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  • Writer's pictureJuan Aponte

What To See Around Honolulu

Updated: Dec 8, 2022

Honolulu is the capital and largest city in Hawaii. If your base camp is in Honolulu, then this guide is for you. I spent 6 days on Oahu and the island has a lot to offer for everyone. Please make sure to rent a car as most things to see and do are 30 minute drives or longer. Below is a list of activities to consider:

Ka’Moana Luau

Located at Sea Life Park on the eastern end of the island, it's about a 30 minute drive from Honolulu. It's one of the best Luaus in all of Hawaii. You will come across very talented dancers and musicians while enjoying an amazing dinner and learning about the Polynesian history of Hawaii and the islands nearby.

Makapu’u Point Lookout

The Makapu'u Point Lookout is located just off Kalanianaole Highway on Oahu's southeastern tip. There is a parking lot and a paved walkway that leads to an area that overlooks the beach, sea cliffs, and the 2 islands(Manana & Kaohikaipu). Depending on your time, you can stop by to just take pictures or take the path to hike.

Pearl Harbor

Located about 25 minutes from Waikiki, you can’t leave Honolulu without visiting Pearl Harbor. It's highly recommend you go online to make a reservation to visit the USS Arizona site, but you can still go without a reservation, a 1-2 hour wait time depending on the crowd. The gift shop has a good selection of souvenirs at reasonable prices.

Diamond Head

Diamond Head is a volcanic cone on the Hawaiian island of Oahu and is the most popular Hawaii State Park. There aren’t many places in the world where you can hike to the edge of a volcano and see the panoramic views of Oahu.

Tantalus Lookout

Located four miles north of Waikiki, it offers some of the greatest panoramic views of Honolulu. It stretches from Diamond Head and Waikiki to downtown Honolulu.

Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden

The Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden (approximately 400 acres) is a botanical garden located in the southern part of Kane'ohe. It’s open daily, without charge, except for Christmas Day and New Year's Day. There are many different spots to pull off and park to explore each area of the garden. You will find plenty of Instagram-worthy spots as almost every part of the garden is magical.

Kualoa Ranch

A 4,000-acre nature retreat offering ATVs, a zip-line, beaches & tours of Hollywood film locations, mostly centered on Jurassic Park. You can check out their different options by going to

Snorkel with Dolphins and Turtles - Iruka Hawaii Experiences

Swim and snorkel with spinner dolphins on the western coast of Oahu. You’ll get to learn about Hawaii's rich culture and traditions as well. Swimming with the dolphins in their natural habitat was a fantastic experience. We even saw sea turtles and a whale!

Check out their tours by going to

Iolani Palace

The Iolani Palace was the royal residence of the rulers of the Kingdom of Hawaii. It is located in the capitol district of downtown Honolulu and it’s now a National Historic Landmark. After the monarchy was overthrown in 1893, the building was used as the capitol building for the Provisional Government, Republic, Territory, and State of Hawaiʻi until 1969. The Iolani Palace is the only royal palace on US soil.

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