I was just reading the Eyewitness Travel Top 10 guide on things to to in Honolulu and Oahu. It's hard to list the top 10 things to do in Honolulu - there are so many things that are worthy of making the list. The book breaks Honolulu and Oahu into a number of different lists - my favorite list in the book being the Top 10 on Kalakaua Ave. So here we go...keep in mind that these things are probably the most popular....but not necessarily the best in all of Oahu.
1. Royal Hawaiian Hotel - This pink hotel located in the center of Waikiki is a must visit, even if you can't afford to stay there. The architecture is amazing, and the Mai Tai bar is legendary.
2. Sheraton Moana Surfrider Hotel - Affectionately called the first lady of Waikiki, this hotel was the first hotel in Waikiki and is over 100 years old. They have a great outdoor dining area right by the beach, perfect to watch the sunset or to sip some cocktails.
3. Waikiki Beach - You can't visit Hawaii without going to Waikiki Beach. It is rumoured that a lot of the sand on this beach has been imported due to erosion problems. But you get the real touristy beach experience here - surfing lessons, shave ice, outriggers and locals - what more could you want? Just be prepared to share the beach - there isn't a lot of room during the peak season and you may find yourself sitting on top of someone else's towel.....
4. Duke Kahanamoku - I have written a post on Duke before - a perfect place to leave your lei as a sign of respect for this "Ambassador of Aloha".
5. Kapia'olani Park - Spanning 170 acres, this park is now used by locals and tourists alike for family gatherings, music and festivals. I think I have seen farmers markets down there also.
6. Honolulu Zoo - Although this can't be compared to Taronga Zoo in Sydney, this compact Zoo has a few cute creatures to look at. Good for the kids - although it gets very hot walking around inside.
7. Waikiki Shell - This concert venue is extremely well-known and popular. They host a range of events including the Honolulu Symphony and other local Hawaiian acts.
8. Waikiki Aquarium - The aquarium is also popular with the kids, and is popular for sharks and Hawaiian Monk Seals.
9. War Memorial Natatorium - In 1927 a Natatorium was opened and dedicated to the honor of the 101 residents of the Hawaiian Territory who died during World War 1. It is currently in a state of disrepair, because of local disagreements over health and commercial matters related to the restoration project.
10. Diamond Head - Located at the end of Kalakaua Ave, this amazing crater is not to be missed. Be sure to get there and take the hike up the crater, to discover amazing views of Oahu and beyond. Try to go early in the day as it gets extremely warm as you make your way up the crater.