Things to Do Near Honolulu Airport

Get ready to uncover the hidden gems near Honolulu Airport that will make your layover unforgettable.

Have you ever wondered if there are hidden gems near Honolulu Airport waiting to be discovered? Well, you’re in for a treat.

From historical landmarks to scenic beach parks and vibrant shopping centers, the vicinity offers a range of activities to suit every traveler’s taste.

So, why not take a closer look at what the area offers and make the most of your time before your next flight?

USS Arizona Memorial – Pearl Harbor

Discover the poignant history and significance of the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, just a 15-25 minute drive from Honolulu International Airport. This memorial stands as a tribute to the 1,177 crew members who lost their lives during the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. As one of the top visitor destinations in Hawaii, it welcomes nearly 2 million visitors annually, offering free tours every 15 minutes.

The experience includes a powerful 23-minute documentary film that provides a detailed account of the events that unfolded that fateful day. Visitors then set out on a boat tour to the memorial, where they can pay their respects and learn about the history surrounding the USS Arizona. Specialized tours like the USS Arizona Memorial Narrated ChiefsTour are available for a more in-depth understanding, offering more profound insights into the site’s historical significance.

With 27,199 reviews, the USS Arizona Memorial is an essential historical site in Honolulu. It provides visitors with a profound and educational experience, including the moving Salute to Pearl Harbor tour.

Keehi Lagoon Beach Park

Just a short distance from Honolulu International Airport, Keehi Lagoon Beach Park beckons with its peaceful shores and relaxing ambiance, offering travelers a convenient spot to unwind before or after their flights. The park is a hidden gem near HNL, providing a serene escape for those looking to soak up some sun and sea breeze.

Here’s what you can enjoy at Keehi Lagoon Beach Park:

  1. Tranquil Beach Setting: Picture yourself lounging on soft sands, listening to the gentle waves lapping the shore, and feeling the sun’s warmth on your skin. Keehi Lagoon Beach Park offers a calm environment perfect for unwinding and rejuvenating.
  2. Water Activities: Immerse yourself in the clear waters for a refreshing swim, or try paddleboarding or kayaking. The park’s calm lagoon is ideal for water activities, making it a fantastic place for aquatic fun.
  3. Scenic Views: Stroll along the coastline and marvel at the stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. The park’s beauty will captivate your senses and provide a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of travel.

Bishop Museum

When you enter the Bishop Museum near Honolulu Airport, you will begin a journey through Hawaiian history and culture.

Explore the diverse exhibits and artifacts that offer a window into the traditions and heritage of the Hawaiian people.

Immerse yourself in this enriching experience to gain valuable insights into the vibrant tapestry of Hawaii’s past.

Explore Hawaiian History

Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Hawaiian history and culture by visiting the Bishop Museum near Honolulu Airport. The museum offers an enthralling journey through time with its extensive collections, including:

  1. Hawaiian Artifacts: Explore the ancient traditions and customs of Hawaii through an array of artifacts that showcase the island’s unique heritage.
  2. Natural History Exhibits: Discover the diverse ecosystems and wildlife that make Hawaii a one-of-a-kind destination, from volcanic landscapes to lush rainforests.
  3. Interactive Displays: Engage with hands-on exhibits that bring Hawaiian history and culture to life, allowing you to connect with the past in a dynamic and immersive way.

Don’t miss this opportunity to understand better Hawaii’s rich cultural tapestry at the Bishop Museum.

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Visit Cultural Exhibits

Explore the captivating cultural exhibits at the Bishop Museum near Honolulu Airport, offering a profound insight into Hawaiian history and traditions. Immerse yourself in the islands’ rich heritage as you wander through exhibitions showcasing artifacts and stories that bring the past to life.

Conveniently located just a 10-15 minute drive from the airport, the Bishop Museum is a perfect stop to plunge into Hawaiian culture before or after your flight. With over 27,000 reviews praising its authenticity and educational value, this museum stands out as a top cultural destination near Honolulu Airport.

Don’t miss the opportunity to discover the fascinating world of Hawaii’s traditions and history at the Bishop Museum.

Ala Moana Center

Ala Moana Center, the premier shopping destination in Oahu, offers a diverse selection of shops that cater to all your shopping needs. Whether you’re searching for last-minute gifts or simply indulging in some leisure shopping, this mall has it all. Here’s what you can expect at Ala Moana Center:

  1. Variety: From high-end luxury brands to popular retailers and unique boutiques, Ala Moana Center boasts many shops, ensuring something for everyone’s taste and budget.
  2. Convenience: Situated just 20-35 minutes away from Honolulu International Airport, this shopping haven is easily accessible. With flat-rate transfer services available, your retail therapy session is just a short ride away.
  3. Escape: If you’re waiting for your hotel check-in nearby, Ala Moana Center provides the perfect opportunity to escape the mundane and immerse yourself in a world of shopping delights. Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and explore the numerous stores at your leisure.

Pearlridge Center

Conveniently located a short distance from Honolulu International Airport, Pearlridge Center is the second largest shopping center in Hawaii, offering diverse shopping options in Aiea. Situated just 15-30 minutes from the airport, it’s the largest enclosed shopping center in the entire island chain, making it a prime destination for a quick shopping excursion when you have time to spare. Whether you’re a local looking for the latest trends or a tourist seeking unique souvenirs, Pearlridge Center has you covered.

For just $30, you can use the flat-rate transfer service to get to and from the airport, perfect for those wanting to shop before or after their flight. With a wide range of retail stores and dining options, this shopping center is ideal for leisurely browsing or picking up last-minute gifts. Embrace the freedom to explore and indulge in the shopping experience at Pearlridge Center in Aiea.

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

Nestled about 16 miles southeast of Honolulu Airport, Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve beckons with its pristine waters and vibrant marine ecosystem, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in a world of underwater wonder. As you venture into this marine conservation area, here’s what awaits you:

  1. Crystal Clear Waters: Plunge into the sparkling waters of Hanauma Bay, where visibility is unparalleled, allowing you to witness the rich marine life beneath the surface.
  2. Vibrant Coral Reefs: Explore the colorful coral reefs that adorn the bay, providing a habitat for over 400 fish species and other fascinating marine creatures.
  3. Educational Programs: Engage in insightful educational programs offered at Hanauma Bay, shedding light on marine conservation efforts and the significance of preserving coral reefs for generations to come.

For a nominal entry fee of $7.50 per person, you can snorkel, swim, and marvel at the beauty of Hanauma Bay, making it a must-visit destination near Honolulu Airport.

Iolani Palace

Just a short drive from the aquatic wonders of Hanauma Bay lies the majestic Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu, approximately 6 miles from the Honolulu International Airport. This historic gem stands proudly as the only royal palace in the United States, once serving as the official residence of Hawaiian monarchs. Recognized as a National Historic Landmark, Iolani Palace offers guided tours that explore its rich history and cultural significance.

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Visitors are invited to investigate the opulent interiors, stroll through the beautiful grounds, and immerse themselves in Hawaii’s royal past. The palace stands as a symbol of Hawaiian sovereignty, reminding all who visit of the islands’ unique heritage and royal legacy. By stepping into the halls of Iolani Palace, you witness the grandeur and gain a deeper understanding of the rich tapestry of Hawaiian history woven within its walls. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience this iconic piece of Honolulu’s history.

Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach, located approximately 8 miles southeast of Honolulu International Airport, beckons visitors with its world-renowned beauty and various activities. As you step onto the golden sands of Waikiki Beach, you’ll be captivated by the stunning views of the Diamond Head crater in the distance. Here’s what you can enjoy at this iconic beach destination:

  1. Swimming: Immerse yourself in the crystal-clear waters of the Pacific Ocean and feel the refreshing embrace of the waves as you swim along the shoreline.
  2. Surfing: Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, Waikiki Beach offers excellent waves for surfing. Rent a surfboard and ride the waves like a true Hawaiian.
  3. Relaxation: Unwind on the soft sands, soak up the warm sun, and let the gentle sound of the waves create a soothing backdrop for your relaxation.

Lined with bustling resorts, charming shops, and delectable restaurants, Waikiki Beach isn’t just a beach; it’s a vibrant hub of activity and relaxation, making it a must-visit destination for any traveler seeking the essence of Hawaii’s beauty and hospitality.

Diamond Head State Monument

As you explore the vicinity of Honolulu Airport, a mesmerizing hiking destination awaits at Diamond Head State Monument. This iconic monument offers a thrilling hiking experience with breathtaking views of Waikiki and the vast Pacific Ocean from its summit. The 1.6-mile round-trip trail takes you through steep stairs and tunnels, adding an element of adventure to your journey. At the top, you can explore a historic military bunker that provides insight into the area’s past.

Diamond Head State Monument is renowned for its stunning volcanic crater and lush landscapes, making it a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. The hike is invigorating, allowing you to immerse yourself in Hawaii’s natural beauty while getting a good workout. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a memorable outdoor experience near the airport, Diamond Head State Monument promises an unforgettable adventure filled with panoramic vistas and historical intrigue.

Honolulu Zoo

Nestled just a short drive from Honolulu Airport, the Honolulu Zoo beckons visitors with its expansive 42-acre grounds teeming with over 900 diverse animal species. As you step into this enchanting world of wildlife, you’ll encounter:

  1. Enthralling Creatures: From playful lemurs to majestic elephants, the Honolulu Zoo houses an array of animals from around the globe, offering you a glimpse into the beauty of nature.
  2. Tropical Delights: Explore lush habitats that mirror Hawaii’s natural environments. Observe colorful birds, endangered Hawaiian monk seals, and other fascinating creatures unique to the islands.
  3. Interactive Adventures: Engage with the animal kingdom through interactive encounters, educational programs, and guided tours that cater to visitors of all ages. Learn about conservation efforts and the importance of preserving our planet’s biodiversity while enjoying a fun-filled day at the zoo.

Immerse yourself in this mesmerizing world where every visit supports conservation and education initiatives, making your experience at the Honolulu Zoo enjoyable and meaningful.

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Koko Crater Railway Trail

Commence on an invigorating hike at the Koko Crater Railway Trail near Honolulu Airport, offering adventurers a challenging yet rewarding trek with breathtaking panoramic views awaiting the summit. This popular hiking trail, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, boasts over 1,000 steps leading to the top of Koko Crater, providing a unique and refreshing experience. As you ascend, the lush landscapes and sweeping ocean vistas unfold before you, making each step a journey worth taking.

Hiking the Koko Crater Railway Trail is a test of endurance and a sensory treat. The steep incline offers a physical challenge that’s well worth the effort once you reach the summit. Outdoor enthusiasts will revel in the sense of accomplishment and the stunning views that greet them at the top.

Located just a 20-minute drive from Honolulu Airport, the Koko Crater Railway Trail is a convenient outdoor activity option for travelers looking to immerse themselves in nature and enjoy a memorable adventure.

Manoa Falls

Tucked away near Honolulu Airport, Manoa Falls beckons with its tranquil beauty and gentle hiking trail through lush tropical rainforest. As you start on this outdoor adventure, here’s what you can expect:

  1. Scenic Trek: The 1.6-mile round trip trail to Manoa Falls offers a picturesque journey through vibrant greenery, with the soothing sounds of nature accompanying your every step.
  2. Accessible Path: The trail’s gentle incline makes it suitable for all skill levels and ages, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the refreshing walk to the 150-foot waterfall at the end.
  3. Natural Oasis: After your hike, you’ll be rewarded with the breathtaking sight of Manoa Falls, a serene cascade renowned for its beauty and peaceful ambiance.

Experience the allure of Hawaii’s landscape just a short drive from the airport, immersing yourself in the tranquility of Manoa Falls. Whether you seek a moment of escape or a nature-filled excursion, this enchanting hiking trail offers a perfect retreat near Honolulu Airport.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you do at Honolulu Airport for 6 hours?

Explore Honolulu during your 6-hour layover at the airport. For authentic flavors, immerse yourself in local cuisine at nearby eateries like Helena’s Hawaiian Food. Stroll down bustling streets, soak up the sun, and savor the vibrant culture.

Can You Leave Honolulu Airport During Layover?

Yes, you can leave Honolulu Airport during your layover for some entertainment. Explore nearby attractions like the USS Arizona Memorial and Keehi Lagoon Beach Park. Convenient transportation options make it easy to enjoy your time outside the airport.

How Far Is the Beach From Honolulu Airport?

Just a stone’s throw away from Honolulu Airport lies Keehi Lagoon Beach Park. With beach access within reach and nearby attractions to explore, why not dip your toes in the sand or soak up some sun before your flight?

How Far Is the Airport From Downtown Honolulu?

It’s about 6 miles from Honolulu Airport to downtown Honolulu. You can hop on buses or shuttles for a quick ride. Enjoy the convenience and explore nearby attractions like Iolani Palace, the State Capitol, and Chinatown.


So next time you find yourself with a layover at Honolulu Airport, why not explore the rich history of the USS Arizona Memorial, feel the sand between your toes at Keehi Lagoon Beach Park, or indulge in some retail therapy at Ala Moana Center or Pearlridge Center?

With so many exciting activities just a stone’s throw away, why waste your time sitting in the airport when adventure awaits just around the corner?