When you think of paradise, do you envision sandy beaches with year-round perfect weather? Perhaps your thoughts traverse to hiking mountainous terrain, overlooking ocean wildlife and whales during their mating season?
Maybe surfing waves measuring hundred of meters in length will inhabit your thoughts? Or visiting a near-by palace constructed for a king? If you pictured any of these items, then add Waikiki to your bucket list of vacation destinations.
Waikiki is a small community on O’ahu Island in Hawaii. Consistently ranked among the top vacation destinations in the world, Waikiki is a tropical paradise that remains in pristine condition. Best known for surfing, this Hawaiian hot spot is home to dozens of attractions, including the unique island culture and art plus breath-taking views and first-class shopping and cuisine.
What are the top attractions for visitors to Waikiki? This summary covers many of the best things to do when visiting the Hawaiian community. Whether it’s your first time in Hawaii or a return visit, the following are items you should add to your next trip to Waikiki.
1. Hi5 Tours Hawaii
Credit: Management / Groupon
Hi5 Tours Hawaii is considered by TripAdvisors as the top attraction for every Hawaiian vacation. The staff at Hi5 Tours go to considerable lengths to make each guided excursion an unforgettable journey for their guests. The results show as the company boasts more than 600 five-star reviews on the website.
Specializing in private tours of the area, the company promotes a laid-back experience for its customers. Tourists can expect a water adventure such as snorkeling or paddle boarding to be followed up by exploring the surf culture, art and cultural exhibits and a plethora of food options from the island’s food trucks.
2. Kuaola Ranch
Credit: Kualoa Ranch / Trip Advisor
The Kualoa Ranch is listed twice on the National Register of Historic Places as a preservation for the island’s land and culture. The company offers a variety of transportation options for guests to use on their tours, including boats, bicycles, UTVs and horses. Depending on the selected tour, guests can also zip line as well as taste local cuisine at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
The Kualoa Ranch offers multiple tours for consumers. The Jurassic Adventure Tour takes guests to iconic sites used to film the Jurassic Park movie franchise while the Ocean Voyage Adventure takes up to 48 guests on Kaneohe Bay and to a private island where guests can use paddle boards, canoes or even glass-bottom boats throughout the day.
Related Read: The 15 Best Waterfalls in Hawaii
3. N & K Travel Service
Credit: N&K Travel Service / Facebook
With more than 30 years in the vacation-planning business, N & K Travel Service is a one-stop shop to learn more about Waikiki activities and adventures awaiting you! Consumers will be guided through the bevy of must-see locales and tourist attractions on Honolulu by a seasoned travel service team.
Beyond Hawaii, N & K Travel Service offers international vacation options as well as cruises to exotic locations. Japan is one of the featured locations for international travel, and cruises to Alaska, Hokkaido and Russia are also available for customers. Past tours have included Australia and Shikoku Island.
4. Honolulu Night Market
Credit: Honolulu Night Market / Facebook
Imagine hosting a block party and inviting thousands of guests to attend. That’s the atmosphere you’ll experience at the festive Honolulu Night Market. Specializing in the island’s best fashion, food, art and entertainment options, the bi-annual Honolulu Night Market offers guests a chance to shop, eat and mingle under the clear Hawaiian skies.
COVID-19 restricted residents from hosting this event for more than two years. Now a twice-per-year event, the Honolulu Night Market returned in June with more than 60 retail outlets participating. The event featured multiple stages with dozens of performers and had numerous food truck options and other cuisine vendors for attendees.
5. Atlantis Submarines Waikiki
Credit: Management / Trip Advisor
📍Map It: 2005 Kalia Rd. Honolulu HI, 96815 | Phone: (808) 973-9811 | Website | Hours: Daily 8:30 am - 6 pm | Entrance: Starting at $143.00 for adults plus taxes, $66.00 for Children (3-12 years old) plus taxes and height restrictions
See Waikiki like never before on the Atlantis Submarine tour. This company offers passengers a chance to view the ocean floor bottom, diving approximately 100 feet below the sea to view numerous Hawaiian fish species. Additionally, riders will enjoy seeing numerous sunken ships, airplanes, and other man-made coral reefs off the island’s coastline.
The Atlantis Submarine ride for Waikiki involves two separate boats (a passenger boat and the submarine) and is approximately 90 minutes long. With large glass windows for viewing, customers can take in the sights of the ocean floor from the comfort of their seat inside the air-conditioned vessel. Food and beverages are not served during the submarine portion of the tour.
Related Read: 20 Best Romantic Getaways in Hawaii
6. KCC Farmers Market
Credit: Leah Friel / Honolulu Magazine
Nearly 100 vendors sell their products during the KCC Farmers Market, a Saturday morning tradition near Waikiki. The KCC Farmers Market is organized by the Hawaii Farm Bureau, allowing area merchants to offer a variety of locally-sourced groceries and plants to consumers in a centralized location.
From Waikiki, the KCC Farmers Market is a short bus trip from any of the hotels in the area. Visitors can expect to find several pop-up food stands with island-inspired favorite entrees and desserts. Other items you’ll find at the KCC Farmers Market include veggie dog treats, household plants, spices and seasonings, and fresh-ground or whole coffee beans.
7. Ghost Bus Hawaii
Credit: Kei S. / Yelp
Ready for a frightening good time? That’s the premise behind the Ghost Bus Hawaii tour. Consider this an alternative to haunted houses as customers are asked to board a bus and prepare for the (last) ride of their life! Created by famed Japanese haunted house specialist Michaelty Yamaguchi, this year-round attraction haunts its riders for many nights afterwards.
In actuality, the Ghost Bus Hawaii doesn’t move. The stationary haunted bus tour uses audio and visual effects to create its ghoulish images. The attraction also warns individuals with heart problems or blood pressure issues to avoid hopping on board the Ghost Bus Hawaii ride.
8. Waikiki Farmers Market
Credit: Kim G. / Yelp
The vibrant agricultural business is on full display throughout Waikiki all week long. In addition to the KCC Farmers Market (see description above), you’ll find the Hyatt’s Farmers Market at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort open Mondays and Wednesdays from 4 pm to 8 pm.
Also, Mahiku has two farmers markets to choose from during the week. On Thursdays from 4 pm to 8 pm, you can visit the Mahiku Farmers Market at the International Market Place (2330 Kalakaua Avenue). And on Fridays and Mondays, a second Mahiku Farmers Market is located at the King’s Village (131 Kaiulani Avenue).
9. Dolphins and You
Credit: Dolphins and You / Facebook
Dolphins and You is a tour company that offers multiple options to see your favorite marine mammals up close and personal. Included in the three-hour dolphin tour is an opportunity to kayak or paddle board and a hula dance show. The boat used for the tour also provides lunch and beverages as well as a 15-foot water slide for your enjoyment.
While Dolphins and You specializes in dolphin observation, the company also offers other activities. Paid guests can snorkel with turtles, enjoy whale watching from December to April, or pick a premium party cruise around Waikiki. Dolphins and You also offers a circle-island tour of Oahu featuring a nearby waterfall.
10. Hawaii Rainbow Tours
Credit: Management / Trip Advisor
📍Map It: | Phone: (808) 462-6180 | Website | Hours: Open daily 8 am - 8 pm | Entrance: Starting at $20 per person
The Hawaii Rainbow Tours offers guests staying on Oahu a private, guided journey of the island. Three total tour options, as well as custom-designed excursions, can be purchased from Hawaii Rainbow Tours. These trips will take you and your party to several prominent locations around the island, such as Dole Plantation, Sunset Beach, Diamond Head and Pali Lookout.
This company prices tours based on the party size. Parties up to 14 people pay the same amount as parties with only seven individuals, giving families a chance to include more members on the tour without any additional expense.
11. Waikiki Beach Hula Show
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📍Map It: Kuhio Beach Hula Mound, Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96815 | Phone: (808) 843-8002 | Website | Hours: Saturdays 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm February - October, Saturday 6 pm - 7 pm November - January | Entrance: Free
While visiting Waikiki, no vacation would be complete without watching dance troupes performing the traditional dance for the islanders. The Kuhio Beach Hula Show is a Saturday night tradition just off the sands of Waikiki Beach featuring authentic Hawaiian music and performances by top local artists.
Located on the Kuhio Beach Hula Mound, the performance lasts nearly an hour and starts with the traditional blowing of the conch shell. This free performance is only canceled if a parade or street fair occurs at the same time, and guests can sit on the grass while taking in the dance troupe’s performance.
12. Waikiki Beach
Credit: Tomoyuki S. / Trip Advisor
Waikiki Beach is one of the most iconic images from Hawaii. On the south shore of Honolulu, this internationally-known three mile stretch of shoreline once was home to the Hawaiian royalty that first inhabited the island.
Almost every hotel in Waikiki is within a two- or three-block walk of the beach. The calm waters surrounding Waikiki are ideal for surf lessons, a concept Duke Kahanamoku - known as “the father of modern surfing” - used to make his mark on the world and make this area world-famous. With vibrant shopping centers nearby, visitors can spend an entire day within blocks of their hotel and take in the best of Waikiki without any transportation necessary.
13. Aloha Hiking and Tours
Credit: Management / Trip Advisor
Aloha Hiking and Tours provides guided tours of Waikiki and the surrounding areas. The company prides itself in an expedition of Hawaii by completely immersing its guests into the culture and natural beauty of the island. Complimentary photograph packages are also included with every tour.
Visitors compliment the staff of Aloha Hiking and Tours regularly on multiple user-review websites. One review on Yelp called the owners “amazing” after they accommodated the guests’ special needs and took photographs of the family while on their guided tour. “The memories made on our tour will surely last a lifetime,” the reviewer wrote.
14. Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Fireworks Show
Credit: Colleen Wolfe / Facebook
Located in front of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort, visitors to Waikiki are treated to a Friday-night fireworks display that lights up the night sky. This tradition began in 1988 after hotel renovations were unveiled and created a cause for celebration. The popularity of the four-minute display has propelled this show to lasting more than 30 years.
After a two-year break due to COVID-19 restrictions, crowds can once again gather for this Waikiki tradition. From June until September, the fireworks display starts at 8 pm. After these months, the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort moves the display start time to 7:45 pm.
15. Aloha Diamond Head Hike
Credit: Jessie A. / Yelp
Almost as famous as the Waikiki Beach is the Aloha Diamond Head hiking trail. The expedition to the summit of Le’ahi is more than 114 years old and was originally built for the island’s coastal defense system. At the summit, guests can enjoy views from the tallest point in Waikiki with opportunities to take in panoramic views of the island
The Aloha Diamond Head hike is a 1.6-mile round trip, and visitors should allot two hours for the entire hike. Built on an inactive volcano, this trail provides visitors an opportunity to view the geological history of the volcanic crater and go through a 225-foot lighted tunnel.
Credit: Management / Trip Advisor
📍Map It: 2201 Kalākaua Ave Building B, Level 4, Honolulu, HI 96815 | Phone: (808) 629-7458 | Website | Hours: Vary based on shows | Entrance: Varies based on shows.
Rock-A-Hula is billed as Waikiki’s ‘largest luau and dinner show’. The dinner theater offers a wide variety of Hawaiian and Hawaiian-inspired foods. Entertainment includes musical performances from local bands and performers, as well as celebrity impersonators, hulu dancers, and much more.
This dinner theater is the recipient of TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence 4 years in a row. Most shows are appropriate for all ages. The theater seats 750 and is the only premier theater in the area, centrally located in the middle of Waikiki.
Check out their website to see the wide variety of acts and shows you can catch. From artists to hula and fire knife dancers, you won’t be disappointed.
17. Elf’s Custom Island Adventures
📍Map It: No physical location available. | Phone: (808) 457-5497 | Website | Hours: No hours available. | Entrance:$135 for up to 6 people.
Elf, the owner and operator of this custom tour and sightseeing company, is native to the island and the Waikiki area. For a fee Elf will custom tailor an island adventure or island tour for you. Elf gets some information about what you’re looking to get out of your trip and builds an eco-friendly private adventure for you.
The tour guide has all the certifications you would want them to have, including being lifeguard and AED certified. Much of the gear you would need for your adventure is available and supplied as part of your fee.
Elf’s Custom Island Adventures is one of the best ways to get a unique personalized experience in Waikiki.
18. Diamond Head State Monument
Credit: Eric Tessmer / Flickr
📍Map It: Honolulu, HI | Phone: (808) 587-0300 | Website | Hours: 6:00 AM to 4:00 PM | Entrance: Free for Hawaii residents, $5 for out-of-state guests. Parking is additional ($25 for 1-7 passenger vehicles)
Operated by the Hawaii Department of Natural Resources, Diamond Head State Monument is located near the eastern edge of Waikiki’s coastline. This monument is known as one of Hawaii’s most recognized landmarks.
Take a hike up the historic trail for some stunning coastal views. Immerse yourself in the military history of the area. The area encompasses more than 475 acres, which includes both sides of the crater.
The crater was formed approximately 300,000 years go during a volcanic eruption. The trail first opened in 1908, as part of a coastal defense system put in place by the government.
19. Roberts Hawaii
Credit: Rosario F. / Yelp
Roberts Hawaii is a full-service guided tour provider. Choose from four of the Hawaiian islands to explore, each with it’s own set of unique options to choose from to customize your adventure.
Roberts also offers a variety of transportation services to help get you around the island in style. Various shuttles to/from shopping and lodging areas make planning a day out and about easy.
Group rates and school trip rates are available. Be sure to check out their ‘island hopping’ packages, luxury tours, and shore excursions.
20. Ginza Bairin Tonkatsu & Yoshoku Bistro
Credit: Management / Trip Advisor
Japanese bistro style restaurant known for its breaded pork chops. The menu has quite the variety of options, including local seafood and poultry options. The restaurant serves delicious Katsu plates, including a Chicken Katsu with Curry Rice to die for.
Ginza Bairin is a premier establishment for authentic Japanese cuisine. The restaurant offers two unique dining experiences: the Tonkatsu room wit both traditional and contemporary Tonkatsu offerings, and the Yoshoku Bistro featuring Japanese dishes utilizing Western ingredients. Both sit-down and carry-out options are available.
21. Hawaiian Parasail
Credit: Katelyn K. / Yelp
Book a parasail trip and take in the sights from up to 1000’ above the ocean. A maximum of 12-15 people (based on weight) are able to join each trip. Non-flying observers are allowed to join as well.
The operator utilizes a unique harness method of a dry takeoff and landing directly from the boat, meaning you don’t need to get wet. If getting in the water sounds like fun, you have the option of a tea bag dip in the water on landing.
There are age, weight, and health restrictions for everyone who will be parasailing. Be sure to check ahead of time to avoid any surprises at the door.
22. Hawaii Food Tours
Credit: Management / Groupon
📍Map It: No physical location available. | Phone: (808) 389-8255 | Website | Hours: No hours available. | Entrance: Cost varies based on options.
The owner of this food tour company is known as one of the most respected food experts on the island as a former restaurant critic for Hawaii’s largest daily newspaper. In addition to offering food tours to hungry tourists, he also has an “Ultimate Eaters Guide” available if you’re more interested in eating your own way across Hawaii.
After some introductions and background info Matt will create a customized food tour to help you find the most delicious culinary delights available on the island. Give Matt a call before you visit Waikiki to make sure you’re not missing out on the best meal you’ve ever had.
23. Hawaiian Style Rentals and Sales
Head on over to Hawaiian Style and rent a moped to zip around the island with. Or for something a little more fun, check out the Scoot Coupe – a colorful moped for two. You can also rent bicycles and scooters of various sizes.
This rental shop also offers scooters, mopeds, bikes, and other small vehicles for sale and rent-to-own. You can also pick up a Go O’ahu Pass, maps, and travel guides in the store.
If you’re thinking of renting a small vehicle to get around while you’re in Waikiki, check out Hawaiian Style first.
24. Godspeed Adventures
Credit: Skyler Blevins / Trip Advisor
A full-service adventure and experience guide. Godspeed Adventures will help you find all the activities you’d like to do while on the island. They have pre-packed bundles in addition to individual options based on whatever you’re in the mood for.
Looking to get into the water with a shark? Let Godspeed Adventures send you out into the water in their popular Shark-Cage adventure.
Looking for some great hiking? Let them customize a day-hike for you, making sure you see all the things you want to see while you’re visiting the area. They allow for groups up to 12 and some options have a 2-person minimum so make sure to read up ahead of time.
25. Aloha Zipline Snorkeling Tour
Credit: Management / Groupon
📍Map It: 1777 Ala Moana Boulevard, Honolulu, HI 96815 | Phone: No phone available | No Website Available | Hours: Vary | Entrance: Varies based on options.
The Aloha brand of tours offers a variety of services and have kiosks located around Waikiki. This particular service is one of their more popular offerings. A zipline snorkeling tour offers a unique spin on your standard snorkeling experience.
This kiosk can be found at the Illikai Hotel, on Ala Moana Blvd near Kahanamoku Beach. This is one of the more popular snorkeling experiences in Waikiki, and they don’t have the ability to book ahead of time. So make sure to get their early to get a good spot in line.
26. Oahu Festival
Credit: Admin / The Hawaiian Islands
📍Map It: 250 South Hotel Street Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96813 | Phone: (808) 586-0900 | Website| Hours: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM | Entrance: Free admission.
This 11-week exhibition of arts is hosted at seven different venues: the Bishop Museum, Foster Botanical Garden, Hawai’I Theatre Center, Hawai’I State Art Museum, ‘Iolani Palace, Honolulu Museum of Art, and the Royal Hawaiian Center.
This year’s iteration is centered on the concept of Pacific Century – interweaving different themes of history, place, and social/environmental activism. Many of the exhibits focus on Hawaii’s unique location in the ocean.
27. Duke’s Waikiki
Credit: Ronx0036 / Trip Advisor
In 1929 Duke Kahanamoku rode a massive wave for 1 1/8 miles at Waikiki, which many claim is the longest ride ever recorded in modern times. This one-of-a-kind restaurant and bar on the beach embodies Duke’s can-do attitude and honors his legacy right on the shores of Waikiki.
The menu has a wide variety of options available and they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as offering late-night options for the bar crowd. The owners operate a few other restaurants across the island, all with their own unique atmosphere and menus.
Carry-out is available if you’re looking to avoid the crowd. Just don’t forget to try a slice of Hula pie before you leave.
28. Waikiki SPAM Jam Festival
Credit: Waikiki SPAM Jam / Facebook
📍Map It: No physical location, participating restaurants vary | Phone: (808) 921-6679 | Website | Hours: Varies based on location | Entrance: No admission fees.
The world’s first and only SPAM festival celebrating everyone’s favorite processed meat. The week-long festival features a number of restaurants who all provide their own special takes on how to prepare and serve SPAM.
SPAM was first created in 1937 by Hormel Foods. More SPAM is consumed per capita in Hawaii than in any other state in the United States. This makes Waikiki the perfect place for the world’s only SPAM festival.
Make sure to check out all the participating vendors and restaurants so you don’t miss any tasty takes on America’s favorite processed food.
29. 808 Eventures
Credit: 808 eVentures / Yelp
📍Map It: 2463 Kūhiō Ave. B1, Honolulu, HI 96815 | Phone: (808) 285-0674 | Website | Hours: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM | Entrance: Varies based on options.
A eBike tour and rental service. 5-star rated on TripAdvisor, 808 eVentures is eco-friendly family fun. The guides are knowledgeable locals who will ensure your safety while making sure you get to see and learn about all the history surrounding the area.
They make an interactive food guide available, and their guides are all well-versed in the best cuisine in Waikiki. After you’re done with your tour make sure you ask your guide where the best place to eat is.
30. Break’N Anger
Credit: Break’N Anger
Hawaii’s first ‘rage room’. Break’N Anger is the place to go if you like to break stuff. They also have a splatter art studio, so making things isn’t out of the question either.
If you’re looking for something truly unique during your time in Waikiki make sure to give Break’N Anger some consideration. Break and smash things to let out some anger and have some fun without having to worry about cleaning anything up. Once you're done smashing and splattering, chill out in their zen lounge and re-center yourself before heading back out into the island heat.
31. Hanauma Bay Snorkel Adventures
Credit: Icachi / Trip Advisor
Explore the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve which is open to the public Wednesdays through Sundays. This company is a local snorkeling excursion and shuttle service that will help you explore every part of the preserve.
If you’re staying in Waikiki they will pick you up at your hotel. They will provide all the equipment and training you need, as well as some good tips and guidelines for being an environmentally friendly snorkeler.
Make sure to plan ahead though: all Hanauma Bay visitors must leave the preserve by 4:00 PM and the beach is cleared at 3:30 PM every day. Parking is also first come first served, even with a reservation ahead of time.
32. The Lucoral Museum
Credit: Lucoral Museum Hawaii / Facebook
The Lucoral Museum is one of the largest collections of rocks, fossils, gemstones, and sculptures from areas all across the world. A workshop on-site gives you a hands-on view of how coral and pearls are transformed into jewelry and pieces of art.
The museum has several exhibits which rotate throughout the year. Exhibits feature endangered species, plants, and birds of the Hawaiian islands. Learn all about volcanic activity in the exhibit focused on Hawaii’s past and founding.
The museum first opened in 1989 and has been a favorite spot for school trips for many years. A great destination for families.
33. Haila Tours and Transportation
A private tour and transportation company that builds custom private tours of Oahu, Hawaii. Whether you’re looking to explore Pearl Harbor, Oahu’s North Shore, or Circle Island, you’ll be able to see it all in style.
In addition to custom-built guided tours, you can also choose to swim, shop, or paddleboard throughout the day. Choose from a half day tour or sightsee all day long.
Haila offers thematic tours: be sure to check out their movie, history, or nature themed tours before you book.
34. Punahou Carnival
Credit: Geralyn Kamahao C. / Yelp
The Panahou Carnival is a Waikiki tradition dating back to 1932 when Punahou Academy students hosted the “Oahuan Campus Carnival” to raise money for their yearbook expenses during the Great Depression. Every year since the week-long carnival has returned to the school.
The Carnival has various events and activites: the state’s largest art show featuring more than 1,000 works of art; more than 60 booths and various fair-style rides; the Hawaiian Plate featuring amazing food and live music; and the various street performers, variety shows, and even a silent auction to have fun with. The event is billed as a campus-wide effort to provide leadership and bonding opportunities for the Panahou community, and is an important fundraiser for the school.
35. Kuhio Beach Park
Credit: Management / Trip Advisor
The Kuhio Beach offers tons of events and activities throughout the year. Immerse yourself in the local culture and catch some hula shows and beach torch lightings. Evening shows are held every Wednesday and Saturday from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM and are free to the public
Each show opens with a traditional blowing of the conch shell. The beach area is one of the best in the areas and has a wave wall to stop large waves from coming into the swimming area, making it very safe.
The beach is open 24-hours and can be accessed at any time. The part of the beach that is considered to be the park, however, has hours that vary throughout the year.
36. The Outpost at Turtle Bay Resort
Credit: Management / Trip Advisor
While not in Waikiki, and located on the other side of the island, The Outpost is a must-do during your trip to the island regardless of where you’re staying. The Outpost at Turtle Bay is a guided Segway tour across the North Shore area.
Take in the sights and catch a glimpse of whales, dolphins, turtles, sea lions, mongoose, monk seals, or any other number of animals and species of wildlife.
The lush jungles of the North Shore are simply something to behold. Weave in and out of the jungle tree line while riding a Segway across the coast. Book in advance through the resort to make sure you reserve the time slot you want.
37. Hanauma Bay Tours
Credit: Hanauma Bay Snorkel Adventures
📍Map It: No physical location available | Phone: (808) 927-7424 | Website | Hours: 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM, closed on Tuesdays | Entrance: Varies based on options.
Hanauma Bay Tours provides round trip transportation to the state park. Included with your reservation is snorkeling gear. The company also provides different activities to partake in, such as dolphin watching and a cocktail sunset sail.
Only 1,400 tickets are available each day, first come first served. Entrance to the Hanauma Bay area is also difficult independently, as it is a popular destination. Booking with a group like Hanauma Bay Tours can make your trip to the bay area much easier.
The Hanauma Bay has strict rules, however, to preserve the natural integrity of the area. The area is cleared of people every day at 4:00 PM so be sure to account for this in your plans.
38. Manakai Catamaran
This cruise agency is located near the Honolulu Police Department Waikiki Station. Charter a cruise on a catamaran and set sail from an easy-to-find location in the middle of Waikiki.
Choose from a variety of sailing tours including a sunrise sail, marine life sail, and a Friday night fireworks sail. Relax on the Moana or snorkel at the Turtle Canyon, a green sea turtle cleaning station. Manakai Catamaran started in 1977 and has been a local institution for many years.
39. Aloha Festivals
📍Map It: 2250 Kalākaua Ave. Ste 315 Honolulu, HI 96815 | Phone: (808) 923-1094 | Website | Hours: Vary based on shows | Entrance: Varies based on shows, most are free.
Aloha Festivals is the biggest Hawaiian cultural celebration in the world. The event began as Aloha Week but become Aloha Festivals in 1991. Since then, it’s been a statewide celebration of Hawaiian culture.
Each year the festivals have a theme that ties all the events and exhibits together. Don’t miss the pomp and circumstance of the Royal Court Investiture & Opening Ceremony to kick it all off. Numerous hula contests take place across the island.
The crown jewel of the whole festival, however, is the annual floral parade. The procession is a masterful colorful mix of people, floats, animals, and street performances – with more Hawaiian flowers than you can imagine.
40. SWIM Restaurant and Bar
Credit: SWIM Restaurant and Bar / Yelp
SWIM Restaurant & Bar is an all-day poolside eatery located in the Hyatt Honolulu. Once you settle in with a cold drink by the pool, you won’t want to leave. Once you get a taste of any of the incredible dishes on the menu, you won’t be able to leave.
Take in great beach views and enjoy amazing cuisine from the comfort of the Hyatt. At night, enjoy any of the numerous beach-front activities: including fire dancing and live music.
41. Snorkel Manu Kai Catamaran
Credit: Management / Trip Advisor
Cruise past Diamond Head State Monument on a sail boat. Get close up and personal with some sea turtles. Or, jump off the boat and get wet on a snorkel tour.
Snorkel Manu Kai is a one-stop shop for all of your boat chartering and snorkeling needs. Conveniently located within a half-hour drive from the Kailua, Kaneohe Bay, Ewa Beach, Waimanalo Beach, and Kapolei areas.
Look into some of their specials and packages: they offer a nighttime fireworks tour, a happy hour sail special, and a waikiki snorkel package. There are also a variety of themed excursions available as well.
42. Puu O Kaimuki Mini Park
Credit: Malia K. / Yelp
Puu O Kaimuki is an urban park in Waikiki with phenomenal views. The perfect spot to go enjoy a sunset with a loved one. After a short hike up an access road you’ll find a breathtaking 360 degree view of the entire area.
See Diamond Head State monument, the Honolulu skyline, Kaimuki, Kahala, and Koko Head. Not much here as far as amenities are concerned, but the view is well-worth the time and effort.
Entrance is located on Ocean View Drive and can be a little tricky to find. Note: there are no public facilities here, and no handicap access.
43. Fort DeRussy Beach Park
Credit: Jake_MA_11 / Trip Advisor
Initially a park developed for use by members of the Armed Forces, Fort DeRussy Beach Park is a lovely recreational area overlooking the ocean. The park is located next to the Outrigger Reef Resort, near the Hale Koa Hotel.
All of Fort DeRussy is accessible via wheelchair. There is a circular drop-off area located outside the U.S. Army Museum on campus. Beach wheelchairs can be rented nearby for all to enjoy the sights and sounds. The park has a children’s playground, exercise equipment, pickleball courts, a museum, volleyball courts, and other amenities throughout.
44. Kawaii Kon
Credit: Tom Quach / Facebook
Kawaii Kon is an annual 3-day celebration. The festival highlights Japanese culture, anime, manga, and pop-culture. Events include cosplay events, anime characters, a fashion show, a karaoke kompetition, games and video art, and much more.
Family-friendly, all ages are welcome. Children under 10 get in free if they’re with a paid Kawaii Kon member. There are some adult-only events, but access is restricted by photo ID.
45. Nohea Gallery
📍Map It: Hyatt Regency Waikiki, 2424 Kalākaua Ave #128, Honolulu, HI 96815 | Phone: (808) 596-0074 | Website | Hours: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM | Entrance: Varies based on shows.
The Nohea Gallery is located in the Hyatt Regency Waikiki. Explore work by both local and world-renowned artists in a comfortable environment. Purchase some art for your home or office, or just enjoy strolling through the masterworks.
The gallery features paintings, island art, jewelry, fine crafts, and more. One exhibit focuses on Hawaiian wood bowls and turned local woodwork.
The Nohea Gallery is a great place to find some really interesting Hawaiian art. They even have some furniture pieces, in addition to a wide array of woodworking projects utilizing Hawaiian woods.
46. Mickey’s Surf School
Credit: Management / Trip Advisor
Micah, the lead instructor at Mickey’s Surf School, was born and raised in Hawaii and grew up on Oahu’s beaches. Surfing and the ocean just run through his veins. Combined with his passion for helping people, Micah is one of the best surf instructors on the island.
Whether you’re a beginner getting in the water for the first time, or a seasoned veteran looking for extra tips and advice, Mickey’s Surf School will have you comfortable on a surfboard in no time. They also offer ‘Surf Safaris’, or island tours from a surfboard. Micah is also the only fluent Japanese speaker on Waikiki Beach – if this is a service you need.
47. Mangoes at the Moana
Is an annual stylish soiree centered on celebrating the mango, a fruit critical to the Hawaiian economy and culture. Most of the activities and events take place at the Moana Surfrider Resort, a luxury resort hotel on the Waikiki Beach.
The event has been going on for more than ten years and hosts both casual and formal events all day long. They highlight local arts and crafts and all the different recipes you can make using a mango. Don’t forget to stop by the mango growing seminar to learn how to cultivate a mango plant all on your own.
48. Leahi Millennium Peace Garden
Credit: Sina F. / Yelp
📍Map It: 4180 Diamond Head Rd, Honolulu, HI 96816 | Phone: No phone number available. | No Website Available| Hours: 9:30 AM to 10:00 PM | Entrance: No admission fee.
The Leahi Millennium Peace Garden is a large green garden space right at the base of Diamond Heat State Monument. Take in the northeast side of the crater and all of the lush garden scape available in this tranquil retreat. There are numerous gardens and walking trails with abundant native plant life.
The trails are easy to navigate, making it a great place for anyone of any age. There are paid parking spots nearby the park, but these must be reserved in advance. So plan ahead – if you need to drive here you might need to figure out parking before you leave.
Take a hike up into the Diamond Head area, or stay in the peaceful tranquility of the park. Either way, you’re in for some great views.
49. Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Statue
Credit: Management / Trip Advisor
Known as the father of modern surfing, Duke Kahanamoku is a local legend. Born in 1890 Duke grew up swimming and surfing in Waikiki. His legend as a waterman began when, in his very first competition, he broke the world record in the 100-yard freestyle swim.
This statue can be found on Kuhio Beach in Waikiki. The beach is home to many different activities. Visit during nighttime to see the daily ritual torch lighting and hula dancing. The 9-foot statue of Duke is one of many throughout the island that celebrate Hawaiian heroes.
50. Lewers Lounge
Credit: Lewers Lounge / Facebook
This upscale jazz lounge is located in the Halekulani Hotel, right on the beach. Just to the east of Fort DeRussy Beach Park, enjoy plush ambiance while you sip on craft cocktails an enjoy incredible music.
Listen to live jazz musicians Tuesday through Saturday nights. The lounge is available for special events and large groups. Heads up: this lounge has a dress code. Trade in the swim attire and flip flops for elegant resort attire before you head over.