5-Day Outdoor Adventure and Sightseeing Itinerary in Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii

5 days

Flamingo birds in Honolulu zoo Oahu
Diamond Head Crater
Hawaii beach sand and Hawaiian rainbow.
Palm trees
Waikiki beach

About Honolulu, Hawaii

Experience the tropical paradise of Honolulu, Hawaii, a vibrant fusion of natural beauty and city life. Immerse yourself in the island's rich history at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial or Iolani Palace. Explore the bustling Waikiki neighborhood, known for its stunning beaches, world-class dining, and shopping. Hike up the iconic Diamond Head for breathtaking panoramic views. Discover Hawaii's unique marine life at Hanauma Bay or the Waikiki Aquarium. Indulge in traditional Hawaiian cuisine and witness a mesmerizing luau performance. Whether you're seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, Honolulu offers a diverse range of activities that cater to all types of travelers. Come and create unforgettable memories in this Pacific paradise.

5-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring Diamond Head and Waikiki

Morning

Start your day with a hike up the iconic Diamond Head Crater for panoramic views of Honolulu. This moderate hike is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and offers a great introduction to the natural beauty of Hawaii.

Lunch

Enjoy a picnic lunch at the summit of Diamond Head. Pack a lunch from a local deli and enjoy the stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and Honolulu skyline.

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon exploring the Honolulu Zoo. Home to a variety of exotic animals, the zoo also features beautiful botanical gardens.

Dinner

Dine at a beachfront restaurant in Waikiki. Enjoy the fresh seafood and tropical fruits Hawaii is known for.

Evening

End your day with a sunset walk along Waikiki Beach. The beach is a popular spot for evening strolls, offering beautiful views of the sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

Morning

Begin your day with a visit to Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial. This historic site offers a sobering reminder of the events of December 7, 1941.

Lunch

Have lunch at a local eatery near Pearl Harbor. Try traditional Hawaiian dishes like poke or kalua pig.

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon exploring the Bishop Museum. This museum houses a vast collection of Hawaiian artifacts and offers insight into the rich history and culture of the Hawaiian people.

Dinner

Enjoy dinner at a restaurant in downtown Honolulu. The city's culinary scene offers a mix of traditional Hawaiian cuisine and international flavors.

Evening

End your day with a visit to the historic Hawaii Theatre for a performance. The theatre hosts a variety of shows, including music, dance, and theater performances.

Morning

Start your day with a visit to the Honolulu Museum of Art. The museum features a diverse collection of art, including Asian, Hawaiian, and contemporary pieces.

Lunch

Enjoy lunch at a café near the museum. Try a local specialty like a plate lunch, which typically includes a protein, rice, and macaroni salad.

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon exploring the Iolani Palace, the only royal palace in the United States. Take a guided tour to learn about the history of the Hawaiian monarchy.

Dinner

Dine at a restaurant in Chinatown. This vibrant neighborhood offers a variety of dining options, from traditional Chinese to trendy fusion cuisine.

Evening

End your day with a stroll through the historic streets of Chinatown. The area is known for its nightlife, with a variety of bars and clubs offering live music and entertainment.

Morning

Begin your day with a visit to the Byodo-In Temple, a replica of a 900-year-old Buddhist temple in Japan. The temple is located in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park, offering serene views of the surrounding mountains and ocean.

Lunch

Have lunch at a local eatery in Kaneohe. Enjoy the fresh seafood and tropical fruits the area is known for.

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon at Kualoa Ranch, a 4,000-acre private nature reserve. Take a guided tour to explore the ranch's diverse landscapes, which have been featured in numerous films and TV shows.

Dinner

Enjoy dinner at a restaurant in Kaneohe. The town offers a variety of dining options, from traditional Hawaiian cuisine to international flavors.

Evening

End your day with a visit to the Polynesian Cultural Center for a luau. Experience traditional Polynesian music, dance, and food at this popular evening event.

Morning

Start your day with a visit to the Waikiki Aquarium. The aquarium features a variety of marine life, including tropical fish, sharks, and sea turtles.

Lunch

Enjoy lunch at a beachfront café in Waikiki. Try a local specialty like a poke bowl, a dish made with raw fish, rice, and a variety of toppings.

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon relaxing on Waikiki Beach. The beach offers a variety of water sports, including surfing, paddleboarding, and snorkeling.

Dinner

Dine at a restaurant in Waikiki. Enjoy the fresh seafood and tropical fruits Hawaii is known for.

Evening

End your day with a sunset cruise off the coast of Waikiki. Enjoy the stunning views of the ocean and Honolulu skyline as the sun sets.

Attractions in Itinerary (12)

Diamond Head Crater

1
Diamond Head Crater

A famous volcanic cone that's an iconic feature of the island's skyline. Offers hiking trails with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Honolulu.

Attractions
Landmarks
Tours
Honolulu Zoo

2
Honolulu Zoo

A 42-acre zoo home to hundreds of animals, with a focus on tropical species.

Attractions
Waikiki Beach

3
Waikiki Beach

Famous for its long rolling break, ideal for longboarding, tandem surfing and beginners.

Attractions
Beaches
Landmarks
Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial

4
Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial

A historic site commemorating the attack on Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona. The memorial is a place of solace and a symbol of American resilience.

Attractions
Monuments
Landmarks
Bishop Museum

5
Bishop Museum

Renowned museum dedicated to exploring the history, culture and science of Hawaii and the Pacific.

Museums
Cultural Experiences
Hawaii Theatre

6
Hawaii Theatre

A historic theatre in downtown Honolulu, known as the 'Pride of the Pacific', offering a variety of performances and shows.

Attractions
Entertainment
Architecture
Honolulu Museum of Art

7
Honolulu Museum of Art

A museum featuring a diverse collection of art, including Asian, Islamic, and European works.

Attractions
Museums
Cultural Experiences
Iolani Palace

8
Iolani Palace

The only royal palace in the U.S., offering guided tours of its historic rooms and artifacts.

Attractions
Landmarks
Museums
Architecture
Byodo-In Temple

9
Byodo-In Temple

A replica of a Japanese temple, set in a peaceful garden with a large koi pond.

Attractions
Religious Sites
Architecture
Kualoa Ranch

10
Kualoa Ranch

A 4000-acre private nature reserve and working cattle ranch, as well as a popular tourist attraction and filming location for many Hollywood movies.

Attractions
Tours
Cultural Experiences
Polynesian Cultural Center

11
Polynesian Cultural Center

A Polynesian-themed theme park and living museum located in Laie, offering a look into the cultures of Polynesia through interactive exhibits and performances.

Attractions
Cultural Experiences
Museums
Waikiki Aquarium

12
Waikiki Aquarium

An aquarium showcasing a diverse collection of marine life from the Pacific Ocean.

Attractions
Museums

Local Food and Drinks (12)

Poke

Poke

A traditional Hawaiian dish made from raw, marinated fish (usually tuna), poke is a staple in Honolulu. It's often served with rice and vegetables.

Spam Musubi

Spam Musubi

A popular snack in Honolulu, Spam Musubi is a sushi-style roll with grilled Spam, rice, and seaweed. It's a fusion of Hawaiian and Japanese cuisine.

Kalua Pig

Kalua Pig

Kalua Pig is a traditional Hawaiian dish often served at luaus. The pig is slow-cooked in an underground oven, resulting in tender, smoky-flavored meat.

Lau Lau

Lau Lau

Lau Lau is a native Hawaiian dish consisting of pork, fish, and taro leaves wrapped in ti leaves and steamed until tender.

Lomi Salmon

Lomi Salmon

Lomi Salmon is a traditional Hawaiian side dish made from salted salmon, tomatoes, onions, and chili peppers. It's often served with poi at luaus.

Poi

Poi

Poi is a staple Hawaiian food made from taro root. It's mashed until it becomes a smooth, thick paste and is often served with other traditional dishes.

Haupia

Haupia

Haupia is a traditional Hawaiian dessert made from coconut milk. It's a gelatin-like pudding with a sweet, creamy coconut flavor.

Malasadas

Malasadas

Malasadas are Portuguese donuts that have become a popular treat in Honolulu. They're deep-fried and coated in sugar, often filled with custard or tropical fruit jams.

Shave Ice

Shave Ice

Shave Ice is a popular dessert in Honolulu. It's made from finely shaved ice topped with flavored syrups, often served with ice cream or sweetened condensed milk.

Loco Moco

Loco Moco

Loco Moco is a comfort food dish in Honolulu. It consists of white rice topped with a hamburger patty, a fried egg, and brown gravy.

Plate Lunch

The Plate Lunch is a quintessential Honolulu meal. It typically includes two scoops of rice, macaroni salad, and a choice of meat, such as teriyaki beef or fried fish.

Mai Tai

Mai Tai

The Mai Tai is a classic Hawaiian cocktail made with rum, lime juice, and tropical fruit liqueurs. It's a popular drink to enjoy while relaxing on Honolulu's beautiful beaches.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Honolulu, Hawaii as a tourist is typically during the shoulder seasons, which are April to June and September to mid-December. During these times, the weather is pleasant, the crowds are thinner, and the rates are more affordable. However, if you're interested in surfing, winter months (November to February) offer the best waves. Keep in mind that the busiest and most expensive times are during the U.S. school holidays, particularly over Christmas and New Year.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1

Mon

New Year's Day

January 15

Mon

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

February 19

Mon

Presidents' Day

May 27

Mon

Memorial Day

June 19

Wed

Juneteenth

July 4

Thu

Independence Day

September 2

Mon

Labor Day

October 14

Mon

Columbus Day

November 11

Mon

Veterans Day

November 28

Thu

Thanksgiving Day

December 25

Wed

Christmas Day

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

Renting a car is a popular option for getting around Honolulu. It provides the flexibility to explore the city and the rest of the island at your own pace. Most major car rental companies have offices at the airport and in the city center.

TheBus is Honolulu's public bus service. It operates throughout the city and to many of the island's popular tourist destinations. It's a cost-effective way to get around, but can be slower due to frequent stops.

Honolulu has a bike-sharing program called Biki. Biki stations are located throughout the city, making it easy to pick up and drop off bikes. It's a fun and eco-friendly way to explore the city, especially the Waikiki area.

Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft operate in Honolulu. They can be a convenient option for getting around, especially if you're traveling in a group or have a lot of luggage.

Taxis are readily available in Honolulu, especially in tourist areas like Waikiki. They can be hailed on the street, booked by phone, or through a mobile app.

Honolulu, especially the Waikiki area, is very pedestrian-friendly. Many attractions, shops, restaurants, and beaches are within walking distance.

The Waikiki Trolley operates several lines that cover major attractions in Honolulu. It's a fun and convenient way to sightsee around the city.

Many hotels offer shuttle services to and from the airport, as well as to popular tourist destinations. Some attractions also offer their own shuttle services.

Renting a motorcycle or moped can be a fun way to explore Honolulu and the rest of the island. There are several rental companies in the city offering a variety of options.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currency$ USD

Time zoneUTC-5

Driving sideRight

Emergency phone911

Drinking waterYes

Power sockets

Power socket type APower socket type B

Voltage120 V

Things to know about Honolulu, Hawaii as a first time visitor

1

Honolulu is the capital city of Hawaii and is located on the island of Oahu.

2

The official language is English, but you'll also hear a lot of Hawaiian and Pidgin (a local creole language).

3

The currency is the U.S. dollar. Credit cards are widely accepted, but it's a good idea to carry some cash for small purchases.

4

Honolulu has a tropical climate, with temperatures ranging from 65-90°F (18-32°C) throughout the year.

5

The city is generally safe, but like any other tourist destination, it's important to be aware of your surroundings and take basic precautions.

6

The legal drinking age is 21, and it's illegal to drink alcohol on the beach.

7

Tipping is customary in Honolulu. It's usual to tip 15-20% at restaurants and for services such as taxi rides.

8

Hawaii operates on Hawaii Standard Time, which is 10 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-10).

9

Public transportation is available, including buses and trolleys, but renting a car can give you more flexibility to explore the island.

10

Honolulu has strict smoking laws. Smoking is banned in all enclosed public places and within 20 feet of doorways and windows.

11

Sunscreen is a must. The Hawaiian sun can be intense, and it's easy to get sunburned even on cloudy days.

12

Pack a light rain jacket or umbrella. Rain showers are common, especially in the winter months.

13

Hawaii has a plastic bag ban, so bring a reusable bag for shopping.

14

Honolulu has a diverse food scene. Don't miss out on trying local specialties like poke, loco moco, and shave ice.

15

Be respectful of the local culture and traditions. For example, don't take rocks or sand from the beach as it's considered disrespectful.

16

If you're planning to hike, stay on marked trails and be aware of your surroundings. Hawaii's natural beauty can be dangerous if you're not prepared.

17

The ocean can be unpredictable. Always check the surf conditions before going in the water and never turn your back to the waves.

18

Honolulu is a bustling city, but it also has quiet areas. If you're looking for peace and tranquility, try visiting during the off-peak season.

19

Hawaii has a high cost of living, so be prepared for higher prices than you might be used to, especially for food and gas.

20

Lastly, remember the Hawaiian word 'Aloha'. It's used to say hello and goodbye, but it also represents love, peace, and compassion.

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Lightweight clothing

  • Swimwear

  • Beach cover-up

  • Underwear and socks

  • Sleepwear

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Flip flops

  • Hat for sun protection

  • Sunglasses

  • Light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings

  • Toiletries

  • Travel-sized shampoo and conditioner

  • Body wash or soap

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Deodorant

  • Razor and shaving cream

  • Sunscreen

  • After-sun lotion or aloe vera

  • Insect repellent

  • Makeup and makeup remover

  • Hairbrush or comb

  • Prescription medications

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport or ID

  • Airline tickets or e-ticket confirmation

  • Hotel reservation confirmation

  • Car rental reservation confirmation

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Cash

  • Guidebook or map

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone and charger

  • Headphones

  • Camera and charger

  • Memory card for camera

  • Portable power bank

  • Travel adapter (if needed)

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Beach bag

  • Beach towel

  • Snorkeling gear

  • Reusable water bottle

  • Books or e-reader for the beach

  • Travel pillow and blanket for the flight

  • Earplugs and eye mask

  • Snacks for the flight

  • First aid kit

Weather Conditions

Visiting Honolulu, Hawaii, you can expect a tropical climate with warm temperatures throughout the year. The average temperature typically ranges from 75°F to 85°F (24°C to 29°C). However, it's important to note that Hawaii has two main seasons: the dry season (May to October) and the rainy season (November to April). During the dry season, you can expect less rainfall and more sunshine, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities such as hiking, surfing, and beach lounging. However, this is also the peak tourist season, so be prepared for larger crowds and higher prices. The rainy season, on the other hand, sees more rainfall, especially in the afternoon and evening. However, showers are usually brief and followed by sunshine. This season is less crowded and offers lower prices, making it a great time to visit if you're on a budget. Regardless of when you visit, it's a good idea to pack light, breathable clothing, a hat, and sunscreen to protect against the strong Hawaiian sun. Also, bring a light rain jacket or umbrella, especially if you're visiting during the rainy season. Lastly, keep an eye on the weather forecast. While hurricanes are rare in Hawaii, they can occur, particularly from June to November. Stay informed and heed any warnings or advisories from local authorities. Remember, the weather can vary greatly depending on which part of the island you're on. The windward (eastern) side tends to be wetter and cooler, while the leeward (western) side is typically drier and hotter. So, plan your activities accordingly and enjoy your visit to beautiful Honolulu!

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview

January

27° / 18°

January is one of the cooler months in Honolulu, but still warm by most standards. Expect occasional rain showers.

February

27° / 18°

February is similar to January with mild temperatures and occasional rain. It's a great time to visit if you prefer less crowded beaches.

March

28° / 19°

March sees a slight increase in temperature. Rain showers are still common, but less frequent.

April

29° / 20°

April is a transition month with temperatures starting to rise. There's less rain, making it a good time for outdoor activities.

May

30° / 21°

May marks the beginning of the dry season. Expect warm, sunny days perfect for beach activities.

June

31° / 22°

June is a great month to visit with plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures. It's a popular time for surfing.

July

32° / 23°

July is one of the hottest months in Honolulu. It's perfect for beach activities, but don't forget your sunscreen.

August

32° / 23°

August is similar to July with hot, sunny days. It's a great time for water sports and exploring the island.

September

32° / 23°

September remains hot, but with less tourists around. It's a great time to explore the less crowded beaches.

October

31° / 22°

October sees a slight drop in temperature. It's still warm enough for beach activities and the start of the rainy season.

November

30° / 21°

November is a transition month with temperatures starting to drop. Expect occasional rain showers.

December

28° / 19°

December is one of the cooler months, but still warm by most standards. It's a great time to escape the winter chill elsewhere.

Did you know?

Did you know that Honolulu is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Hawaii?

1 of 10

Places near by Honolulu, Hawaii

Kailua Beach

Kailua Beach

Known for its turquoise water and soft sand, Kailua Beach is a popular destination for kayaking, windsurfing, and picnics.

30m
21.8 km / 13.5 mi
How to get there
Lanikai Beach

Lanikai Beach

Famous for its clear water and white sand, Lanikai Beach is a great spot for swimming and sunbathing.

35m
25.7 km / 16.0 mi
How to get there
Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay

A marine embayment formed within a volcanic cone, Hanauma Bay offers a great spot for snorkeling.

40m
17.6 km / 10.9 mi
How to get there
Waimea Bay

Waimea Bay

Famous for its big wave surfing during winter season, Waimea Bay is a must-visit for surf enthusiasts.

1h
51.5 km / 32.0 mi
How to get there
Polynesian Cultural Center

Polynesian Cultural Center

A Polynesian-themed theme park and living museum located in Laie, offering a unique cultural experience.

1.2h
56.3 km / 35.0 mi
How to get there
Dole Plantation

Dole Plantation

A popular tourist destination where visitors can learn about Hawaii's pineapple industry and navigate through a pineapple maze.

1.3h
40.2 km / 25.0 mi
How to get there
Haleiwa Town

Haleiwa Town

Known for its surfing culture, Haleiwa Town offers a variety of boutiques, restaurants, and art galleries.

1.3h
55.5 km / 34.5 mi
How to get there
Kualoa Ranch

Kualoa Ranch

A 4000-acre private nature reserve and working cattle ranch, as well as a popular tourist attraction for its tours of movie sites and landscapes.

1.5h
42.6 km / 26.5 mi
How to get there
North Shore

North Shore

Famous for its massive waves, attracting surfers from all around the world. It's also known for its stunning natural beauty and local flavors.

1.8h
55.5 km / 34.5 mi
How to get there
Maui

Maui

Known for its stunning natural beauty, Maui offers a variety of activities from hiking to whale watching.

1.5h
161 km / 100.0 mi
How to get there
Big Island

Big Island

The largest island in the United States, offering everything from snow-capped mountains to rainforests and beautiful beaches.

1.2h
321 km / 199.5 mi
How to get there

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