34 Best Things To Do In Oahu Hawaii

The 34 best things to do in Oahu, prepare to be whisked away on a virtual journey through lush rainforests, turquoise waters teeming with marine life, and awe-inspiring volcanic landscapes. So sit back, grab a refreshing mai tai (or pineapple juice if you prefer), and let us guide you through an unforgettable adventure on this mesmerizing island.

Get ready to discover hidden gems, unique experiences, and free attractions that will leave you yearning for more of Oahu’s enchanting allure.

Oahu, Hawaii, has different areas to explore. The southern shore has the city of Honolulu, with shopping, dining, and entertainment. Moving east, there’s the lush Windward Coast, known for natural beauty and outdoor activities.

On the west side is the relaxed town of Waianae, with beautiful sunsets and a calm atmosphere. The North Shore is famous for surfing and charming beach towns. Each area has its attractions, making Oahu an excellent place for travelers looking for diverse experiences in one location.

One popular option is exploring the stunning beaches on the island, such as Waikiki Beach, Chinamans Island and Lanikai Beach, where you can swim, snorkel, or simply relax in the sun. Another must-do activity is hiking to the top of Diamond Head Crater for panoramic views of the island and surrounding ocean.

Hiking on the trails of Oahu, Hawaii, is an exciting experience. It lets you explore the island’s natural beauty, including rainforests, waterfalls, and ocean views. One popular trail is the Diamond Head Crater Trail, which offers excellent views of Waikiki and the surrounding area.

Another challenging trail is the Kuliouou Ridge Trail, which takes you through forests and along the coast. These trails also lead to ancient Hawaiian sites, giving you a glimpse into the island’s history and culture.

Visit The Pillboxes

The Pillboxes place must in Oahu, Hawaii old military bunkers offer amazing views of the island and a peek into its fascinating past. Climbing up to the pillboxes is exciting and rewarding, especially for people who enjoy outdoor activities.

At the top, visitors can see stunning views of Oahu’s coastline, valleys, and sunsets, making it an excellent spot for nature lovers and photographers. Exploring these remnants of World War II offers a unique mix of history and natural beauty that makes it different from other tourist attractions on the island.

See The Waterfalls

Waterfall, like Manoa Falls and Waimea Falls, offers a unique experience. For a more secluded adventure, you can also find hidden gems like Lulumahu Falls and Maunawili Falls. Oahu’s waterfalls are beautiful and hold cultural significance in Hawaiian mythology.

They have been sources of sustenance and spiritual rejuvenation for centuries. You can get an adrenaline rush from cliff jumping into a waterfall pool or enjoy the fantastic view of Oahu’s waterfalls.

Things To Do In Oahu Hawaii

Climb The Stairway To Heaven

The Stairway to Heaven hike must do in Oahu, Hawaii, is an exciting and challenging adventure with amazing views. The historic Haiku Stairs has over 3,900 steps leading to the top of the Ko’olau mountain range. Hikers can enjoy stunning island views as they climb through green valleys and clouds. It’s essential to know that access to the Haiku Stairs is restricted due to safety and trespassing concerns.

Climb A Volcano Crater

Standing at the edge of the crater is humbling and rewarding. Walking through the rocky paths and plants around the volcano lets you think and feel connected to nature. The unusual rocks and plants create a surreal setting that makes you curious and respectful of Oahu’s environment. Climbing a volcano on Oahu will give you unforgettable memories and help you understand why it’s one of the best Oahu Hawaii things to do.

Visit The North Shore

Visit the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, the coastline is famous for its great surf spots, offering an exciting experience for surfers and beach lovers. You can watch professional surfers at Banzai Pipeline or relax on the sandy beaches to enjoy stunning sunsets. If you want more adventure, explore the charming town of Haleiwa, with its local shops and art galleries. Try delicious Hawaiian food at food trucks serving fresh shrimp plates and traditional poke bowls.

Relax On The Beaches

Oahu, Hawaii, Island has a variety of beach experiences, from the busy Waikiki shores with water sports and nightlife to the quiet coves on the North Shore for sunbathing and relaxation. For a complete beach experience, consider exploring Oahu’s less-visited coastal spots. Makeup’u Beach has fantastic views of tall cliffs and clear blue waters, while Lanikai Beach has soft white sand and gentle waves. Whether you’re alone or with family, Oahu’s beaches are great for all beach lovers.

Things To Do In Oahu Hawaii

Stroll A Botanical Garden

Walking through a botanical garden must do in Oahu, Hawaii, is a delightful experience that shows the island’s many plants. From rainforest plants to delicate orchids, the botanical gardens of Oahu give a great look at the island’s rich variety of plants. The guided tours and signs teach visitors about Hawaiian culture, history, and how native plants are used. Many botanical gardens in Oahu work to protect endangered species and local ecosystems.

Try Shave Ice

Shaved ice is a must-try in Oahu, Hawaii. It has a smooth texture and comes in many flavors, like mango, pineapple, and passion fruit. It’s unique because of its taste and cultural importance in Hawaii. Japanese immigrants brought it, and it has become a favorite local treat, showing the diverse food influences in Hawaii. Eating shaved ice lets tourists experience the island’s history and community.

See The Lighthouses

Here are the six best lighthouses Oahu must do, Hawaii. See the Diamond Head Lighthouse, which stands at the edge of a volcanic crater and has excellent views of the Pacific Ocean. First, go to Makapuu Point Lighthouse for pretty views of the coast and great whale watching in the winter. For a history trip, visit Barber’s Point Lighthouse, one of Oahu’s oldest lighthouses that guided ships between Hawaii and Asia. Further west is Kaena Point Lighthouse, in a rugged area, perfect for hikers who love nature.

Things To Do In Oahu Hawaii

See The Wildlife

When you visit Oahu, be sure to prioritize seeing the wildlife. You can see humpback whales jumping out of the water and spinner dolphins playing in the waves. The island has a lot of different and fascinating wildlife. You can go on a guided tour to explore the rainforests and see colorful birds like the Hawaiian honeycreepers. You can also look for green sea turtles resting on the beach.

Take A Scenic Drive

One of the best drives on Oahu is along the Kamehameha Highway on the North Shore. Going up Tantalus Drive into the mountains gives a comprehensive view of Honolulu and the surrounding areas. They let visitors connect with nature and enjoy Oahu’s natural beauty. A scenic drive Oahu must do gives a unique view and encourages travelers to find peace in the beautiful surroundings.

Tour The Film Sites

Touring the film sites Oahu must do, Hawaii, lets you enter the worlds of your favorite movies and TV shows. You can see where scenes from Jurassic Park, Lost, and Hawaii Five-0 were filmed. Exploring these locations gives you a closer look at how Hollywood movies and shows are made. By visiting these filming spots, you can better understand their importance in storytelling on screen.

oahu map

Visit The Dole Plantation

Visiting the Dole Plantation is a must-do activity when exploring Oahu, Hawaii. Embark on a journey through the history and evolution of Hawaii’s pineapple industry as you wander through the lush fields and learn about the cultivation, harvesting, and processing of this beloved tropical fruit.

The Dole Plantation has a lot of fun things to do oahu. You can take a train ride to see the beautiful views or eat yummy pineapple treats at the snack bar. Whether you love plants or want a fun day out, The Dole Plantation offers an educational and immersive experience.

See The Rainbows

The sunlight and rain create perfect conditions for vibrant rainbows. The rainbows remind us of the island’s pretty views and make us feel wonder. Finding these enchanting rainbows can be an adventure, as they often appear unexpectedly in different parts of the island. Oahu offers many chances to see these colorful miracles, from Waikiki Beach to the Pali Lookout. Seeing a rainbow against the backdrop of mountains or turquoise waters is an unforgettable experience.

Go Island Hopping

You can explore Waikiki’s lively shores and Lanikai Beach’s calm waters. Each island has its charm. For example, you can see Kauai’s dramatic cliffs one day and Maui’s lush rainforests the next. This variety makes island hopping in Hawaii appealing. Whether snorkeling with sea turtles on the Big Island or visiting historical sites on Molokai, there’s always something exciting to do in this Pacific paradise.

See The Landmarks

From Diamond Head Crater to Pearl Harbor, many fascinating sites exist. Travelers can also find hidden gems like the Kukaniloko Birthstones and Hokulea, a traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe. Oahu’s diverse landmarks offer insight into the island’s past and present, blending indigenous traditions, colonial influences, and modern developments.

Visit Pearl Harbor Memorial

When you stand on the decks of the USS Arizona Memorial, you can’t help but feel the gravity of what happened on December 7, 1941. The memorial reminds us of the sacrifices made by those who lost their lives during the attack and gives us a chance to reflect and remember. 

Visitors to Pearl Harbor can also visit the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, where they can go inside a real WWII-era submarine. The Pacific Aviation Museum has a large collection of military aircraft and artifacts from aviation history.

See A Temple

Visiting the Byodo-In Temple at the base of the Ko’olau Mountains is a captivating experience. The peaceful atmosphere and beautiful architecture create a special feeling. The temples show ancient traditions and customs, giving a glimpse into the past. Watching worshipers adds depth to the experience, letting you see religious practices up close. This helps you understand and appreciate the local culture.

jurassic park oahu

Go Snorkeling

You’ll see lots of marine life, like colorful fish, sea turtles, and coral reefs. The colors and textures under the water are unique and give you an immersive experience. Snorkeling in Oahu lets you escape everyday life and be in nature. The ocean currents and the sound of your breathing create a peaceful atmosphere. If you’ve snorkeled before or not, Oahu has many beautiful places for this activity, making it a must-do when visiting this stunning island.

Take A Helicopter Tour

A helicopter tour lets you reach remote areas that are hard to reach. It gives you a new way to see things and makes sightseeing more exciting. Whether you’re new to Oahu or have been before, seeing the island from a helicopter gives you a new view that will amaze you. The pilots will tell you interesting things about the island while you enjoy an exciting ride.

Go Whale Watching

Whale watching in Oahu is a fantastic experience. From December to April, humpback whales come to Hawaii to breed and give birth. Watching these vast animals play and jump out of the water is incredible. Boat tours offer a chance to get close to the whales. Guides on the tours teach about whale behavior and biology, making the trip fun things to do on oahu.

Take A Gyroplane Flight

Gyroplane flights can fly over famous places like Pearl Harbor and Waikiki Beach, appreciating Oahu’s natural beauty and feeling an adrenaline rush. With skilled pilots, you can trust in safety and expertise for this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. If you seek excitement or want to see Oahu from above, a gyroplane flight will be an unforgettable highlight of your time on the island.

Try Watersports

In Oahu, trying different watersports can help you connect with locals who have been part of the beach culture for generations. Skilled instructors are passionate about sharing knowledge and creating a fun learning atmosphere. While enjoying the waves or serene lagoons, you might see sea turtles and dolphins, making the watersports even more memorable.

Skydive In Paradise

Flying over Hawaii’s beautiful coastline, with clear blue waters below and green mountains in the distance. The fantastic views match the thrill of jumping from the plane. What makes skydiving in Paradise unique is the mix of natural beauty and exciting adventure. 

As you fall through the air, you’ll be amazed by Oahu’s landscape, giving you a unique perspective on this island paradise. Whether it’s your first time or experience, there’s no better place to skydive than over Oahu’s incredible scenery.

Swim With Sharks

Despite sounding scary, sharks are not just killers but important predators for the ocean’s balance. Being in their world helps you respect and appreciate them more. Seeing their power and beauty in their natural home is a memorable chance.

These tours teach you about shark behavior, biology, and conservation. Being in the clear water with these fantastic creatures is impressive. Whether you’re a skilled diver or trying snorkeling for the first time, this experience helps you see marine life differently and learn more about the ocean’s different ecosystems

Go Cliff Jumping

Cliff jumping is more than just fun; it’s a chance to overcome fears, push limits, and have life-changing experiences. The feeling of success after jumping off a high cliff is unmatched. Being in the beautiful surroundings of Oahu’s coastline while doing this creates lasting memories. If you want adventure and an unforgettable Oahu experience, jump on a cliff at one of these fantastic spots.

Visit Tropical Farms

You’ll see palm trees and colorful flowers when you arrive, creating a relaxing atmosphere. The farm offers an authentic Hawaiian experience, with activities like trying macadamia nuts, learning about sustainable farming, and feeding ducks and geese. Walking around the farm lets you enjoy nature and beautiful views.

Watch The Sunrise & Sunset

Watching the sunrise in Oahu lets you enjoy nature and find peace away from everyday stress. It lets you stop, think, and enjoy the beautiful view, reminding us to start each day with thankfulness and hope. People from all over the world visit this beautiful island to see the perfect sunset.

Whether from Waikiki Beach or one of Oahu’s mountains, the sunset is lovely. Watching a sunset brings people together – strangers become friends as they share this experience, connected by their love for nature’s beautiful end to the day.

Visit The Museums

Visiting the museums in Oahu is a great way to learn about the island’s history and culture. The Bishop Museum has an extensive collection of Polynesian artifacts and interactive exhibits that teach about Hawaii’s indigenous heritage. The Pearl Harbor National Memorial honors the events of December 7th, 1941, with galleries and memorials for those who died in the hike and attack.

Eat Poké Bowls

Hawaiian Pok bowls consist of a base of rice or greens topped with marinated fish, vegetables, and flavorful sauces. Both health-conscious individuals and food enthusiasts enjoy Pok bowls. They are a must-try when visiting Oahu, as they perfectly represent Hawaiian cuisine. Finding a local restaurant or food truck serving authentic Pok bowls in Waikiki or the North Shore is a must-do.

Oahu’s malls are more than lively social centers where you can experience local culture while shopping. The malls blend traditional Hawaiian elements with modern amenities. Whether you want designer labels or local souvenirs, Oahu’s malls offer a diverse shopping experience that reflects the island’s welcoming atmosphere. They offer great shopping and are interesting cultural destinations that you shouldn’t miss during your stay on this enchanting island.

fun things to do on oahu

Shop For Souvenirs

When shopping for souvenirs in Oahu, look for souvenirs made from eco-friendly materials to show appreciation for Oahu’s natural beauty and reduce environmental impact. Souvenir shopping in Oahu is more than just buying things; it’s a chance to learn about the island’s history and connect with its people. Each souvenir you buy, whether a vintage Aloha shirt or hand-carved koa wood jewelry, will remind you of your time on this beautiful island.

See The Rest Of Hawaii

The Buddhist temple is peaceful and has beautiful architecture. For nature lovers, the Diamond Head State Monument is a must-see. The hike to the top is challenging, but the views of Oahu’s coastline are worth it. Also, a walk through Honolulu’s Chinatown is a chance to try different foods, shop at unique stores, and see colorful street art.

For those interested in history and culture, visiting Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial is a must-see experience. The Polynesian Cultural Center is also famous, offering insights into Hawaiian and other Pacific Island cultures.

Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate hiking opportunities at Diamond Head Crater and Manoa Falls and snorkeling at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. The North Shore of Oahu is known for its big wave surfing and laid-back atmosphere, making it a great place to explore local shops and food trucks.

One great place to visit on Oahu is the Byodo-In Temple in the Valley of the Temples. For nature lovers, the Diamond Head State Monument is a must-see. The hike to the top is challenging, but the views of Oahu’s coastline are worth it. Also, a walk through Honolulu’s Chinatown is a chance to try different foods, shop at unique stores, and see colorful street art.

When visiting Oahu, Hawaii, there are a variety of hotels to choose from that cater to different preferences and budgets. From luxurious beachfront resorts in Waikiki to cozy boutique hotels in the North Shore, there is something for everyone. Many hotels offer stunning ocean views, delicious dining options, and convenient access to popular attractions and activities.

The best fun things to do in Oahu, Hawaii, offers abundant activities for every type of traveler. You can enjoy beautiful beaches, go on exciting hikes, experience the local culture, and try delicious food. Whether you want to relax, have an adventure, or do both, Oahu has it all. It’s a unique place with lots to see and do, making it a top destination in Hawaii. So, get ready to pack your bags and discover all that Oahu has to offer!

Are There Any Cultural Experiences To Explore In Oahu?

Yes, visitors can explore cultural experiences such as visiting the Polynesian Cultural Center, attending a luau, and exploring historic sites like Pearl Harbor.

Are There Any Must-See Historical Sites In Oahu?

Yes, Oahu is home to several must-see historical sites that offer a glimpse into the island’s rich past. One such site is Pearl Harbor, where visitors can explore the USS Arizona Memorial and learn about the events of December 7, 1941. This powerful and somber experience provides a deep understanding of the impact of World War II on Hawaii and the United States.

Ayesha Gul

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