Top Things To Do In Oahu: A Comprehensive Guide

Things to do in oahu vacation
Categorized as Oahu Vacation Information

From stunning beaches to cultural treasures, uncover the best activities and attractions in Oahu.

In Oahu, the spirit of adventure is at your fingertips. 

While visiting this island, you can explore its coffee farms and lose yourself in the aromatic trails of freshly brewed goodness. You can also embark on unforgettable hikes, immersing yourself in the mesmerizing beauty of the rainforests, and visit countless cultural attractions that offer a fascinating glimpse into the rich heritage of this vibrant island.

Remember, Oahu is not just a destination – it’s an invitation to embrace the laid-back Hawaiian way of life. However, there’s one problem. 

With so many options to choose from, deciding What to do in Oahu can be exhausting. Luckily, we are here to help you. Whether you seek adventure, cultural enrichment, or simply a place to unwind and soak up the sunshine, we have listed down some of the best things you can do in Oahu! 

Let’s explore the top things to do in Oahu

Waikiki Beach

When in Oahu, you want to head over to Waikiki Beach, a beautiful spot where you can relax on the golden sand and take a dip in the clear blue waters. It’s a popular beach with a lively atmosphere, offering opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and even trying out surfing lessons if you’re up for some fun in the waves.

Diamond Head State Monument Hike

If you’re up for a scenic hike, try checking out the Famous Diamond Head trail. This trail is going to take you to the top of a volcanic crater, offering amazing views of Honolulu and the coast. It’s not too difficult, but we would recommend you bring some water with you and wear comfortable shoes.

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

Nature lovers will appreciate Hanauma Bay, a protected marine area perfect for snorkeling. Put on your snorkel gear and explore the colorful coral reefs and tropical fish. Keep in mind that it’s closed on Mondays and Tuesdays to give the ecosystem a break, so plan your visit to this place accordingly.

North Shore Beaches

The North Shore is famous for its world-class surfing and beautiful beaches. Sunset Beach and Waimea Bay are two popular spots where you can watch surfers catch big waves in the winter or simply enjoy a relaxing day by the ocean. This place is amazing for nature lovers and sports enthusiasts. 

Lanikai Beach

Discover the picture-perfect Lanikai Beach, known for its soft sand and turquoise waters. It’s a great place to go for a swim or take a leisurely walk along the shore. If you’re feeling adventurous, rent a kayak and paddle out to the nearby Mokulua Islands for a unique island experience. But please check out the weather forecast and seek professional guidance if possible. 

Manoa Falls Trail

Take a stroll through the lush rainforest on the Manoa Falls Trail. It’s a peaceful and beautiful hike that leads you to a stunning waterfall surrounded by tropical greenery. Be prepared for some mud on the trail, so wear comfortable shoes you don’t mind getting dirty.

Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona Memorial

Pay a visit to Pearl Harbor, a historic site that commemorates the events of the 1941 attack. Here, you can explore the museums and exhibits to learn about the significance of this place. Visitors can also take a boat ride to the USS Arizona Memorial to honor the lives lost during the attack.

Polynesian Cultural Center

Looking for something cultural? Immerse yourself in the diverse cultures of the Pacific at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Visit the different villages representing various islands, enjoy traditional performances, and learn about the customs and traditions of Polynesia. 

Note: Don’t miss the luau feast and the entertaining evening show.

Dole Plantation 

Pineapple lovers will enjoy a visit to the Dole Plantation. While visiting this plantation, take a train ride to learn about the pineapple plantation, try some tasty pineapple treats, and don’t forget to take a stroll through the beautiful gardens. It’s a fun and delicious experience for the whole family.

Kualoa Ranch and Movie Set Tour

Explore the scenic beauty of Kualoa Ranch, where you can take a tour of the stunning valleys and mountains that have been featured in movies and TV shows. Hop on an ATV or go horseback riding to immerse yourself in the natural landscapes while feeling like you’re part of a Hollywood adventure.

Kailua Beach

Your trip is going to be incomplete if you don’t visit the serene Kailua Beach, a beautiful stretch of sand with crystal-clear waters. At this breathtaking beach, you can relax, swim in the calm ocean, or try your hand at windsurfing or kayaking. The tranquil atmosphere and picturesque scenery make it a hidden gem worth exploring.

Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail

Go on the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail, a scenic coastal hike that offers breathtaking views of the ocean and rugged cliffs. The trail is paved and relatively easy, making it accessible for most hikers. Make sure you keep an eye out for whales during the winter months as they migrate through the area.

Byodo-In Temple

At the Byodo-In Temple, you can expect a serene oasis. This place is a stunning replica of a 900-year-old Japanese Buddhist temple nestled in the Valley of the Temples. Try to explore the tranquil gardens, admire the architecture, and experience a sense of peace and tranquility as you stroll through the temple grounds.

Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design

Immerse yourself in art and culture at Shangri La, the former home of Doris Duke, an American philanthropist and art collector. This unique museum showcases Islamic art and architecture, with a focus on pieces from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. 

Waimea Valley

And finally, the Waimea Valley. Experience the natural beauty of this valley, a lush botanical garden and cultural site, where you can take a leisurely walk along the paved path, passing through a variety of tropical plants and flowers. At the end of the trail, you’ll find Waimea Falls, where you can take a refreshing dip in the pool beneath the waterfall.

These 15 activities offer a variety of experiences, allowing you to enjoy the beauty, culture, and outdoor adventures that Oahu has to offer. Have fun exploring the island and creating memories that will last a lifetime!