Things to do in Honolulu
Welcome to Hawaii, one of the most beautiful places on earth! It will come as no surprise that this is Vinnie Van GO’s favorite vacation spot. There are so many things to do that he’s made a short travel guide for you.
From to the beach to the city, Hawaii’s capital has everything you need for a great getaway. Whether you're looking for local festivals or popular tours in Honolulu, start with Vinnie's guide.
Chinese New Year
Honolulu is one of the best places to celebrate Chinese New Year. When January 28th comes around, the red lanterns line the streets, and locals and tourists alike come out to celebrate. There are plenty of activities in the weeks leading up to New Year’s day, so check the schedule. This is a must-visit cultural event.
Mid-March, this three day event celebrates Hawaii’s cultural heritage with a series of dance performances, live music events, crafts and art demonstrations. The final event is the Grand Parade, starting from Saratoga Road to Kalakaua Avenue. This is a must-see cultural event, perfect for the whole family. Book a festival shuttle in Honolulu to check it out for yourself.
Merrie Monarch Festival
The small town of Hilo, a quick shuttle ride away from central Honolulu, comes alive in mid-April. Originally starting in 1963, this multi-day festival celebrates one of Hawaii’s most iconic cultural pillars - the hula. Created in honor of King David Kalakaua, this festival is a must-visit, with craft fairs, free music and dance performances for a whole week.
Honolulu’s main stadium is Aloha Stadium, and it’s the biggest in Hawaii. This state-of-the-art stadium fits 50,000 people and has anything you could need while you’re catching a baseball or football game. If you’re going with a group, book a shuttle early so you don’t need to stress about transportation. There’s also a swap meet in the parking lot every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday that draws hoards of locals.
Ala Moana Beach Park
This city park is also home to one of the most iconic beaches in Hawaii. This beach is a mile long, so even though it’s a tourist and local favorite it never feels too crowded! Visitors use the park to run, play volleyball and picnic. Come for sport or just to relax by the water!
1201 Ala Moana Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96814
This palace is the crown jewel of Honolulu. Hawaii is known for sand and surf, but the island state also has a fascinating history, and there’s nowhere better to learn about it. Built under King David Kalakaua in 1882, the palace’s grounds are free to the public, but tours are available throughout the building.Address:
364 S King St
Honolulu, HI 96813
Pu’u ‘Ualaka’a State Wayside
For the best views in Honolulu, Pu’u ‘Ualaka’a State Wayside is the place for your photos. Book a shuttle to take you and your friends to this hillside park, with sweeping views from Diamond Head to the Wai’anae Range. This park is open until 7:45pm, just in time to watch the sunset!
If you’re coming to Hawaii for the nature, and plenty of people do, then Oahu Diving is the perfect tour for the adventurous. Dive deep with octopi, sea turtles and tropical fish with this guided experience. Perfect for families and divers of all experience levels.
Oahu Photography Tours
If you’re a shutterbug or just want some unique vacation photos, the photography tours are for you. With photogenic options for dolphin and whale watching, sunsets and in general all-around fantastic experiences, you’ll leave Honolulu with proof of your memories.
Hawaii Food Tours
Hawaii isn’t especially known for its food, but that doesn’t mean there’s not plenty to explore! After centuries of eastern and western influence, Hawaiian cuisine should be on your to-try list. This tour takes you on an immersive experience of Hawaiian food and cooking.
Hawaii has some fantastic local cuisine, and if you love seafood there’s no better place to be! All of these restaurants, a short shuttle ride from all major hotels and resorts, are worth a try.
If you’re looking for Hawaiian regional cuisine, look no further. This restaurant is owned by own of Hawaii’s most famous chefs, and puts a twist on classic seafood and local produce. This upscale place is famous among locals and visitors, so reservations are often made weeks in advance.
1857 S King St
Honolulu, HI 96826
This hole-in-the-wall also happens to be one of the best restaurants in Hawaii. Cash-only and room for 24 seats, this inexpensive but mind blowingly tasty and homey restaurant is worth the wait.
232 Kalihi St
Honolulu, HI 96819
This multi-time winner of the Best Breakfast award, among other culinary honors, has one of the best breakfasts in the islands. You can always expect a long line at this affordable cafe, so get there early!
2919 Kapiolani Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96816