Ten Fun Things To Do On A Honolulu and Waikiki Vacation

Categorized as Oahu Vacation Information

Exciting and Interesting Oahu Vacation Destinations

1. Hike To the Top of Diamond Head
For a spectacular view of Waikiki hike the 1.5-mile Diamond Head Trail to the summit of the landmark crater. It is a bit of a climb including flights of steps and even tunnels, but the scenery from the top is a sight to behold. This is a great way to start your day before it gets to hot out, then you can have a nice breakfast (see below) and proceed to enjoy Honolulu and Waikiki.

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2. Eat Breakfast At Sam Choy’s Breakfast, Lunch, Crab
This family-style restaurant run by the award-winning restaurateur, TV host, and best-selling cookbook author Sam Choy is located in Honolulu’s industrial district of Iwilei. They serve huge portions for breakfast and lunch including fresh crab, lobster and shellfish, steaks, ribs, and chicken. In the afternoons come to sample the Sam Choy’s “Big Aloha” Beer brewed on the premises.

3. Visit Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum
The newly renovated Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum is a worldclass repository of Hawaiian culture and history including many interactive exhibits and programs that are great for children. Check on the Bishop Museum site for Planetarium programs that will introduce you to Hawaii’s stars and discuss how the Hawaiian used them to sail the seas.

4. Visit the Waikiki Aquarium
From sea turtles to seals and thousands of fish, Waikiki Aquarium is a delightful place to see Hawaii’s marine life up close. The Aquarium has interactive exhibits for kids and educational displays that will give you insight into everything from coral reefs to eels.

5. Tour Iolani Palace
This is the United States only royal palace and a tour of the fully restored palace is a glimpse into Hawaii’s past from the early days of Hawaiian royalty to the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom and the imprisonment there of Queen Liliuokalani. One of the most touching items seen on the tour is the quilt that Queen Liliuokalani stitched while in being held in confinement–she sewed into the quilt the names of people who had remained loyal to her. Next door to Iolani Palace is the State Capitol building and in front of the building you can see a statue of the newly designated Saint Damien who ministered to the Hansen’s disease victims of Molokai.

6. Visit the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor
Built directly above the USS Arizona where 1,177 men perished during the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, the USS Arizona Memorial may be Hawaii’s most moving historical site. Nearby are two more historical attractions, the USS Missouri (upon which Japan surrendered) and the USS Bowfin Submarine (which sunk 44 ships). A Museum on the site provides interesting information about the Pearl Harbor attack

7. Surf Waikiki with the Beachboys
Along Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki you can rent a surfboard and get a lesson from a real Hawaiian waterman or waterwoman who will show you how to surf the waves. The gentle waves of Waikiki along with some expert instruction will have you up and riding the waves in no time.

8. Shop at Aloha Tower Market Place or Ala Moana Shopping Center
There is no shortage of good shopping in Honolulu, and two of the best places to go are the and the Ala Moana Shopping Center. The centerpiece of the Aloha Tower Marketplace is the Aloha Tower, a Honolulu landmark standing 184 feet tall with a large clock face and the word “Aloha” on each side along with balconied openings. Dozens of upscale stores and restaurants are found in the Marketplace where live music often plays.

The Ala Moana Shopping Center is a Hawaii institution, providing more than 230 stores to choose from as well as any type of food you might want. When you’re done you can go next door to Ala Moana Park and relax in one of Hawaii’s most popular beach parks.

Don’t want to stay in the city your entire vacation? Stay in a Kailua vacation rental or Lanikai beach rental. Both destinations are just a short drive to Waikiki but feel a world away.

9. Stand Atop Nuuanu Pali
Atop the steep cliffs of Nuuanu Pali you get a panoramic view of Oahu’s windward side and you can feel the tradewinds in all of their glory. A wonderful series of informational signs at the site tell of Kamehameha the Great’s famous battle here where many warriors plunged to their death.

10. Fall Asleep On Lanikai Beach
If you do this, when you wake up you will think you are in a dream. Azure waters, soft white sand, and a picturesque setting with the furrowed Koolau mountains behind islets offshore all make Lanikai Beach one of Oahu’s most scenic beaches. It is also one of the most relaxing as it is somewhat hidden and rarely is crowded.