Top 10 Things to Do in Honolulu
Honolulu is the largest city and capital of Hawaii. What began as a small fishing village is now one of the popular tourist destination in the United States. Located on the island of Oahu, Honolulu is a busy metropolis that boasts beautiful scenery, unique cultural heritage and countless things to see and do.
Best Things to Do in Honolulu, HI
While the draw of neighboring Waikiki may be enough to keep some tourists happy for their entire visit, take the time to explore downtown Honolulu. Here you’ll find rich culture, tons of shops, and historical sites that will give you a better sense of what life in the Hawaiian Islands is really like.
Many people stop to take their picture outside of the vintage exterior of Hawaii Theatre, but it’s truly worth going inside to see what’s playing that month. While here, you can even take a tour to learn more about the fascinating history of this theater.
Address: 1130 Bethel St., Honolulu, HI 96813
Kuma Kahua Theatre
Still in the mood for more shows? Check out this intimate theater that’s a favorite of locals and focuses on local playwrights. Not only are the storylines unique, but there’s always an element of audience participation, too.
Address: 46 Merchant St., Honolulu HI 96813
Directions: From Hawaii Theatre, head northeast on North Bethel Street toward South Pauahi Street. Turn left on South Pauahi Street, and take an immediate left on Nuuanu Avenue. In 0.2 miles, turn left onto Merchant Street. The Kuma Kahua Theatre will be on the left.
Foster Botanical Gardens
Whether you need a break from shopping or just want to take in some gorgeous flora, Foster Botanical Gardens is the place to do it. Wander through the breathtaking displays or find a shady nook to relax and marvel at the beauty of it all.
Address: 180 N. Vineyard Blvd., Honolulu HI 96817
Directions: From Kuma Kahua Theatre, head southeast on Merchant Street toward Fort Street Mall. In 0.2 miles, turn left onto Alakea Street. Continue on to Queen Emma Street. Use the left two lanes to turn slightly left on South Kukui Street, which will become Pali Highway. In 0.1 mile, turn left on South Vineyard Boulevard. Foster Botanical Gardens will be on the right in 0.3 miles.
No visit to downtown Honolulu is complete until you’ve checked out Aloha Tower. Although it is no longer the tallest structure in the city, its observation deck is still open so you can head on up for gorgeous city views.
Address: 155 Ala Moana Boulevard, Honolulu, HI 96813
Directions: From the botanical gardens, take North Vineyard Boulevard toward ‘A’ala Street. In 0.2 miles, turn left onto North Beretania Street. Turn right on River Street in 0.2 miles and follow HI-92 W to Aloha Tower Drive. Turn right on Aloha Tower Drive and the destination is on the right.
When visiting Honolulu, plan to spend some time in Chinatown. Here there are so many shops that blend Chinese and Hawaiian culture, providing the perfect souvenirs to take back home.
Address: Chinatown is a small neighborhood. The main arts district runs from Fort Street to Maunakea Street and King Street to Beretania Street.
Directions: From Aloha Tower, head northwest on Aloha Tower Drive towards Ala Moana Boulevard. Turn left on HI-92 W. In 0.5 miles, take the exit toward Iwilei Road. Turn left on Iwilei Road and make an immediate right to enter Chinatown.
Tin Can Mailman
Blink and you’ll miss this little shop, and you’ll be sorry that you did. Although located in Chinatown, Tin Can Mailman is so unique, it deserves its own spot on any must-see list. It has all the vintage Hawaii products you could ask for, and a proprietor that fully understands the history of Hawaiian life.
Address: 1026 Nuuanu Ave., Honolulu HI 96813
Directions: From Chinatown, head south on Iwilei Road. Turn left on Iwilei Road in 0.1 mile. Turn right on North King Street. Turn left on River Street. Turn right on North Pauahi Street. Turn right at the third cross street onto Nuuanu Avenue. Tin Can Mailman will be on the right.
Hawaii State Art Museum
The Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts owns and operates this little gem located right in the heart of the city. Admission is free and the exterior of the building is as gorgeous as all the art you’ll find within it.
Address: 250 S. Hotel St., Second Floor, Honolulu HI 96813
Directions: From Tin Can Mailman, head south on Nuuanu Avenue to turn left on South King Street. In 0.7 miles, make a slight left on Alapai Street. Use the three left lanes to remain on Alapai Street. Turn left on South Beretania Street. In 0.4 miles, turn left on Richards Street. The museum will be on the right.
The Iolani Palace is the only royal palace on United States soil, so this is a sight you can’t miss when visiting Honolulu. Once inside, you’ll learn of the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy while browsing historic artifacts and architecture.
Address: 364 S. King St., Honolulu, HI 96813
Directions: From Hawaii State Art Museum, head southwest on Richards Street for 0.2 miles. Use the left lane to turn onto South King Street. Turn left on Mililani Street. Turn right. Iolani Palace will be on the left.
Downtown Honolulu may be the island’s business and financial district, but it’s also a place to let your hair down and enjoy a happy hour. A great place to do that is at Hukilau Honolulu in the Aston at the Executive Centre Hotel. There you’ll find delicacies such as fresh ahi poke, cheddar cheese mandoo, and adult slushies.
Address: 1088 Bishop St. LL 13, Honolulu HI 96813
Directions: From Iolani Palace, take Mililani Street to turn left on South King Street. Turn left on South King Street. Follow Alapai Street to South Beretania Street. Continue to Bishop Street. Hukilau Honolulu is on the left.
Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace
Said to be the oldest church in the United States, the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace has been standing since 1864. It’s as historic as it is beautiful, housing the remains of one saint and the artifacts of another.
Address: 1184 Bishop Street, Honolulu HI 96813
Directions: From Hukilau Honolulu, head southwest on Bishop Street toward South King Street. Use the left two lanes to turn left on South King Street. Turn left on Alakea St. In 0.2 miles, turn left on South Beretania Street. Use the second from the left lane to turn on Bishop Street. The cathedral will be on the left.
Our Oahu Law Firm is Proud to be in the Center of Honolulu
Honolulu personal injury attorney Glenn Honda is proud to work in the heart of the city. At Recovery Law Center, we know that sightseeing doesn’t always go as planned. When that’s the case and you are injured by someone else, we’re here to help.
If you were hurt during your stay in Honolulu, compensation may be possible. Contact us for a free consultation today.
For over 25 years, attorney Glenn Honda has helped people injured in accidents throughout Hawai’i get the best outcome for their case, whether it’s maximizing their settlement, or balancing costs and risks vs. putting the whole experience behind them. As the founding attorney of the Recovery Law Center, he is passionate about helping his clients with their physical, emotional and financial recovery. Mr. Honda will fight to get you coverage for your medical bills, lost wages, damaged property and other costs related to your accident.