12 Fun Things to Do in Honolulu for Young Adults: 21+ Guide to the City’s Best Kept Secrets

by Flora Backup
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Our guide is packed with fun things to do in Honolulu for young adults, from surfing at iconic beaches to exploring the vibrant nightlife. Get ready to fill your itinerary with unforgettable experiences that blend the thrill of adventure with the rich culture of Hawaii.

In Honolulu, the sun is always shining, the beaches are stunning, and there’s always something fun to do. The capital of Hawaii isn’t just about surfing or lounging on the beach (though those are awesome). It’s a city full of surprises, from cool spots to hang out at night to amazing nature trails that make you feel like you’re in a movie. Honolulu is, undeniably, one of the best towns to live in the US for the weather.

This city is perfect for young adults looking for excitement and new experiences. Whether you’re into exploring local culture, trying tasty foods you can’t find anywhere else, or getting your adrenaline pumping with outdoor activities, Honolulu has got you covered. Plus, the beaches here are like paradise, with soft sand and one of the clearest blue waters in the US that seems to stretch on forever.

Are you ready to check out the best things to do in Honolulu with teens? Get ready for a journey through one of the most fun and beautiful places on Earth. We’re about to explore why Honolulu is the top spot for young adults looking for an unforgettable adventure.

The best things to do in Honolulu for young adults right now

Fun Things to Do in Honolulu for Young Adults

From beach days to nightlife, there are plenty of young adult activities in Honolulu to keep the energy high and the memories flowing. Let’s jump into a journey that showcases the best of what this vibrant city has to offer.

1. Catch Waves at Waikiki Beach

Dive into the heart of Honolulu’s surf culture at Waikiki Beach. This iconic spot is where surfing legends are made and where you, too, can ride the waves like a pro. Whether you’re a beginner or already know your way around a surfboard, Waikiki Beach offers the perfect waves for everyone. The warm, turquoise waters and gentle rollers provide an ideal setting for surfing lessons or showing off your skills.

Waikiki Beach, where surfing legends are born and where you can experience riding the waves like a pro yourself.
Waikiki Beach, where surfing legends are born and where you can experience riding the waves like a pro yourself.

Surfing at Waikiki Beach is one of the top activities in Honolulu for young adults. It’s an amazing way to dive into the local scene and catch some rays. The beach’s long, rolling break is perfect for longboarding, making it a hit for surfers at any skill level. You’ll also find plenty of shops nearby to rent gear or take a lesson if you’re looking to start.

This activity is more than catching waves; it’s about connecting with the Hawaiian spirit and creating memories that will stick with you forever. For a smoother experience, hit the waves in the morning when it’s less crowded.

2. Explore the Stars at Bishop Museum

Step into a universe of wonder at the Bishop Museum. Here, you can journey through the stars without leaving the ground. The museum’s state-of-the-art planetarium is your gateway to the cosmos, offering shows that take you on a voyage from the Hawaiian night sky to the edges of the universe. It’s one of the coolest things to do in Honolulu, especially for those who dream of space and the secrets it holds.

Explore the cosmos at Bishop Museum's planetarium, where shows transport you from Hawaiian skies to the universe's farthest reaches.
Explore the cosmos at Bishop Museum’s planetarium, where shows transport you from Hawaiian skies to the universe’s farthest reaches.

The planetarium is an immersive experience that blends science, culture, and storytelling. You’ll learn about Hawaiian navigation techniques and how ancient Polynesians used the stars to explore the vast Pacific. Each show is a unique adventure, making it a must-visit for anyone fascinated by the night sky or Hawaiian culture.

If you’re planning a visit, check the museum’s schedule to catch the show that interests you most. The planetarium is a great place to relax and cool down after a day of exploring Honolulu. So, why not let the stars guide your evening?

3. Snorkel with Sea Life at Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay, a natural crescent beach, is a snorkeling haven where you can swim alongside colorful fish and maybe even a sea turtle or two. The clear, calm waters make it a perfect spot for both beginners and seasoned snorkelers. It’s a vibrant world beneath the waves, waiting to be explored.

Explore Hanauma Bay, a stunning crescent beach ideal for snorkeling among colorful fish and the occasional sea turtle encounter.
Explore Hanauma Bay, a stunning crescent beach ideal for snorkeling among colorful fish and the occasional sea turtle encounter.

Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay is one of the most fun things to do in Honolulu for young adults. The bay’s protected status means the marine life is abundant and the coral reefs are breathtaking. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a living aquarium, surrounded by the ocean’s beauty. It’s an experience that combines adventure with the wonder of nature.

Before you go, remember that Hanauma Bay is popular, so arriving early is a good idea to beat the crowds. There’s an entrance fee and a video you’ll watch on marine life conservation, which is super informative.

4. Jam Out at a Luau Under the Stars

Experience the magic of Hawaiian culture with a night to remember at a traditional luau. As one of the most fun places to go in Honolulu, a luau offers a feast for your senses. Picture this: the sun sets, torches light up, and the air fills with the sounds of ukuleles and soft singing. You’re about to dive into a night of delicious food, mesmerizing dances, and stories told through music.

Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Hawaiian culture with an unforgettable evening at a traditional luau.
Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Hawaiian culture with an unforgettable evening at a traditional luau.

A luau is a journey through Hawaii’s rich history and traditions. You’ll see the hula dance, hear ancient chants, and taste local delicacies like kalua pig, cooked in an earth oven. It’s a celebration of Hawaiian hospitality and a must-do for young adults seeking a unique evening out.

To make the most of your luau experience, book in advance as these events are popular and can fill up quickly. Wear comfortable clothing and bring a light jacket, as evenings can get cool. Most importantly, come with an open heart and be ready to immerse yourself in the spirit of aloha.

5. Hike Up Diamond Head for Sunrise Views

Start your day with an adventure that takes you to the top of the world, or at least it feels that way. Hiking up Diamond Head offers breathtaking views of Honolulu and the ocean beyond. It’s a moderate hike, perfect for catching the sunrise. Imagine the sky turning brilliant shades of orange and pink as you reach the summit. It’s an unforgettable way to greet the day.

Embark on an adventurous morning journey that feels like reaching the top of the world by hiking up Diamond Head.
Embark on an adventurous morning journey that feels like reaching the top of the world by hiking up Diamond Head.

The trail to the top of Diamond Head is well-maintained and offers a bit of a challenge, but the reward is worth every step. You’ll navigate through switchbacks, stairs, and even a tunnel. At the summit, 360-degree views await, showcasing the island’s beauty in all directions. It’s a moment of pure awe and the perfect photo opportunity.

This hike is one of the top young adult things to do in Honolulu. It combines physical activity with stunning natural beauty, making it a hit for those who love to explore. Remember to bring water, wear sunscreen, and start early to catch the sunrise. Also, a flashlight can be handy for the early parts of the hike.

6. Get Artsy After Dark at Honolulu Museum of Art

Unleash your inner art lover under the night sky at ArtAfterDark. Held at the Honolulu Museum of Art, ArtAfterDark turns a night at the museum into a vibrant party. Imagine sipping cocktails, exploring new exhibits, and diving into the local art scene, all with a cool theme to tie everything together. It’s a unique blend of culture and fun, happening on the last Friday of each month from January through October.

Every ArtAfterDark event promises a fresh adventure with its ever-evolving themes and exhibits, ensuring a unique experience each time.
Every ArtAfterDark event promises a fresh adventure with its ever-evolving themes and exhibits, ensuring a unique experience each time.

Each ArtAfterDark event is a new adventure, thanks to the ever-changing themes and exhibits. You’ll mingle with art enthusiasts and museum staff, making it a fantastic way to learn more about art and meet new people. Whether you’re a hardcore art fan or just looking for a different kind of night out, this event promises a memorable experience.

ArtAfterDark stands out among Honolulu fun attractions for young adults. It’s a chance to see the museum in a new light—literally. To make the most of your visit, check the theme in advance and grab your ticket early, as these nights can get busy. The museum is just a short trip from downtown, making it easy to add to your Honolulu adventure.

7. Swing to the Rhythms at Blue Note Hawaii

Let the music lead you to Blue Note Hawaii, where the night comes alive with the sound of jazz and more. Nestled in the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort, this club is a gem for music lovers. Imagine ending your day swaying to live performances by some of the best musicians around, including legends and rising stars.

Blue Note Hawaii stands out among Honolulu's fun attractions, offering the perfect fusion of entertainment and atmosphere.
Blue Note Hawaii stands out among Honolulu’s fun attractions, offering the perfect fusion of entertainment and atmosphere.

Whether you’re a jazz aficionado or just looking for a lively way to spend your evening, the club’s diverse lineup has something for everyone. Past performers have graced the stage with tributes to icons like Etta James and Michael Bublé, making every visit a unique experience.

As one of the standout Honolulu fun attractions, Blue Note Hawaii offers a perfect blend of entertainment and ambiance. It’s just a 15-minute journey from the city center, making it an easy addition to your night out. To ensure a spot, booking a table in advance is wise, especially on nights with well-known acts.

8. Bask in the Green at Kapi’olani Regional Park

Escape to Kapi’olani Regional Park for a slice of paradise in the heart of the city. On the south end of Waikiki, this lush expanse is a vibrant hub of activity and tranquility. Whether you’re up for a jog, a leisurely stroll, or a picnic with a view, this place has it all. With the Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Shell nearby, there’s always something to see or do.

Kapi'olani Regional Park, a premier hangout spot in Honolulu, provides a serene escape from urban hustle and bustle.
Kapi’olani Regional Park, a premier hangout spot in Honolulu, provides a serene escape from urban hustle and bustle.

Kapi’olani Regional Park isn’t just about the green spaces; it’s a place where you can play tennis, kick a soccer ball around, or try your hand at archery. The 3-mile jogging course is perfect for those looking to get their heart rate up while enjoying beautiful views. And if you’re visiting with kids, a stop at the Honolulu Zoo is a must.

As one of the top places to hang out in Honolulu, Kapi’olani Regional Park offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. It’s a great spot to unwind, with stunning views of Diamond Head and a quiet atmosphere that invites relaxation. Parking is a breeze, with both metered and free options available. Don’t forget to check out Kap’Iolani Park Beach and the Waikiki Aquarium across the street for a full day of fun.

9. Find Peace at Byodo-In Temple

Byodo-In Temple, nestled in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park, is a standout among attractions for young adults looking for a scenic escape from the beach’s hustle. Established to honor the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii, this non-practicing Buddhist temple is a place of welcome for all, regardless of faith. Surrounded by the lush Ko’olau Mountains, it’s a haven for meditation, reflection, or simply soaking in the beauty.

Explore a different facet of Honolulu at Byodo-In Temple. Arrive early to savor the tranquility before the tour buses arrive.
Explore a different facet of Honolulu at Byodo-In Temple. Arrive early to savor the tranquility before the tour buses arrive.

The temple grounds are a feast for the senses, featuring a large reflecting pond, meditation spots, and the soothing sounds of small waterfalls. Don’t miss the golden Amida Buddha or the chance to ring the bon-sho sacred bell, an experience many visitors find uplifting. The koi ponds add a vibrant splash of color to the peaceful landscape.

Visiting Byodo-In Temple is a chance to experience a different side of Honolulu. To fully enjoy the tranquility, aim to arrive early, beating the tour bus crowds. Remember to show respect in this solemn space: speak softly, remove your shoes before entering the temple, and embrace the opportunity to reflect.

10. Soak Up the Sun at Fort DeRussy Beach Park

Make your way to Fort DeRussy Beach Park for a day packed with sun, sand, and endless fun. Located at the north end of Waikiki, this sprawling 71-acre beachfront oasis is a paradise for anyone looking to relax or get active. With its blend of natural beauty and recreational facilities, it’s the perfect spot to unwind or engage in some friendly competition.

Fort DeRussy Beach Park ranks among the top fun activities to enjoy with friends in Honolulu.
Fort DeRussy Beach Park ranks among the top fun activities to enjoy with friends in Honolulu.

Whether you’re planning a picnic, diving into a game of volleyball, or just chilling on the beach, Fort DeRussy Beach Park is one of the best fun things to do with friends in Honolulu. The park’s calm, shallow waters make it ideal for a swim, especially for families with children. Plus, with workout stations, pickleball, and racquetball courts, there’s no shortage of ways to stay active.

Visitors love the park for its relaxing vibe, beautiful trees, and well-kept lawns. It’s a great place to take a leisurely stroll and soak in the views. For a hassle-free visit, remember to pack sunscreen, water, and maybe some snacks for a beachside picnic.

11. Shop ‘Til You Drop at Ala Moana Center

Head over to Ala Moana Center for a shopping adventure like no other. It’s a huge outdoor mall right near the beach, making it a cool spot for things to do in Honolulu for young adults. Imagine a place where you can find everything from the fanciest brands to cool local shops, all under the sunny sky. It’s a place to hang out, grab a bite, and maybe even catch a free hula show in the evening.

Ala Moana Center, a sprawling outdoor mall by the beach, is a hip destination for young adults exploring Honolulu.
Ala Moana Center, a sprawling outdoor mall by the beach, is a hip destination for young adults exploring Honolulu.

Looking for something special? Ala Moana’s got you covered with stores like Chanel and Gucci. But it’s not all about spending big bucks. You can explore over 350 shops and restaurants, finding the perfect souvenir or tasting yummy food like poke bowls at Foodland Farms. And if you love Japanese snacks, Nijiya Market is the place to be.

Some folks say things here can be pricey, but the experience is all part of the fun. Plus, the food is amazing and worth trying. And remember, the hula show is a must-watch!

12. Wander Under the Moonlight in Waimea Valley

Take a magical nighttime stroll through Waimea Valley, one of the most enchanting cool stuff in Honolulu. It’s a journey under the moon that lets you see the valley in a whole new light. The Moon Walk is a special tour that celebrates the moon’s significance to native Hawaiians. Imagine exploring a lush botanical garden, being mesmerized by a waterfall, and all under the soft glow of moonlight.

Experience the enchantment of Waimea Valley with a magical nighttime stroll—one of Honolulu's most captivating experiences.
Experience the enchantment of Waimea Valley with a magical nighttime stroll—one of Honolulu’s most captivating experiences.

This unique experience also offers a buffet dinner, making it a perfect blend of adventure and dining. The dinner, catered by Ke Nui Kitchen at the Proud Peacock, adds a delicious touch to the evening. Located on Oahu’s North Shore, Waimea Valley is a bit of a trip from downtown Honolulu, but it’s an adventure worth every minute.

For those planning to experience the Moon Walk, remember to wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a light jacket, as it can get cool after dark. Booking in advance is a good idea, as this special event tends to fill up quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions About Fun Activities in Honolulu for Young Adults

Got more questions about the best activities in Honolulu for the young and restless? Here’s everything you need to know.

Is Honolulu good for young adults?

Absolutely! Honolulu is a vibrant city with a mix of natural beauty, culture, and nightlife. For those looking for fun activities in Honolulu for adults, there’s no shortage. From surfing at Waikiki Beach to exploring the nightlife in Honolulu, there’s something for everyone. The city’s diverse attractions cater to all interests, whether you’re into outdoor adventures, shopping, or soaking up local culture.

What can 18 year olds do in Honolulu?

Things to do in Honolulu for 18 year olds abound. Young adults can enjoy the beaches, hike iconic trails like Diamond Head, and visit cultural sites such as the Iolani Palace, a symbol of Hawaii’s royal heritage and a must-see in Oahu. For those interested in marine life, snorkeling in Hanauma Bay is a must. Plus, many local cafes and eateries offer a taste of Hawaiian cuisine, perfect for foodie explorers.

In Honolulu, there's plenty for 20-year-olds: beach outings, art gallery tours, and museum explorations await.
In Honolulu, there’s plenty for 20-year-olds: beach outings, art gallery tours, and museum explorations await.

Is Honolulu a party place?

Honolulu, one of the most stunning cities in Hawaii for visitors and locals alike, has a lively nightlife scene. This makes it a great party destination. Best bars in Honolulu for young adults include spots in Waikiki where you can enjoy live music, dance, and sip on tropical cocktails. There are also themed nights and events catering to a younger crowd. While it’s not all about parties, those looking to experience Honolulu’s night scene won’t be disappointed.

What is the best city in Hawaii for young people?

For young adults, Honolulu stands out as the best city in Hawaii. It combines the allure of city life with the natural beauty of the islands, making it the USA’s tropical treasures, where adventure and relaxation await at every turn! Here, you’ll find a variety of activities for 20 year olds in Honolulu, from beach days to exploring art galleries and museums. The city’s diverse food scene and nightlife options also make it a top choice for young people. Best part? This picturesque place in Hawaii offers a variety of free activities you can enjoy with friends!

Can you enjoy Honolulu nightlife if you’re under 21?

Yes, there are plenty of things to do in Honolulu at night under 21. Many events, concerts, and cultural festivals welcome younger crowds. Plus, spots like the Ala Moana Center and various beach parks host evening activities that don’t require you to be 21. Exploring this gem in Oahu at night is a must, like enjoying the sunset at the beach or attending a luau. These are also great ways to experience Honolulu’s nightlife without age restrictions.

Is 3 nights enough in Honolulu?

Three nights in Honolulu can give you a taste of what the city has to offer, but there’s so much more to explore. While you can hit some highlights, like the beach, a hike, and a night out, extending your stay will allow you to discover more. To fully experience the city’s culture, cuisine, and the many fun activities in Honolulu for adults, consider staying longer.

For a complete experience of Honolulu's culture, cuisine, and adult activities, extending your stay is recommended.
For a complete experience of Honolulu’s culture, cuisine, and adult activities, extending your stay is recommended.

What are some must-do activities in Honolulu for first-time visitors?

First-time visitors should not miss out on snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, hiking up Diamond Head for panoramic views, and exploring the historic Pearl Harbor. It’s one of the best things to do in Hawaii that encapsulates the beauty, diversity, and spirit of the state. Enjoying a traditional Hawaiian luau is also a must-do for a taste of local culture and cuisine. These activities offer a blend of adventure, history, and cultural immersion, making your visit unforgettable.

How can young adults make the most of their Honolulu trip?

To make the most of their trip, young adults should plan a mix of activities. Include beach time, hikes, cultural visits, and exploring the best bars in Honolulu for young adults. Using public transportation or renting a bike can help you see more of the city. Also, don’t be afraid to try new foods and talk to locals for insider tips on hidden gems.

Final Thoughts on Honolulu Attractions for Young Adults

Honolulu is a playground for young adults seeking adventure, culture, and fun. With its stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and rich history, there’s never a dull moment. Whether you’re surfing the waves at Waikiki, exploring the natural beauty of Waimea Valley, or shopping at Ala Moana Center, the city offers a diverse range of fun things to do in Honolulu for young adults.

Remember to soak in every moment, from the breathtaking sunrises to the lively evenings. Honolulu is more than just a destination; it’s an experience that will stay with you long after you leave.

The best things to do for young adults in Honolulu for all types of travelers
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