Fun things to do in Honolulu

  • Volcano model
    Volcano model
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  • The Kepoikai II
    The Kepoikai II
    by Rixie
  • Surfboards for rent, Ft. De Russy Beach
    Surfboards for rent, Ft. De Russy Beach
    by Rixie

Most Viewed Things to Do in Honolulu

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    Visit Queen Emma

    by Rixie Updated Dec 20, 2013

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    Honolulu summers can be intensely hot, so not surprisingly, Hawaiian royalty maintained cooler retreats outside of the city. You can visit the summer residence of Queen Emma, the wife of King Kamehameha IV, which is not far from downtown, in Nu'uanu Valley.

    There are some interesting exhibits and some heartbreaking stories, like the one about the queen's son, Prince Albert Kamehameha, who died in 1862 at the age of four. The young prince was named after his godfather, Prince Albert of the United Kingdom. His godmother was Queen Victoria.

    Open 7 days a week, 9:00-4:00, last tour 3:30. Closed on major holidays. Check the website for special events and admission prices.

    I found some nice Hawaiian children's books at the gift shop.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

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    Sail on a Catamaran

    by Rixie Updated Dec 20, 2013

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    You can have a one-hour catamaran ride on the Kepoikai II. Check the website for prices.

    Five sailing times a day (including a sunset sail), weather permitting - check website for details. Leaves from the beach behind the Outrigger Waikiki Hotel.

    The Kepoikai II
    Related to:
    • Sailing and Boating

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    VISIT THE HONOLULU HARD ROCK CAFE.

    by DennyP Updated Aug 27, 2013

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    HONOLULU
    I always reccomend a visit the local Hard Rock cafe.if there is one locally .not only are they a great place for a cold beer or cocktail and the burgers are always as you like them..wherever they may be ..HRC makes a great burger.There is a huge open area and the "Blue Wave bar to enjoy the cooleness of the open air bar...wonderful
    .There is also a huge bonus with each hard Rock with its own individual amazing memorabilia that can be found in each location..The memorabilia is always so different in each HRC and the mind boggles is to how they have managed to obtain so many items from so many iconic musicians..
    This Hard Rock Cafe is no exception. The first thing noticeable when arriving is the two hundred guitars that start at the entrance foyer and run up the wall and across the ceiling in the main bar area...amazing..

    The Hard Rock Cafe jeep at the entrance many of the guitars on The guitars go all across the ceiling ...awesome Hard Rock Cafe Honolulu..a great place to chill Beach Boys memorabilia...so appropriate
    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Arts and Culture
    • Music

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    Jan & Dean - Wiamea Bay

    by PeterVancouver Updated Apr 18, 2013

    For an inexpensive day out, take (The Bus) run by Oahu transit services from any main street in Honolulu to Ala Moana shopping area where you change to bus 52 up to Pearl Harbor. The bus stop is just a short walk of 100 yards to the Arizona Memorial Visitors centre. From there, after the showing of a short film, you will be taken out by navy launch to the memorial which spans the sunken USS Arizona on which over 1100 sailors died on 7th Dec 1941. Upon your return to shore you can visit USS Blowfin a WWII submarine which with its personal wireless tour facilty is well worth a visit. Returning to the bus stop you can pick up the next #52 island circle route bus heading North to Waimea Bay the surfing area made famous during the 60's by Jan and Dean and the Beachboys. Here, certainly in the winter months, the surf can rise from anything around 30 to a massive 50 feet. During the summer months it is a deligthful beach and the water is very safe but only the very experienced should take to the water in winter. Once you have taken in all you can of the surf scene, you can visit the park or hop back on the next The Bus to take the journey back on the second half of the circle to bring you back in to Honolulu near to Diamond Head as you are allowed 2 hours transit time. This day out would cost you less than $5 apart from refreshments as the one ticket can be used for the whole journey that day on The Bus

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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    Three Friends Stand Up Paddle Adventure

    by MaryL916 Written Jan 17, 2013

    SUPER FUN!!!!
    Vanya was wonderful instructor, had us up in minutes and paddling away.
    She has great equipment and this camera mounted on the front of the board
    snapping pics of your adventure. We went on our 1 day there, so my suggestion is get a tan or some color before you go...those pics can be blinding with all that pale (white) skin. We would go again in a heart beat!

    Up and Paddling...
    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Water Sports

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    Driving around the Island

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Oct 3, 2012

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    We drove from Honolulu to the east side pf the island, and along the coast all the war around to the north shore. From there we cut down what is roughly the center of the island along Route 99 then Interstate 2. How do you have an interstate that doesn't go between states? Wouldn't that be an IntrAstate highway?

    Approximately 119 miles round-trip 4 hours driving time.

    Near Kaneche, Oahu Somewhere on the east side of the island

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    USS Oklahoma Memorial, Ford Island, Pearl Harbor

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Oct 1, 2012

    The USS Oklahoma was commissioned in 1916 and served as a convoy escort ship in World War I. After WWI, the Oklahoma was one of several US Navy ships to escort President Woodrow Wilson to France. In 1936, the Oklahoma rescued American refugees during the Spanish Civil War. The USS Oklahoma was repositioned at Pearl Harbor in December 1940, where i it participated in training and exercises, while positioned as a deterrent to Japanese aggression.

    On December 7th 1941, the Oklahoma was docked at Battleship Row on Ford Island when the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor began. The ship was almost immediately struck by three torpedoes, followed by two more minutes later as the ship capsized. 429 men assigned to the Oklahoma were killed in the attack, while many of the survivors boarded the nearby USS Maryland to help fight off the attack. The death toll on the Oklahoma was second only to the 1,177 men who perished aboard the USS Arizona in the Pearl Harbor attack.

    The USS Oklahoma Memorial was dedicated on December 7th, 2007 near the entrance to the USS Missouri. The Missouri is docked where the Oklahoma was moored during the attack. The monument is comprised of 429 white marble pillars, each engraved with the name of a sailor or marine who was killed in the Oklahoma.

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    Oahu's East Coast

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Oct 1, 2012

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    Oahu’s beaches have something for everyone, from a calm place for kids, to great surfing waves. Oahu's East Coast features a mix of islands, cliffs and beaches. This, the windward side of the island, offers a number of parks and beaches to include:

    Kailua Beach Park has a boat ramp and lots of windsurfing, as well as boat rentals.

    Lani Kai was ranked as the best beach in the world in 1996 by Conde Nast. It has calm waters perfect for swimming and kayaking.

    Bellows Field Beach Park is partly on an old military base and partly public.

    Waimānalo Bay State Recreation Area‎ is a quiet beach with calm waves.

    This is another photo from the coastal road on Oahu. These beautiful rocky cliffs are near the southeast side of the island maybe 30 minutes from Honolulu.

    Oahu's East Coast

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    Diamond Head State Monument

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Sep 30, 2012

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    Diamond Head is a former volcano that sits right on the edge of Honolulu. It offers several hiking trails with great views of downtown and the ocean. The trail is only about .8 miles long, but it can take one and a half to two hours round trip due to the steepness of the trail in places, as it rises 560 feet.

    Diamond Head State Monument consists of over 475 acres, to include the interior and much of the outer slopes of the crater. Inside the crater you will find a historic military site, called a Fire Control Station that was built in 1911 to coordinate fires from coastal batteries nearby.

    Don't worry about this volcano suddenly erupting... its last blast occurred 150,000 years ago.

    Entrance is $5, cash only.

    Diamond Head - Honolulu Diamond Head from the air

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    The City of Honolulu

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Sep 30, 2012

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    Honolulu is the capital city of the State of Hawaii, and with 375,000 residents, it is the largest city in Hawaii. Honolulu has about 470 high-rise buildings, which is fourth in the US behind NYC, LA and Chicago; in Honolulu, these buildings are snugly nestled between the mountain and the ocean.

    In Hawaiian, the word Honolulu means "sheltered bay," which is very fitting given its peaceful spot along the ocean and its excellent harbor. Honolulu has been the capital of Hawaii since 1845, though it only became the state capital in 1959 when Hawaii became a US state. Of course, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Honolulu brought the US into World War II.

    Honolulu today is a diverse island that serves as a major tourism destination and a strategic location for the US military. The population of Honolulu is only 8 percent Native Hawaiian and 17 percent white Americans; nearly 55 percent of the city's population is comprised of Asian-Americans including Japanese-Americans representing 20 percent of Honolulu's population, Filipino-Americans at 13.2 percent of the population, and Chinese-American making up 10 percent of the city.

    Honolulu is also the name of the County which covers the entire island of Oahu as well as the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands except for Midway Atoll, site of the famous US victory in WWII.

    Park in Honolulu

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  • kellinwood's Profile Photo

    Oahu Ghost Tours - Orbs Driving Tour

    by kellinwood Updated May 8, 2012

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    I'll start by saying my wife and her sister had fun and liked it a lot. Oh the flip side, my nephew and I thought it was hokey. Maybe you have to be pre-disposed to believing in ghosts, or maybe its a gender thing... on our van women outnumbered the men 3 to 1. Even though I don't believe in ghosts, some aspects of the tour were interesting for historical and cultural reasons, so I'm glad I went anyway.

    We met the van and our tour guide at the Ala Moana hotel at 7:30pm. The guide informed us that this is not a tour in which people jump out and yell "boo", and that we would be visiting various sites - some sacred, some evil, but all with the potential for seeing or feeling the "spirits". Our first instruction was to install the free "Ghost Radar - Classic" app on our smart-phones. This app, along with digital cameras and the sixth sense of our guide and the tour guests, was to be instrumental in locating the spirits at the various stops along the tour.

    The first stop was the Pali Lookout, and as would become practice during the tour, our guide chanted to the spirits as we entered the area. At each stop you get a mix of history and orb hunting. The history at the Pali is well known -- it is the location of the final battle on Oahu by Kamehameha I, who used his army to unify the Hawaiian islands. Hundreds of warriors on the losing side of this battle were forced over the cliffs and fell to thier death at this location. We were instructed to be on the lookout for the images of Hawaiian warriors, and got our first lesson in the use of the Ghost Radar app and how to use digital cameras to capture images of the orbs. "Take lots of pictures and see what you can find", instructed our guide. One word of caution -- if you are susceptible to migraines or seizures, stay home. All of the flashes from dozens of cameras operating in the dark can be overwhelming. In fact, I started to think that maybe the "orbs" were just the visual after-effects of all the flash photography. And dress warmly -- the Pali Lookout is cold and windy during the day, and is much colder and windier at night!

    Our second stop was at the Ulupo Heiau in Kailua. The heiau is an ancient Hawaiian temple constructed from volcanic rocks, impressive in size considering the rocks are not found in the local area and reportedly carried in from locations 10 or more miles away. Attempts continued as guests used the radar app and flash photography to find the orbs...

    Next, we stopped at the Judd trail head off the old Nu'uanu Pali road. This site is reported to be evil based on some strange, unexplained murders that occurred in the area. There was a family of feral cats here, each with the same markings. More stories and orb hunting...

    The forth stop was at the Manoa Falls trail head in Manoa Valley. Not much happened here except for some unexplained music in the distance. Our guide insisted that there was nothing out there to support the playing of amplified instruments... no houses, and even the local inn was closed. "So where was the music coming from?", he asked. I didn't say it out loud, but it occurred to me that the remote location of the Inn would be an ideal rehearsal space for bands.

    The last stop was the Chinese cemetery in Manoa. Our guide stopped at the entrance to provide offerings before we continued to drive in. We got out at the central pavilion where the Lin Yee Chung association plaque is located, and our guide lit some sticks of incense and placed it in the ground in front of the plaque. The elevated location of the cemetery provides a nice view at night -- it is surrounded by mountains on three sides, and looks down on the skyline and city lights of Honolulu. I would like to go back and see what the view looks like during the day.

    In all the tour took just under four hours, we arrived back at the hotel around 11:15pm.

    Is it possible to experience the orbs and spirits of Oahu? You be the judge.

    Even the local wildlife watches for the orbs... Orb capture via mass digital photography...
    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel
    • Photography

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    The beauty of Manoa

    by csordila Updated Dec 7, 2011

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    I have been to Sacred Falls before it was closed to hiking. There is no way of getting back in to see it now. Oahu's Manoa Valley located within minutes of Waikiki by bus or first you have to hike a few miles through the woods
    It's about a half hour hike to Manoa Halls. It's fairly easy going, and the scenery on the hike is wonderful. There's a little bamboo grove that was pretty cool to see. The falls are beautiful,
    It may still be closed to hikers because of flash flood risks. hikers have been killed.

    Honolulu Manoa falls
    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel

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    Three Friends Stand Up Paddle Adventures

    by Gabbysdad Updated May 31, 2011

    Three Friends offers SUP lessons and/or tours. Great way to learn, pretty much one to one, no big groups. Very patient instructor. Had a great time. Wish i would have taken the lesson earlier in my visit so i could book an easy SUP run. Give this a try, you won't be disappointed.

    Related to:
    • Water Sports
    • Beaches
    • Eco-Tourism

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    Go to a BON DANCE! ^_^

    by ryliecoyote Updated Apr 4, 2011

    Bon Festival (Season) in Hawaii is based on the Japanese Buddhist custom of Obon where the departed spirits of one's ancestors are honored. The Bon Odori, or Bon Dance, part of the Obon season is a celebration of gratefulness to one's ancestors. Obon season is in the summer time (June to August I think?), and in Hawaii, is not only thought of as special and religious, but is also thought of as a time to reunite and have fun with family and friends at Bon Dance Festivals! There are quite a number of Bon Dances that take place on summer weekends in various locations throughout Oahu (and also through the entire state of Hawaii). Many of these dances have live traditional music (some just play recordings) that includes traditional instruments such as the taiko drum! The main dancers and anyone who else wants to dance, dances either clockwise or counter-clockwise (depending on the song) around a tall wooden scaffold that is illuminated and decorated with paper lanterns. There is also a lot of really great food available for purchase such as bentos and andagi (Okinawan donut), and is actually one of my personal favorite reasons for going; the dancing and the honoring of my departed ancestors is also important haha!

    A Bon Dance is an experience unlike any other! If you are visiting Hawaii from the mainland during the summer time, it would definitely be something different to try! If you are hesitant about going because you don't know the dances and are afraid to look silly, don't even worry about that! The inner circle of dancers are the experienced, Hongwanji "elders" and know all the dances so all you have to do is watch them! Also, there are a LOT of people that go who don't know the dances very well, so it's actually kind of fun to mess up together and laugh about it! :P Also, many people wear light summer cotton kimono, but you don't have to wear one in order to participate!

    I would just say to go out and try it! Just please be open-minded and respectful to the custom and tradition...

    some friends and i at moili'ili bon dance!

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    Surf is up!!

    by heitzenrater Updated Apr 4, 2011

    So first things first. Be safe. My friend was learning to surf and didn't put the ankle strap on. Needless to say his board shot out from under him and flew through the air and landed on another person arm... Breaking it. No your limits and attempt to stay a safe distance from others.

    PRICE
    1-Day, 1-Hour Group Surf Lessons
    With 5 or more students - 15 & older
    $49.00

    RENTALS
    You can also rent a board. You will see the locations on the beach as you walk it. The price of renting a board will differ so shop around. If you don't need lessons then it's the best price.

    IF YOU LIKE MY POST PLEASE GIVE POSITIVE FEEDBACK, THANKS.

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