Honolulu, the largest city of Hawaii Island, is situated somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The population of the metro area is just shy of 1 million residents, and though the entire city is not very large, even without leaving the city area, there are so many opportunities of places to go and things to see.
While there are many beautiful different things to do in Honolulu depending on your interests, here a list of best things to do in Honolulu.
Hanauma Bay situated at the east side of Honolulu, near an area of town called Hawaii Kai. It is one of the most famous places on the entire island for snorkeling.
The bay is sunken into a crater with a very beautiful stretch of golden sand. It is a nature reserve and a marine sanctuary. At the very first time Hanauma Bay.
You have to watch a short video about marine life and the preservation of it. you should take a short 5-minute hike to the bottom of the crater to reach the beach and get in the cool clear water.
If you like to do snorkeling while you’re in Honolulu, Hanauma Bay is the place to visit.
- Open hours: Wednesday through Monday from 6 am – 6 pm, closed every Tuesday
- Entrance fee: $1 parking, $7.50 per person, and if you don’t have your own mask and snorkel, you can rent it from them at the steep price of $12.50
Honolulu’s Chinatown is an always-bustling and very energetic market section of the city.
The smell of fruits and vegetables and the aroma of fresh fish and meat filled the air in Honolulu’s Chinatown, just as they do in other Chinatowns around the world.
You’ll find great prices on produce, and you’ll find the fruits and vegetables you need to make whatever type of American food you want. Along with fresh market foods to purchase, there is also an abundance of delicious restaurants throughout Honolulu’s Chinatown.
So if you’re coming to Honolulu, you must explore the Chinatown and visit the local restaurants and markets for good food.
If you love to do hiking then you should visit the Diamond Head. It is one of the best things to do in Honolulu for hiking lovers. Diamond Head is a former volcano that stands at the far eastern side of Waikiki. It is often an emblem of visiting Honolulu.
Here you get a great backdrop to all your beach photos from Waikiki. And the view is even better when you’re on the very top of it. It was formerly used as a military base on Oahu but is now open to the public for recreational use.
It is a hike of less than a mile and it takes about 20 – 30 minutes to reach the summit.
At first, the trail is easy, then you come to a series of switchbacks where you start gaining elevation, and finally towards the end, you pass through a military tunnel and then go up a few flights of stairs, emerge through a bunker.
- Open hours: Daily from 6 am – 6 pm
- Entrance fee: $5 per carload (this includes parking). If you park outside and walk-in (or take the bus / Waikiki trolley) the entrance fee is $1 per person.
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Hawaii is the world’s headquarters when it comes to surfing and other ocean water sports. The climate is great, the water is cool but not too cold, and the waves are here, ranging from small to huge.
The northern side is especially famous as one of the world’s greatest surfing destinations.
But right in Honolulu, you’ll find some great spots to surf, bodyboard, stand up paddleboard, or any other ocean sport you’re interested in.
Waikiki, Ala Moana Beach Park, and Diamond Head, these are the great places to take to the water and enjoy whatever water board sport you love, all without leaving Honolulu.
Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Aquarium
Honolulu Zoo is situated at the east side of Waikiki. The zoo is spread out over 42 acres and is home to 905 different animals, most of them natives of tropical climates. Don’t miss the Komodo dragon or the orang-utan!
Here you’ll find very diversify and different animals. The grounds are uniquely designed with many different lush tropical gardens, showcasing a variety of native Hawaiian plants and flowers.
The Waikiki Aquarium is located at just down the road from the Honolulu Zoo, and while it’s quite small. It’s a good place to learn about the local marine life of Hawaii Island. Also, you have a chance to see the playful Hawaiian monk seals.
Especially if you have kids, visiting both the zoo and the aquarium in Honolulu makes for fun day activity and attraction in the city.
- Open hours: Zoo from 9:00 am – 4:30 pm daily, Aquarium from 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
- Entrance fee: Zoo – $14, Aquarium – $12
Beside the While Diamond Head and Koko Head, two amazing hikes in Honolulu. Manoa Falls is also famous for its lush green jungle hike.
It’s actually a 20 – 30-minute walk through the dense tropical forest with a pretty nice waterfall at the end of the trail. Hiking Manoa Falls is a good chance to explore some of the beautiful plants and trees of Hawaii.
Though there are a sign and rope around the pool at the bottom of the waterfall with a warning to be cautious of falling rocks, many people take a quick refreshing swim in the beautiful water.
- Entrance fee: They charge $5 for parking, but if you park down the street and are willing to walk a bit to get in, you can avoid the fee altogether.
Some other places to visit in Honolulu
- Honolulu Fish Auction
- Iolani Palace / Downtown Honolulu
Hope this gives you some great ideas about a few of the best things to do in Honolulu. Everything listed here; you can do right in the Honolulu.
If interested in history, shopping, relaxing on the beach, or doing outdoor adventure activities, Honolulu will be the best place. And whatever you do when you’re in Honolulu, doesn’t forget to eat lots of delicious food!