Honolulu Attractions: The 10 Best Tourist Attractions In Honolulu

Aloha! Imagine a place where the sun kisses the horizon, the sea dances with the sky, and the spirit of ‘ohana warmly embraces you. That’s Honolulu for you, a tropical paradise that’s more than just stunning beaches and surf spots. It’s a cultural melting pot brimming with history, art, and some of the most breathtaking attractions you’ll ever lay eyes on. Let’s dive into the heart of this Pacific gem and explore the top 10 tourist attractions that make Honolulu a bucket-list destination.

1. Waikiki Beach: The Iconic Paradise

Waikiki Beach is the pulsing heart of Honolulu, a stretch of golden sand that’s synonymous with Hawaiian vacations. It’s where the surf culture thrives and the aloha spirit is as tangible as the warm ocean breeze. Whether you’re up for a surf lesson or just want to bask in the sun, Waikiki is the place to be. And let’s not forget the majestic view of Diamond Head, standing guard over this slice of heaven.

2. Pearl Harbor National Memorial: A Solemn Tribute

History buffs, brace yourselves. The Pearl Harbor National Memorial is a powerful reminder of the events of December 7, 1941. Visiting the USS Arizona Memorial is a profound experience, where you can pay respects to the heroes who lost their lives. The site also includes the Battleship Missouri, the Pacific Aviation Museum, and the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park.

3. Diamond Head State Monument: Hiker’s Delight

For those who love a good hike, Diamond Head calls to you. This extinct volcano offers a trail that leads to one of the most incredible panoramic views of Oahu. It’s a bit of a trek, but trust me, the vista from the Summit is worth every step. Just remember to bring water and sunscreen – the Hawaiian sun doesn’t play around!

4. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve: Snorkeling Paradise

snorkeling in Hanauma Bay is like swimming in a giant, natural aquarium. The bay’s clear waters are teeming with vibrant marine life and coral reefs. It’s a protected nature preserve, so you’ll get to see the underwater world as Mother Nature intended. Just make sure to watch the orientation video before you dive in; it’s all about preserving this natural wonder.

5. Iolani Palace: Royal Grandeur

Step into the grandeur of Hawaii’s royal past at Iolani Palace. It’s the only royal palace on US soil, and it’s dripping with history. The opulent interiors and fascinating artifacts tell the story of the Hawaiian monarchy like no other place can. It’s a must-visit for anyone interested in the rich tapestry of Honolulu’s history.

6. Koko Crater Railway Trail: The Ultimate Challenge

Ready for a workout with a view? The Koko Crater Railway Trail is your ticket to an adventure. It’s a steep climb up old railway ties, but the view from the top is a knockout. You’ll see the whole eastern side of the island from this vantage point. Just pace yourself – those steps are a real thigh-burner!

7. Honolulu Museum of Art: A Cultural Feast

Art lovers, rejoice! The Honolulu Museum of Art is a treasure trove of over 50,000 works, ranging from traditional Asian art to contemporary pieces. The museum’s tranquil courtyards are perfect for contemplation, and the Doris Duke Theatre hosts some fantastic film festivals. It’s a cultural feast for the senses.

8. Manoa Falls: Nature’s Spectacle

Tucked away in the lush Manoa Valley, Manoa Falls is a sight to behold. The hike to the waterfall is like something out of a movie, with verdant foliage and the sounds of nature all around. When you reach the 150-foot cascade, the misty spray and the sheer beauty will take your breath away. Just stick to the path – the area is known for its slippery rocks.

9. Bishop Museum: The Hawaiian Legacy

The Bishop Museum is a portal to the Hawaiian legacy, with its extensive collection of cultural artifacts and natural history specimens. The planetarium is a highlight, offering a glimpse into Polynesian navigation and the stars that guided voyagers across the Pacific. It’s an educational experience that’s as entertaining as it is enlightening.

10. Ala Moana Center: Shopper’s Haven

Last but not least, for all you shopaholics out there, Ala Moana Center is your playground. It’s the largest open-air shopping center in the world, and it’s got everything from luxury brands to local boutiques. When you need a break from retail therapy, the center’s eateries offer delicious bites to fuel your shopping spree.


  • What’s the best time to visit Honolulu attractions?

    While Honolulu is a year-round destination, the best time to visit is during the shoulder seasons, April to June and September to November, when the weather is pleasant, and the crowds are thinner.

  • Are there any entry fees for these attractions?

    Some attractions, like Hanauma Bay and Iolani Palace, have entry fees, while others, like Waikiki Beach, are free to enjoy. It’s best to check the latest information online before your visit.

  • Is it necessary to rent a car to visit these attractions?

    While public transportation is available, renting a car gives you the flexibility to explore at your own pace. Some attractions, like Manoa Falls and Koko Crater, are easier to reach with a car.


There you have it, folks – Honolulu’s top 10 attractions that offer a taste of the island’s diverse allure. From the historic depths of Pearl Harbor to the natural highs of Diamond Head and the cultural richness of Iolani Palace, there’s something for every traveler. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an art aficionado, or an outdoor adventurer, Honolulu’s attractions are sure to leave you spellbound. So pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready for an unforgettable Hawaiian adventure. And remember, the true beauty of Honolulu lies not just in its landmarks, but in the stories and experiences you’ll collect along the way. Mahalo for joining me on this journey!

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.