There are so many beautiful places to see as well as a wide variety of exciting excursions in Honolulu to do such as helicopter rides, sunset cruises, surfing, snorkeling, diving with sharks, and more. In this blog post, I’ve handpicked the 13 best and most popular Honolulu excursions.
QUICK PICKS: TOP 3 HONOLULU EXCURSIONS
Don’t have time to read my entire article about the best Honolulu Excursions? No worries! I’ve shortlisted my three favorite tours here to make things easy for you. These are the top three most popular excursions from Honolulu.
13 BEST EXCURSIONS IN HONOLULU
It’s advised to book your Honolulu Excursion in advance, especially during the high season. Below is a list I created that reviews the best tours and excursions in Honolulu excursions.
RAINBOW HELICOPTERS TOUR (DOORS ON OR OFF)
Rainbow Helicopters Tour with doors on or off: If riding a helicopter in Hawaii is on your bucket list and you are up for an activity that gives you an adrenaline rush, book a Rainbow Helicopter tour with doors on and off experience. This excursion takes you over the best sights of Honolulu and you’ll fly over numerous sites on Oahu island.
The flight is 45-minute long and also shows you some hidden places such as Chinaman’s Hat, Makapu’u Lighthouse, and more. If you take part in this tour, you will be able to see all the gorgeous natural highlights of the island. This is a live guided tour and what is exciting is that you can opt to experience a chopper ride with doors off. I highly recommend you seat on the right side to get the best views.
Book your tour: Rainbow Helicopters Tour
WAIKIKI SUNSET COCKTAIL CRUISE
There’s nothing more relaxing than an evening on the water where you can feel the wind in your hair and warm sun on your skin while cruising from Waikiki to Diamond Head. This Waikiki Sunset Cocktail Cruise takes guests on a tranquil ride on a spacious boat with a glass of cocktail in hand.
It’s fantastic when you watch the sunset paint the sky with beautiful hues of orange and pink which definitely makes you grab your camera and take the best sunset shot on Oahu. You’ll also be served with non-alcoholic drinks, 2 complimentary bar drinks, and Pupus “the famous Hawaiian-style appetizers). The onboard crew is very welcoming and fun. I highly recommend this if you want a relaxed excursion in Honolulu.
Book your tour: Sunset Cocktail Cruise
WAIKIKI GLASS BOTTOM BOAT SUNSET CRUISE FROM HONOLULU
Waikiki Glass Bottom boat Sunset Cruise from Honolulu: This boat excursion will cruise the crystal-clear water of Waikiki for an hour which is great if you want a little escape from the crowded Waikiki strip. Guests board the spacious Haleiwa Queen and enjoy a fun and informative boat ride.
Each guest is provided with one bottled water but one can also bring their own beverages including alcoholic drinks. You can take as many photos as you want of the iconic Diamond Head crater and if you are lucky, you’ll see plenty of dolphins and turtles along the way. For $55, you can enjoy watching the legendary sunset in Waikiki as well as the magnificent Hawaiian coast. I highly recommend this Honolulu excursion.
Book your tour: Glass Bottom Sunset Cruise
BEST OF OAHU: PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR FROM WAIKIKI
Oahu: Best of Hawaii Photography Tour from Waikiki: If you are a traveler looking for photography and cultural experiences, you will be very happy if you book the best Hawaii photography tour from Waikiki. This five-and-a-half photography tour will take you to the best scenic spots on Oahu island from Waikiki to the Kailua or Waimanalo for lunch.
It is perfect for anyone who wants to spend more time capturing stunning sites with a camera. Not to mention they also have a professional photographer to guide and help you during this Honolulu excursion.
Book your tour: Oahu Photography Tour
PEARL HARBOR TOUR WITH ARIZONA MEMORIAL
Pearl Harbor Tour with Arizona Memorial: This budget-friendly tour is perfect for history buffs who want to learn about the attack on Pearl Harbor. In this tour, you’ll visit historical places in downtown Honolulu such as Iolani Palace, the State Capitol, King Kamehameha Statue, and Aloha Tower. But the highlights of this excursion are the Pearl Harbor and Arizona Memorial.
This activity takes four (4) hours with pickup available from handpicked hotels in the Waikiki area including drop-off. An expert tour guide will talk about the riveting history and what it was like to live during the war. For $54, this tour is reasonable enough compared to other expensive tours in Honolulu so I suggest you book this tour.
Book your tour: Pearl Harbor Tour
OAHU SIGHTS AND BITES ISLAND TOUR
Oahu Sights and Bites Island Tour: Experience the beauty of Oahu while sampling the local food and feel the aloha vibe as you join this five-hour tour in Oahu. In this tour, you’ll explore Oahu’s most beloved tourist attractions, iconic sites, and breathtaking scenery. There is a complimentary pick-up and drop-off from selected hotels in Waikiki and bottled water for each guest.
It is advisable to bring cash as you might want to spend your own money for your delicious lunch at a shrimp truck. The first destination is the Diamond Head Lookout where you’ll admire sweeping views and continue along the coast of Hanauma Bay Viewpoint and end your tour at Dole Pineapple Plantation.
Book your tour: Sights & Bites Tour
GROUP SURFING LESSON ON WAIKIKI BEACH
Group Surfing Lesson on Waikiki Beach: Do you or your mates want to try surfing in Waikiki? Surfer Girl Academy got your back. For $99, you can enjoy surfing with your mates for two-and-a-half hours. The instructors are super nice, patient, and very professional – they even take pictures for you. This surfing lesson limits up to four participants which is fantastic as you can really learn from your surfing instructor. It’s a great way to enjoy a day out on the water and this is also suitable for kids 12+ up and adults.
Round-trip transportation for guests staying in Waikiki and surfing equipment is included in the price. Guests will also be given a gift which is a bonus. If you are looking for an activity that doesn’t disappoint, look no further and book your surfing lesson with Surfer Girl Academy.
Book your tour now: Group Surfing Lesson
MORNING SNORKEL & SAIL ALONG WAIKIKI BEACH
Morning Snorkel & Sail along Waikiki Beach: If you want to snorkel for a couple of hours before doing other activities whilst in Waikiki, this morning snorkeling excursion is just right for you! This snorkeling and sailing tour lasts for two hours only with a limit of five joiners. You will sail and snorkel along Waikiki beach in the morning. Pickup is included from all hotels in Waikiki.
During this water excursion, participants will be able to see Hawaiian Green Sea turtles and beautiful marine life but if you don’t see turtles you can do it again free of charge. The boat excursion departs from Honolulu at Kewalo Basin Harbor. Bar snacks, unlimited non-alcoholic drinks, and two swimming equipment (fins and life vest) are included.
Book your tour: Snorkel & Sail Tour
OAHU DISCOVERY SCUBA DIVING FOR BEGINNERS
Oahu Discovery Scuba Diving for Beginners: Is scuba diving on Oahu on your to-do list? Look no further and book on Oahu Discovery Scuba Diving for Beginners. You’ll explore Oahu’s colorful coral reefs accompanied by a certified PADI instructor and have a close-up encounter of these beautiful and magical sea creatures – turtles, sharks, fishes, and more.
For $235 per person, you can already scuba dive for three hours with complete gear, boat transfers as well as snacks, and refreshments. There is plenty of space on the boat with a restroom. This underwater activity will give you an awesome and unforgettable experience. Don’t forget to bring your own towel and sunscreen. This is definitely one of the top Honolulu excursions.
Book your tour: Discovery Scuba Dive
OAHU: 3-HOUR WAIKIKI SNORKEL & SAILING ADVENTURE WITH LUNCH
Oahu: 3-Hour Waikiki Snorkel & Sailing Adventure with Lunch: To further explore Oahu’s warm waters and encounter some amazing marine life species such as turtles and colorful fishes, this 3-hour Waikiki snorkel and sailing adventure with lunch is right for you.
Yes, this water activity has a complimentary lunch with unlimited non-alcoholic beverages and two bar tickets if you feel like drinking alcoholic drinks. Joiners hop aboard the 48-passenger Gold Coast Catamaran and mesmerize the crystal-clear Waikiki water. To make your day more unforgettable, not only you can sail and snorkel but also have a dolphin-watching experience. Snorkeling gear is not included so you might as well bring your equipment.
Book your tour: Waikiki Snorkel & Sail
ECO-FRIENDLY MORNING WHALE WATCHING EXCURSION
Eco-Friendly Morning Whale Watching Excursion: Eco-Friendly Morning Whale Watching Excursion is one of the best water excursions in Honolulu. This two-hour water excursion will allow you to encounter the gigantic and majestic humpback whales from a luxury double-deck catamaran.
The excursion begins at Kewalo Basin Harbor and joiners can take advantage of complimentary sodas, chips, and cookies aboard. The staff is incredible and very accommodating. You will definitely enjoy the experience. If you don’t see any whales on that day, don’t freak out as they will give you a coupon for the second time for free. One of the most once-in-a-lifetime excursions available from Honolulu.
Book your tour: Whale Watching Tour
I hope you enjoyed this guide about the top excursions from Honolulu, Hawaii!
WHERE TO STAY ON OAHU
- Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort (Overall Favorite): In the heart of Waikiki, this high-end resort is right on the beach with a private lagoon.
- Sheraton Waikiki (Luxury): A luxury resort with the most amazing infinity pool on the island, which overlooks the beach.
- Ewa Hotel Waikiki: (Value): Ewa Hotel is just one block back from the beach and is just over $150 USD.
- Waikiki Beachside Hostel (Budget Choice): A budget alternative, which is still in an amazing location.
- Disney Aulani Resort (Family Choice): This is a resort your kids will never forget. It honestly feels like you are living in a theme park.
MORE OAHU BLOG POSTS
I lived on Oahu for two years and loved adventuring from the beaches to the mountains to the waterfalls! These are my most popular blog post and guides from the beautiful island of Oahu to help you plan your trip!
- What to pack for Hawaii: THE HAWAII PACKING LIST: WHAT TO PACK
- A helpful guide to choosing accommodation: WHERE TO STAY ON OAHU
- Most epic hike on Oahu: THE STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN OAHU, HAWAII
- The best Waterfalls: AMAZING WATERFALLS ON OAHU, HAWAII
- Ultimate Cliff Jumping Guide: 11 BEST CLIFF JUMPING SPOTS ON OAHU
- Guide to Swimming with Sea Turtles: WHERE TO SEE TURTLES ON OAHU
- The best Waterfall Hikes: TOP WATERFALL HIKES ON OAHU
- Best Tours: 20 BEST TOURS ON OAHU
- The Ultimate Guide to Oahu: 80 AWESOME THINGS TO DO ON OAHU
BEST INSURANCE FOR TRAVELERS
Don’t wait for an accident to happen… get insured! My travel insurance is HeyMondo which offers low-cost travel & medical insurance. That’s me on the left with three teeth knocked out after a motorbike crash in Bali!
You can click to read my Full Review of the Best Travel Insurance.
I’ve made several successful claims with HeyMondo and find their customer service very quick and helpful. Click the button below to get a 5% DISCOUNT