Discover Hawaiian culture and history at the famous home of Waikiki Beach

the Big pineapple

Where the spirit of aloha meets the excitement of urban adventure
Begin your journey at Waikiki Beach, where you can soak up the sun, surf the waves, or stroll along the iconic shoreline with views of Diamond Head. Feeling energetic? Hike to the summit of Diamond Head Crater and enjoy panoramic views of the city and coastline.

Immerse yourself in history by visiting the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites, including the USS Arizona Memorial and the Battleship Missouri. These sites offer poignant reminders of World War II's impact on Hawai‘i and the world. 

Renting a car is another good option. With this added freedom comes the chance to drive around the coast and visit the famous surf beaches of the O‘ahu’s North Shore - best witnessed during the winter months of November - February. Whilst on O‘ahu’s East Coast the island’s # 1 attraction, the family oriented Polynesian Cultural Centre awaits as does Kualoa Ranch - and the beauty of Jurassic Valley.

For a taste of local culture, explore Bishop Museum and the historic neighbourhoods of Chinatown and Downtown Honolulu. And, in the evening, catch a traditional Hawaiian luau for a feast of local delicacies and captivating performances of hula and fire dancing.

Whether you're after relaxation on the beach, adventure in the great outdoors, or immersion in Hawaiian history and culture, Honolulu offers something for every traveller to enjoy.

An aerial view from an airplane window revealing a stunning coastal cityscape, with skyscrapers nestled against a backdrop of mountains and the vast ocean, all under the watchful eye of a beautifully sculpted cloud skyline.

Things to see & do

Browse through our recommended selection of things to see and do in Honolulu. Many of these are included in our suggested itineraries, however, if there is
anything you see that particularly takes your interest, please let us know and we will include it in your holiday package or put you in touch with the right people.

Waikiki Beach

Honolulu, O‘ahu

A quintessential Hawaiian experience is to leave your footprints on one of the world’s most iconic stretches of golden sand against the backdrop of Honolulu’s city lights and Diamond Head. Feel the sand between your toes, learn to surf, soak up the sun or dive into the beach's lively atmosphere with seaside dining, shopping, and entertainment.

Diamond Head

Honolulu, O‘ahu

Put on some comfortable shoes and make what is generally a two-hour trek to the summit of Diamond Head, where stunning vistas of Waikiki's coastline and the Pacific Ocean await. This iconic hike leads adventurers through tunnels and up staircases to the summit where along the way its origin as a volcanic crater adds geological fascination, while military bunkers serve as a reminder of its past role in military defence.

Pearl Harbor & USS Arizona Memorial

Pearl Harbor, O‘ahu

Step into the echoes of December 7, 1941, at Hawai’i's most visited historic site. The memorial, anchored by the sunken battleship USS Arizona, pays solemn tribute to lives lost in the attack. Explore, pay respects, and gain profound insights into World War II's impact, understanding the pivotal role Pearl Harbor played in shaping history.

Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay, O‘ahu

Known for its exceptional snorkelling, Hanauma Bay’s curved, volcanic crater provides a sheltered haven for vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life where visitors can snorkel in crystal-clear waters surrounded by colourful fish and other aquatic creatures. Whilst it’s only 30 minutes from Waikiki Beach, pre booking 48 hours prior is required so a good idea is to pre book a tour with Travel USA before you leave. Contact us for more details.

Battleship Missouri Memorial

Pearl Harbor, O‘ahu

Explore the Battleship Missouri Memorial, a living tribute to the end of World War II having served as the site of Japan's surrender in 1945. Now permanently located in Pearl Harbor visitors can wander its historic decks and learn about the end of a conflict that reshaped the world. For a unique historical journey commemorating the start and the end of WWII, Travel USA recommends you combine this with a Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona Memorial tour. Check with us for more details.

North Shore Beaches

Ehukai Beach, O‘ahu

Search for the perfect wave at Banzai Pipeline, the legendary reef and wave breaking point at Ehukai Beach renowned for its massive, powerful tube-like waves. This iconic break draws professional surfers from around the globe, reaching its peak during winter when conditions are epic. An exhilarating spectacle, it's a must-visit for surf enthusiasts and a hotspot for thrilling competitions. The best time to visit is generally between November and February - the rest of the year it is relatively calm.

Iolani Palace

Honolulu, O‘ahu

Tour the historic Iolani Palace, a cherished historical landmark as the only royal palace in the United States, serving as the residence of Hawaiian monarchs in the late 1800’s. Today, visitors can marvel at the opulent architecture and explore its regal rooms and learn about the island's rich history and cultural legacy.

Helicopter Tour

Honolulu, O‘ahu

There is no better way to witness the beauty and grandeur of Oahu than from the sky – an aerial adventure that promises to be an unforgettable highlight of your Hawaiian vacation. Soar over lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and breathtaking coastlines, taking in iconic landmarks like Diamond Head, Sacred Falls, Pearl Harbor, and the azure waters of Hanauma Bay.

AULANI, A Disney Resort & Spa

Ko Olina, O‘ahu

Hang out with Mickey and his friends at AULANI, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai‘i where the enchantment of the islands meets the magic of Disney. With its stunning oceanfront setting, lush landscapes, and imaginative Disney design the resort caters to families and features a water park and regular entertainment, including fireside storytelling, movie nights under the stars and visits from Disney Characters. And yes …. American Idol fans will definitely be familiar with this property! Check with Travel USA for more details.

Bishop Museum

Honolulu, O‘ahu

Delve into Hawaiian history at the largest museum in the state that preserves and showcases the rich cultural and natural history of the Hawaiian Islands and the Pacific. Home to the most Polynesian cultural artifacts and specimens in the world it offers a comprehensive insight into Hawaiian heritage, traditions, and the Pacific region's biodiversity.

Kualoa Ranch

Kaneohe, O‘ahu

Embark on an unforgettable adventure at Kualoa Ranch, where breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural heritage await. Located on Oahu's east coast, this iconic destination offers a myriad of outdoor activities, from ATV tours through lush valleys to horseback rides along scenic trails. Immerse yourself in the beauty of Jurassic Valley, where legendary films were shot, and explore ancient Hawaiian fishponds. With guided tours and eco-adventures, Kualoa Ranch promises an experience like no other in paradise.

Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum

Pearl Harbor, O‘ahu

Dive into the history of submarines as you climb aboard the historic World War II submarine USS Bowfin, nicknamed “The Pearl Harbor Avenger,” to see how confining and demanding the life of the undersea warrior was. On your self-guided tours of USS Bowfin learn about life aboard a submarine and explore its cramped quarters, torpedo room, and control centre.

Pay it forward


For the most enriching experience of Hawai‘i, make time to join efforts to mālama (care for) this truly special place and its unique culture. Go Hawai’i operates the Mālama Hawai‘i Programme where several organisations offer volunteer opportunities for visitors to pay it forward - like beach clean-ups, wildlife preservation, native tree planting and more. It’s your chance to experience Hawai’i on a much deeper and connected level - click below to find out more.

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Sea Life Park

Honolulu, O‘ahu

Showcasing a diverse array of sea creatures, from playful dolphins to majestic sea turtles. Enjoy interactive experiences such as dolphin exploration and sea lion encounter, offering unforgettable moments for the whole family. With stunning ocean views and educational programs highlighting marine conservation, Sea Life Park provides an engaging and memorable adventure for ocean lovers of all ages.

Polynesian Cultural Centre

Laie, O‘ahu

Enjoy a traditional feast at O‘ahu’s # 1 attraction, a rich immersion into the diverse cultures of the Pacific where visitors are treated to authentic performances, traditional dances and a feast showcasing culinary delights from various Polynesian islands. Located on O‘ahu’s East Coast, Ali‘i Luau, the islands most authentic Hawaiian luau, is a celebration of Polynesian traditions, artistry and cuisine that leaves guests with lasting cultural memories.

Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum

Pearl Harbor O‘ahu

Immerse yourself in aviation history at the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, located on Ford Island. The museum showcases a vast collection of aircraft and exhibits highlighting the role of aviation during World War II and beyond. Explore historic hangars, see iconic planes like the Spitfire and Japanese Zero, and learn more about the events of December 7, 1941. For a unique experience take a ‘Top of the Tower Tour’ and look down at the Pearl Harbor battlefield from the iconic control tower.

Dole Pineapple Plantation

Wahiawa, O‘ahu

Dole is a name that is synonymous with pineapple. See where it all began and experience a sweet treat at the Dole Plantation, established as a fruit stand in 1950 and now one of the Island’s most popular tourist attractions. Visitors can embark on the Pineapple Express Train Tour to explore the plantation's vast pineapple fields or navigate the challenging Pineapple Garden Maze. Oh, and naturally a sweet treat awaits!

Makani Catamaran Sailing

Waikiki Beach, O‘ahu

Be treated to amazing views of O‘ahu’s stunning shoreline as you cruise aboard the Makani Catamaran Sail. Feel the gentle breeze as you glide over crystal-clear waters, surrounded by the island's majestic mountains. Keep your eyes peeled for playful dolphins, sea turtles and the occasional appearance of humpback whales. With indoor and outdoor seating options this cruise offers the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.

Makapu‘u Point, Lighthouse

Makapu‘u, Point O‘hau

Take on a picturesque hike along the Makapu‘u Point Trail, offering panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and rugged cliffs. Once you reach the historic, red-and-white design Makapu‘u Lighthouse, perched atop the dramatic volcanic headland, learn about its fascinating history and significance in maritime navigation while soaking in the views of the surrounding coastline.

Hire a rental car


Take the opportunity whilst you are staying in Honolulu to hire a car and drive around the coast to visit the famous surf beaches of the O‘ahu’s North Shore - best witnessed during the winter months of November - February. Whilst on O‘ahu’s East Coast the island’s # 1 attraction, the family oriented Polynesian Cultural Centre awaits as does Kualoa Ranch - one of the popular film locations for Jurassic Park.

Explore O‘ahu with the Go City Pass


With Travel USA and Go City, sightseeing couldn’t be easier. One pass, one price, all the sights - save up to 50% on the best attractions, tours, and activities - see more, spend less! From chasing waterfalls to surfing the waves, we've got you covered!

N.B. The all-inclusive pass is included in Travel USA’s Ultimate Honolulu and selected Hawai‘i packages giving you unlimited access to more than 40 attractions, tours, and activities during your stay.

interested in finding out more?

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Aerial view of a vibrant cityscape with skyscrapers adjacent to a tranquil blue ocean, with a majestic mountain in the background under a clear sky.

Not quite what you're looking for?

Our packages and featured 'things to see and do' have been created to excite, inspire and inform Kiwi travellers about what we recommend they do when travelling to the USA. All of these can be personalised to your individual needs and preferences. Contact us to discuss your requirements so we can work together to create the perfect adventure for you.