Honolulu is the heart of Oahu. It features some of the most memorable things to do on the island.
If you’re looking for the absolute best things to do when visiting Honolulu – look no further. We put together Honolulu: 10 Best Things to do to help you make the memories that will last a lifetime.
Header photo by @mattaleong
1. Hike to a waterfall
If you’re deciding between hiking to Lulumahu Falls or Manoa Falls, if you can, I would say hike them both. They are both special in their own ways. Lulumahu Falls gives a much more “raw” feeling and the actual waterfall itself is typically much fuller. On the other side, Manoa Falls gives a very Jurassic Park kind of vibe – one that you cannot miss out on. The waterfall itself at Manoa Falls is typically a lot less impressive, to say the least. If you are looking for a less crowded, less touristy hike, then Lulumahu Falls is the hike you are looking for!
- Difficulty: Easy
- Height: 150-Foot Waterfall
- Parking: $5
- Typically not as “full” of a waterfall as Lulumahu Falls
- Much more crowded
- Unique and special vibe to the overall hike
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Height: 50-Foot Waterfall
- Parking: Free
- Can get quite muddy
- Located on private property
- Typically much fuller waterfall
2. Waikiki Beach
Waikiki Beach is an absolutely beautiful beach to lay back and relax. If Waikiki Beach is too crowded for your liking – then we recommend you visit Diamond Head Beach Park.
3. Watch the fireworks show at the Hilton
4. Jump off China Walls
Let loose with some friends and jump off China Walls. This is perfect for those of you adrenaline junkies. The sunsets here are also very beautiful.
5. Grab a bite to eat
Helena’s Hawaiian Food: It is cash only, so keep that in mind when trying to dine here.
Liliha Bakery: A local favorite. The overall perfect place to eat at – good food, donuts, and deserts. You cannot miss out on their Poi Mochi Donuts.
Musabi: You can’t miss out on a good Musabi when on Oahu – period. Musubi Cafe Lyasume is a popular place to stop by.
Ono Seafood: Possibly one of the best place to get poke bowls on the island. A necessity when visiting Oahu.
Malasada: A malasada is a Portuguese doughnut without a hole. A deliciously golden brown fried ball of dough that is light & fluffy on the inside. Our personal choice is Leonard’s Bakery.
Shave Ice: The perfect treat for a hot summer’s day. Waiola Shave Ice is our personal favorite.
Acai Bowl: An absolute necessity. The perfect choice for any breakfast or snack. Tropical Tribe is a popular choice.
6. Experience the beauty of Hanauma Bay
The beautiful Hanauma Bay is popular among both tourists and locals – and for very good reasons. It is astonishing to snorkel and explore the the beautiful bay – I could explore here for hours! The awesome thing about Hanauma Bay is there is actually a hike for those that are adventurers. The Hanauma Bay Rim Trail is a 3.6-mile loop trail located at the Hanauma Bay Nature Reserve Park. We would rate the difficulty of this hike moderate. It’s absolutely beautiful during sunrise.
Note: Parking gets filled up relatively early in the morning
7. See the views of Honolulu from Diamond Head
Being one of the most well-known and popular hikes on Oahu – you definitely need to experience the beauty of Diamond Head. With amazing views of Honolulu – this hike is one you cannot miss out on. You will quickly realize how small you really are.
8. Watch the sunset
Waikiki is home to some of the most beautiful sunsets. Relax, sit back, and let nature do its magic.
9. Watch a sunset from Tantalus Lookout
Tantalus is an all-time favorite of mines. If you’re looking for a beautiful view of Waikiki, diamond head, and even pearl harbor, then you absolutely need to come to here! This is a place you cannot miss when visiting Oahu. The effort needed for this phenomenal view is close to zero. I can’t recommend visiting Tantalus lookout enough.
10. Visit the Pali Lookout
Located at the Pali Lookout is one of the best hikes on the island – Pali Notches. Hiking the Pali Notches is for the extreme adventurers. With strong winds blowing from all directions and walking on a ridge that gets as narrow as 2-3 feet – this hike is no joke. It is one of the most dangerous hikes on the island and is only recommended for experienced hikers. Please make sure to research this hike plenty before taking it on. Click here to see more hikes on Oahu
Thank you for reading the Honolulu Best Things to Do!
Click here to read our previous post: Oahu: Travel Guide