Ready to explore the capital of Hawaii? As a born and raised Hawaiian, I’ll provide you with some hidden gems, staples, and local favorites in this full list of the best things to do in Honolulu.
Looking for the most amazing Honolulu, Hawaii, tourist attractions? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Honolulu, Hawaii, is located on Oahu and spans most of the island’s south shore, from Pearl Harbor to Hanauma Bay. It is the capital of the Hawaiian islands and home to some of the most popular attractions in the state.
Some top things to do in Honolulu include paying your respects at the USS Arizona Memorial, snorkeling at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, hiking the Diamond Head State Monument, and visiting the only royal palace in the United States, ‘Iolani Palace.
Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, learn about Native Hawaiian history, or dig into some ‘ono grindz (delicious food), we’ve got you covered. Continue reading to find out what to do in Honolulu during your Hawaiian vacation.
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a turning point in World War II, and the USS Arizona is a symbol of that fateful day. You can visit the site of this historic event with a tour from Honolulu. This tour includes guaranteed boat tickets to see the old WWII ship, as well as other exhibits at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial. You'll learn about the history of the war and get an up-close look at the USS Arizona. Don't miss your chance to experience this important piece of history.
Join the daily glass bottom boat tour and explore the underwater world without getting wet! The Haleiwa Queen takes you out to Lē’ahi where you can see tropical reefs, shipwrecks and a variety of marine life through the glass bottom viewports. Keep an eye out for turtles, sharks, dolphins and schools of fish as you cruise over the Pacific Ocean floor. This is a unique way to see Honolulu and an experience you won’t want to miss!
This 5.5-hour experience is the perfect way to enjoy a taste of Hawaii. You'll start with a Mai Tai and some delicious Hawaiian food, including fresh seafood, kalua pork, and tropical fruit. Then, you'll watch the sunset over the coast while enjoying live music from Hawaiian musicians, hula dancers, and fire twirlers. Three different dining packages are available to suit your needs, and round-trip transportation from Waikiki hotels is included. Don't miss out on this amazing opportunity to experience the best of Hawaii!
Show Table of Contents
- Things to Do in Honolulu, Hawaii
- 1. Waikiki Beach
- 2. USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor
- 3. Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum
- 4. Honolulu Museum of Art
- 5. Honolulu Zoo
- 6. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
- 7. Diamond Head State Monument
- 8. Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum
- 9. ‘Iolani Palace
- 10. Manoa Falls Trail
- 11. Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon
- 12. Royal Hawaiian Center
- 13. Koko Crater Trail
- 14. Explore Downtown Honolulu
- 15. Ala Moana Center
- 16. Lyon Arboretum
- 17. Kapiolani Park
- 18. Queen Emma Summer Palace
- 19. Enjoy a Traditional Luau
- 20. Leonard’s Bakery
- Is Honolulu Worth Visiting?
- What is Honolulu, Hawaii, known for?
- How many days in Honolulu is enough?
- What should I do on my first trip to Hawaii?
- How can I find the best deals on flights to Honolulu?
- Most significant landmark – USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor
- Best park – Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
- Best free activity – Waikiki Beach
- Best activity for kids – Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum
- Best activity for adults – Downtown Food and Beer Guided Walking Tour
- Best food – Moku Kitchen
- Best nightlife – RumFire Waikiki
- Best all-around accommodation – Sheraton Waikiki
Things to Do in Honolulu, Hawaii
1. Waikiki Beach
Let’s start with one of the most famous beaches in the world, Waikiki Beach! Waikiki Beach is known for its soft golden sands, turquoise waters, and swaying palm trees. You’ll find many luxury hotels and high-end boutiques along the shores. It’s one of the best things to see in Honolulu if you’re a first-time visitor.
There are a million ways to relax and have fun while on Waikiki Beach; you can’t go wrong. If you want a unique experience, I recommend trying outrigger canoe surfing. Hawaii is the birthplace of surfing, and this sport combines surfing with outrigger canoeing, another traditional Hawaiian practice.
Other fun activities on Waikiki Beach include swimming, snorkeling, stand-up paddle boarding, and shopping. If you get hungry after your fun in the sun, check out Duke’s Waikiki, located on the beachside of the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort. The poke tacos are a must; my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
If you want something healthier, check out Sunrise Shack, also in the Outrigger. I always go for the monkey bowl with a banana base, coconut cream, and peanut butter. It’s even big enough that you can share!
And while we’re on Waikiki Beach, my favorite hotel is The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort. Fondly nicknamed “The Pink Palace,” The Royal Hawaiian is the second oldest hotel in Waikiki and certainly one of the most iconic.
If you’re looking for a more affordable option, I recommend their sister property, the Sheraton Waikiki. You’ll love the Sheraton’s infinity pool, which overlooks Waikiki Beach and boasts a fantastic view of the sunset and Diamond Head. The RumFire bar at the Sheraton is also great for cocktails and live music.
2. USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor
Address: 1 Arizona Memorial Pl, Honolulu, HI 96818
The USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor is one of the most popular places to visit in Honolulu, both for Americans and foreign visitors alike. The Pearl Harbor attack changed the course of American history and brought the country into World War II.
Start visiting the Pearl Harbor National Memorial by first stopping by the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. At the visitor center, you’ll be able to view a map of the memorial, along with any events and exhibits that are currently happening. From here, I recommend hopping over to the Pearl Harbor Memorial Theater to learn about the history of Pearl Harbor and watch real footage from the attack.
The USS Arizona Memorial is accessible by a short boat ride. The memorial is located right on top of the USS Arizona, which is still underwater today. It’s a sad experience when you can pay your respects to the brave sailors who died that day.
At Pearl Harbor, you can also take a tour of the USS Missouri, a battleship that was built in 1944. Though it’s a museum today, the USS Missouri served the US during World War II, the Korean War, and the Gulf War.
If you’re not planning to rent a car, this USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor will do the trick. This tour offers round-trip transportation from several points in Waikiki to this national historic landmark, and you’ll get to drive through historic downtown Honolulu.
See Related: Is Hawaii Worth Visiting?
3. Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum
Address: 319 Lexington Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96818
You’ll find the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, formerly known as the Pacific Aviation Museum, near the Pearl Harbor National Memorial. The museum is located on Ford Island, and there is a free shuttle between the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and Ford Island.
The museum has 50 unique aircraft, including a Blue Angel and a Warhawk fighter jet. The aircraft is displayed throughout two former plane hangars. One of them, Hangar 37, focuses primarily on aircraft and artifacts relating to World War II, specifically the Pearl Harbor attack.
Hangar 79 offers visitors a broader collection of aircraft and related artifacts. Most items in this hangar showcase the rise of the United State’s air power throughout the Pacific after Pearl Harbor. In addition to the powerful aircraft, you’ll also find photos, articles, and other memorabilia relating to aviation.
If you’ve ever wanted to experience what it would be like to be in the pilot’s seat of a fighter jet, this is your chance! The Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum features a Flight Ace 360 Flight Simulator, which allows visitors to experience flying a powerful aircraft through the skies.
4. Honolulu Museum of Art
Address: 900 S Beretania St, Honolulu, HI 96814
If you’re an art lover, you won’t want to miss the Honolulu Museum of Art. The museum opened its doors in 1927 and was formerly the home to a prominent missionary family who loved art.
The museum is home to over 5,000 works of art from around the world. The Honolulu Museum of Art also focuses on art made by local Hawaiian artists as well as those from around Polynesia.
I highly recommend visiting the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art if you have time. The foundation is housed at the socialite’s former home, Shangri La. The Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design is home to stunning works primarily from the Middle East.
The Shangri La Museum is only accessible through a tour operated by the Honolulu Museum of Art, so make sure to inquire with them if this is something that interests you. Touring Shangri La takes approximately 75 minutes. The Honolulu Museum of Art is open Thursday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 pm, with extended hours on Friday and Saturday until 9:00 pm.
See Related: Best Snorkeling Spots in Hawaii
5. Honolulu Zoo
Address: 151 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
If you’re looking for one of the best things to do in Honolulu, Hawaii, with kids, look no further! The Honolulu Zoo is perfect for the whole family to enjoy and is just a few blocks from the iconic Waikiki Beach.
Over 1,200 individual animals can be seen at the zoo, which is the only zoo in the United States to be established by a grant made by a sovereign monarch, the last of the Hawaiian monarchy.
While the zoo has its usual residents of elephants, flamingos, and monkeys, you can also glimpse some animals only found in Hawaii. These native animals include the Hawaiian Short-Eared owl and the Hawaiian hawk.
If your days are jam-packed, consider visiting the Honolulu Zoo in the evening! The zoo offers special twilight tours every Saturday evening, allowing visitors to see some animals wind down while the nocturnal residents are just starting their days.
The Honolulu Zoo is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 pm. I’d recommend planning to spend around two hours at the zoo if you’d like to see every exhibit.
6. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
Address: 7455 Kalanianaole Hwy, Honolulu, HI 96825
Looking for the best place on the island to snorkel among endless tropical fish? Then Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is for you! This is one of the best Honolulu tourist attractions for nature lovers and those who want to experience the natural beauty of the Honolulu shoreline.
In Hanauma Bay, you can snorkel alongside over 400 species of colorful fish! Some visitors are lucky to see green sea turtles and Hawaiian monk seals. Be sure not to swim too close to these beautiful sea creatures; they are protected and come with heavy fines if you get too close.
The bay is open every Wednesday to Sunday from 6:45 am to 4:00 pm. The bay is closed to the public on Monday and Tuesday to help the water and pollutants cycle through properly. Some ways you can help with the protection of Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve are:
- Not stepping on or breaking off pieces of coral
- Wearing only reef-safe sunscreen
- Not removing any wildlife from the bay
Due to the popularity of Hanauma Bay, I recommend getting there early. The parking lot fills up quickly, and once it does, cars start getting turned away.
You can also eliminate the worry by booking this highly-rated Hanauma Bay snorkeling tour. The tour will pick you up from your Waikiki hotel and drop you off at Hanauma Bay. They also provide snorkeling gear, so you don’t have to worry about packing snorkels or buying some when you get to Hawaii.
See Related: Best Restaurants in Oahu
7. Diamond Head State Monument
Address: Makapuu Ave and 18th Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
Diamond Head is one of the most well-known vistas of Hawaii. It’s often the first glimpse of Oahu as you land at the Honolulu International Airport. But did you know you can hike to the top of it?
The Diamond Head Crater Trail is one of the most popular hikes in Honolulu, and it’s easy to see why. Diamond Head is an icon of Oahu, and the hike is easily accessible from all parts of the Honolulu area.
The hike is fairly easy and usually takes visitors about one hour to complete. Don’t forget to bring comfortable walking shoes, water, and sunscreen, as shady resting spots on this trail are few and far between. Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of Waikiki, downtown Honolulu, and the mesmerizing Pacific Ocean.
The park is open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 pm. Due to the hike’s popularity, reservations must be made in advance online with the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources. Admission is just $5 per person and $10 per vehicle if you plan to park, making it one of the best cheap things to do in Honolulu.
See Related: Best Hikes in the World
8. Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum
Address: 1525 Bernice St, Honolulu, HI 96817
A visit to the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum is one of the most fun things to do in Honolulu for the entire family. It is designated Hawaii’s state museum of natural and cultural history, offering many exhibits.
The museum was founded by Charles Reed Bishop, the husband of one of the last Hawaiian princesses, Bernice Pauahi Bishop. They both deeply loved and appreciated the Hawaiian people, and the museum’s collection includes many Hawaiian art and artifacts relating to Hawaiian history and Hawaiian culture.
In addition to this, the museum offers many interactive exhibits relating to the ocean, volcanoes, and nature. Young kids will love the museum’s Science Adventure Center. As for me, my favorite part of visiting Bishop Museum has always been the planetarium.
The daily show Wayfinders teaches visitors about how early Polynesian settlers used the stars to navigate throughout the Pacific Ocean. It’s also a lovely way to learn about Polynesian culture. The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm. You can skip the line and purchase your tickets right here.
9. ‘Iolani Palace
Address: 364 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96813
When searching for Honolulu things to do, you must check out ‘Iolani Palace. It is the only Royal Palace in the United States and one of the best things to do in Honolulu for adults if you’re looking to learn more about Hawaiian history before the islands became a state.
‘Iolani Palace was the royal residence of the Hawaiian monarchy, starting with King Kamehameha III and ending with Queen Lili’uokalani upon overthrowing the Hawaiian Kingdom. The palace you see today was built in 1879 and was constructed with the most modern amenities. It even had electricity before the White House!
Visitors can choose to do a self-guided tour or join a tour led by a docent. Both tours have access to the first and second floors of the palace. Either way, I highly recommend checking out the Throne and Blue Room. Both rooms are filled with beautiful works of art, including the furniture!
‘Iolani Palace is open to visitors every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 pm. I also recommend checking out Ali’iolani Hale, right across the street. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and is currently the Hawaii State Supreme Court.
It’s most well-known for featuring the King Kamehameha I statue in front of it, which is usually adorned with lei (flower garlands). King Kamehameha I was the first Hawaiian chief to unite the islands under one rule.
See Related: Things to Do in Maui, Hawaii
10. Manoa Falls Trail
Address: 3860 Manoa Rd, Honolulu, HI 96822
If you’re looking for one of the top free things to do in Honolulu that doesn’t involve the beach, this one is for you. The Manoa Falls trail is one of the most scenic hikes in Honolulu and one of the most popular hiking trails on the island.
The hike is relatively easy; even young kids can do it. Check the weather before you go, as the trail can easily get muddy and slippery after a large downpour.
The Manoa Falls trail will take you through the lush rainforest on an unpaved but easy-to-follow path. The trail is 1.6 miles round-trip, and at the end of it, you’ll be rewarded with the namesake of the trail, Manoa Falls, a stunning 150-foot waterfall.
The trail is pretty much shaded the entire way, so a hat and sunglasses are optional. However, I would highly recommend bringing some mosquito repellent. Due to the climate of the wet rainforest, mosquitos are everywhere, so it’s best to be prepared.
The trail is open from sunrise to sunset. Entry to the trail is free, but if you plan to park in the lot near the trailhead, the cost is $5 per vehicle. I recommend planning to spend about 1-2 hours here to take your time on the trail and admire the surrounding natural beauty.
11. Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon
Address: 2005 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815
If you’re traveling with someone who isn’t quite ready to swim in the ocean but wants a similar experience, this is the spot for you! The Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon is located at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki. Although it’s on hotel property, it’s free and open to the public, so anyone can enjoy it even if you’re not a guest at the hotel.
The lagoon was named in honor of waterman Duke Kahanamoku, one of the most famous athletes in Hawaii. He is famous for popularizing surfing and even competed in the 1924 Olympics as a swimmer. He was also a part of the original Waikiki Beach Boys.
Within the lagoon, you can do more than swim. They offer water sports such as stand-up paddle boarding, aqua cycling, and peddle boating. If you’re starting to feel more adventurous, check out this amazing snorkeling tour just off the coast of the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
12. Royal Hawaiian Center
Address: 2201 Kalākaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
Centrally located in the heart of Waikiki, the Royal Hawaiian Center is the best place in Honolulu to do high-end shopping or just look for souvenirs to remember your time in Hawaii.
The shopping center is between The Royal Hawaiian Hotel and the Moana Surfrider. With its position on the main street of Kalakaua Avenue, it’s hard to miss. Here, you can find brands like Apple, Hermés, Fendi, and Kith, as well as some local brands, including Island Slipper, Lani Beach, Lu Koa Collection, and Royal Hawaiian Quilt.
The Royal Hawaiian Center has a great food court and other small cafes and restaurants if you’re looking for something to eat. My favorite cafe is Island Vintage Coffee; I recommend trying the banana Kona mocha frozen coffee for a cool treat. The center is open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 pm. Besides shopping and restaurants, the center offers a wide range of entertainment options on the center lawn.
13. Koko Crater Trail
Address: 7604 Koko Head Park Rd #7602, Honolulu, HI 96825
If you’re looking for a challenging outdoor experience, this one’s for you. More commonly known as Koko Head, the Koko Crater Trail is a difficult hike boasting breathtaking views.
The hike is located in the southeastern part of Oahu, away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Honolulu. It begins as an unpaved dirt path that is relatively easy. However, the path transforms into an old railway track far from the hike. Some parts of the track are a few feet above solid ground, so keeping your balance is crucial.
The hike is very short, but most people spend about 45 minutes going to the top due to its difficulty. But once at the top, you are rewarded with some of the best views on the island.
Despite the challenging terrain, Koko Head remains one of Honolulu’s most popular hikes. You’ll want to go either early morning or before sunset, as it can get super hot in the afternoons, and heat stroke is a high risk.
The nearby Koko Crater Botanical Garden is a great option if you’re looking for a not-so-challenging place to visit. It features a wide variety of cacti and other succulents, complementing the desert-like climate on this island.
See Related: Best Islands in the US to Visit
14. Explore Downtown Honolulu
Downtown Honolulu has lots to offer visitors and locals alike. Hawaii is a melting pot of various cultures, and they all come together in downtown Honolulu.
The city isn’t huge, so it’s easily walkable, and public transport (the bus…known as “TheBus”) is also very easy to use. Major landmarks include Iolani Palace, the Hawaii State Capitol, the Hawaii State Art Museum, Aloha Tower, and Kawaiaha’o Church.
To the west of Bishop Street, the main road through downtown, you will find the lively Chinatown neighborhood. Here, you’ll find some amazing eats and grocery stores that offer exotic fruits and vegetables. One of my favorite clothing boutiques, Fighting Eel, can be found here. They offer local brands made of high-quality materials that make perfect souvenirs and gifts.
To the east of downtown, you’ll find the Kaka’ako neighborhood. Formerly a warehouse district, the neighborhood has recently transformed into a place for young professionals to live, work, and play. You must stop by Moku Kitchen, found at SALT at Our Kaka’ako. The food here is amazing, fresh, and made with local ingredients. The mai tai topped with lilikoi honey foam is to die for.
If you’re interested in a walking tour that includes stops at a few breweries, I recommend this downtown food and beer walking tour. The tour takes approximately 3.5 hours; your local guide can show you the best Honolulu offers. It’s one of the great things to do in Honolulu for couples or friends who are craft beer lovers.
15. Ala Moana Center
Address: 1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814
If you’re looking for Honolulu’s premier shopping destination, this is your place. Ala Moana Center is a whopping two million square feet and includes almost 300 shops and 80 dining options; it’s the largest open-air mall in the world.
As a kid, coming here with my mom on the weekends felt like Christmas! There’s always something new to do and see at the Ala Moana Center, so it feels more like a destination and less like just a simple mall.
You can spend hours wandering around the multiple floors and wings of the mall. It has everything from high-end shops to convenience stores, cafes, restaurants, pop-up shops, and even a grocery store. At the heart of the mall, you’ll find the center stage, which often hosts live music and entertainment.
The Ala Moana Center is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 pm. Some restaurants and bars open much later, so check their hours if you plan to stay late here.
If you’re looking for somewhere to chill out and picnic after your long shopping day, check out Ala Moana Beach Park. Ala Moana Beach Park is located right across the street from the mall. You can hang out in the shaded grassy areas, walk the lovely paths along the beach, or enjoy the sand and waves.
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16. Lyon Arboretum
Address: 3860 Manoa Rd, Honolulu, HI 96822
We already know that Hawaii is just teeming with natural beauty. From the mountains to the ocean and the rainforests, you can find any nature escape you’re looking for right here.
But if you want to immerse yourself in a tropical rainforest, you must check out the Lyon Arboretum. The Arboretum is located in Manoa Valley, a quiet and peaceful neighborhood in Honolulu.
The nursery spans over 194 acres and is home to more than 5,660 varieties of plants. Due to the 165 inches of rain per year, the valley is a perfect home for tropical plants to flourish. Stop at the Native Hawaiian Garden to enjoy many plants that can only be found on the islands.
The Lyon Arboretum is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 pm, and admission is free. If you want to stay in this quiet part of town, I recommend this Manoa cottage. The cottage offers stunning views of Diamond Head, and the valley is lovely for peace.
17. Kapiolani Park
Address: 3840 Paki Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
Kapiolani Park is known as Hawaii’s oldest and largest public park. The park covers 300 acres and includes many of Honolulu’s landmarks, including the Honolulu Zoo, Waikiki Shell, and the Kapiolani Bandstand. In addition to this, the park also features tennis courts, softball fields, soccer fields, a rugby field, and several areas with picnic tables.
The park is located just next to Waikiki. It’s a lovely place that both locals and visitors can enjoy. Just across the street from Kapiolani Park, you’ll find two popular Honolulu beaches, Sans Souci Beach Park and Prince Kuhio Beach Park.
Sans Souci Beach Park is right next to the Waikiki Natatorium and in front of the Colony Surf. The shallow water makes it a great spot for families with young children to swim and snorkel. If you’re fancy, check out Michel’s at the Colony Surf for some high-end French dining.
Prince Kuhio Beach Park is a bit closer to the heart of Waikiki. Lagoons formed by manmade walls differentiate Kuhio Beach Park from other Honolulu beaches. The lagoons protect swimmers from huge waves and tides.
If you’re looking for a more romantic way to enjoy the ocean here, check out this sunset glass bottom boat cruise. Sunset is one of the most relaxing times in Honolulu, and watching it set over the horizon of the Pacific Ocean is just magical.
See Related: Best Beaches in the US to Visit
18. Queen Emma Summer Palace
Address: 2913 Pali Hwy, Honolulu, HI 96817
If you want to learn more about the history of the Hawaiian monarchy while off the beaten path, you have to check out Queen Emma’s Summer Palace. The palace was a summer retreat for Queen Emma, her husband, King Kamehameha IV, and their son, Prince Albert Edward, from 1857 to 1885.
The palace can be found in Nu’uanu Valley, which is much cooler than downtown Honolulu. It was where Hawaiian royalty could beat the summer heat.
Queen Emma Summer Palace is listed on the National Historic Registry and is now used as a museum. It contains furniture, clothing, antiques, works of art, and other artifacts that once belonged to the royal family.
In addition to this, the palace also hosts several events throughout the week, including quilting lessons, hula lessons, and ukulele lessons. You can take a self-tour of the palace on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, or Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 pm. Docent-led tours of the palace are available on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 pm.
19. Enjoy a Traditional Luau
Address: 92-1089 Aliinui Dr, Kapolei, HI 96707
If there’s one thing you absolutely must do on your first trip to Hawaii, it’s to enjoy a traditional Hawaiian luau. A luau is a party filled with food, fun, family, and entertainment.
My favorite luau near Honolulu is the Paradise Cove Luau. The luau is actually in Kapolei, about 30-45 minutes outside Honolulu. This luau ticket package includes transportation between Waikiki and Paradise Cove, so you won’t have to worry about that.
Once you arrive at Paradise Cove, you’ll be greeted with a lei and a welcome mai tai. Before the show begins, you can enjoy traditional Hawaiian games, or an outrigger canoe ride around the lagoon. The buffet is full of Hawaiian and local dishes that are sure to satisfy. As you enjoy your delicious meal, performers will amaze you with singing, dancing, fire dancing, and more.
See Related: Best Caribbean Islands to Visit
20. Leonard’s Bakery
Address: 933 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816
When I’m back home, there’s nothing I crave more than a hot, fresh malasada from Leonard’s Bakery. The bakery was founded in 1952 by the grandson of Portuguese immigrants living in Hawaii.
A malasada is a type of Portuguese fried donut. The dough has a bit of a crisp on the outside after being tossed in sugar but is soft and fluffy on the inside. Traditionally, they are covered with lemon zest and cinnamon, but at Leonard’s, most malasadas are filled with a yummy custard.
Malasadas are best served hot, though honestly, I’d eat them cold or at room temperature because they are just that delicious! My absolute favorite filling is chocolate, but coconut is a close second.
The original Leonard’s Bakery location is open daily from 5:30 a.m.to 7:00 pm. You can’t miss it with the huge, colorful welcome sign and the old diner-like decor.
Is Honolulu Worth Visiting?
Honolulu is worth visiting for its unique blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and historical significance. As the capital city of Hawaii, it serves as an energetic gateway to the state’s tropical paradise. It is home to the world-famous Waikiki Beach, where visitors can enjoy sunbathing, surfing, or watching the sunset over the Pacific Ocean.
The city is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, including the Diamond Head State Monument, a volcanic crater offering panoramic views of the city and coastline. For nature lovers, the nearby Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is a must-visit for snorkeling among the colorful coral reefs and diverse marine life.
Culturally, Honolulu offers a deep dive into Hawaiian history and traditions. The Bishop Museum houses the world’s largest collection of Polynesian cultural artifacts. At the same time, the Iolani Palace, the only royal palace in the United States, offers insight into the Hawaiian Kingdom’s regal past. The city’s Chinatown is a bustling district full of art galleries, boutiques, and eateries that reflect Honolulu’s multicultural heritage.
What is Honolulu, Hawaii, known for?
Honolulu, Hawaii, is the capital of the state of Hawaii and the largest city on the island of Oahu. Significant landmarks include Waikiki Beach, Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head Crater, and Iolani Palace.
How many days in Honolulu is enough?
I recommend spending at least a week in Honolulu. This will give you time to see all the main attractions in Honolulu and a few other things to do in Oahu.
What should I do on my first trip to Hawaii?
If you’re a first-time visitor to Hawaii, you must go to a traditional luau. The following things on your list should be to swim or surf in Waikiki and hike the Diamond Head crater. If you have more time, head to ‘Iolani Palace to learn about the Hawaiian monarchy.
How can I find the best deals on flights to Honolulu?
My number one recommendation to you is to check Skyscanner. There, you’ll always find the lowest prices on flights to Honolulu.
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Brittney is a lifelong traveler from Oahu, Hawaii. She has visited more than 35 countries and is continually researching new places to explore!