Have you been wondering the name of the bright yellow fish or strange eel that you saw snorkeling? Wonder no longer—the small but lively Waikiki Aquarium has dozens of tanks that recreate area reefs, as well as unusual ocean habitats in the remote Northwest Hawaiian Islands, with informative signage. The aquarium boasts half a dozen species of butterflyfish (your yellow fish could have been one of these), the fun-to-say state fish of Hawaii— humuhumu-nukunuku-a-pua’a, sharks, puffers, turtles and even two resident specimens of the endangered Hawaiian monk seal. Watch jellies float in black-lit tanks, see a nautilus use jet propulsion to move through the water, or find strange seadragons camouflaged in seaweed. The aquarium also hosts after-hours programming, including the popular Reef After Dark, which takes participants to explore area tide pools with experts by moonlight.
Waikiki Aquarium is located 2777 Kalakaua Avenue at the Diamond Head side of Waikiki beyond the Honolulu Zoo. The building is open daily from 9 a.m. with the last person admitted at 4:30 p.m. (building closes at 5 p.m.); special holiday hours or closures may apply. General Admission tickets are $12 adults, $5 kids ages 4-12 and children under 3 are free, discounts are available for seniors, Hawaii residents and military with ID. The aquarium is serviced TheBus routes 19,20 and 22, the hop-on, hop-off Waikiki Trolley and is within walking distance of many Waikiki hotels.