Oahu Hawaii, also known as “The Gathering Place,” is the third largest Hawaiian island and home to over 75% of the state’s population. Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii, is located on Oahu’s southeastern coast. The island is renowned for its beautiful beaches, dramatic cliffs, lush rainforests, and active volcanoes.
There are countless things to do in Oahu, from soaking up the sun on one of the many sandy beaches to hiking through verdant rainforests to exploring the island’s vibrant cultural scene. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an action-packed adventure, Oahu has something for everyone.
Here are just a few of the many things you can do in Oahu:
Visit world-famous Waikiki Beach: Waikiki Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the world and it’s easy to see why. With its sparkling white sand and turquoise waters, Waikiki is a true paradise. Take a surf lesson, build a sandcastle, or simply relax on a beach chair and soak up the incredible views.
Hike to Diamond Head State Monument: Diamond Head State Monument is one of Oahu’s most popular attractions. The hike to the summit takes about an hour and offers stunning views of Honolulu and Waikiki Beach. Don’t forget your camera!
Explore Pearl Harbor: Pearl Harbor is one of the most significant historical sites in Hawaii. Visit the USS
Hike The Trails
Oahu’s diverse landscape provides the perfect backdrop for a hike. There are hikes of varying difficulty levels, so there is something for everyone. And what better way to experience Hawaii’s natural beauty than by getting out on one of the many trails?
Whether you want to hike to a waterfall or take in sweeping ocean views, here are some of the best trails to explore on Oahu:
1. Diamond Head State Monument – This 0.8-mile round trip hike is popular for a reason. The trail takes you to the top of Diamond Head crater, providing stunning views of Honolulu and Waikiki Beach.
2. Manoa Falls Trail – This 1.6-mile round trip hike takes you through a rainforest to Manoa Falls, a 150-foot tall waterfall. The trail can be muddy, so wear appropriate shoes.
3. Lanikai Pillbox Hike – This 2-mile round trip hike takes you to two WWII pillboxes with sweeping views of Lanikai Beach and the Mokulua Islands. The trail can be steep in places, but it is worth it for the views!
4. Makapu‘u Lighthouse Trail – This 2.5-mile round trip hike takes you along the coast with incredible views of the windward side of Oahu, including Rabbit Island and Kailua Beach Park. The trail ends at Makapu‘u Lighthouse
Visit The Pillboxes
If you’re looking for a unique way to experience Oahu, then you should definitely consider visiting the pillboxes. The pillboxes are remnants of World War II that dot the island’s landscape. They offer stunning views of the ocean and the surrounding jungle, and they’re a great way to learn about Oahu’s history.
There are dozens of different pillboxes to explore on Oahu, and each one has its own story. Many of the pillboxes are accessible by hiking trails, so you can explore them at your own pace. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even camp overnight in some of the pillboxes!
Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a unique adventure, visiting the pillboxes is definitely something to add to your list of things to do in Oahu.
See The Waterfalls
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Oahu is the Manoa Falls. The falls are located in the Manoa Valley and can be reached by hiking a short trail. The falls are 150 feet tall and offer a stunning view of the surrounding area.
Another popular waterfall in Oahu is the Nu’uanu Pali lookout. The lookout is located on the Pali Highway and offers breathtaking views of the Windward Coast. The lookout is also a great place to watch the sunrise or sunset.
If you’re looking for an easy hike with a beautiful payoff, look no further than Waimanalo Beach Park. This park is home to Waimanalo Beach, one of the best beaches on Oahu, as well as the Waimanalo Bay Recreational Area. From here, you can take in stunning views of Moku o Loe (Coconut Island) and the Koolau Range.
Climb The Stairway To Heaven
If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience while in Oahu, Hawaii, be sure to climb the Stairway to Heaven. This stairway is not for the faint of heart – it’s a 3,922 step journey to the top of Haiku Stairs, also known as the “Stairway to Heaven.” The stairway was built in 1942 by the U.S. Navy as a way to access a radio station at the top of the mountain. Today, the stairway is closed to the public, but that doesn’t stop thrill-seekers from making the illegal trek to the top.
The views from the top are said to be incredible, and definitely worth the climb (even though it is quite challenging). If you decide to make the trek, be sure to wear proper shoes and bring plenty of water. And don’t forget your camera – you’ll want to capture this once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Climb A Volcano Crater
Climbing a volcano crater is one of the most popular tourist activities in Hawaii. The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to two of the world’s most active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa. Climbing to the top of either volcano is an experience you will never forget.
The best time to climb a volcano crater is early in the morning or late in the evening when the temperature is cooler. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes and bring plenty of water. The hike can be strenuous, but the views from the top are well worth it.
Visit The North Shore
The North Shore of Oahu is a must-see for any visitor to the island. This stretch of coastline is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Hawaii, as well as a number of popular surf spots. Visitors can enjoy activities like swimming, sunbathing, surfing, and hiking in this scenic part of the island.
Relax On The Beaches
When it comes to finding things to do in Oahu, there’s no shortage of options. However, if you’re looking to relax and recharge, there’s nothing quite like a day spent lounging on one of the island’s many pristine beaches.
Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to catch some rays or a place to paddleboard and people watch, Oahu has a beach for everyone. Here are just a few of our favorites:
Waikiki Beach: One of the most popular beaches on the island, Waikiki is perfect for those who want to be in the heart of the action. This bustling beach is lined with hotels, restaurants, and shops, making it easy to spend an entire day here without ever getting bored.
Lanikai Beach: Looking for something a little more low-key? Lanikai Beach is a small but beautiful cove located on the windward side of Oahu. With its turquoise waters and powdery sand, it’s no wonder this spot is often referred to as paradise.
Kailua Beach Park: If you’re hoping to get away from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki but still want access to amenities like restrooms and showers, Kailua Beach Park is ideal. This family-friendly beach also features a playground and picnic tables, making it perfect for a day spent outdoors with loved ones.
Stroll A Botanical Garden
Oahu is home to several botanical gardens, each with their own unique offerings. For a truly tropical experience, head to the Foster Botanical Garden, which features native Hawaiian plants as well as an impressive collection of palms. The Lyon Arboretum is another great option, and boasts one of the largest collections of native Hawaiian plants in the world. If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, check out the Liliuokalani Botanical Garden, which offers tranquil koi ponds and beautiful gardens.
Try Shave Ice
Although it’s not unique to Oahu Hawaii, shave ice is definitely a must-try while you’re in the islands. This refreshing treat is made by shaving a block of ice into fine flakes and then topping it with sweet syrup. You can find shave ice all over Oahu, but one of the most popular spots is Matsumoto Shave Ice in Haleiwa.
See The Lighthouses
Some of the most iconic structures in Oahu Hawaii are its lighthouses. There are several to choose from, each with its own unique history and personality. Here are some of the most popular lighthouses on Oahu:
1. Makapuu Lighthouse: Located on the southeastern tip of Oahu, this lighthouse offers stunning views of the nearby coastline. It’s also a popular spot for whale watching during the winter months.
2. Diamond Head Lighthouse: One of the most recognizable landmarks on Oahu, this lighthouse is situated atop Diamond Head crater. It’s open to the public for tours, and offers sweeping views of Waikiki Beach and Honolulu city below.
3. Kaena Point Lighthouse: Situated on the northwestern tip of Oahu, this remote lighthouse is only accessible by hiking or ATV. The reward for your effort is incredible views of Oahu’s wild north shore and wildlife such as spinner dolphins and Hawaiian monk seals.
See The Wildlife
If you’re looking to get up close and personal with some of Oahu Hawaii amazing wildlife, there are plenty of ways to do so on the island of Oahu Hawaii. Here are just a few ideas:
– Take a whale watching tour: Oahu is one of the best places in Oahu Hawaii to see humpback whales, which can be seen breaching and swimming offshore from December to April. There are several boat tour operators that offer whale watching tours, so you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for you.
– Visit the Honolulu Zoo: The Honolulu Zoo is home to over 700 animals, including lions, tigers, monkeys, and reptiles. You can even feed some of the animals! The zoo also offers educational programs and tours led by knowledgeable guides.
– Go birdwatching: With over 200 species of birds, Oahu is a birder’s paradise. head to Nu’uanu Pali State Park or Pearl Harbor National Wildlife Refuge for some great birdwatching opportunities.
Take A Scenic Drive
One of the best ways to see Oahu is by car. There are many scenic drives that offer breathtaking views of the island. The H-3 freeway takes you through the lush rainforest of the Koolau Mountains. This is a great drive for those who want to see some of the island’s natural beauty.
The Pali Highway is another popular scenic drive. This road takes you through Windward Oahu, where you can see some of the most beautiful coastline on the island. This is a great drive for those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Honolulu and experience some of the more tranquil parts of Oahu.
The Nuuanu Pali Lookout is a must-see for any visitor to Oahu. This lookout offers spectacular views of both downtown Honolulu and the windward side of the island. If you’re looking for a place to get away from it all and experience some truly stunning scenery, this is the place for you.
Tour The Film Sites
If you’re a fan of the show “Lost,” then you’ll want to check out some of the filming locations used on the island of Oahu. Many of the exterior shots for the show were filmed on location, so you can really get a feel for what it would be like to be one of the characters on the show.
Some of the most popular filming locations include:
-The Diamond Head crater
-The Honolulu Zoo
-Kailua Beach Park
-Nuuanu Pali Lookout
-Pali Viewpoint Park
Visit The Dole Plantation
The Dole Plantation is one of the most popular tourist destinations on Oahu. More than one million people visit the plantation each year. The plantation offers a variety of activities for visitors, including a pineapples
The Dole Plantation is one of the most popular tourist destinations on Oahu. More than one million people visit the plantation each year. The plantation offers a variety of activities for visitors, including a pineapple maze, train ride, and gift shop. Visitors can also learn about the history of the plantation and see how pineapples are grown.
See The Rainbows
Oahu is one of the best places in the world to see rainbows. With its lush vegetation and spectacular scenery, the island is a natural backdrop for these colorful displays of light.
There are many ways to see rainbows on Oahu. One of the most popular is to take a helicopter tour. These tours offer breathtaking views of the island and its many rainbows. Other popular activities include hiking, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding.
No matter how you choose to see them, rainbows are one of the most beautiful things to experience on Oahu. So make sure to add them to your list of things to do while you’re on the island Oahu Hawaii!