10 Amazing Things To Do In Waikiki Worth The Money

Hawaii is one of the most beautiful places that you can visit in the US. Hawaii has a rich history and culture that so many people want to explore every single year.

Whether you want to learn more about the surfing culture, island life, hula dances, go to a luau, or see some of nature’s fantastic beaches and volcanoes, Hawaii has it all. 

10 Amazing Things To Do In Waikiki Worth The Money

One of the most visited spots in Hawaii is Waikiki, on the island of Oahu. Waikiki beach is iconic, and is full of exciting nightlife, food spots, shopping resorts and many events and attractions. 

So, if you are looking for some amazing things to do in Waikiki worth the money while you are traveling (see also “Amazing Things To Do In Kona“), then we have got 10 recommendations for you!

1. Paradise Cove Luau

If you have always dreamed of having the full Hawaiian experience, then you have to attend a Luau, and Paradise Cove luau is the best in all of Hawaii. 

This luau begins with a complimentary tropical Mai Tai cocktail for you to sip as you are greeted. Stroll through the traditional Hawaiian Village and learn about all of the arts and crafts of the islands. 

Then, you can try your hand at some Hawaiian games, learn how to do the hula, and participate in cultural ceremonies. Take a canoe ride, watch the waves crash against the shore, or relax under the palm trees. 

The evening continues with a traditional Hawaiian feast with local and cultural dishes to taste.

As you eat, you can enjoy a spectacular show of hula dances from Hawaiian and Polynesian culture. You will see dances, fire eaters, live music, and have an unforgettable experience. 

We have done this tour ourselves, and in most cases you will be picked up from a central location in Hawaii and taken to the luau itself. We have to say- the people are incredible there. You will be welcomed with open arms, and treated like family. 

Paradise Cove luau is truly an experience that you will never forget. 

2. Snorkel With Turtles

When on Oahu, you must go snorkeling with turtles. One of the most popular attractions in Waikiki is a Turtle Canyon tour. You will climb aboard a boat, set out on a beautiful, scenic tour around the water, and then get into the sea yourself. 

You will get up close and personal with these amazing creatures, but be sure not to touch the turtles, as they are a protected and respected species in Hawaii. 

All gear is provided, and you can see angelfish and the beautiful native green sea turtles that swim around the Turtle Canyons. After snorkeling, you can enjoy the boat ride and relax on the deck with an incredible view of the island. 

You will even be provided with drinks and snacks, so if you prefer not to swim, it is worth it just for the views and the experience upon the boat! 

3. Pearl Harbor Tour

Pearl Harbor Memorial is one of the must see places when in Waikiki (see also “Amazing Places To Eat In Waikiki“). Just a short car journey away, you can find this historical and important site that is a large part of Hawaii’s history. 

You can travel to the site yourself via Taxi or Bus, or you can book a complete tour that departs from most hotels and prime spots in Waikiki.

Pearl Harbor will be a very moving experience, as you will get to explore the museum on the site, visit the USS Arizona Memorial, Battleship Missouri, Bowfin Submarine, the Aviation Museum, and more. 

From going on this tour, we were actually surprised about how much we learned. There are so many memorials and the USS Arizona is left untouched.

It is incredibly eye-opening, and can be rather heart-breaking, but it is a must-see when you are in the area. 

4. Kualoa Ranch

Kualoa Ranch had to be on this list. This is one of the most iconic spots on Oahu. Kualoa Ranch is a truly stunning place, filled with lush greenery, incredible mountains and rocky formations. 

Kualoa Ranch is the site of countless Hollywood movies and TV shows, featuring in films such as Kong: Skull Island, Jumanji, Hawaii Five-0, 50 First Dates, and of course Jurassic Park and Jurassic World. 

If you are a fan of the Jurassic Park movies, then you will instantly recognize Kualoa Ranch. This attraction can be seen via tour bus, horseback ride, ATV tour, and so much more.

Kualoa Ranch is not just a movie tour, you can enjoy the sites, learn about the history of the location, and explore the ranch yourself. You will see wild animals, horses, the valley, and you can stop off at the on-site restaurant and gift shop. 

You can head to Kualoa Ranch easily by car from Waikiki, or book a tour that includes a bus pick-up. 

5. Circle Island Tour

If you want to sample all of Oahu in a tour, then this circle island tour is for you. You will discover the ocean-facing slopes of Diamond Head crater, the Halona Blowhole, Makapu’u Point, the Valley of the Temples, and Mokoli’i Island. 

This day tour includes lunch at the incredible Fumi’s Shrimp Stand on the North Shore, and you will visit Waimea Valley and the Dole Pineapple Plantation. With an expert guide, this is one of the best things that you can do on Oahu. 

6. Waimea Waterfall

If you prefer to hike and get closer to nature in Hawaii, then go to Waimea Falls. This is roughly a 3.5 mile long hike, but it is mostly flat and easy to navigate.

You will walk through magnificent gardens and historical locations. Relax and enjoy the scenery in this attraction. 

7. Waikiki Beach

Waikiki is best known for its beaches, so you have to visit Waikiki Beach itself! Found on the south shore of Honolulu, this famous and popular neighborhood was once a playground for Hawaiian royalty. 

The calm waters of Waikiki Beach are perfect for those looking to surf, and this is where the legendary Duke Kahanamoku grew up and first learned to tame the waves of Waikiki. 

The beach itself runs all the way along the strip of boutiques, stores, bars and restaurants, so there is plenty to do on your visit! 

8. Honolulu Zoo

Honolulu Zoo is another great day out in Waikiki. You will get to see Hawaii’s indigenous species, along with a vast variety of other animals!

From elephants to snakes, meerkats to toads and rhinos, this zoo has it all, and is set against the backdrop of Waikiki. 

9. Ala Moana Center

If you want a break from the sunshine, then head to the Ala Moana Center. Here, you can find shops, stores, restaurants and boutiques in this mall center.

From Dior, to Hermes, Zara, to American Eagle, Hallmark, Apple, Barnes and Noble- and local Hawaiian stores, there is so much to look at in the Ala Moana Center. 

There is also a daily hula show and traditional ceremonies to be seen here!

10. Diamond Head

Diamond Head is the famous volcanic cone on Oahu. Diamond Head is part of the Ko’olau Range volcanoes that started to erupt over 2.6 million years ago.

This crater has been around for an estimated 300,000 years. You can visit via trail, or book a tour! This location is on the eastern edge of Waikiki’s coastline, and is a must-see! 

Final Thoughts

To summarize, Waikiki has some of the best activities that Hawaii has to offer. As it is one of the most popular tourist destinations on Oahu, Hawaii, it is full of fun places to explore, great restaurants, bars and hotel resorts. 

All of the best tours and attractions are a short journey away, so it is a really central location where you can savor the lifestyle, culture and beautiful food that Hawaii is so well loved for.

Hopefully you have found something that sounds like fun to you in this guide! Mahalo! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Worth Going To Waikiki?

If you are heading to Hawaii, then Waikiki is a must-see. It is the most central location on Oahu, and is the hub of the island.

Whether you like beach activities, surfing, shopping, dining, historical sites, local attractions and more- Waikiki has it all. 
Waikiki beach is also one of the most famous beaches in Hawaii, so it is definitely worth a visit. 

How Many Days Is Enough In Waikiki?

How many days you need to spend in Waikiki depends on how many attractions you want to see. We recommend around three to four days at least to see some of the sights. 

However, if you want to do some more fun activities, then you may want to opt for a week so that it is not all jammed into a few days and you can rest and enjoy the chilled, relaxed vibes that Hawaii is so well known for. 

Julia Wright
Scroll to Top