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Things to do on Oahu

Honolulu and Kapiolani Park

Outdoor Activities

Hiking Manoa Falls

Hike to Manoa Falls

You’re in Hawaii, so you expect to see a waterfall, right? Well you don’t have to go very far to view the falls when you take this short rainforest hike. You’ll hop on a lush trail through a stream and a grove of Eucalyptus trees before reaching a bamboo forest, and finally, the falls. Located close to the University of Hawaii in beautiful Manoa Valley, about a fifteen-minute drive from Waikiki. Expect to get a bit muddy and bring bug spray—it’s tropical!

Diamond Head Crater

Diamond Head State Monument

Not only is Diamond Head Monument a historic landmark, it’s also one of the most popular hiking destinations on Oahu. Diamond Head crater was formed about 300,000 years ago during a single, explosive volcanic eruption, leaving a distinct shape recognizable from anywhere in Waikiki. Climb to the top for a good uphill workout with amazing coastal views. The payoff is worth the effort!

  • (808) 587-0300
  • 6am-6pm; Last entrance to the trail at 4:30pm
  • Entrance located on Diamond Head Road, Honolulu
  • $5 per car; $1 per person for pedestrians. Cash only

Canoe Rides

Outrigger Canoe Rides in Waikiki

If surfing isn’t your thing, but big waves are, then you’ll love an outrigger canoe ride off Waikiki Beach! Ancient Hawaiians used outrigger canoes to travel between the islands and for fishing. Take a tour of Waikiki in a modern version of these canoes and see living reefs, a plethora of fish, sea turtles (which we call honu), and dolphins! Canoe rides are available at the many ocean activities stands along Waikiki Beach.

Surf Lessons and Board Rentals

Take a Surfing Lesson in Waikiki

For those who aren’t afraid to get wet, the best way to see the waves is to catch one off Waikiki Beach! Legendary surfer, Duke Kahanamoku, made Waikiki famous for surfing. With its protective bay and mellow waves, Waikiki Beach remains one of the most desired places to surf. Take a lesson and you’ll up on a board in no time!

Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay

Snorkel Hanauma Bay

Take a drive to the East side of the island for world-class snorkeling and breathtaking scenery. Hanauma Bay is a nature preserve that offers snorkel gear rentals right on the beach! Bring your underwater camera - you’ll spot lots of marine life, stunning coral, and maybe even the Humuhumunukunukuapuaa, the state fish of Hawaii.

  • (808) 768-3003
  • Daily 6am-6pm (Winter)/6am-7pm (Summer)
  • 100 Hanauma Bay Road, Honolulu
  • $7.50 per person

Culture and History

Pearl Harbor

Visit Pearl Harbor

Take a tour through this National Historic Landmark, once called Puuloa, meaning "long hill," or Wai Momi, literally, "water of pearl," by early Hawaiians, named after the abundance of pearls once found within its protected waters. You’ll learn about World War II history by visiting four sites at the harbor: the USS Missouri, the Pacific Aviation Museum, the Arizona Memorial, and USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park.

  • (808) 423-7300
  • Visitor Center: Daily 7am-5pm; Tours: Daily 8am-3pm
  • 1 Arizona Memorial Place, Honolulu
  • Free (Tickets are limited)

Polynesian Cultural Center

Explore Polynesian Cultural Center

Better known around town as the “PCC,” the Polynesian Cultural Center, located in the town of Laie, offers guests a glimpse into the cultures of Samoa, Aoetearoa, Fiji, Tonga, Tahiti, and Hawaii. Meet the people, hear the music, and taste the food of Polynesia in this village experience. End your day with a luau and their renowned evening show, HA: Breath of Life .

  • (808) 293-3333
  • 12:30pm-9pm, Closed Sundays
  • 55-370 Kamehameha Highway, Laie
  • $49.95 Adults; $39.96 Children (5-11 yrs); Tour and dinner show packages available

Bishop Museum

Explore Bishop Museum

If you’re looking for a family-friendly, authentic cultural experience, then head over to the Bishop Museum in Honolulu. Focusing on the arts, culture, and history of the Hawaiian culture, the Bishop Museum offers a variety of art exhibits, print collections, and a planetarium with daytime and special evening programs. You’ll be amazed by what you’ll learn in such a short amount of time!

  • (808) 847-3511
  • 9am-5pm, Closed Tuesdays
  • 1525 Bernice Street, Honolulu
  • $19.95 Adults; Discounts for seniors, children, kamaaina and military

Iolani Palace

Visit Iolani Palace

Located in downtown Honolulu is the official residence of Hawaii’s monarchy and the only palace in the United States. Walk through stunning living restorations that recreate a time when King Kalakaua and his sister and successor, Queen Liliuokalani, lived within the palace walls. The palace itself is gorgeously appointed, but the grounds are also full of beauty and history.

  • 808-522-0832
  • 9am-4pm, Closed Sundays
  • 364 South King Street, Honolulu
  • Docent-led Tours: $21.75; Self-guided Tours: $14.75; Discounts for kamaaina, military, and children

Nature

Lyon Arboretum

Discover the Lyon Arboretum

Deep within beautiful and lush Manoa Valley are 194 acres that comprise of the Lyon Arboretum. The gardens are home to more than 5,000 tropical plant species, which you can view in seven different gardens. The arboretum is also an active research facility and academic resource offering a wide range of cultural programs. Perfect for true nature lovers and families!

  • (808) 988-0456
  • Mon-Fri 8am-4pm; Sat 9am-3pm
  • 3860 Manoa Road, Honolulu
  • $7 Adults; $3 Children; $4 Seniors; $5 Kamaaina and students

Waikiki Aquarium

Explore Waikiki Aquarium

If you’d love to see what’s under the sea from above it rather than below it, then the Waikiki Aquarium is a must-see attraction, located just minutes from the hotel. Located on Waikiki Beach is a small but impressive aquarium where you can view colorful corals, South Pacific marine life, Hawaiian marine life, a Hawaiian Monk Seal habitat, and so much more!

  • (808) 923-9741
  • Daily 9am to 4:30pm
  • 2777 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96815
  • $12 Adults; $5 Children (4-12 yrs) and Seniors; $8 Kamaaina and Military

Honolulu Zoo

Explore Honolulu Zoo

Located at the edge of Waikiki between Diamond Head and bustling Kalakaua Avenue is 42 acres of land that makes up Oahu’s only zoo. Over 900 different animals live in this area – everything from Komodo Dragons, orangutans, elephants, primates, birds, reptiles, amphibians, a variety of African animals, and various gardens! Make a day of it and bring the whole family!

  • (808) 971-7171
  • Daily 9am to 4:30pm
  • 151 Kapahulu Avenue, Honolulu
  • $14 Adults; $6 Children (3-12 yrs); Discounts for kamaaina and military

Waimea Valley and Waterfall

Waimea Valley

Waimea Valley is one of last partially intact ahupuaa, a self-sustaining division of land that ran from the mountains to the sea, consisting of 1,875 acres on the North Shore of Oahu. It has been a sacred place to the Native Hawaiians for more than 700 years. Walk through stunning botanical gardens, view wildlife, swim in a waterfall, and learn about the culture and history of Hawaii as your walk through ancient Hawaiian archeological sites.

  • (808) 638-7766
  • Daily 7am-5pm
  • 59-864 Kamehameha Hwy., Haleiwa
  • $16 Adults; Discounts for seniors, children, kamaaina and military

Makapuu Lighthouse and the Ka Iwi Trail

Hike the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail

Take the paved hike up to the lighthouse for views of the eastern shores of Oahu. On clear winter days, you’ll see beautiful humpback whales playing in the Pacific. In the summer you can even walk down to the tide pools for a swim. There is another, rockier trail called Ka Iwi, which leads to the ocean and offers amazing coastline views plus a chance to spot large green sea turtles!

Island Dining

Marukame Udon

Marukame Udon

Situated on Kuhio Avenue, just a short stroll from the hotel, is one of the hottest spots for lunch and dinner in all of Waikiki. The line out the door should be evidence enough as to how great this cafeteria-style Japanese restaurant really is, from the homemade noodles and delicious broth to the crispy tempura. Don’t be deterred by the line, though. It moves quickly.

  • (808) 931-6000
  • Daily 7-9am, 11am-10pm
  • 2310 Kuhio Ave, #124, Honolulu

Tiki’s Bar and Grill

Tiki’s Bar & Grill

This is the quintessential Waikiki dining experience! Live music, lanai seating, and ocean breezes exude the ambiance of casual dining in Hawaii. The menu puts a Hawaiian twist on your favorite dishes like the prime rib poke, guava glazed baby back ribs, and lilikoi gazed duck! The lanai bar and lounge serves drinks like the “Surf Mai Tai” in a take-home tiki mug and the “Ocean Potion” served inside a coconut!

  • (808) 923-8454
  • Daily 10am-Midnight
  • 2570 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu

House Without A Key

House Without A Key

Located inside the Halekulani hotel is a causal indoor/outdoor restaurant best known for their pupus and cocktails, especially their signature Mai Tai! Enjoy live Hawaiian music under the century-old Kiawe tree. House Without A Key serves items like fresh ahi sashimi, coconut shrimp, steaks, swordfish, and lobster, as well as a surf and turf barbeque!

  • (808) 923-2311
  • Daily 7am-9pm
  • 2199 Kalia Rd, Honolulu

Chuck’s Steak House

Chuck’s Steak House

Located right on Waikiki Beach above Duke’s Bar, Chuck’s offers indoor seating or beachfront dining, perfect for watching the sunset! Offering seafood, steaks, and their famous all-you-can-eat salad bar, Chucks also has a great happy hour in both the dining area and bar area.

  • (808) 923-1228
  • Daily 5pm-10pm
  • 2335 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu

Chuck’s Cellar

Chuck’s Cellar

Check out something different in Waikiki, just one block from the Aloha Surf! Chuck’s Cellar is a mellow hangout for jazz lovers. This restaurant and bar is designed with exposed brick, low lighting, and classic old-world décor. Locals swear by their prime rib and French dip!

  • (808) 923-4488
  • Daily 5:30pm-10pm
  • 150 Kaiulani Ave, Honolulu

Shopping

Ala Moana Center

Shop at Ala Moana Center

Honolulu’s premier shopping destination offers four levels of shops, dining, and entertainment. Visit local boutiques like Sand People, Maui Divers Jewelry, and Na Hoku for special island gifts, or stick to your favorite department stores and high-end shops like Norstrom, Neiman Marcus, Cartier, Miu Miu, Chanel, and Jimmy Choo. Stop at the food court or one of Ala Moana’s many sit-down restaurants featuring both casual and upscale dining options.

  • (808) 955-9517
  • Mon-Sat 9:30am-9pm; Sun 10am-7pm
  • 1450 Ala Moana Boulevard, Honolulu

Ward Village Shops

Ward Village Shops

If you’re interested in shopping with more local flair, visit Ward Village for a casual indoor/outdoor shopping experience! Located in the heart of Honolulu’s vibrant Kakaako neighborhood and just minutes from Waikiki, Ward Village houses 135 retail shops, including national and local retailers. If you’re looking for something special, you’ll love the unique selection here!

  • (808) 591-8411
  • Auahi Street, Honolulu

International Market Place

Now Open! The new International Market Place

Known for its iconic banyan tree and lush Hawaiian landscaping, the International Market Place will offer unique open-air shopping & dining with a “Hawaiian Sense of Place” in the heart of Waikiki. It’s sure to be among Oahu’s top places to visit, and we’re just a short block away! Your shopping adventure awaits.

  • Mon - Sun
    10:00 AM - 11:00 PM
    Restaurant and department store hours may vary.
  • 2330 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu

Haleiwa Town

Haleiwa Town

The North Shore of Oahu is best known for its huge surf, country vibe, and relaxed atmosphere. If you’re looking for laid-back old-time Hawaii, you must visit historic Haleiwa Town, over an hour away from Waikiki. Not only is there access to an expansive beach park, paddle boarding, surfing, and fishing boats, the streets are also lined with food trucks, art vendors, retail shops, restaurants, and refreshing treats like shave ice and acai bowls.

Kailua Town

Kailua Town

This once sleepy beach town is now a destination for kayaking, snorkeling, swimming, and SUP. With clear blue-green waters and super soft white sand, Kailua Beach is perfect for water activities or for a simple picnic. In addition to the beach park are storefronts that feature island attire and home wares, salons, restaurants, and health food stores that specialize in vegan and vegetarian products.

Hukilau Marketplace

Hukilau Marketplace

This retail marketplace located next to the Polynesian Cultural Center is a throwback to 1930’s Laie. Located between Oahu’s eastern and northern shores is a town once known for drawing people together with community luaus and events, known as hukilaus. The Hukilau Marketplace’s vintage décor speaks to the past, but this newly built establishment houses shops, restaurants, and entertainment.

  • (844) 299-3024
  • Mon-Sat 11am-9:30pm
  • 55-370 Kamehameha Hwy, Laie

Royal Hawaiian Center and Luxury Row

Shopping in Waikiki

You don’t have to leave Waikiki to find local shops, large retailers, and luxury items. The Royal Hawaiian Center is a short walk from the hotel and houses some of the best shopping on the island. Here you’ll find H&M, Fighting Eel, Forever 21, Kate Spade, Spark, and more! Walk a bit further and you’ll find Luxury Row’s exclusive high-end shops, like Chanel’s three-story store, Gucci, Coach, and Tiffany & Co!

  • Mon-Sat 10am-10pm; Sun 9am-5pm
  • Royal Hawaiian Center: 2201 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu