Popular Honolulu Attractions & Things To Do
Hawaiian tropical paradise is more than just endless beaches, warm ocean waves and lightly swaying palm trees. Honolulu is a bustling cultural and business center that still retains its laid back island attitude. Visitors can learn about the history of Honolulu at Iolani Palace, shop for the latest fashions at Ala Moana Shopping Center, or snorkel the crystal clear waters at Hanauma Bay. Guests of the Aqua Palms Waikiki will enjoy a central location near the most popular things to do in Honolulu.
Hawaii Convention Center
The Hawaii Convention Center is a state of the art meeting and event facility situated less than one mile from the Aqua Palms Waikiki. Inspired by the tropical Hawaiian landscape, the Hawaii Convention Center is the perfect spot to host meetings, conferences, trade shows and special events. Discover nearly 150,000 square feet of meeting space, plus spacious exhibition halls, theaters, ballrooms and even a lush rooftop garden. Visit www.hawaiiconvention.com for more information.
Ala Moana Shopping Center
One of the most popular Honolulu attractions, The Ala Moana Shopping Center is a premier open-aired shopping, dining and entertainment venue located just blocks from the Aqua Palms Waikiki resort hotel. Discover 290 designer shops, department stores and speciality shops as well as over 70 great dining options. Dine at the Makai Market Food Court, the Ho’okipa Terrace and more. Visit www.alamoanacenter.com for more information.
Diamond Head State Park
Diamond Head is a Honolulu icon, a recognizable centerpiece nestled on the eastern edge of Waikiki’s coastline. Visitors can get up close to this 300,000 year old crater at the Diamond Head State Park. Although the .8 mile trail to the crater summit is steep and strenuous, hikers are rewarded with knockout views of sun-kissed Waikiki and the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. Visit www.hawaiistateparks.org for more information.
The Honolulu Zoo is located between the Diamond Head Crater and the shores of Waikiki Beach. Visitors can explore an African Savanna or a lush tropical rain forest. At the Islands of Paradise, discover exotic birds like the Hawaiian goose and gallinule and slithery reptiles like the Hawaiian snake. Kids will enjoy interactive fun at the Children’s Zoo, featuring the pot-bellied pig and red-footed tortoise. Visit www.honoluluzoo.org for more information.
Come discover colorful Hawaiian marine life at the Waikiki Aquarium. Located on the shores of Kapiolani Park, the Waikiki Aquarium is filled with over 3,500 marine animals representing more than 500 species. Get to know the exotic tropical fish, jellyfish, sharks and Hawaiian monk seals that swim the Pacific Ocean waters, or learn about coral reef ecosystems and ocean aquaculture through award-winning exhibits and educational classes.
Visit www.waquarium.org for more information.
USS Arizona Memorial
On December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor was attacked, sinking the American battleship, USS Arizona. This single historic event changed the course of WWII and U.S. history forever. Today, visitors can visit the USS Arizona Memorial, dedicated in 1962 in honor of the 1,117 crewmen who lost their lives. Watch a brief documentary at the visitor center, followed by a short boat ride to the memorial. Visitors can explore the entry, observation area and shrine room or discover photos and artifacts at the memorial museum. Visit www.nps.gov/valr for more information.
Royal Hawaiian Center
Endless shopping, dining and entertainment are found in tropical paradise at the Royal Hawaiian Center. This four storied, open air venue is a bustling gathering place for locals and tourists alike. Shop the 100 luxury and name brand stores, or enjoy sumptuous Hawaiian regional cuisine at one of the great Waikiki restaurants. Head to The Royal Grove, a lush garden where Hawaiian cultural dances, music and heritage classes frequently take place. For more information, visit www.royalhawaiiancenter.com.
Head ten miles east of Waikiki, past glistening ocean waters and picturesque coves, and emerge at one of Oahu’s most pristine marine embayments. Hanauma Bay is delight for snorkelers, divers and beach goers. Swim the waters of Back Door Lagoon, Keyhole Lagoon or Sandman’s Patch, and discover a world teeming with fish and aquatic marine life. Spot the black striped Hawaiian Sergeant, the multi-colored Bullethead Parrotfish, the peculiar looking Oval Squid, or Hawaii’s State Fish, the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a. Visit www.honolulu.gov/parks/facility/hanaumabay for more information.
Waikiki Beach Walk
The Waikiki Beach Walk is the ultimate shopping, dining and entertainment experience. Take a stroll down this bustling thoroughfare and discover towering resort hotels, a bustling nightlife and satisfying casual dining restaurants. Along the way, pick up island inspired jewelry and gifts, or shop for bikinis and boardshorts at Quiksilver and Honolua Surf Co.
History is found at the restored Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu. Iolani Palace was built in 1882 and served as the residence of Hawaii’s reigning monarchs, King Kalakaua and his Queen Kapiolani. In 1893, the monarchy was overthrown, but the palace continued to served as the government capitol building until 1969. After painstaking restoration, Iolani Palace has returned to its monarchy-era appearance and is one of the rare Honolulu attractions that offers a museum-like glimpse into Hawaii’s history. Visit www.iolanipalace.org for museum hours and tour information.