What to do and see in Honolulu, Hawaii (HI): The Best Sightseeing Tours

October 21, 2021 Terina Blouin

The mere mention of Hawaii is enough to prompt visions of grass skirts and colorful cocktails with tiny umbrellas. While you will find some kitsch in Honolulu, you’ll also find art museums, bike paths, and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Popular Waikiki Beach has soft sands and great surf. For majestic Oahu views scramble to the top of Diamond Head – a 350-acre volcanic crater. Historic structures like Iolani Palace and Ali'iolani Hale are worth a visit on a non-beach day.
Restaurants in Honolulu

1. A'o Hawai'i Dolphin Watching Tour

Waianae Small Boat Harbor, 85-491 Farrington Hwy, Waianae, HI 96792, USA Indigo Ocean Hawaii
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5.0 based on 8 reviews

・An Impressive Watching Experience with Wild Dolphins at the West Coast of Oahu. ・Learning about the ecosystem of wild animals (dolphins, sea turtles, etc.). ・Visiting natural, cultural and historical sites in Hawaii (Waianae Mountains, etc.).

Inclusions: Shuttle service from/to designated hotels(Additional Charge), Snacks, Bottled water

Exclusions: Sun screen, Hat, Sunglass

2. Private Helicopter Charter - Oahu "VIP Experience" (60 Minute)

134 Nakolo Pl, Honolulu, HI 96819, USA Mauna Loa Helicopter Tours
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5.0 based on 56 reviews

This is a guaranteed PRIVATE Helicopter Tour: Experience Oahu's breathtaking tropical landscape from above on this 1 hour guaranteed private helicopter tour. Minimum of 2 members of the same family / group can have your own private pilot and aircraft to see Oahu the way YOU want to. Spend more time at sites you like or return to some locations for more photos ..... Let us take you to our secret places in Oahu ...or you tell us what you want to go and we'll get you there ! Groups larger than 3 - we will fly 2+ helicopters in formation - flying side by side so you can capture air to air photos of each other whilst taking ion the amazing treasures of Oahu's hidden waterfalls and valleys.  Maximum group size is 6 This is offered as both a doors on and DOORS OFF Tour at no extra cost. Strictly Private and Same Family / Group

Inclusions: All taxes, fees, and handling charges, Fuel surcharge, Landing and facility fees, Airport/Departure Tax, Live commentary

Exclusions: Gratuities, Food and drinks

Reviewed By Lori J

This was our first helicopter experience. From check in to our pilot and the flight it was an experience of a life time. I would do it again in a heartbeat. The service was impressive.

3. O‘ahu Highlights Private Guided Tour: Landmarks & Architecture

DTours
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5.0 based on 1 reviews

Just arrived and don’t know what to see first? Take a relaxing 3-hour ride to Honolulu’s most iconic landmarks followed by jaw-dropping views as the venture continues across Southern O‘ahu’s mountainous highways. Our tours are private and just for your group!

Inclusions: Bottled water, Private transportation

Exclusions: Gratuities

Reviewed By josephwert

We were fortunate to have Janie guide us on our tour of Savannah and the Bonaventure Cemetery. While she had a standardized itinerary around the Squares, she added interesting and personal flavor to each of the sights. Ultimately it was like having an old friend taking us around her hometown, with great interpersonal conversations along the way. She will always be the highlight of our Savannah trip.

4. Polynesian Canoe Sunset Sail

1125 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA Kamoauli - A Native Cultural Experience Sailing the Waikiki Coast
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5.0 based on 19 reviews

Kamoauli is a locally owned, all-wood, double-hulled, traditional Polynesian canoe (wa’a kaulua) offering a one-of-a-kind native Hawaiian cultural and educational experience. Come sail along the beautiful Waikiki coastline and become immersed in the stories and history of place (Mo‘olelo) reflected through the land (ʻāina) and ocean (moana) aboard a classroom on the sea. Our cultural practitioner and crew involve guests in hands on activities, using native materials to make food, clothing, tools, and other traditional items. Ask questions, explore the deck, nets and hulls, take part in poi (taro) pounding or just relax and enjoy. 'Ukulele music and traditional chants ('oli) with locally-sourced traditional food and drinks are all part of this unique experience. *All ages are welcome, minors must be accompanied by an adult.

Inclusions: Cultural & Educational Activites - experience traditional food preparation and clothing manufacture., Learn about and participate in a traditional sunset 'oli ceremony

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Reviewed By ericwhite808

My family had the amazing opportunity to sail on Kamoauli for a sunset cruise to the Westside of the island and we couldn't be more happy with the entire experience! The moment we set foot on this one of kind Polynesian canoe we just couldn't wait for the adventure to begin! Captain Rob, First Mate Kawika, and the rest of the Kamoauli crew did an awesome job of weaving Hawaiian lore and legend with the breathtaking views of both island and ocean. Having the opportunity to sail on a traditional Polynesian canoe made the experience way more legit and I can't recommend this cruise enough! Kamoauli maika'i!!!

5. Private Catamaran Cruise and Snorkeling Tour in Honolulu

Hawaii Ocean Charters, 1125 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814, USA Hawaii Ocean Charters
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5.0 based on 9 reviews

Discover the beautiful views of the ocean, local wildlife, and the iconic east side of Oahu as you join me on a private catamaran cruise in Waikiki. We’ll depart from Kewalo Basin Harbor located in Honolulu and make our way up the coastline to Diamond Head, making stops along the way for any turtles, dolphins, or whales we may spot during our journey. Once at the top of our route, we will find a calm anchorage to relax at. Guests are welcome to join me for guided snorkeling and swimming or just dip their toes in the water as we soak in the beautiful day. The vessel is exclusively reserved for your party so you are welcome to play your own music and bring any refreshments you would like to enjoy during our time together. I’ll happily be sharing my local knowledge and the cultural history of the area we are traveling in throughout the cruise. I am happy to share with you an escape from the crowds and a truly personal experience.

Inclusions: Bottled water, Soda/Pop, Private transportation, Use of Snorkelling equipment

Exclusions: Cruise is BYOB with provided coolers for drinks., Parking $1.00 per hour

Reviewed By dannyhH5969BY

This was probably my favorite part out of my whole trip to Hawaii. We asked to switch days to avoid the storm and Francesco was so quick, communicative, and even helped us get a discount. We saw whales then snorkeled with turtles and fish. The boat also has a cooler so you can bring your own snacks and drinks, and had a Bluetooth speaker to connect your phone to play music. Couldn't have had a better time. Francesco and his cocaption were so professional and kind. If I ever was in Honolulu again, I would book this trip. The private experience (especially during Covid) is unbeatable. 11/10 would recommend.

6. Diamond Head Bike to Hike and Local Lunch

Kuhio Beach Park, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA Bike Tour Hawaii
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4.9 based on 69 reviews

DIAMOND HEAD CRATER IS ONLY OPEN THURSDAY THROUGH SUNDAYS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. (STATE PARKS SERVICES) Enjoy your morning with a bike ride up to Diamond Head Crater followed by a hike to the top of this dormant volcano.786 ft ele. Guided tour comes with informative narration and lots of photo stops to share with your family and friends. After the hike, we head down to a delicious local lunch at the base of Diamond Head and show you some amazing places you can visit on your own for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 7-speed city bike, safety helmet, sunscreen, water/sports drink, and snacks are included. We start this tour @ 7:00 am to avoid the crowds and summer heat. Completed before noon. *In addition, we provide our guests with complimentary dynamic photos and a tour video that is light years ahead of the tour industry.

Inclusions: Use of helmet, Use of bicycle, Local guide, Snacks, Lunch, Bottled water

Exclusions: Food and drinks, unless specified

Reviewed By stephaniesT4968HO

Fun and informative afternoon with Kelly! Started out with some tourist sights in Waikiki and then headed off the beaten path to indulge in some great food from local eateries you would not seek out or find yourself. Highlight was the family-owned Hawaiian food restaurant where we had amazing lau lau and sides. You will see a different part of the city and enjoy some tasty treats. Just do it!

7. Private Circle Island Tour With Beaches and Local Food

DanielsHawaii Private & Semi Private Tours Hawaii
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4.9 based on 38 reviews

Private Customized Tour - Experience the island's best sights - Dole Plantation, beautiful beaches, Halona Blowhole, Movie Spots and a Macadamia farm. Most important: Have fun & feel ALOHA. We help you customize the perfect tour. Our guides will take good care of you and make sure your day will be unforgettable. Explore historical spots, learn about Hawaiian history, chill at the beach or combine everything. Some available stops: • Pearl Harbor, • Dole Plantation, • Halona Blowhole, • North Shore Beaches, • Movie Sites in Hawaii • Lunch at local Food Trucks, • Waikiki Secret Beaches, • Macadamia Nut Farm Adventure, • #1 Beach in the USA • Most Dangerous beach in the USA • Mafia Mansions on Oahuand many more possible locations!  Customize your tour with DanielsHawaii.

Inclusions: Snacks, Professional guide, FREE Waikiki Hotel pickup and drop-off, Private transportation, We are happy to provide one environmental friendly box of water per guest.

Exclusions: Gratuities, Individual Tour Video Souvenir (available to purchase), Souvenir photos (available to purchase), Surcharge for pickup more than 5 miles from Waikiki (Westside - e.g. Ko'olina, or North Shore Oahu $100), Tour runs for ~6 hours. Need more time? Pay as you go - only $75 per additional started hour.

Reviewed By Hermosa97

10/10 recommended. Cameron was beyond amazing. He shared lots of great information about the island took us to great spots and even took great group pictures for my friends and I. He people friendly, patient, enthusiastic definitely would do another tour with him.

8. Private Helicopter Charter - Oahu "Magnum Experience" (50 Minute)

134 Nakolo Pl, Honolulu, HI 96819, USA Mauna Loa Helicopter Tours
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4.9 based on 31 reviews

Experience one of the ultimate 50 minute helicopter tours of Oahu in VIP luxury. Fly  around Oahu just like the TV show Magnum P.I!. Depart Honolulu airport and begin your helicopter adventure by flying over Waikiki’s shoreline, Your tour will continue down the leeward coast to Diamond Head, Koko Head and the historic Makapuu Point Lighthouse.  You then will pass over Kailua Beach, the famous landmark Chinamans hat and the pristine waters of Kaneohe Bay. The tour will continue north to Kaaawa (Jurassic) Valley and Sacred Falls. Your tour will close with a slow flyover of Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona.  ! Check us out on Trip Advisor! Strictly Private Same Household Tours

Inclusions: All taxes, fees and handling charges, Fuel surcharge, Landing and facility fees

Exclusions: Gratuities, Food and drinks

Reviewed By michaelpZ9156EG

Tianna was extremely knowledgeable of the island and a super friendly pilot. We felt very safe flying with her. Doors off experience definitely added to our adventure

9. Hawaiian Food Tour by Bike in Oahu

2453 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA Bike Tour Hawaii
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4.9 based on 109 reviews

Attention Guests: With the coronavirus outbreak, we have changes our tours to PRIVATE TOURS only until further notice. Visit 10 to 16 local eats in the Diamond Head, Kapahulu and Kaimuki neighborhoods eating at 6-7 stops on this all-inclusive 4-hour foodie tour. Enjoy a taste of paradise accompanied by interesting historical narration from your guide. Savor traditional Hawaiian eats like Lau Lau, Raw fish salad-Poke'. A delicious Portuguese malasada, The Incredible local fish taco, mouth-watering blueberry scone and a famously silky shave Ice & Hawaii's fresh roasted coffee. This bicycle foodie tour is a must for food lovers.  Vegetarian, vegan and paleo diets are welcome. *In addition, we provide our guests with complimentary dynamic photos and a tour video that is light years ahead of the tour industry. Please note: guests with food allergies are recommended to inform your guide, so we can plan healthy meals to suit you.

Inclusions: Bottled water, Food tasting, Lunch, Local guide, Professional guide, Use of bicycle, Use of helmet

Exclusions: Food and drinks, unless specified, Gratuities

Reviewed By Joshua C

Kelly was very organized and showed us all the highlights of the Diamond Head area, including notable landmarks. The climb up Diamond Head was fun. He took lots of pictures and shared them with us via IPhone app as well as Google photo app

10. Pearl Harbor: USS Arizona Memorial & USS Missouri Battleship Tour from Waikiki

Pearl Harbor Tours
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4.8 based on 70 reviews

Small-group tours only with 12 guests per guide. Prepare to be moved on this somber but inspiring tour of historic Pearl Harbor. This tour, with visits to both the USS Arizona Memorial and the Battleship Missouri, is powerful. As a guest on this tour, you’ll receive transportation from the hotel, admission to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, and a complimentary viewing of the stirring Pearl Harbor documentary. You’ll also be escorted to the USS Arizona Memorial before a tour of the USS Missouri’s ship decks and interiors. These ships, both majestic and historic, serve as important reminders of one of the country’s darkest days. On the return trip back to Waikiki, we’ll drive by other historic Honolulu sites like Punchbowl Cemetery, known as the Arlington of the Pacific, and the King Kamehameha Statue. Our small groups' sizes (12 or less) and knowledgeable guides ensure you’ll have plenty of time to ask questions and take pictures.

Inclusions: Waikiki Hotel / Accommodation Pickup & Return, Tickets To Arizona Memorial & Missouri Battleship

Exclusions: Lunch

Reviewed By lavendersimpson

We really enjoyed our experience. We were able to see most of the islands best kept secrets. Beautiful beaches, favorite movie sights, amazing mountain and landscape. Pearl Harbor was a must see, as well as the Dole Plantation and The Polynesian Culture Center.

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