Honolulu on the mainland of Hawaii is one of the most sought-after locations to spend on a romantic summer vacation with your partner! It’s home to some of the most gorgeous beaches, cultural experiences, ultimate landscapes, and viewing spots. But what are the best things to do in Honolulu for couples that you should include in your trip?
Say Aloha, and welcome the endless activities on offer that will make Hawaii a one-of-a-kind vacation. Between that and some relaxing beach days, you’ll never have trouble filling in your time. Therefore, you’re tropical paradise awaits, and we are here to help you plan with the selection below.
So, read on to discover all that Honolulu has to offer, romantic or otherwise!
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Things to do in Honolulu for Couples
Honolulu is a bustling metropolis and the largest city in Hawaii. Since most visitors opt to stay in the heart of the region, it’s convenient and easy to plan your trip from Waikiki. This could include taking a surf lesson, indulging in local cuisine, wandering through local streets, or embarking on a hiking journey.
Based on your time available and what you like to do, you can use the selection below as a guide and help map out your days.
Walk the Diamond Head Summit Trail
First up, you should walk the Diamond Head Summit Trail, which is one of the more popular things to do in Honolulu. The trail will take you to the top of the Diamond Head Crater (Lē‘ahi), a dormant volcano on Oahu’s southeast shore. It’s an iconic landmark, and while it’s free to use the trail, there is a small charge to enter the State park. Along with learning the history of World War 11 and strolling through the previously used bunkers.
The hiking track is relatively steep and strenuous, but it’s a short 1.6-mile (4km) return hike and worth the effort. At the summit, you’ll be rewarded with a postcard view of Waikiki Beach and the skyline of buildings. This is perfect for the couple selfie shot with the skyline in the background.
Surfing is known as the favourite pastime in Hawaii, so you can either take advantage of these waves or even learn how to do it. There are plenty of spots across the island, and even nearby ones, where you can catch some waves. Or, conveniently, you can join surfing lessons right at Waikiki Beach.
If you’re looking for an adventure that will leave you feeling energized and refreshed, there is something truly exhilarating about the feeling of riding the waves. It’s the best way to get out on the water, have some fun, and feel the wind in your hair as you glide across the water.
Join a Luau dinner and Show.
A Hawaiian Luau is a guaranteed romantic occasion, filled with engaging cultural performances and a feast of local cuisine. You’ll start off your night with a warm welcome of a lei (Flower necklace), a delicious Mai Tai (cocktail), and live Hawaiian music. This is where you’ll get to know other travellers and where they are from.
After that, you’ll try some delicious Hawaiian dishes such as Kalua Pig, Haupia, and Poi. Along with enjoying a music and dance show acted out by local Hawaiian performers. Consequently, any Luau show promises an unforgettable evening filled with education, entertainment, and, of course, delicious food.
Learn about Pearl Harbour’s history.
Almost everyone knows about what happened at Pearl Harbour, but the tour of the Pearl Harbour Memorial tour allows you to explore all the historical sites. From ancient Hawaiian stories to the events that shaped World War II. Your guide is an expert in local history and is more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
Imagine standing on the USS Missouri battleship deck where this historic moment occurred, and feeling the weight of the significance. Then take a short boat ride to the USS Arizona Memorial, where you’ll get an in-depth look at the impact of that historic event on the region. Even if you’re not a history buff, this is a must-see stop, and you’ll get an educational and immersive experience.
Have you ever dreamt of swimming with turtles, seeing spinner dolphins, catching glimpses of exotic fish, and maybe even making a new marine friend? Well, there are plenty of snorkelling and diving companies offering a wide range of exciting opportunities to see the hidden wonders of Hawaiian waters. Even better, all the snorkelling equipment is included, and you just have to bring your sense of adventure.
You’ll be able to swim and snorkel in the crystal-clear water and see different types of tropical fish. Plus, with over 100 species of coral and 400 species of fish waiting to be discovered, you just might find your new favourite underwater creature. You’ll be mesmerized by the beauty of the marine world and share some precious memories to bring home with you.
Go Whale Spotting
Whale Watching is a seasonal activity, so if you’re visiting from December to May, then it’s a great time to check out the annual migration. Grab your camera or binoculars and expect to be on the water for a couple of hours. These magnificent creatures grace Hawaii’s waters with their presence, swimming, feeding, playing, and even breaching right before your eyes.
The expert guide will provide you with fascinating facts about their migration patterns, behaviour, and more. Plus, don’t forget to indulge in some delicious snacks and drinks while taking in the views. In the end, you don’t have to be an expert on marine biology to appreciate the sheer beauty of these gentle giants.
Swim or sunbake on the Waikiki Beach.
It’s not hard to see why Waikiki Beach has made a name for itself. From the moment you step onto its shores, you’re greeted with miles of luscious, velvety white sand and the sight of gently swaying palm trees. But perhaps the real highlight of this iconic beach is the calming sounds of the waves and the relaxation that overwhelms you.
The bright blue waters are both crystal clear and beckoning you to take a dip and cool off from the warm Hawaiian sun. And remember the gorgeous sunsets that Waikiki is known for; a romantic walk is definitely something you’ll want to take advantage of. This is one of the best free things to do in Honolulu, and you could even catch a random fire-breathing or acrobatic show.
Check out the Iolani Palace
The Iolani Palace was the official residence of Hawaii’s very own king and is a monument to a time long gone. With its rich history and grand architecture, it’s no wonder why this attraction is one of the most talked-about in Honolulu. Inside, you’ll find an array of traditional artefacts, vintage clothing displays, fittings, furniture, and relics of past royalties.
Initially built in the late 1800s by King Kalakaua and rebuilt in 1969, you can explore the plush-carpeted political offices or flutter around the grand Royal rooms. You’ll be transported back in time from the moment you step through the doors, and you may even feel like royalty while inside.
Stroll the Botanic Gardens
If you both love spending time outdoors surrounded by flora, then the Honolulu Botanical Gardens are going to be right up your alley. Spread throughout the city, each unique garden offers a different experience, and if you’re a true nature buff, you’ll want to see them all.
Choose between the Foster Botanical Gardens, Liliʻuokalani Botanical Garden, Lyon Arboretum, or one of the favourites is the Wahiawa Botanical Garden. Why not make a plan to visit each of these gorgeous gardens, one by one? Take your time, soak up the scenery, and let the plants work their magic on your soul.
Try the Shaved Ice
Satisfy that sweet tooth and stop at one of the shaved Ice vans places all over Honolulu. Indulge in a simple masterpiece with a variety of flavours and toppings, knowing that each one can be a work of art. You can even mix and match to create the ultimate flavour experience.
Why not try the tropical taste of passionfruit with the creamy goodness of haupia? Or maybe pair the boldness of chocolate with the earthy undertones of green tea? From the sweetness of mango to the tangy refreshment of a margarita, It’s no wonder that tourists adore this unique delicacy when visiting the Hawaiian Islands.
Shop till you drop.
If you’re looking for a shopping experience that combines style, flavour, and the Aloha spirit, the Royal Hawaiian Centre in Honolulu is the place to be. With over 90 retail shops, boutiques, and eateries, it has everything you’ll need to indulge in a little retail therapy, from the latest fashion trends to mouth-watering cuisine.
The Mall is located along three blocks of the famous Kalākaua Avenue in Waikiki. With over 310,000 square feet of shopping space and over 110 stores, you’ll find high-end brands that cater to your needs. Whether you’re looking for designer clothing, souvenirs, exquisite jewellery or a new handbag, this shopping mecca is the place to go.
Fly like a bird in a Helicopter Tour
As a couple, a helicopter tour is one of the best ways to see the island of Oahu in the shortest amount of time. Sure, it may cost a bit more than some other activities, but the experience is certainly worth it. The views from above are stunning and fly you over places like Diamond Head, North Shore, Jurassic Park scenes, Waikiki Beach, and the Pearl Harbour Memorial.
And if you’re looking for a bit of fun and nostalgia, why not opt for the Magnum PI Hawaii Helicopter Tour? The Helicopter is painted just like the one in the hit TV show that aired back in the 80s, and you can even choose to ride with the doors off. So, if you want to splurge on something unforgettable, this helicopter ride must be part of your itinerary.
Get a picture with “The Duke”
Have you met “The Duke?” He’s the bronze statue of Duke Kahanamoku who welcomes visitors to Waikiki with his wide smile and muscular frame. Not only was he a master of swimming and canoe paddling, but he grew up surfing the waves of Waikiki as well. And it wasn’t just his athletic ability that made him so impressive.
During his very first competition, he broke the world record in the 100-yard freestyle. Later, he went on to win Olympic gold in the 100-meter freestyle, a silver medal in the 1912 relay, and more medals in 1920 and 1924. It’s no wonder that a statue honouring this incredible man now stands on Waikiki Beach and probably gets thousands of selfie pictures every day.
Conclusion – Things to do in Honolulu for Couples
It’s easy to find plenty of things to do in Honolulu for couples, and it is a great place to visit for those who love being by the beach. From exploring historical landmarks, indulging in local cuisine, or just taking an afternoon stroll, there are plenty of experiences that you’ll want to share with that special someone!
So, make it an unforgettable holiday and head over to Honolulu today!
Guest bio: Chris Fry is the writer and photographer behind Aquarius Traveller, where she shares her journeys and provides valuable information and inspiration for your destination travels. She lives in Australia and has travelled to 36 countries and in-depth across Australia.