Countless times per year I get emails from people saying – I’m heading to Honolulu, Hawaii, what should I see? Well, of course, I always want to know – how much time do you have? What do you like to do? How much do you want to eat? I always pass along my Ultimate Activity List For Oahu, but I wanted to create this fun little guide for those who want to hit all the Instagram hotspots in Honolulu here on Oahu, Hawaii. Whether you live here, are traveling here or daydreaming about a trip to Oahu, I’ve put together this colorful collection of some of my favorite spots that you’ve probably seen on my own Instagram if you follow me there. Without further ado, the best places to take photos in Honolulu + my Instagram Guide To Honolulu!
The Instagram Guide To Honolulu
Royal Hawaiian Hotel – Affectionately known as “The Pink Palace”, The Royal Hawaiian is an Instagram dream sitting pretty as the reigning queen of Honolulu hotels. Iconic in color and history, everywhere you turn is something to snap a photo of. Don’t miss the pink cabanas poolside or the perfectly striped towels! For more info, check out my post on our staycation at The Royal Hawaiian.
Diamond Head – When people talk about hiking on Oahu, Diamond Head Crater is the first one that comes up. More of a stroll that consists of several switchbacks and takes about an hour roundtrip, it’s a must for taking in the beautiful views of Honolulu and snapping a photo of the iconic Crater from Waikiki Beach is a must!
Waikiki Beach – A hotspot for tourists and locals alike to take in the sights and sounds of Honolulu’s beach culture, a trip to Oahu isn’t complete without the bustling tourists and overcrowded sand patches of Waikiki Beach. It’s THE BEST for people watching if you’re into that sort of thing and the confetti colored towels, rafts and umbrellas make for the best photos 😉 If you’ve got some time, be sure to check out my 10 Must-Do Activities In Waikiki.
Kakaako Wall Murals – These murals, hosted and coordinated by Pow Wow Hawaii, change out every so often, but Kakaako is an up-and-coming Honolulu neighborhood that houses some of Oahu’s finest artists. The wall murals draw photographers, fashion bloggers and influencers for their bright colors and fun vibe.
Paiko/Arvo – fun little flower shop and Australian inspired coffee joint, Paiko/Arvo is where you can find some of the biggest Honolulu trendsetters grabbing coffee and blooms. It helps that the aesthetic is bright, clean and welcoming and the cappuccinos come complete with a design. If you’re still hungry, don’t miss the 19 Delicious Brunch Spots in Honolulu!
Doris Duke’s Shangri-La – The epicenter for Islamic culture and history in the Pacific, Doris Duke’s Shangri La sits at the crossroads of beauty, class and luxury. A must for anyone interested in architecture or design…or those who simply want to daydream about life in old Hawaii as a socialite! Note: the only permitted photography is outside, but the real treats are inside! If you’re planning a trip, take a peek at my tips for visiting Shangri La.
Leonard’s Malasadas – A delicious Portugese doughnut rolled in sugar and served hot, malasadas are a MUST when visiting the islands. What makes Leonard’s so special? That trademark pink box, of course! My favorite are the ones with haupia (coconut) cream in the center.
Pearl Harbor – Pearl Harbor and Oahu are synonymous for the deep history and the pivotal role the Naval Harbor played during World War II. In my mind, no visit to Honolulu is complete without paying respect to the hallowed grounds. I’m not alone – it’s in the top 5 social check-ins in Honolulu. While you’re there, be sure to visit the other battleships, aviation museum and submarine.
Duke’s Waikiki – Situated right on the beach with some of the best ocean views (plus picturesque views of Diamond Head!), Duke’s offers live music on Sundays, world-famous Hula Pie made of ice cream and cookies and a delicious Mai Tai that will make you loosen up just enough to hit the dance floor. Eating or drinking here is a must and the scenic beach views provide the perfect backdrop for ‘gramming your food.
The Surfjack Hotel – What’s not to love about a hotel that instantly sends you back to old Hawaii with retro themes and bright colors galore?! This boutique hotel is a sanctuary amongst bustling Waikiki and a great place to enjoy a cocktail poolside or grab some delicious eats from their in-house restaurant Mahina + Sun’s. Staying overnight is even better – check out our Surfjack Hotel staycation.
Are you ready to plan your trip to Honolulu yet? Truthfully, this list could go on and on and on, because there are so many beautiful spots here on Oahu that deserve to be documented, but these are just the top picks from in and around Honolulu. I combed Instagram and looked for the most colorful, bright, ‘grammed spaces for my Honolulu Instagram Guide. Obviously if you are visiting Oahu, trips to the North Shore, East Side and West Side should be mandatory 😉
Have you visited Honolulu? Is there something that should be on here? Happy travels and have fun! If you liked this post, you might also enjoy The Ultimate List of Stuff To Do On Oahu, The Oahu Hotel Guide or The Insider’s Guide to Oahu !