When you land on the shores of Hawaii, there is no doubt your itinerary will be filled with sunbathing, snorkeling, hikes through luscious mountainsides, and plenty of fresh fruit. However, when that gorgeous Hawaiian sun retreats across the Pacific, what should your plans include? Turns out, Hawaii can be just as exciting at night, as it is during the day.
Discover the 10 best things to do in Honolulu at Night in 2023.
1. Check out a Luau
This is not just something you should do at night, but something every visitor to the shores of Hawaii MUST do! A luau is an ancient Hawaiian tradition where a big fest is prepared, traditional dancing ensues, and overall great entertainment. There are tons of Luaus you can find throughout the island. Some cater towards the families, others keep it as traditional as possible. Do some research and be sure to book well in advance! They can fill up quickly, especially during the tourist seasons.
2. Eat The Street
Eat The Street is a local secret to great Hawaiian food. At this event, all the greatest food trucks and restaurant in the area meet to provide some of the best food to offer on the islands. Try fresh ingredients from the island or great Hawaiian comfort food, like loco moco. While we would love to check out this spot every night, it only takes place on the last Friday of every month from 4 to 9 PM. So plan accordingly!
3. Twilight Tour at Honolulu Zoo
Every Friday and Saturday night from 5:30 to 7:30 PM the zoo leaves its doors open to visitors looking to learn about their animals once the sun sets. Yes, some animals may just be closing their eyes for the night, but not all! See nocturnal animals just begin their day, as they roam around and enjoy their morning breakfast. The twilight hours is by tour only and offers you some great info about some amazing creatures.
4. Friday Night Fireworks
Luckily, when the sun sets in Hawaii the warm weather continues throughout the night. Which means many people continue to roam the beaches and enjoy the fresh air. One way many tourists and locals enjoy their warm Friday nights is by paying a visit to the Waikiki beach near the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Every Friday night, the hotel giant puts on a spectacular firework show. It can be seen from miles from the hotel and is completely free. The show usually begins between 7:45 PM – 8 PM.
5. Moon Walk The Coast
As mentioned above, when the sun goes down it continues to stay warm. This perk along with the big beautiful moon that lights up the pacific ocean leave vacationers the perfect environment for strolling the beaches at night. The miles-long beach can be enjoyed at any time with the bright beautiful moon above. Stop by a beachside bar for a drink, then continue on your way. Additionally, a nighttime walk will allow you to avoid the crowds you would encounter during the day.
6. Try a Fun Restaurant or Cocktail
Honolulu is a vibrant area that is no stranger to the night scene. Along with the night owls comes the fun and unique restaurants you can check out. Stop by Shorebird where you can order and cook your own meat on a giant grill, then fill your plate with the vibrant buffet. Stop by Orchids for fresh seafood, Hula Grill for fish tacos and May Tais, or House Without a Key for food, live music, and dancing. Every night on the island can be a completely unique experience with more to enjoy than what you can stand!
7. Hike Diamond Head
The gates of the diamond head are open from 6 AM – 6 PM (note, this may change depending on the time of the year or holidays), but this means you can witness some stellar views at sunset! Depending on your physical fitness level, the hike to the top can take 1 – 2 hours. It is fairly simple but does have a good amount of stairs and uneven surfaces, so dress accordingly.
Hike to the top and overlook Waikiki beach as you watch the sun slowly fall below the horizon, blasting the sky with the most beautiful colors you have ever seen!
8. Cocktail Cruise
No kids? No problem! There is a lot in Hawaii that caters to families, but those singles and adventure seeking couples have plenty to do as well. At night, the adventure cruises go from fun in the sun to a boozy party for everyone looking to let loose. With great deals, you can get bottomless cocktails and enjoy a sunset with great music. There are tons of cruise, some cater to college kids looking to blow off some steam, others provide a fun and exciting atmosphere for young professionals looking to drink and laugh the night away. With a bit of research, you can find incredible deals!
If you are visiting the island of Hawaii you may come from a big city, suburb, or are surrounded by terrible light pollution. Light pollution is when the lights of the city and surrounding areas light up the night so much that you struggle to see the stars at night. While there is still a bit in Honolulu, it is significantly less than that in many other parts of the world due to its secluded location. Spend the night stargazing on the beaches, searching for falling stars, satellites, and constellations. It will be the perfect way to end a day of sunbathing and excitement.
10. Stroll The Streets For Live Music
Throughout the streets of Honolulu, you will find just as many people out and about as during the day. So when you begin to walk the streets and beaches, people will begin trading in their bikinis for dresses and dancing shoes. Locals will break out their instruments to form bands along the walkways of the beach and the malls to celebrate Hawaii and their beautiful island. Sway to the calm Hawaiian music or begin spinning to the swanky jazz. The night is yours and everyone on the island is ready to celebrate with you.
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