10 Non-touristy Things To Do In Honolulu, Hawaii - Updated 2021

Non-touristy Things To Do In Honolulu
Catherine
Catherine 
Updated

Honolulu is Hawaii’s capital and the gateway to the U.S. island chain. Honolulu is also home to the magnificent volcanic Diamond Head crater, world-famous Waikiki Beach, as well as World War II commemorative sites of Pearl Harbor. These are, no doubt, must-see tourist spots. But if you want to get lost in paradise and experience some out-of-the-ordinary escapades, there’s no better place than Honolulu. If you’ve gone to plenty of luaus and eaten enough poi, roast pig, and pineapple, then check out this amazing list of non-touristy gems that’ll make your Hawaiian adventure sparkle!

1. Oahu Submarine Scooter Adventure (from USD 130.0)

Command your own underwater escapade! Oahu Submarine Scooter Adventure is definitely a memorable experience that you’ll brag about for years to come. Participants helm their own self-propelled, electric underwater scooter, and explore the beauty under the water’s of Oahu. Catch glimpses of fabulous green sea turtles, schools of brilliantly-colored tropical fish, beautiful coral, and a myriad of other native marine life. All gear is provided: a wet-suit top, snorkel equipment, along with snacks and drinks. This is an expertly-guided tour, so no experience is required. The only requirement is to have fun.

Oahu Submarine Scooter Adventure

Duration: 2 hours

948 reviews

2. Outrigger Canoe Surfing (from USD 36.0)

Outrigger Canoe Surfing affords participants the chance to experience canoeing the Hawaiian way! Paddling on the water off Waikiki, Outrigger Canoe Surfing is fun and suitable for the entire family. Even non-swimmers are welcome aboard. With an expert, licensed captain on board, the activity is completely safe. In addition to catching waves, you’ll learn about the history of Hawaiian outrigger canoeing. It’s the official sport of the Hawaiian Royal family and has a long and interesting past. Participants must provide their own transportation and should bring a towel and a supply of sunscreen.

Outrigger Canoe Surfing

Duration: 20 minutes

52 reviews

3. Oahu Parasailing Tour from Honolulu (from USD 104.0)

Enjoy heart-pounding bird’s-eye views from just about every angle of Hawaii, from Ko'olau Mountain Range to Koko Head to the Hawaii Kai coastline. Participants have a choice to sail 500 feet (152 meters) or 700 feet (213 meters). Safety instructions are issued by an expert guide prior to “lift-off” from the boat, and observers are welcome on board the boat. The tandem ride will take you over Honolulu’s lovely Maunalua Bay. For a lasting memory, you can buy souvenir Go Pro videos and digital photos of your adrenaline-fueled parasailing adventure.

Maunalua Bay Parasailing Adventure

Duration: 1 hour

150 reviews

4. Pokai Bay stand-up paddle board lesson (from USD 109.0)

Why not learn to stand-up paddleboard in paradise? Pokai Bay Stand-up Paddle Board Lesson affords a wonderful opportunity to experience this fun water activity amid the backdrop of Oahu’s beautiful Pokai Bay. Individual or small-group lessons are available. An expert instructor will show novices how to paddle a SUP properly, maneuver the board effectively, as well as how to read the current. You may even see playful dolphins, amazing sea turtles, and vibrant tropical fish, adding to the excitement. Life jackets are available, and all the required equipment, such as board, paddles, leash, and reef shoes, are provided in the package.

Surf HNL: Pokai Bay Stand-up Paddleboard Lesson (Ko'olina)

Duration: 2 hours

2 reviews

5. Supsquatch Sessions (from USD 95.0)

If you’ve done stand-up paddleboarding for the millionth time and you’re ready for something fresh and exciting, then Supsquatch Sessions: a must-do ocean activity on Oahu, is the perfect diversion. Supsquatch is an over-sized inflatable stand-up paddleboard, usually about 17 feet (five meters) long, that holds four to six riders at a time. Supsquatch Sessions will provide you with all the gear you need: paddles, a rashguard, and reef shoes. This package places you at a remote section of the beach on the west side of the island, so you can enjoy this new way of surfing and catching waves into shore without any unwelcome disruptions or obstructions. Participants as young as six are allowed to try this latest craze.

Supsquatch Sessions: a Must-Do Ocean Activity on Oahu

Duration: 1 hour

6. Private Safari Jeep Tour in Oahu (from USD 207.0)

Take a thrilling seven-hour jeep ride and see the beauty of Hawaii on the Private Safari Jeep Tour in Oahu. A native Hawaiian is behind the wheel and ready to show you everything and anything you want according to your very own customized itinerary. Whether you want to see touristy spots or out-of-the-way places, whatever you request, your guide will happily oblige. The guide even offers an intriguing live commentary. Want to see a jaw-dropping waterfall, or a gorgeous hidden beach, simply ask the guide and he/she will take you to just the right places. Snacks and bottled water are provided.

Oahu Safari Jeep Private 7-Hour Tour with Hawaii Local Guide

Duration: 330 to 420 minutes

3 reviews

7. Country Sunset Photo Tour (from USD 94.0)

country sunset photo tour
Source: www.viator.com

Country Sunset Photo Tour is a shutterbug’s dream come true. Participants receive an in-depth exploration of Oahu’s amazing coastline. With a photographer guide accompanying you, experience the natural and man-made beauty of the area: breathtaking lookout points, architecturally-inspiring temples, fabulous banyan trees, serene fishponds, and the island’s spectacular North Shore. This trek includes a trip to Mount Tantalus, where you’ll drink-in Oahu’s expansive view that stretches from Pearl Harbor to Diamond Head. The tour concludes at North Shore where the group can snap pictures of the beautiful sunset.

Country Sunset Photo Tour

Duration: 7 hours 30 minutes

8. Ultimate Waikiki Fishing Tour (from USD 89.0)

ultimate waikiki fishing tour
Source: www.viator.com

Die-hard fishermen will be in heaven with this one-of-a-kind adventure. Ultimate Waikiki Fishing Tour allows participants to lounge on a 50-foot (15-meter) luxury charter fishing boat and try their luck at reeling in the catch of the day. Local fish, like Uku, Uhu, Opakapaka, and Onaga are plentiful. Participants have a choice of grilling their bounty on board, or taking it home to serve later during conversations that are sure to be some unforgettable fish tales. The vessel can be booked for an individual or for a group of people. Everyone, from avid anglers to first time fishermen, are welcome.

Ultimate Waikiki Fishing Tour

Duration: 3 hours

9. Premium Two Tank Double Wreck Dive (from USD 170.0)

Premium Two Tank Double Wreck Dive is a truly unique highlight of any Hawaiian adventure, offering a fantastic guided exploration of two prime shipwreck dive sites. Investigate these incredible windows into the past, and be thrilled at the sight of a large selection of underwater life along the way. These include Hawaiian sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, tropical fish, eels, and so much more. Be aware, you must be a certified diver to participate in this exciting activity. Premium Two Tank Double Wreck Dive’s package includes all the required diving equipment, light snacks, fresh drinking water, and other cold drinks.

Premium Two Tank Double Wreck Dive

Duration: 4 hours

10. Waikiki Banana Boat Ride (from USD 57.0)

Admire the beauty of Maunalua Bay aboard a fun and funky banana boat. Waikiki Banana Boat Ride provides an exhilarating way to take in the scenic sights of such spots as Koko Head and the Ko’olau Mountain Range. The inflatable boat is towed through warm sparkling shallow waters by a professional guide. You’ll be nicely cooled by the spray and also view spectacular sights of the Oahu coastline, as you glide through the water in this 6-person banana boat. Life vests are issued to all participants, and a safety briefing is given before you head out on this 45-minute wet and wild adventure.

Waikiki Banana Boat Ride

Duration: 45 minutes

2 reviews

Fun in Honolulu

Honolulu is loaded with fun, non-stop action. The beating pulse of Hawaii, this sophisticated city is filled with historic landmarks, scrumptious fine dining, and phenomenal shopping venues. And you can add to the list a wide array of unique diversions that is sure to make a trip to Honolulu anything but ordinary.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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As a child, Catherine's family took a trip to the World's Fair New Orleans and her mom asked what she wanted to see. She exclaimed, "Everything!" She's been working on that endeavor ever since.

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