Honolulu Zoo


Honolulu Zoo displays tropical species from around the globe. There are 42 acres of tropical greenery, over 1200 animals and a petting zoo for kids. Hawaii has no endemic land mammals, but in the aviary near the entrance you can see some native birds, including the nene (Hawaiian goose) and ʻapapane, a bright-red Hawaiian honeycreeper. Make reservations for family-oriented twilight tours and zoo camp-outs.

The city-run zoo has struggled through years of challenges. In 2016 it lost its Association of Zoos and Aquariums accreditation over its perennial funding woes. However, voters later approved a dedicated revenue stream, so the zoo hopes to regain its accreditation in 2020. In a positive step forward, it welcomed three new cheetahs in 2019.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Waikiki attractions

1. Surfer on a Wave Statue

0.09 MILES

Opposite the entrance to Honolulu Zoo and right on the beach, the Surfer on a Wave statue celebrates surfing as a major part of the culture of Waikiki…

2. Makua and Kila Statue


A bronze charmer, this warm-hearted public art sculpture shows a young surfer (Makua) sharing a moment with a monk seal (Kila). It's inspired by the…

3. Queen's Surf Beach

0.12 MILES

Just south of Kuhio Beach, the namesake beach for the famous surf break is a great place for families as the waves are rarely large when they reach shore…

4. Queen Kapiʻolani Statue

0.14 MILES

This bronze statue depicts Queen Kapiʻolani, the wife of King David Kalakaua – his statue sits at the other end of Waikiki. The Queen was a beloved…

5. Prince Kuhio Statue

0.21 MILES

This statue of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaʻole fronts Kuhio Beach. It celebrates the man who was prince of the reigning House of Kalakaua when the…

6. Kapi'olani Regional Park

0.24 MILES

In its early days, horse racing and band concerts were the biggest attractions at Waikiki's favorite green space. Although the racetrack is long gone,…

7. Kapiʻolani Beach Park

0.32 MILES

Where did all the tourists go? From Kapahulu Groin south to the Natatorium, this peaceful stretch of beach, backed by a green space of banyan trees and…

8. Kuhio Beach Park

0.32 MILES

If you’re the kind of person who wants it all, this beach offers everything from protected swimming to outrigger canoe rides, and even a free sunset hula…