by the Sea Church. It is a church located near the beach in Honolulu and was built in 1962 due to a considerable number of soldiers who lived in the region during that time.
Every Sunday, there is a traditional Tonga mass, where you can see dances with costumes and traditional music of the Polynesian culture. So you might not find a better place than Saint Augustine by the Sea to see conventional Hawaiian singing and dancing. There is no doubt that it is a place that you must visit.
Frequently Asked Questions: Best Things to Do in Honolulu
What are the worst months to go to Hawaii?
December is the worst month to visit Hawaii. Hawaii experiences a spike in visitors from mid-December to New Year, resulting in high accommodation, plane tickets, and rental car costs. December is also the wettest month of the year as temperatures cool across the Hawaiian islands.
What are good months to go to Hawaii?
The best time to visit Hawaii is between March and September. This is when the islands see the highest temperatures and the lowest amount of rain. It’s the perfect time to enjoy the beach or the water.
When should you not go to Hawaii?
When it’s raining on one side of an island in Hawaii, though, the sun is usually shining on another, a short drive away. However, if the priority is to avoid heavy downpours in traditionally fun-in-the-sun locations such as Waikiki, Poipu, Kona and Kihei, the worst time to go is November through April.
What is Honolulu best known for?
Honolulu is known for being Hawaii’s gateway to the world, best known for its tropical climate, fantastic surfing destinations, paradise-like scenery, and golden beaches. For Americans, Honolulu is best known for Pearl Harbor, volcanos, tourism, and romance.
How many days are enough in Hawaii?
While many vacations are five to seven days long, we recommend staying for at least 10 days to enjoy your Hawaiian vacation. The time change is difficult to adjust to at first and takes about 3 days to get fully acclimated. So, allowing a couple days to get over the jet lag is important.
How many days in Honolulu is enough?
Five days is how many days you need to visit Oahu. With a minimum of five days on Oahu, you will have time to visit the south and north shores, see the best beaches, go to a luau, and do the worthwhile activities and sights around Oahu.
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