From superb cuisine and historic attractions to an array of unique water and land based adventures, Honolulu offers many great things to see and do for couples. Once you’ve had your fill of swimming, sunbathing and surfing in Waikiki Beach, enjoy some of these unique activities, including a dolphin swim, food tours, beach sunset yoga, and night time standup paddleboarding.
1.Alan Wong's Honolulu
© Courtesy of Alan Wong's Honolulu
Open for dinner, the flagship restaurant of legendary chef Alan Wong, Alan Wong’s Honolulu has been a pillar of the O’ahu restaurant scene since 1995. Located on the third floor of a downtown Honolulu building, the simple environment gives way to an upscale eatery where the subtle and pleasant ambience allows guests to devote their attention to the meal at hand. Functioning as a studio for culinary experimentation, Wong has been known to serve innovative dishes, and is constantly developing unique menus. The chef’s creations reflect diverse cultures and ethnicities, highlighting Hawaiian flavors infused with global influences. An emphasis on farm fresh ingredients, local produce, and unexpected combinations are at the core of Alan Wong’s philosophy.
1857 S King St #208, 808-949-2526
2.The Queen Emma Summer Palace
© The Queen Emma Summer Palace
Once the seasonal retreat for Queen Emma and her family, this historic Hawaiian estate is now a museum open to the public for tours. Built in the mid-1800’s for the Hawaiian Royal Family, the home has since been refurbished and is beautifully maintained. Guests are able to experience the home as it would have appeared during the Royal family’s 19th century residency.
The palace’s décor presents a unique array of historical pieces, ranging from traditional Hawaiian craft to English pieces shipped overseas as gifts from the British monarchy. In addition to admiring the striking décor, visitors can meander through the property’s extensive gardens, peruse authentic artifacts that belonged to the royal family, and view a number of historically significant portraits.
2913 Pali Hwy, 808-595-3167
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3.Dolphins and You
© Courtesy of lancesagar - Fotolia.com
The Dolphins and You tour provides guests with the unique experience of swimming among dolphin pods and sea life in the peaceful waters just off the O’ahu coast. If you are looking for romantic things to do in Honolulu, this is a great idea for couples. Beginning in the Waianea Boat Harbor, visitors are introduced to the crew before participating in a native E’ Hoi Mai Ceremony. In this ceremony, participants sing a song and offer flowers to the ocean as a prayer for a safe trip and to give thanks to the dolphins. Guests then journey by boat out into the water before donning a mask and snorkel and submerging themselves in the clear water. Aside from dolphins, swimmers have the chance to get up close to a range of diverse marine life including sea turtles and vibrant, tropical fish.
307 Lewers St #401, 808-696-4414
4.Hawaii Food Tours
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Designed for food lovers, Hawaii Food Tours offers two options for visitors who want a taste of authentic, local cuisine. Designed by Matthew Gray, a former Celebrity Chef and local food expert, the tours are specifically crafted to showcase modern foods native to Hawaii. The tour goes beyond traditional Hawaiian cuisine and introduces visitors to a globally exotic range of tastes and flavors that exist on the island.
The Hole in the Wall Tour visits a variety of Honolulu based establishments, and some of the special treats you can try include Portuguese donuts and Korean BBQ. The North Shore Food Tour takes visitors away from urban Honolulu and into the heart of Oahu for an experience that includes both high-end eateries and unique roadside stands (808-926-3663).
5.O'ahu Photography Tours
© Courtesy of cathysuzy - Fotolia.com
Inspired to share the beauty of his home and his passion for photography, local photographer Alex Wilson founded O’ahu Photography Tours and began providing island tours fused with photography lessons, offering a completely new experience to both locals and visitors. Eight diverse options are offered by O’ahu Photography Tours. Ranging from sunrise to moonscapes, the tours are spread out across the island of O’ahu.
Participants can choose an appropriate tour based on their desired environment, subject, and photography skill level. Photographers can expect to gain a unique perspective on Hawaii while receiving instruction on the technicalities and subtleties of photography, allowing participants to improve their photo taking skills (808-679-1938)
© Chef Chai
Located in downtown Honolulu, Chef Chai offers his guests a vibrant dinner menu. Named for the resident legendary chef, the restaurant is known for its Hawaiian fusion centered cuisine. Thai born, Chef Chai utilizes local produce and farm fresh ingredients, many of which are purchased from Honolulu’s Chinatown, in every meal. Chef Chai manages to balance an upscale ambiance with a down to earth attitude.
A modern vibe permeates the restaurant, which allows its guests to enjoy a decidedly contemporary fine dining experience. The restaurant offers several location options for guests, including a private dining room, a full bar, and an outside patio complete with fire tower surrounds.
1009 Kapiolani Blvd, 808-585-0011
7.Beach Sunset Yoga Hawaii
© Beach Sunset Yoga Hawaii
Beach Sunset Yoga Hawaii gives participants the opportunity to embrace mindfulness while surrounded by beautiful Hawaiian scenery. Guests interested in taking classes can elect to participate in a variety of activities including yoga lessons, hiking the trails, and group snorkeling. Additionally, Beach Sunset Yoga Hawaii offers fully customizable private lessons, retreats, or group tours throughout the island.
Each activity offered is designed to encourage a mindful practice using gentle body movements and inspiration from the natural environment and O’ahu landscape. The company’s giving nature extends beyond their customers, as a large portion of the profits benefit a local non-profit organization that promotes a curriculum of mindfulness into elementary schools around the nation.
2735 Kalakaua Ave, 808-321-3297
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8.Trina Turk Honolulu
Established in 1995 as a contemporary clothing line for women, Trina Turk grew into an iconic lifestyle brand with eleven annual collections of trendy and ready-to-wear, jewelry, handbags, eyewear, footwear, swimwear, activewear, residential décor, textiles, and Mr. Turk menswear. Trina Turk Hawaii store in Honolulu’s International Marketplace offers women's ready-to-wear, accessories, the swim and spa collection, and Mr. Turk menswear. The bright and cheerful store is inspired by the era of Hawaii Five-0, with classic midcentury architecture with white painted breeze blocks, penny tile flooring, capiz shell lighting, and bright philodendron print wallpaper. The elegant and airy space provides a perfect backdrop for the Trina Turk lively signature prints and bright color.
International Marketplace, 2330 Kalakaua Ave 130, Honolulu, HI 96815, Phone: 808-377-6532
© Buho Cantina
With an emphasis on using fresh ingredients and high quality products, Buho Cantina serves O’ahu and modern Mexican cuisine. Located in Waikiki, Bohu Cantina serves lunch, dinner, and late night fare. The menu features several Mexican classics fused with bold Hawaiian ingredients and flavors. The result is an authentic Mexican restaurant whose chefs take fresh and modern approach to traditional meals.
Buho Cantina prioritizes the use of farm fresh produce, locally grown right on the island. The casual eatery welcomes guests into a trendy and upbeat atmosphere. The rooftop location allows for both indoor and outdoor seating, and a live cantina band performs regularly for guests’ entertainment.
2250 Kalakaua Ave, Suite 525, 808-922-BUHO
10.The Lyon Arboretum
© Courtesy of small smiles - Fotolia.com
The Lyon Arboretum is a pristine 200-acre botanical garden just five miles outside of Honolulu. The Lyon Arboretum is a lush and tropical location where visitors can immerse themselves in a truly scenic environment. Lyon Arboretum offers seven miles of trails, ranging from simple and pleasant strolls through the rain forest to hikes in higher elevations.
With twelve gardens to choose from, visitors have the opportunity to experience over 5,000 types of tropical plant species. Included in this selection is a Native Hawaiian Garden, which showcases a collection of indigenous and endemic Hawaiian plants, the Herb and Spice Garden, and the Children’s Garden, an interactive learning site.
3860 Manoa Rd, 808-988-0456
11.Nocturnal Adventures Hawaii
© Nocturnal Adventures Hawaii
Nocturnal Adventures Hawaii provides visitors with the unique Oahu experience of nighttime standup paddleboarding (SUP). Nocturnal Adventures currently offers its guests two tour options. Haleiwa Sunset SUP guides paddlers through the waters of Hawaii’s epic North Shore, the perfect location from which you can view the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean.
Firework Fridays SUP, on the other hand, allows tour goers to experience an evening paddle under the weekly firework show at Oahu’s famous Waikiki Beach. Both options are available for paddlers with any level of experience. Nocturnal Adventures provides guests with specially designed paddleboards that are equipped to light the water below with unique glow-in-the-dark abilities (808-233-9472).
11 Best Romantic Things to Do in Honolulu, Oahu
- Alan Wong's Honolulu, Photo: Courtesy of Alan Wong's Honolulu
- The Queen Emma Summer Palace, Photo: The Queen Emma Summer Palace
- Dolphins and You, Photo: Courtesy of lancesagar - Fotolia.com
- Hawaii Food Tours, Photo: Courtesy of 1jaimages - Fotolia.com
- O'ahu Photography Tours, Photo: Courtesy of cathysuzy - Fotolia.com
- Chef Chai, Photo: Chef Chai
- Beach Sunset Yoga Hawaii, Photo: Beach Sunset Yoga Hawaii
- Trina Turk Honolulu, Photo: Kurhan/stock.adobe.com
- Buho Cantina, Photo: Buho Cantina
- The Lyon Arboretum, Photo: Courtesy of small smiles - Fotolia.com
- Nocturnal Adventures Hawaii, Photo: Nocturnal Adventures Hawaii
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Mike Liu/Fotolia.com