Top 10 Things To Do on the Island of Oahu
- Hike Diamond Head –The most famous volcanic crater in the world, Mt. Leahi, otherwise known as Diamond Head, is located on the edge of Waikiki. The 760-foot high summit offers beautiful panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the island of Oahu. The hike distance is 1.75- miles round trip, and as a former military outpost, gun batteries, bunkers, and a 99-step staircase can be found during the hike.
- Go Surfing – Hawaii is surf heaven. Ancient Hawaiian kings and queens used to call it “wave sliding.” Oahu has many beautiful white, sandy beaches with tranquil shores, and almost every beach is a perfect surf beach, especially when it comes to learning. So, if you don’t know how, this is the place to learn. The best beaches to surf? There are no waves in the world like the waves in the North Shore at Sunset Beach, Banzai Pipeline and Waimea Bay.
- Go to a Luau – If you’ve taken the time and effort to travel to Hawai’i, don’t skip the opportunity to view a traditional luau! You’ll love the drums and watching the locals dance. Give a Kalua Pig (slow-roasted pork that was traditionally cooked in an underground pit called an imu) a try. And don’t forget to add Laulau (Butterfish, pork, chicken or beef wrapped in luau leaves wrapped in ti leaves and cooked in the imu) to your plate. For dessert, your tastebuds will love Haupia (a dessert made with coconut milk and Jello pudding).
- Visit the North Shore – The East coast and the West coast of the island both offer beautiful views. If you’re driving from Waikiki, you’ll be amazed at how many times you’ll want to stop to take a photo no matter the coast! Windward Coast’s long lists of white sandy beaches will amaze you. Take some time to drive through the area and be sure to visit Turtle Bay Resort, Waimea Bay, Sunset Beach, and Banzai Pipeline.
- Buy a Fresh Flower Lei in Chinatown – Chinatown is a must-see colorful marketplace with beautiful lei stands, noodle and dim sum factories, markets, and quaint little restaurants. At night, Downtown Honolulu is a hotspot of clubs and dining if you’re looking for a fun night on the town.
- Hike Makapuu Point Lighthouse Trail– This easternmost point on Oahu is known for the island’s best body surfing areas. The 1,000 foot long stretch of beach lines the Makapuu shore and allows guests to enjoy the real beauty of Oahu. Be sure to hike to the top of the Makapuu sea cliff and enjoy whale watching during December through April.
- Visit Pearl Harbor – Pearl Harbor is located in the Ewa District of Oahu and is the largest natural harbor in Hawaii. It’s also the only naval base in the United States to be designated a National Historic Landmark. Pearl Harbor is where World War II began and ended. On Sunday, December 7, 1941, the Day of Infamy, had become well known in American history when the United States’ naval base at Pearl Harbor came under a surprise attack from the Japanese Navy. The visitors’ center and monuments are by far, one of Oahu’s most well-known landmarks. Spend the afternoon and visit the four main attractions: USS Arizona Memorial, USS Battleship Missouri Memorial, Pacific Aviation Museum and the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum.
- View the Peacocks and Waterfalls at Waimea Valley –Waimea Valley consists of roaming peacocks and 1,875 acres. It has been a sacred location for more than 700 years of Native Hawaiian history. Waimea means “The Valley of the Priests,” and today, visitors can enjoy cultural sites, activities, and a 150-acre botanical collection with over 5,000 kinds of tropical and subtropical plants. If you visit, make sure you view the stunning 45-foot Waihi Waterfall before you leave.
- Visit the Polynesian Cultural Center – Discover the charm and beauty of the seven recreated South Pacific Islands at the Polynesian Cultural Center. There are 42 acres of bliss at this location so plan on spending some good quality time here. Guests are welcome to enjoy a canoe ride on the freshwater lagoon that flows through villages of Fiji, Hawai‘i, New Zealand, Marquesas, Samoa, Tahiti, and Tonga. You’ll have the opportunity to learn the different cultures making up Polynesia and even get to enjoy a traditional evening luau filled with Hawaiian food and Polynesian dance.
- Visit Kualoa Private Nature Reserve. Kaaawa Valley offers impressive ocean and valley views not to mention movie site tours, zip line adventures, canoe excursions, four-wheel excursions, and horseback riding.
There you have it, ten of my favorite things to do and see while visiting Oahu. There are so many beautiful hikes, beaches, and excursions to enjoy, it truly is hard to limit the list to just ten items! Do you have a favorite place to visit in Oahu? Please leave your comment below. I’d love to hear how you enjoy the beautiful island.