35 Things to do in Oahu (Hawaii)

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Oahu is the most populated island in the Hawaii archipelago, although it is not the largest. In this island are many of the main attractions of the last constituted state of the country. Although you quickly connect with Honolulu, you will see that you will have many more things to do on Oahu apart from discovering your main city. Apart from recommending 35 activities or things to see and do in Oahu, we leave you a post with the 7 best beaches on the island to enjoy a true paradise.


35 Things to do in Oahu, Hawaii


1. Feeling in paradise at Lanikai Beach

Lanikai Beach, Best Beaches to Stay in Hawaii

It is unforgivable to leave Hawaii without having discovered this paradise beach. For us, bathe in its crystalline waters with its spectacular scenery in the background, was something incredible. It is considered the best beach in the United States and one of the most beautiful in the world. Also, the best thing about it is that it is not overcrowded like Waikiki. No doubt, visiting is a must do on Oahu.



2. Rent a kayak and sail through its waters


If you want a bit more fun, renting a kayak is another incentive when you visit. Unlike the North Shore beaches, this beach has fairly calm waters so you can go canoeing quietly. There are many companies around the beach that offer their services. It is best to rent it online as they make a discount. To give you an idea, the price per day is around $ 60.



3. Make the Lanikai Pillboxes Trail


If you like to hike you can not miss this hiker route. From the top you will have spectacular views of Kailua, the beachside population, and the entire east coast of the island. Of course, you must be in shape because it goes up quite a bit. The road is dirt and there are no fountains, so it is imperative to carry water.



4. Spend a day in Kailua Beach Park


Finally, to make the most of the eastern part of the island, you have to spend a day in Kailua Beach Park. Kailua is a nice town, but the best is its beach. Located right next to Lanikai Beach, you will have free and easy parking, BBQ grills ... Definitely spending about 10 hours there is something highly recommended to do on Oahu.



5. Quoting from history in Pearl Harbor


Obviously you can not leave the island without having visited the attraction that makes it more famous. In December 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor to weaken the United States and conquer the entire Pacific. This treacherous attack on the United States' most important military base in the Pacific triggered the country's entry into World War II. If you want to know more about that fateful day, this article is very interesting.



6. Visit the USS Arizona Memorial

USS Arizona Memorial in Oahu

Another major thing to see on Oahu, and within Pearl Harbor, is the USS Arizona Memorial. It is an old ship that was sunk after the attack of the Japanese. Today you can visit, as they have made a memorial above to remember all the people who lost their lives there. Parts of the boat can still be seen. Admission is free but limited, so we advise you to go soon.



7. Another thing to do on Oahu is to go up to Diamond Head


It is the most famous volcanic cone of the island. It was created approximately 200,000 years ago by several eruptions of the volcano Ko'olau. Today it can be visited as it is considered a state monument. You can climb to the top, from which you have spectacular views of Honolulu and Waikiki Beach. It is important to note that they close at 18:00. As a curiosity, the name was put by British sailors during the nineteenth century, which confused their crystals of calcite embedded in the rock with diamonds.



8. Test the Kalbi Ribs


Most of the dishes of Hawaiian cuisine are composed of meat. So those who are carnivores, you will enjoy a lot, especially with this dish: pork ribs cooked with soy sauce and sesame. A simply spectacular exotic dish.



9. Snorkeling in Hanauma Bay


As we have seen earlier as the Diamond Head, this bay is also an extinct volcanic crater. In this case, Hanauma Bay is famous for the variety of marine species that can be observed in its waters. That is why it is imperative to wear snorkel goggles to hallucinate.



10. Suffering to reach the top of the Koko Crater Trail

things to do hawaii oahu

As you can see Hawaii is an island of volcanoes, although many inactive, such as the Koko. It is located a few steps from Hanauma Bay and you can climb to the top, from which you have fantastic views of the island. Of course, the climb is not suitable for everyone: you will have to climb over 1000 steep steps, in poor condition, to reach the top. If you like sports, it's something you have to do on Oahu without hesitation. Keep in mind that it is more complicated to download it than upload it!



11. Feeling weird about wanting to open the umbrella when it rains


In Hawaii the weather is good for most of the year. However, small amounts of rain are not saved. On Oahu it is very common that every day it rains a little so that the Hawaiians are already accustomed and not even under the storm they carry umbrellas. If you see someone with one, it is a tourist!



12. Appreciate the beauty of the Manoa Falls


These waterfalls are another major attractions to see on Oahu. They are located north of Honolulu. To get to appreciate its waterfall of 61m, you will have to make a walking tour of about 5km (round trip). However, unlike other tours, the tour is more bearable and easy.



13. Meet Waikiki Beach

waikiki best beaches for families in oahu

Who does not know this beach? Waikiki Beach best families beaches in oahu is considered one of the most famous beaches in the world. We consider it has more name than beauty because on the island there are much quieter and beautiful beaches. Even if, knowing it is not too much.



14. Renting a water bike


One of the funniest plans for when you are in Waikiki is renting a gigantic water bike. Although they spend a little with the price, it is very fun to go pedaling along its waters. If you are looking for something original to do in Oahu do not think about it.



15. Appreciate the luxury in and around Waikiki


Waikiki is the most touristic place in Hawaii, so there are luxury resorts and shops everywhere. Although buying something is almost prohibitive, it is very interesting to know how the tourist impact has affected the island and its culture.



16. Shopping at Ala Moana Shopping Center


If you really want to buy, you have to visit this mall, the largest in Hawaii. There you will find shops for all budgets. Also, behind the Forum Shop at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, it is the one that has the most benefit from the United States. Spending an afternoon there is another recommended activity to do on Oahu.



17. Buy a flower in the hair and the typical Hawaiian necklace


If you want to feel like authentic Hawaiians, do not hesitate. You will find them everywhere: from the souvenir shops to the city's markets. They are also an excellent memory to take home.



18. Getting to know Downtown Honolulu


After so much nature and beach, it is also good to know the financial part of the island. All is concentrated in Downtown Honolulu, where the headquarters of the most important companies are located. Although it is quite small compared to the other cities, it is not bad to know this facet of the island.



19. Visit the Honolulu Museum of Art


With over 50,000 works of art, it is the largest museum in the state. There you can discover authentic treasures of international artists such as Gaugin, Monet or Van Gogh, and also delight in Hawaiian art. In addition, the building itself is already considered a great work of art. Located in downtown Honolulu, it is a highly recommended visit to do on Oahu.



20. Honoring Victims in the Pacific Cemetery

Pacific Cemetery in oahu

It is quite strange that a cemetery is one of the main attractions of the island, but World War II left an indelible mark. Tourists, especially Americans, are the main visitors to this national monument that honors all those who lost their lives serving the United States Armed Forces. Impress.



21. Delight in the Iolani Palace


It was the former residence of the monarch Kalākaua and the queen Lili'uokalani. Its architecture is beautiful and unusual in the rest of the world. This unique style is called Florentine American. For the Hawaiian natives, the Iolani Palace means royal heritage of Hawaii and is a symbol of the restoration of independence and sovereignty of the state.



22. Challenging legality in the Haiku Stairs

Haiku Stairs in oahu hawaii

Surely you have seen photographs of these stairs in Instagram or in some social network. It is important to know that it is forbidden to upload them, as a private property is invaded. We did not do it because we did not consider it ethical. However, there are many tourists who consider it as a unique and obligatory activity to do on Oahu. If you want to do it, you have to try it at dawn since the guard is probably sleeping.

It is also important to know that the game can end up being faced by many factors: the fines, which are frequent, are very high and the stairs are not in good condition and are often slippery, so that a number of people have already lost their lives by raising them . It is not an excursion either, you have to be very prepared for all kinds of conditions.



23. Climb Deadmen's Catwalk


This is another popular hiker route from which you have incredible views of the coast. It is located near Hanauma Bay, but like the previous one, doing it is illegal because a private property is transferred. However, those who have done so say that the road is spectacular and much simpler than most routes on the island.



24. Discover the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail

Makapuu Lighthouse

Unlike the previous two, this one is legal. The path, with incredible views of the entire coast, takes you to Makapuu Point, where there is an ancient lighthouse. There you will be at the most east point of the island. The road is very easy and suitable for all audiences. Great to seek the tranquility of sunset.



25. Interact with animals at Sealife Park


If you want to have unforgettable experiences like swimming with dolphins or sharks, you can not miss it. However, everything has its price, and is not too economical. Entry to the compound costs $ 39.99, and experiences like swimming with dolphins or seeing sharks from a cage are a bit more expensive. Even so, we recommend you.



26. Go North Shore, Surfers Paradise


The waters of the North Shore are very different from the rest of the island, which are characterized by being quite calm. There the surfing community meets to enjoy the waves of the beaches. If you like surfing, do not hesitate!



27. Cultivate at the Polynesian Cultural Center

Polynesian Cultural Center in oahu hawaii

Visiting this theme park is excellent to know about the Polynesian culture, and in turn enjoy shows, try typical foods, learn their dances ... Although the entrance is quite expensive (everything depends on the package you choose), it is very worthwhile. Our advice is to book online since you will have a 10% discount.



28. Enjoy Waimea Bay


This bay, located on Oahu's North Shore is one of the island's top beach destinations. In winter there are many waves, but in summer, it usually has clear and calm water, perfect for enjoying the holidays. As curiosity, in the famous song of the Beach Boys, "Surfing U.S.A" is mentioned this beach. Let's see if you recognize her! In addition, for those who like the good series, several scenes of Lost were recorded in this area. Specifically, the plane crashed at the beginning of the series.



29. Learn to dance hula


The hula is the most famous dance in Hawaii. It was established by the Polynesians, the first to settle on the islands. There are several types, but you will see that trying to learn some of his steps dressed in the typical costumes is an incredible experience.



30. Ko'olina Lagoons

best Lagoons in oahu

There are four picturesque lagoons formed by the man's hand to provide a beautiful beach and a safe area for children. Its semicircular shape and stone walls create a protective barrier between the open sea and also creates a beautiful diving area. It is also a perfect place to go on a picnic: the surrounding lawn is very well kept. The lagoons are located in the southwest of Oahu just west of Kapolei.



31. Byodo-In Temple


It is a beautiful temple located in the middle of a cemetery, in Kaneohe, east of Oahu. Although it is quite tricky to get to, this temple is one of the best things to see on Oahu. It is within the Valley of the Temples. The place is beautiful and you breathe a lot of peace. If you want to see the buddha inside, entrance costs $ 5. Do not lose your gardens and your lake full of fish. If you have ever been to Kyoto, maybe it sounds like it is an exact replica of one that is there.



32. Waimanalo Beach


This is another beach located to the east of the island, where the mountains end in cliffs that submerge in the sea, leaving paradisiac beaches. It is a style similar to Lanikai and even less crowded. Bathing in its waters is a highly recommended thing to do on Oahu.



33.Nuuanu Pali Lookout

incredible views of the mountains of Koolau

This lookout has a magnificent history. "Pali" means cliff in Hawaiian. There was disputed the famous battle of Nuuanu, where in 1795 the king Kamehameha gained the fight that finally united Oahu to its government. This fierce battle claimed hundreds of lives of soldiers, many of whom launched them by the cliffs. Keep in mind that there are strong winds in the Pali viewpoint. However, the wind never ruins the views, which are the best thing to see on Oahu.



34. Know the basic Hawaiian vocabulary


You can not be in Hawaii without knowing some of his most used words: "Aloha" means hello and goodbye, "Mahalo" is thank you, "Aloha powder" is good night or "Maika`i", which means good. If you want to know more vocabulary, this post is very good.



35. Finding chats in Waikele outlets


And the last proposal to make in Oahu is to go buy these outlets from the famous Premium company, which also have others in Las Vegas, New York ... It is an open mall with many stores where you can find great deals. Taking advantage to buy in Hawaii is a good option since your taxes are quite lower than in most states of the country.

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