I think I might have just planned out your entire trip to Oahu.
Seriously: Honolulu has so much to do and you’ll find out how big it is and how much fun you can have, even on just a small sliver of Oahu.
After living on the island for over 20 years, I’ve figured out and numbered down to the 7 best things you should do when in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Also, if you’re on a time crunch, you will be able to complete all seven in a day or two… And if you’re not on a time crunch, you can really take your time and enjoy and fully immerse yourself in each of the seven.
Throughout this article, l’ll go over and help you:
- Spot humpback whales from the best vantage point on Oahu
- Find hidden tidepools that 95% of people who visit don’t know about
- See gorgeous views of Southern Oahu’s ocean and mountains.
- Find the most vibrant and popular beach on all of Oahu.
- Visit and hike up a dormant volcano
- Swim at the #1 snorkeling spot on all of Oahu
- Visit the largest open-air shopping center in the United States.
- Drive up a crazy fun road with views of Honolulu and Manoa along the way
- See the best vantage point of Diamond Head, Waikiki, Honolulu, Manoa
- Remedy hot weather with Oahu’s best shave ice.
- Eat and munch on the most popular food’s on the island – the local favorites!
- Visit the coolest waterfall on Oahu
- Experience the most romantic getaway: a sunset cruise.
Ready? Ok, good. Let’s get started.
Introducing: The 7 Best Things to Do in Waikiki, Hawaii
(in no specific order)
1. Hike up the Makapu’u Lighthouse
Imagine spotting a humpback whale out in the distance…
Or relaxing in the most beautiful and picturesque tide-pools…
Or looking out at the most gorgeous sights and scenery of Oahu’s south shore.
Sound’s too good to be true?
It’s not! Just drive on over to Makapu’u point. I’ll lay out some of your options and how to see each of the places i’ve described for you.
1. Want to see whales?
Start at the bottom of Makapu’u point and hike all the way up and you will see signs informing you about humpback whale’s. This is the point where the trail level’s out – and doesn’t have as much of an incline.
It should take you about 8-15 minutes to get there! And to note: these humpback whales are best spotted during November through May – and are more easily spotted around those summer months.
2. Want to swim and relax in tidepools?
Well, if you’ve done what I’ve described in “1. Want to see whales?”, then all you have to do is walk down the path right next to the whale signs.
In fact, you might even see a few people coming up or down the trail which should help you!
This trail take’s about 15-25 minutes to get down and another 20-25 to get back up.
The hardest part of the whole thing is not only trying not to slip, but the heat! No worries though, those tide pools will definitely make it all worth it once you hop in them!
3. Want to see incredible views?
Just continue from “1. Want to see whales?” and hike up the regular trail and along it you will see incredible views of Southern Oahu.
2. Relax and soak up the sun at Waikiki Beach
What else would you like to do on your vacation?
Laying on a beautiful, peaceful, and Hawaiian beach is my first choice when in paradise.
Waikiki Beach is one of the most vibrant and fun beaches in Honolulu.
After spending the day swimming and soaking up the sun, you can walk right to the dock and jump on a cruise ship for a stunning sunset cruise… This is the definition of paradise!
3. Experience Diamond Head
Diamond head crater is one of the in-active, dormant volcanoes of Oahu.
It is home to the most popular hikes on the entire island: Diamond Head Crater Trail.
Not only does it have an incredible hike, but right next door is Diamond Head Beach Park, Diamond Head Lookout, and Diamond Head Surf Lookout.
I’m getting excited just thinking about it!
4. Visit Hanauma Bay Nature Reserve
Known as one of the most fascinating and fun places to snorkel at, Hanauma Bay Nature Reserve is home to some of the most diverse fish and sea creatures in all of Oahu.
It’s also an awesome place to take pictures and get lots of like’s on social media and brag to your friends… Which is a definite plus!
5. Explore Ala Moana
Not only does Ala Moana have one of the United States largest open-air shopping centers, but it has a beautiful and relaxing beach called Ala Moana Beach Park. What a joy!
6. Tantalus Lookout
One of my favorite places to sit and watch the sunset… hands down!
The views of Diamond Head, Honolulu, Waikiki, and Manoa just make’s this place hard to beat…
Not to mention, the drive is so unique, fun, and wild to drive up and down it make’s the whole experience that much better.
Tantalus Lookout is a must-visit when in Honolulu.
7. Eat at the most popular places on the entire island
How would you like to munch on some of the most ono food’s of Oahu?
Well, you’re reading the right article!
There’s so much amazing places to eat at – so I made sure to only give you the four best…. the local favorites.
Here they are (in no specific order):
- Leonard’s Bakery
- Rainbow’s Drive-In
- Egg’s N’ Things
- Waiola Shave Ice
…and it seem’s we’ve come to the end of the 7 best things to do in Honolulu, Hawaii!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading through all seven as much as I had writing them out for you guys.
Mahalo for reading,
– Chase Ingalls from Waikiki Trolley
P.S. I also recommend visiting Manoa Falls if you’re up for it!
P.P.S. Please share this article with someone you think it would help.
P.P.P.S. If you have any questions, just drop a comment down below. I would love to help you out and answer any questions you might have 🙂