things to do in honolulu Archives - Marina Hawaii Vacations

When we say hula dancing, what thoughts come to mind? Perhaps you think of the hula dancing scene in Lilo and Stitch. Or maybe the extent of your hula dance knowledge is from hula hoop competitions in grade school. Hawaiian hula dance is more than just a hobby; Hula dancing is a way of life. When staying at our Honolulu resort, explore local Hula dance performances, and even attempt some Hula dance lessons “near me.” But first, read through our Hawaiian Hula Dance guide to learn helpful tips and tricks. 

History of Hawaiian Hula Dance

Before the existence of written language, Hula dancing, hula songs, and their associated chants played a significant role in keeping history, genealogy, mythology, and culture alive. Every hand gesture, foot placement, and hip sway would tell a story. These Hula stories helped native Hawaiians feel connected to their land and gods. After the western missionaries arrived, Hula dancing and Hawaiian language were no longer used for social enjoyment and protocol. In fact, Hula dancing was even outlawed. It wasn’t until King David Kalakaua took the throne in 1874 that Hawaii’s cultural traditions were restored. Hula dance performances flourished, and by the early 1900s, the hula dance became more modernized. 

Hula Dance PerformancesHawaiian Hula Dance

You can see Hula dance performances at festivals, events, competitions, hotels, and resorts all over Honolulu. You can attend popular events such as King Kamehameha Hula Competition in June, Prince Lot Hula Festival in July, and the World Invitational Hula Festival in November. One of the best Hula dance performances, The Kuhio Beach Hula Show, is hosted by Hawaii’s finest hula school. There are hula dance performances at the Kuhio Beach Hula mound on Kalakaua Avenue every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm (weather permitting.) During winter months, performances occur from 6 pm to 7 pm. This event is free to the public! Luaus are also great places to watch hula dancing and learn about Hawaiian and Polynesian culture. Some of the best luau spots on Oahu are the Alii Luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center and the Paradise Cove Luau in the Ko Olina area. 

Hula Dance Classes “near Me”

Now that you’ve learned the basics of all things Hula dancing, are you ready to search for Hula dance lessons “near me?” We recommend taking hula dance classes onsite, in the Ilikai Tower, Hula Hula Entertainment, or Superhero Hula. 

Onsite Hula Lessons

Every Friday from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm, Marina Hawaii Vacations offers free hula dance lessons. The lessons take place at the Ilikai Tower and face the “Simply Wood Studio.” You’ll also learn the basics of the Hawaiian language! For more information, visit the Simply Wood Studio. 

Hula Hula Entertainment 

This fun, family-oriented facility has offered private hula lessons for over 18 years. The staff also provides hula shows, live music, lei making lessons, and lei greetings for special occasions. When visiting Hula Hula Entertainment, you’re bound to have a great time. 

Superhero Hula 

If you’re looking for an empowering dance experience, add Superhero Hula to your vacation itinerary. Superhero Hula offers private Hula Dance Therapy, which is a great option for visitors recovering from depression, a breakup, or a career change. This is a fully customized hula dance experience, including song selection, Hawaiian attire, location, and more! 

Marina Hawaii Vacations

Hawaiian Hula dance is deeply rooted in our culture. It’s become an international symbol of Hawaiian culture, and luckily, you can experience the tradition on your trip to Honolulu. Marina Hawaii Vacations is just a quick drive away from many of the above hula dance performances and classes; so, you won’t have to worry about traveling far for these lively experiences. If you plan to stay at our Ilikai Tower property, free hula classes are provided each Friday, 4 pm to 5 pm, in the lobby fronting the “Simply Woods Studio” shop. So, what are you waiting for? Book your Honolulu vacation today by visiting our website, or giving us a call at 808-946-0716. 


It’s no secret that Honolulu is a dream destination for so many people. From the gorgeous beaches to the surf scene to the cultural experiences of Honolulu and Waikiki, there is an experience waiting for every type of traveler on this beautiful island state. To get the best out of your Hawaiian adventure, the best place to book your stay is with Marina Hawaii Vacations, a vacation rental company renting condo units in primarily three different properties, the Ilikai Tower, Ilikai Marina, and Discovery Bay, with options for every type of vacationer. While there is plenty to do in Honolulu, Oahu during your vacation, there are also plenty of free things to do that will help you make the most of your experience. From gorgeous hikes and beaches to historic sites, there are plenty of completely free things to do in Honolulu.

Hike in Diamond Head

Of everything there is to experience on this island, one of the most famous free things to do in Honolulu is to hike up the famous crater, Diamond Head to see the sunrise. Hawaiian sunrises can’t be beaten, and the best way to see them is from points of higher elevation, like this iconic spot upon the dormant volcano and former military base. The hike itself is two hours and 1.8 miles long, and the views from the top are better than any other spot on the island. Once you make it to the top, you’ll be greeted by expansive views of Waikiki, and of course, if you’re early enough, the rising sun.

As of May 12th, 2022 all out-of-state visitors must have an advanced reservation to enter Diamond Head State Monument. The reservation system will activate on April 28th, 2022 allowing for reservations to be made 14 days in advance. Click here to reserve.

Experience the Beach and the Surf at Waimea Bay

Waimea Bay, which is located along Oahu’s gorgeous North Shore, is one of the most famous beaches in the world. From the magnificent horizon to the enormous waves, simply sitting on this beach is a must-do experience, and one of the best free things to do near Honolulu. Here, you’ll be able to watch surfers take on huge waves, and even swim in the ocean yourself!

Visit Pearl Harbor

One of the most important free things to do in Honolulu is visiting USS Arizona Memorial Park and Pearl Harbor. Here, you’ll be able to learn about one of the most pivotal moments in United States history through exploring the museum and the designated National Historic Site. You’ll also have the chance to take a ferry ride over to see the memorial. While visiting a historic monument might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you picture your Hawaiian adventure, it truly is one of the most important things to experience while you’re in Honolulu, allowing you to get a sense of the deep history of Hawaii and the United States.

Explore the Nature Reserve and Wildlife at Ka’ena Point

While it’s a bit further away, Ka’ena Point is a gorgeous nature reserve featuring hiking trails, beautiful coastline views, and a chance to see wildlife. While you can drive to the nature reserve, Ka’ena Point itself must be hiked to, although you can hike to it from either side of the sanctuary. While you’re there, make sure to keep your eye out for wildlife such as albatross, and even monk seals, who might be out there enjoying the sun and sand themselves.

Watch a Traditional Hula Dance in Waikiki

If you’re looking for that picture-perfect Hawaii experience, look no further. Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, Waikiki’s Kuhio Beach hosts a sunset hula show. The show is as traditional as it gets and guests often spread out around the beach to experience its local magic, making this one of the best free things to do in Honolulu.

Free Things to Do in Honolulu

Hawaii is a magical vacation spot, featuring a little something for everyone, and in addition, there are plenty of free things to do in Honolulu that will make your experience even more fruitful. From exploring Hawaii’s wilderness on the trails to learning about its history, the opportunities are truly endless when it comes to free things to do in Honolulu. Your stay with Marina Hawaii Vacations will surely be a special one, as you spend your hotel downtime staring at those beautiful Hawaiian ocean views and relaxing in one of their many beautiful condominium accommodations soaking up the sun, sea, and sand.

As the holiday season comes into full swing, many couples are in search of the perfect tropical escape. Discover where romantic nights by the beach and the splendor of the holidays meet when you stay at Marina Hawaii Vacations. As one of the best places to stay in Honolulu, Marina Hawaii Vacations has rentals that are conveniently located so that you can experience every holiday happening with ease and relax for a romantic holiday getaway with your love.

The Best Festive Oahu date Ideas During The Holidays

Though the Hawaiian Islands are obviously not going to be a winter wonderland, that does not mean that you cannot find a bit of winter fun during your visit. Slip into a pair of skates and hit the ice at Ice Palace. Ice Skating may seem like an odd activity to find in such a warm climate, but it is the perfect date night activity as you glide hand in hand over the ice.

When it comes to Oahu date ideas during the holiday season, catch an unforgettable display of grace and beauty with the Ballet Hawaii for their presentation of the classic The Nutcracker. Watch as the talented group of dancers leap and bound across the stage in a stunning display of dance and music.

For a romantic night strolling through delightful light displays, grab your honey and head to the Friends of Honolulu City Lights. Discover large displays of Hawaiian Christmas spirit as well as multiple unique events that capture the holiday cheer with a tropical twist. You can find everything from free milk and cookies to carnival rides and live entertainment.

Along with all of these fantastic events, you can find a myriad of other exciting activities and events with Honolulu Magazine and other travel guide event pages. From Christmas light boat parades to craft fairs to live entertainment, you will be sure to find something of interest during your Marina Hawaii Vacations getaway.

Beach Time With Your Honey   

When visiting the Island of Oahu, it is common to hit the beach and enjoy the sounds of waves rushing to shore and rolling back off the sand. What better way to celebrate your love than finding the perfect spot on the beach for a sunset? Whether you are looking to propose or are recently married, discover the Fireworks on Friday nights on Waikiki Beach. One reason that Oahu is the best Hawaiian Island for honeymoon getaways is all of the magical events that our community hosts. Watch the fireworks glitter in your special someone’s eyes and fall even further into love under the Oahu night sky.

Romantic Accommodations

On top of all of these wonderful holiday happenings, you can always find Oahu romantic dinner options, fun things to do in Honolulu, and one of the best places to stay in Honolulu with Marina Hawaii Vacations. As the best Hawaiian island for honeymoon getaways and the place to be during the holidays, Marina Hawaii Vacations invites you to spend this holiday season with the one you love with us. Discover the magic of the Christmas spirit with one of the best places to stay in Honolulu for an island experience you will never forget.

When visiting new places, it is always interesting to seek out local cuisine and restaurants to get a “taste” of the local culture. When you visit us at Marina Hawaii Vacations, discover some of the best places to eat in Honolulu and sink your teeth into something delicious! Though there are endless options for fantastic dining experiences, we picked out a few that we think are worth checking into.

Fresh Catch

When it comes to seafood and poke dishes, there are plenty of choices. However, there is a spot that even Guy Fieri and TripExpert have rated as having some of the best food around. At Fresh Catch, you will find a menu full of fresh fish options, plate options, and an array of sashimi. Grab a seat or order by phone and pick up your meal to enjoy back at your Marina Hawaii vacation rental for a night of relaxation and delicious food.

Steak Shack

If you love steak, it can be hard to find a dinner that is made just right every time. There is one place that specializes in fantastic steaks and puts an island twist on the meal for a bit of Hawaiian flair. The Steak Shack is passionate about creating incredible chicken and steak meals that are made with quality meats and organic vegetable sides for a mouthwatering combination of flavors.

Tommy Bahama

Whether you are looking for lunch, dinner, or just a few drinks, Tommy Bahama is a top choice amongst visitors. With a few different locations across the United States and one or two international outlets, Tommy Bahama could be considered a chain, but it is far from typical. With a familiar name, you know that this restaurant is a favorite amongst many and well worth testing it out.


The Pig & The Lady

If you are in search of a satisfying dish and a fantastic atmosphere, be sure to try out The Pig & The Lady. Discover the tastes of authentic Vietnamese dishes that hone in on the traditional flavors and techniques of traditional meals that are sure to make your taste buds sing. This family owned and locally operated joint is perfect for trying new things and enjoying a meal in style for a fun and lively place to eat in Honolulu.

Sweet E’s Cafe

If breakfast is your favorite meal of the day, Sweet E’s Cafe has some of the best morning meals on Oahu just waiting for you to take a bite! From delicious omelets to phenomenal french toast, there is no shortage of incredible choices for every breakfast fanatic. The high ratings on sites like TripAdvisor reflect just how fantastic this stop truly is and why it is a favorite amongst locals and visitors alike!

Try out these delicious places to eat in Honolulu as well as many others on your next visit with us at Marina Hawaii Vacations. Discover the tastes of the islands and reference these hubs for fun Oahu date ideas as well as spots to pick up a meal for a romantic dinner right in the comfort of your vacation rental. The island of Oahu is calling your name. Are you ready to explore and discover our beautiful Honolulu, Hawaii home?