Hawaii, with its white sandy beaches, umbrella drinks, and blue skies is amongst the world’s most renowned tourist places on the planet. Hawaii receives more than 10 million tourists each year and a vast number of these tourists head to Hawaii’s most popular city, Honolulu.
You might also be familiar with Honolulu which is the place with its sun-soaked beaches and stunning high-rise resorts.
Even without these things, the city of Honolulu is a rich center for the history and culture of Honolulu along with its one-of-a-kind landmarks which are unlike any you will see in the world.
Even if it is a casual vacation or a dream vacation, we have made a list of the best & fun things to do in Honolulu, Hawaii.
1. Manoa Falls
Manoa Falls is the place that is nestled away in the middle of the tropical forest of Honolulu. This is a gorgeous 150-foot long waterfall that falls into a glittering rock pool. The Manoa Falls Trail is also the crown jewel to visit which is the two-mile hike allowing one to walk deep into the path of trees as the sunlight only comes through their thick canopies.
The true beauty of Manoa Falls can only be experienced when one sees it for themselves.
You might also remember it when we tell you that this is the same waterfall shown in movies like the Jurassic Park and the “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”. There is also folklore that this place is the roaming ground for the ghostly group of ancient Hawaiian warriors known by the name Nightmarchers.
2. Iolani Palace
Next up on the list for all the best & fun things to do in Honolulu, Hawaii is the visit to the Iolani Palace which is the remembrance of the times when Hawaii was a monarchy.
At that time, Hawaii was known as “The Kingdom of Hawaii” which was ruled by the monarchs until a coup d’état led to its downfall back in the 19th century. Shortly after that, this place became a state of the USA.
Iolani Palace is the last remnant of the life of the old Hawaii. This palace stretches over to several acres located in downtown Hawaii featuring an amazing building. This building is filled with all the great things like throne rooms and political offices.
For visitors, they can learn about its history via the audio recordings while looking at the display of the vintage clothes, furniture, fixtures, and artifacts of the royalty.
3. Dolphin Quest Oahu
This is another must-to-do on the list of Best & fun things to do in Honolulu, Hawaii. When in Honolulu, make sure to visit the Dolphin Quest Oahu which will allow for your dream to swim with dolphins a reality.
This fun activity is offered by the famed Kahala Hotel and Resort in different packages.
The simplest of these packages is to go inside the pool of dolphins and take some pictures for the trip.
In more advanced packages, one can feed, pet, and socialize with the dolphins. After they are all acquainted with you, you can even do snorkeling with them in the pool.
It is no brainer as to why the Dolphin Quest Oahu is amongst the most famed tourist attractions of entire Hawaii much less of Honolulu.
You might have heard about Waikiki but you will be surprised when we tell you that this is not a city of the state of Hawaii. Instead, this is only a neighborhood in the city of Honolulu. It only got famous after tourists started visiting it more than the rest of the Honolulu.
The thing that allowed for its fame among tourists is that it is filled with beaches, shops, restaurants, cafes, museums, resorts and theaters.
Beaches of Waikiki neighborhood are loomed with the massive hotels and surrounding it are the colorful shops with their dazzling souvenir displays and those cool surfboards.
One can enjoy many fun activities in Waikiki like taking a trip to the beach, taking up the lei-making class, or picnicking under the display of the firework show held over the beach’s bay.
We advise planning your trip to Honolulu for the springtime as you will be then able to enjoy the Honolulu Festival.
5. Diamond Head
Even a fifth-grader knows that Honolulu is the state of Volcanoes and the most famous of them is the Diamond Head but native calls it le’ Ahi meaning Tuna Brow. This local name is given due to the similarity with a fish fin while the Diamond Head was given by the sailors of the 19th century after they mistook the shining calcite crystals of the volcano as diamonds.
Still, this is one of the great places to visit when in Honolulu, Hawaii. A hike up the summit of this volcano will let you arrive at its massive crater from where you can enjoy the aerial view of land, sky, and water.
There are also local shops for eating and buying souvenirs near the volcanoes’ summit. The delicacy you must try at the top of Diamond Head is called Lomi-Lomi.
6. Polynesian Cultural Center
Hearing the name Polynesian Cultural Center you might think this is the dull museum type place. But you cannot be more wrong about it.
This place is actually a living cultural theme park where one can enjoy things like spear throwing and hula dancing.
This park is divided into 6 separate villages which represent the Polynesian Islands such as Tahiti, Fiji, Hawaii, and Samoa.
Each of these separate villages offers the fun activities of their homeland like Tonga Village offers the canoe paddling down a water stream while the drummers give you a one of a kind performance.
All in all, this place is to be added on the list of best & fun things to do in Honolulu, Hawaii; if you wish to experience fun at full extent.
7. Shark’s Cove
Hawaii is a place with 1200+ feet of the coral reef which makes it the world’s greatest destination for lovers of scuba diving and snorkeling.
There is one coral reef in Honolulu that one must visit for sure and that is Shark’s Cove. Despite the daunting name, there are no sharks there; instead, the name was given due to the coastline looking like the head of a shark from above.
The view from a ride of a helicopter might be great but the real dazzling scenery is under the water. As you go down the water fishes will be swimming in front of your goggles. Due to the volcanic eruptions in the past, there are now many caverns and caves one can explore.
8. Pearl Harbor
While the whole of the Honolulu is a bustling and stunning display of beaches and buildings, there is still one sobering thing in its shadows. The name of that shadow is “Pearl Harbor”.
Yes, this is the same place where on 7th December 1941, the Japanese air force attacked and ensured a great American tragedy.
There are many ways of paying respect at Pearl Harbor with one being quite popular. Pearl Harbor’s most renowned memorial is USS Arizona Memorial which has been built from the remains of the destroyed navy battleships and the loss of 1700 lives.
9. Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design
Shangri La is a story about some mystical land but the place called Shangri la Museum is a real place that is built outside of the city of Honolulu.
This place was commissioned by a famed heiress named Doris Duke to be built as a mansion where she would collect and then display the Islamic artwork.
The reason for her building this mansion was at the time she returned from her honeymoon from the Middle East and wanted to have a special place where she would be keeping all of her jewelry, wood carvings, embroidery artwork, and portraits.
Nowadays, this Shangri La Museum of Islamic Artwork is now open for the public to visit and it is all because of Doris Duke Foundation.