Guest Post By Alejandra Cerball 

Home to the iconic Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, is a must-stop on your visit to Hawaii. Take a surf lesson by day, and enjoy some of the top experiences and things to do in Honolulu at night. From local eats to luxury shopping and hotel experiences, Oahu is a world-class destination. 

In this guide, we’ll cover: 

  1. Waikiki at night
  2. Where to watch fireworks for free 
  3. Honolulu nightlife and live music
  4. What to expect at your first Luau 
  5. Waikiki’s luxury shopping scene 
  6. Tips for visiting Hawaii 

Related: Things To Do On Oahu – Top Bucket List Experiences in Hawaii

Ready for the trip of a lifetime? 

Here are nine things to do in Honolulu, Hawaii, at night. 

Waikiki at night 

Head to Waikiki beach and look for the catamaran’s and hop on board a sunset cruise. Soak in views of Diamond Head, and the city skyline while you enjoy drinks with your closest friends. Look for turtles swimming nearby as you wait for the sun to do down. 

No time for a sunset cruise? Book an earlier cruise and jump in to explore sea life. Some companies provide snorkels, masks, fins, and snorkel vests. 

Things To Do in Honolulu at Night

Friday night fireworks 

Watch the fireworks for free every Friday night at Waikiki Beach at 7:45 pm, hosted by the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Arrive at the beach early, because the show only lasts about ten minutes. Visit the sunset pool at the Modern Honolulu for a cocktail and a great view of the show. 

First Friday – Chinatown 

If you’re visiting during the first Friday of the month, visit Chinatown at night to check out art galleries, local bars, and restaurants.  Artists and creatives stay open late once a month, and they’re excited to mingle with you. Enjoy live music, wine, and food specials, and visit local boutiques. Not visiting during First Friday? Chinatown has a bustling restaurant and nightlife scene. Visit Pig & the Lady, Manifest, and Scarlet Bar & Dance Club.  

Go on a sunset or a moonlight hike 

Ready for an adventure? Check the calendar for the next full moon and hike up one of Oahu’s mountains. Grab a headlight/torch, and hiking shoes, and proceed with caution. Hiking in Oahu is no easy feat, especially for beginners. Seek out a local hiking guide or a friend who knows the trails before you hike at night. 

Not ready to explore when it’s dark? Head up the Koko Head stairs just before sunset and take a minute to catch your breath at the top before the sun goes down. 

Listen to live music

Listen to the waves crash as you sip a cocktail, and enjoy dinner at Duke’s Waikiki. Local musicians play every night from 4 – 6 pm and 9:30 – midnight at this beachfront restaurant. Watch the sunset and enjoy an ice-cold Longboard while you talk about all the fun things you’ve done on your Hawaiian holiday. After the sun goes down, head to Blue Note Hawaii to listen to local musicians play jazz, blues, and Hawaiian music. The club is open year-round. 

2335 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815

ARTafterDARK – Honolulu Art Museum 

Every month the Honolulu Art Museum hosts a party, and you’re invited! Explore the latest exhibits at ARTafterDARK, held from 6 pm to 9 pm on the last Friday of the month. Sip on beer, wine, and cocktails. Tickets are $30, but Honolulu Art Museum members get a discount. 

Here’s the 2020 event Lineup.  

900 S Beretania St, Honolulu, Hawaii 96814

Honolulu Nightlife 

Start your night off with an artisanal cocktail or craft beer at Hideout at the Laylow in Waikiki. On the menu, try one of our favorites, the “The Lucky Kid” made with Pau Maui Vodka. Enjoy live entertainment every night of the week, before making your way to Sky Waikiki. Cool off with the tropical breeze at this rooftop bar and restaurant/nightclub. Enjoy happy hour drink specials from 5 pm – 9 pm. 

2270 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815 

Just a short drive or walk away, you’ll find THE STUDY Bar + Lounge inside the Modern Honolulu. Go beyond the lobby bookshelves and step into a chic lounge. THE STUDY has Happy Hour every night from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Live music starts at 8:00 pm. After a few hours at THE STUDY, make your way past the velvet rope to ADDICTION, one of the hottest nightclubs in Honolulu. Reserve a table and dance the night away. 

1775 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815 

Things To Do in Honolulu at Night

Experience a Luau 

When visiting the islands, it’s important to embrace the “aloha” spirit. While you’re planning what to do in Honolulu at night, take time to learn about the local culture and way of life. A luau is a celebration of food, music, and culture. Enjoy local favorites like kalua pig and poi, live music, and watch hula dancers share the stories of Hawaii. 

Explore Waikiki’s Shopping Scene 

International Marketplace is your go-to destination for late-night luxury shopping. From Saks 5th Avenue to Burberry shop here until 10 pm. Enjoy cuisines from all over the world at restaurants like STRIPSTEAK Waikiki and Herringbone. 

2330 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815

Forgot something from home? You can’t visit Waikiki without seeing an ABC store. Stop in to purchase a local souvenir. The Royal Hawaiian Center on Kalakaua Avenue features live Hawaiian music from local musicians every Tuesday – Saturday from 5 pm – 6 pm at the Royal Grove. 

2201 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815

Things To Do in Honolulu at Night

Tips for Visiting Hawaii 

  1. Slow down, especially if you’re driving. You’re on island time now. 
  2. Embrace the “aloha” spirit and learn about local culture. Talk to the lifeguards before entering the water if you’re not sure about the conditions. Stay away from wet rocks. Remember, just because you saw it on Instagram, doesn’t mean it’s safe. When in doubt, don’t go out. 
  3. Be a conscious traveler, and leave your sunscreen at home. Hawaii is the first state to ban the sale of sunscreens with coral-harming chemicals. Keep your distance from Hawaiian Monk Seals and turtles. 
  4. Pack for tropical weather and always bring a light rain jacket. Hurricane Season in Hawaii usually runs from June through November. Monitor the local forecast. 

What’s on your bucket list for things to do in Honolulu at night?

Where to Stay in Honolulu

Budget

Hostelling International Honolulu

Guest Review: “Very clean, friendly and lovely staff, close to public transportation and definitely a true recommendation for that price! Booked very spontaneously and I was positively surprised!”

What To Love: clean large rooms, friendly environment, and available community kitchen

Polynesian Hostel Beach Club

Guest Review: “Really great location and such a nice hostel to stay. Really liked the common areas and met so many nice people there. Room was clean and bed was comfy.”

What To Love: excellent location, friendly staff, and free breakfast

Midrange

OHANA Waikiki Malia by Outrigger

Guest Review: “I loved the helpfulness of all staff, from easy and fast check-in & check-out, to answering all questions we had. There was an Expedia travel expert in the hotel lobby and we actually booked a Pearl Harbour tour last minute with their help. The room was very spacious for both my and my partner’s luggage, and was always left very clean each day by the maids. The location was also great, a short walk to the main avenue and Waikiki beach. ”

What To Love: fantastic location, helpful staff, and value for money

Guest Review: “Fabulous location, right near main Waikiki central beach, shops and eateries. Free shuttle to Ala Moana makes it easy to catch local buses to other parts of the island.”

What To Love: great location, awesome pool, and free cheese and wine evenings

Luxury

Lotus Honolulu Hotel

Guest Review: “We loved our room, facilities and assistance given by hotel staff who were super friendly and helpful at all hours of the day. We liked the complimentary water bottle (which is a super environmentally friendly alternative to providing bottles of water) and the hotel is in a calm and quiet part of Waikiki (Diamond Head). It was a short walk into Waikiki. ”

What To Love: helpful staff, quiet location, and great views

Halekulani

Guest Review: “There is much to be said about this hotel but I will try summarize in a few words. The hotel management and staff simply strive to deliver the perfect experience for their customers.”

What To Love: 5 star facilities, right on the beach, and fantastic breakfast

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Author's Bio
Alex Cerball is a journalist, writer, and travel + lifestyle blogger. Sign up to her newsletter for inspiration for your bucket list, motivation + mindset ideas for a healthy life, and smart conversations with female entrepreneurs creating their own rules of success. alexcerball.com

 

Planning a trip to Hawaii? Check out Alex’s Oahu Travel Guide for the best beaches, hikes, and ultimate experiences.

 

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