As the sun sets on the horizon, casting a warm glow over the sandy beaches, you know you’ve arrived in paradise.
Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii, is a city that’s perfect for summer fun. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, Honolulu has something fun for everyone, anyone, no matter where they are across the globe.
If you’re wondering what those fun activities are, you came to the right place.
In this article, we are going to explore some of the top things to do in Honolulu during the summer months. From hiking to water sports to exploring the local culture, get ready to immerse yourself in all that this beautiful city has to offer.
So pack your sunscreen and get ready to embark on a summer adventure in Honolulu!
Fun Water Sports To Do In Honolulu In The Summer
Discover a world of fun and adventure in Honolulu’s crystal-clear waters with our comprehensive list of the best water sports to try this summer. From heart-pumping activities like parasailing and cage shark diving to more relaxing options like kayaking and submarine tours, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Here are some of the best water sports activities that you should try when in Honolulu during the summer:
Take your adventure to new heights with parasailing in Honolulu.
During the summer, the tranquil waters provide the perfect conditions for this thrilling activity. Parasailing allows you to soar high above the coastline, meaning, you get to enjoy the breathtaking views of the turquoise waters, lush greenery, and stunning landscape.
With expert guides, you’ll feel safe and secure as you experience this adrenaline-fueled adventure.
Here are some of the best companies for parasailing in Honolulu:
- H2O Sports Hawaii
- X-Treme Parasail
- Paradise Watersports
- Hawaiian Parasail Inc.
- SeaBreeze Watersports
- Aloha Watersports
- Makani Kai Helicopters
- Rainbow Watersports Adventures
- Jetstar Watersports
- Koko Beach Parasail
The companies that we listed above offer a range of packages and experiences for parasailing, including single and tandem flights, high-altitude adventures, and sunset tours.
Please do keep in mind that each company has its unique features, such as expert guides, state-of-the-art equipment, and stunning views of Honolulu’s coastline. So regardless of which company you choose, parasailing in Honolulu is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
Dive into the crystal-clear waters of Honolulu and explore the vibrant marine life with snorkeling.
The summer months provide optimal conditions for snorkeling, with calm and clear waters allowing for optimal visibility. Visitors can discover a diverse array of marine life, including colorful fish, coral reefs, and even sea turtles.
With knowledgeable guides, you’ll learn about the marine ecosystem and how to protect it for future generations, and the best thing about Honolulu, it’s home to some of the most beautiful snorkeling spots in the world.
Here are some of the best places to snorkel in Honolulu:
- Hanauma Bay
- Sharks Cove
- Electric Beach
- Lanikai Beach
- Turtle Canyon Reef
- Kahe Point Beach Park
- Three Tables Beach
- Waikiki Beach
- Makaha Beach Park
- Kuilima Cove
Each of these snorkeling spots offers something unique, from colorful coral reefs and schools of tropical fish to sea turtles and even the occasional dolphin sighting.
While some spots are better suited for experienced snorkelers, others are great for beginners and families with children. Be sure to check the conditions and restrictions of each location before heading out to ensure a safe and enjoyable snorkeling experience.
Turtle Canyon Cruises and Snorkeling Excursions
Experience the ultimate snorkeling adventure with a Turtle Canyon Cruise and Snorkeling Excursion when visiting Hawaii. When trying to go on this activity, you are going to sail along the stunning Honolulu coastline before arriving at Turtle Canyon, a popular spot for Hawaiian green sea turtles.
Here, you will have the chance to snorkel and swim with these gentle creatures in their natural habitat. Not only that but you’ll also explore the vibrant coral reefs and observe other marine life up close, and with expert guides, you’ll learn about the history, culture, and marine ecosystem of Honolulu while enjoying a thrilling day out.
Cage Shark Dives
For an unforgettable adrenaline rush, embark on a cage shark dive during your summer visit to Honolulu.
With experienced dive guides and a secure cage, you’ll feel safe as you come face to face with different types of sharks, including the infamous tiger shark. The summer months provide optimal conditions for this exhilarating experience, creating a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Please do keep in mind that cage shark diving in Hawaii is a popular activity that allows participants to get up close and personal with some of the ocean’s most fearsome predators. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks involved in this activity. One of the most significant risks is injury. Sharks are powerful animals that can easily injure a person if they feel threatened or agitated. While the cage is designed to protect divers from direct contact with the sharks, accidents can still happen.
This is why before going on cage shark dives, it is necessary to know if it’s safe or not.
Honolulu is a destination that has a wide range of boat tours to offer, each providing a unique experience.
One such tour is the glass-bottom boat, which offers an unparalleled view of the underwater world without getting wet. These boats feature a transparent bottom that lets you observe colorful fish, coral, and other marine life up close.
If you prefer a more relaxing and peaceful experience, a sailing tour is the way to go. These tours take you out on a sailboat, where you can soak in the sun and enjoy the sea breeze while taking in the stunning views of the island.
For sightseeing, many boat tours showcase the natural beauty of Oahu. These tours typically include stops at famous landmarks such as Diamond Head and Hanauma Bay and provide opportunities to spot wildlife like sea turtles and dolphins.
Another activity that you should try out is, whale watching, which is a popular activity in Honolulu. Humpback whales migrate to the warm waters of Hawaii to breed and give birth, and whale-watching tours take you out to sea to observe these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. You may even get to see them breach the surface or hear their haunting songs.
Honolulu’s boat tours offer something for everyone, from those seeking adventure to those looking for a relaxing and peaceful escape. So whether you want to get up close with marine life, admire the natural beauty of the island, or witness the magic of whale watching, there is a tour that can cater to your interests and preferences.
Diamond Head Cruises
Diamond Head Cruises offer a unique and exciting way to experience the beauty of Honolulu. This tour takes you along the stunning coastline of Oahu, passing through crystal clear waters and scenic vistas that provide a picture-perfect backdrop for your journey.
One of the highlights of Diamond Head Cruises is the opportunity to see the famous Diamond Head Crater up close. This iconic landmark offers panoramic views of the island, and you can capture breathtaking photos of the crater from the water.
Another exciting aspect of the tour is the chance to see marine life up close. During the cruise, you may encounter playful dolphins and sea turtles swimming alongside the boat, providing a memorable experience for animal lovers.
Diamond Head Cruises are also popular for their sunset cruises. This romantic and serene experience offers the chance to witness the vibrant colors of the sunset while sipping on a refreshing cocktail and taking in stunning views.
Submarine tours in Honolulu offer an exciting and unique way to explore the underwater world of Hawaii. These tours take you on a submersible vessel that descends to depths of up to 100 feet, providing a window into the underwater world that is teeming with life and color.
During a submarine tour, you can expect to see a variety of marine life such as colorful fish, coral reefs, and other sea creatures that call the ocean home. The submersible is equipped with large windows that offer stunning views of the underwater world, and you will be able to get a close-up look at the vibrant marine ecosystem.
One of the most popular submarine tours in Honolulu is the Atlantis Submarine tour, which takes you on a 48-passenger submarine to explore the depths of the ocean. This tour takes you to a depth of about 100 feet, where you will witness the diverse marine life and coral reefs up close.
Submarine tours are an excellent way to experience the beauty of Hawaii’s marine life without getting wet. The tours are suitable for all ages, and the guides are knowledgeable and provide fascinating insights into the underwater world.
Experience the beauty of Honolulu’s coastline up close with kayaking.
During the summer months, the calm waters provide the perfect conditions for a peaceful and enjoyable kayaking experience.
You can choose from a range of tours and rentals and paddle through hidden coves, admire stunning coastlines, and spot marine life such as sea turtles and dolphins. With expert guides, you will also learn about the history and culture of Honolulu while getting some exercise and enjoying a day out on the water, making it a great activity to do on a hot day during the summer.
Non-Water Activities To Do In Honolulu
Honolulu is known for its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters, but there are also plenty of non-water activities to enjoy in this vibrant city. From exploring historic sites to immersing yourself in local culture, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Here’s a list of the top non-water activities to do in Honolulu, so you can make the most of your time on this beautiful island:
A visit to the USS Missouri in Honolulu during the summer months is a must-do experience for history buffs and anyone interested in American military history.
This famous battleship, which was commissioned in 1944 and served in World War II, the Korean War, and the Gulf War, is now open to the public as a museum ship. Visitors to the USS Missouri can explore the ship’s decks, including the gun turrets, the captain’s cabin, and the famous surrender deck where the Japanese signed the Instrument of Surrender to end World War II. The ship is also home to several exhibits that detail the ship’s history and service, including artifacts, photographs, and displays of life on board.
But the USS Missouri is more than just a museum ship.
During the summer months, the ship hosts several special events and programs that offer visitors a chance to experience life on board. For example, visitors can participate in a guided tour led by a veteran who served on the ship or watch a reenactment of the surrender ceremony that took place on the deck.
In addition, the USS Missouri is a popular venue for concerts, festivals, and other events during the summer months. From Fourth of July celebrations to live music performances, there’s always something happening on board this famous battleship.
The USS Arizona Memorial in Honolulu is a solemn and unforgettable destination that honors the 1,177 sailors and Marines who lost their lives during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
A visit to the memorial is a must-do experience for anyone interested in American history or who wants to pay their respects to those who gave their lives in service to their country.
The memorial, which was built over the remains of the sunken battleship, consists of a white concrete structure that spans the length of the ship.
Visitors can walk along the memorial’s decks, which offer stunning views of Pearl Harbor and the nearby mountains, and peer into the water to see the remains of the USS Arizona below.
But the memorial is more than just a place to pay respects. It also houses several exhibits and displays that detail the events of the attack, including artifacts, photographs, and personal stories from survivors and family members of those who perished.
Visitors to the memorial can also take a guided tour, which includes a film about the attack and a boat ride to the memorial. And during the summer months, the memorial hosts several special events, such as candlelight tours and live music performances, that offer visitors a unique and poignant experience.
Honolulu City Tours
Honolulu, the capital city of Hawaii, is a vibrant and exciting destination that is filled with rich culture, history, and natural beauty.
A city tour is an excellent way to explore and discover all that this city has to offer, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler.
One of the best things about a city tour is the opportunity to see the city’s most famous landmarks and attractions, such as the iconic Aloha Tower, the historic Iolani Palace, and the bustling Waikiki Beach.
Along with that, a city tour also allows you to explore the city’s lesser-known gems, such as the stunning Foster Botanical Garden or the charming Kaimuki neighborhood. On top of that, a city tour also provides an opportunity to learn about Honolulu’s rich history and culture.
Various touring agencies in Honolulu offer stops at historic sites and museums, such as the Bishop Museum, which is home to the largest collection of Polynesian artifacts in the world. You can also learn about the city’s unique cuisine on a food tour, sampling everything from traditional Hawaiian dishes to fusion cuisine that reflects the city’s diverse population.
Another advantage of a city tour is the chance to meet and interact with locals. Many tours are led by knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides who are passionate about their city and eager to share their insights and stories with visitors.
You may also have the opportunity to meet artisans, musicians, and other creatives who call Honolulu home.
Honolulu is not only famous for its beaches and outdoor activities, but it’s also a shopping haven. With a plethora of malls and shopping districts, Honolulu has something for everyone. From luxury boutiques to bargain hunting, Honolulu’s shopping scene caters to all.
Here are some of the best shopping malls that you can visit when visiting Honolulu, Hawaii:
Ala Moana Center
With over 350 stores and restaurants, this is the world’s largest open-air mall. Here you can find high-end luxury brands like Chanel, Gucci, and Prada, as well as popular chains like H&M and Zara. Ala Moana is also home to a variety of dining options, from fast food to fine dining. There’s even a center stage where live music and cultural performances take place.
Royal Hawaiian Center
Located in the heart of Waikiki, this open-air mall has over 110 stores and restaurants. Here you can find upscale retailers like Hermes and Kate Spade, as well as local boutiques selling Hawaiian-made products like jewelry and clothing. The center also offers cultural activities like lei-making and hula lessons.
Waikiki Beach Walk
Located just a few steps from Waikiki Beach, this outdoor shopping center offers a variety of shopping options. It has over 50 shops and restaurants, including the Hard Rock Cafe and the Island Vintage Coffee Company. The center also hosts live music and hula performances.
International Market Place
Over 80 stores and restaurants are located in this newly renovated shopping center in Waikiki. Here you can find both luxury and affordable brands, like Saks Fifth Avenue and Forever 21. The center also has a 1,400-seat theater that hosts nightly hula shows.
Aiea is about 20 minutes from Honolulu, where this indoor mall is located. It has over 170 stores and restaurants, including department stores like Macy’s and Sears. The mall also features an ice skating rink and a movie theater.
This outdoor mall is located in the upscale neighborhood of Kahala, about 10 minutes from Waikiki. It has over 40 stores and restaurants, including Whole Foods and Apple. The mall also has a luxury theater that serves food and drinks during the movie.
A 20-minute drive from Honolulu, this mall is located in Kaneohe. It has over 110 stores and restaurants, including a Macy’s and a Target. The mall also features a movie theater and an indoor playground.
The Ward Village is an outdoor mall that’s located in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Kakaako, about 10 minutes from Waikiki. It has over 100 shops and restaurants, including local boutiques and popular chains like Pier 1 Imports and T.J. Maxx. The mall also hosts a farmers market and live music events.
Koko Marina Center
Located in Hawaii Kai, about 25 minutes from Waikiki. It has over 50 shops and restaurants, including Safeway and Longs Drugs. The mall also offers water activities like stand-up paddleboarding and kayak rentals.
This outdoor mall is located in Kapolei, about 30 minutes from Honolulu. It has over 35 stores and restaurants, including a Target and a Ross Dress for Less. The mall also hosts outdoor movie nights and farmers’ markets.
Please do note that these are just some of the best malls to visit when visiting Honolulu.
Dole Plantation Tours
Dole Plantation Tours is an idyllic escape from the bustling city of Honolulu.
This iconic tourist spot is a world-famous destination that is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Hawaii. The plantation is a living museum that tells the story of Hawaii’s history and agricultural industry. You can explore the lush gardens and learn about the history of pineapple cultivation in Hawaii. Not only that but you can also take a ride on the Pineapple Express Train, which takes you on a tour of the plantation and provides a glimpse into the different stages of pineapple growth.
Additionally, there’s a giant maze made from hedges that’s perfect for families and couples to explore together. At the end of your visit, don’t forget to try some of the plantation’s delicious pineapple treats like Dole Whip or fresh pineapple ice cream.
A trip to Dole Plantation Tours promises a fun-filled and informative experience that will leave you with a greater appreciation for Hawaiian culture and its natural bounty.
Guided Hawaiian Food and Photo Tours
A guided Hawaiian food and photo tour is a unique way to experience the local culture and cuisine of Honolulu.
These tours offer an opportunity to taste the authentic flavors of Hawaii and explore the city’s famous landmarks through the lens of a camera. They are usually led by knowledgeable guides, and visitors get to learn about the history of Hawaiian food and the cultural significance behind each dish.
As you stroll through Honolulu’s bustling streets, you’ll also have plenty of opportunities to capture some of the city’s iconic sights and scenic vistas.
So if you’re a foodie, a photographer, or simply looking for a fun and immersive way to experience the city, a guided Hawaiian food and photo tour is not to be missed.
Safaris and Wildlife Activities
Honolulu may be a bustling city, but it also offers plenty of opportunities for animal lovers to get up close and personal with wildlife.
One must-visit destination is the Honolulu Zoo, which houses over 900 animals across 42 acres of tropical gardens. Here, visitors can admire everything from African lions and Sumatran tigers to Galapagos tortoises and Hawaiian monk seals.
Another popular wildlife attraction is the Sea Life Park, located on Oahu’s southeastern shore. The park offers interactive encounters with dolphins, sea lions, rays, and sharks, as well as a variety of shows and educational programs.
For those looking for a more adventurous animal experience, there are several safari options available. The Kualoa Ranch and Private Nature Reserve offers various guided tours, including a Jungle Jeep Expedition and a Horseback Riding Adventure, which take visitors through lush rainforest, valleys, and rugged terrain.
The Oahu Catamaran Company also offers a unique sailing experience with a chance to spot dolphins, whales, and sea turtles in their natural habitats.
If you’re interested in marine life, there are plenty of snorkeling and scuba diving tours available around the island. These tours give visitors the chance to swim alongside sea turtles, tropical fish, and other colorful sea creatures.
The Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is one of the most popular snorkeling destinations in Honolulu, boasting crystal-clear waters and a stunning coral reef. Visitors can also take a shark cage dive to see these magnificent creatures up close, with experienced guides ensuring the safety of all participants.
Honolulu, Hawaii, is a paradise for travelers that are looking for a perfect summer getaway. With its breathtaking scenery, crystal-clear waters, and warm tropical climate, Honolulu has something for everyone. From exhilarating water sports to city shopping, guided tours, and wildlife activities, the list of things to do in Honolulu during the summer is endless.
For adventure seekers, Honolulu offers a range of thrilling water sports like parasailing, snorkeling, and cage shark dives. Visitors can also take a boat tour to see the magnificent whales, go on a submarine tour to explore the underwater world, or even kayak to explore the coastline.
Those interested in learning about the rich history and culture of Honolulu can visit iconic landmarks like USS Arizona Memorial and USS Missouri, or join a guided Hawaiian food and photo tour to discover the best local cuisine and capture the memories.
City shopping enthusiasts can spend their day at popular malls like Ala Moana Center, Royal Hawaiian Center, and Kahala Mall, to name a few, to buy souvenirs, clothes, and accessories.
Lastly, for wildlife lovers, there are various options like Honolulu Zoo, Waikiki Aquarium, and the Hawaii Nature Center to see the rich flora and fauna of the island.
In short, Honolulu, with its perfect mix of adventure, history, culture, and natural beauty, is a must-visit destination during the summer months. The experiences that one can have in Honolulu are endless, and it is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who visits this tropical paradise.