Culture and History
Honolulu Museum of Art
Want to catch an artsy film, new exhibit, or take an art class? The Honolulu Museum of Art is more than just a museum. They are dedicated to the ethnically diverse arts community in Hawaii, offering visual arts, arts education, performing arts, films and videos, and public programs that focus on the museum’s unique location in the Pacific.
Built in 1882, the Iolani Palace was the official home of Hawaiian royalty until the overthrow in 1893. Located in Honolulu’s art and business district, this National Historic Landmark features immaculate grounds perfect for afternoon picnics or reflection. The palace featured amenities that were considered state-of-the-art at the time: indoor plumbing, electric lighting, and a telephone.
Doris Duke's Shangri La
Take a shuttle from the Honolulu Museum of Art to the Shangri La, the center for Islamic Arts and Cultures. The Shangri La looks more like a palace than an arts center. Take a guided tour designed to introduce you to the world of Islamic art and architecture and learn about Islamic art through objects and architectural elements originating from the Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia, and North Africa.
Pearl Harbor / USS Arizona Memorial
Oahu’s most popular attraction, Pearl Harbor features the USS Arizona Memorial, USS Bowfin Submarine, USS Missouri Battleship, and Pacific Aviation Museum. The memorial and museums tell the stories of the Pacific War, including the events of December 7, 1941, the internment of Japanese-Americans, the battles in the Aleutians, and the occupation of Japan. .
Hawaii State Art Museum
Located in downtown Honolulu on the 2nd floor of the No. 1 Capitol District Building, the Hawaii State Art Museum offers insights and exhibitions related to the arts in Hawaii. Here you’ll find four galleries, the Diamond Head Gallery, the Ewa Gallery, the Sculpture Lobby, and the Sculpture Garden.
Enjoy Waikiki and Honolulu from a different perspective. Take a relaxing ride on an ocean catamaran and unique, spectacular views. Catamaran cruises are fun for the whole family and usually offer food and drinks. Be sure to try a sunset cruise for an experience you’ll never forget.
Surf and SUP Lessons
With its long, gentle waves and ideal conditions, Waikiki Beach is the perfect place to try this exhilarating ocean sport. Try to catch your own waves by taking a surf lesson, or, if you’d rather glide on a board, try stand up paddling, which relies on the boarder’s ability to balance. Waikiki Beach was once a surfing spot reserved exclusively for Hawaiian royalty.
Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay is a picturesque nature preserve dedicated to conservation and educating visitors about the ocean. Located on the eastern side of the island, Hanauma Bay offers world-renowned snorkeling and native marine life, some of which are found nowhere else in the word. You’ll be able to view unique marine life after a short video that will show you what you can expect to see, and how to responsibly enjoy the water. >
Parasailing in Waikiki
Fly through the Hawaii skies and take in views of Diamond Head, Waikiki and the majestic Koolau Mountains. Land in the water or stay dry—it’s your choice. Either way, you’re in for an exciting adventure!
Hawaiian royalty used to watch horse races at this park, located at the quiet corner of Waikiki near the Honolulu Zoo. These days, people love this park because it’s a fantastic place for morning yoga, an afternoon picnic, or a starlit evening run. People also love to take their dogs for walks along the perimeter of the park.
Calling all animals lovers! Honolulu isn’t just clear water and sandy beaches. Check out the 902 animals that call the Honolulu Zoo home. With over 42 acres to explore, the zoo offers both animal and plant exhibits, a café, and educational programs. Your whole family will love the wild side of Waikiki.
Ever wonder what lurks beneath the sea? Check out the mysterious marine life at the Waikiki Aquarium, located right on Waikiki beach. Glowing jellyfish, vibrant fish, and intricate corals are just some of the beautiful displays you’ll find inside while at the aquarium.
Manoa Falls Trail
Take a short hike through a lush Hawaii rainforest in Manoa Valley en route to a spectacular 150-foot waterfall. The trail is well maintained making it perfect for hikers of all ages. Located just a short drive mauka (toward the mountains) from Waikiki, you’ll easily forget that you’re in bustling Honolulu.
Makapuu Point Lighthouse Trail
The Makapuu Point Lighthouse Trail offers outstanding views of Oahu’s windward coast and southeastern coastline, including Koko Head and Koko Crater. On a clear day, you may even see the neighboring islands of Molokai and Lanai. From November to May, this trail is an excellent place to view migrating humpback whales.
KCC Farmer's Market
Widely considered the most popular farmers’ markets on Oahu, the KCC Farmer’s Market is held each Tuesdays and Saturdays at Kapiolani Community College, located just a short drive from Waikiki. Enjoy a wide variety of local produce, locally-made products, and ono (delicious) food.
Ala Moana Center
With over 290 exclusive retail shops, visitors love this popular indoor/outdoor mall loved by locals. From flagship stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom to boutiques, Ala Moana offers a complete shopping experience. After a long day of shopping, unwind at one of the many dining options like the Mai Tai Bar, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, or Alan Wong’s Pineapple Room.
Royal Hawaiian Center and Luxury Row
Some of Hawaii’s best shopping is just an easy walk from your hotel. The Royal Hawaiian Center, comprised of 310,000 square feet of trendy shops and restaurants, is situated on Kalakaua Avenue. Take a stroll further down the street and you’ll find Luxury Row, which houses Tiffany & Co., Coach, Chanel, Gucci and more!
Chinatown & Downtown Honolulu
Visit Honolulu’s center of government, business, and the arts. Take a stroll through Hawaii’s history at the State Capitol, Washington Place (the governor’s mansion), Honolulu Hale (Honolulu’s City Hall), Iolani Palace, the statue of King Kamehameha, and Kawaiahao Church.
Historic Haleiwa Town
Nestled on Oahu’s famous North Shore is an old sugar plantation turned quaint beach town and surfing mecca. Within this walkable enclave of historic and modern buildings, you’ll find local art, food trucks, beachy boutiques, ocean activities, restaurants, and a beach park perfect for picnics or relaxing.
Ward Village Shops
From movie theaters to art studios, shopping and a wide variety of eateries, Ward Village Shops has something for everyone! Ward Village Shops include favorites like Pier 1 Imports, Nordstrom Rack, and TJ Max, but also have specialty shops you won’t find anywhere else!