Oahu

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Top 10 things to do on Oahu

Visit the most popular island in Hawaii, Oahu, known for its lush green mountain ridges (featured in Jurassic Park), beautiful pristine beaches where the Beach Boys sang, and iconic historic sites like Pearl Harbor. See the natural wonders of the island while also learning about the unique history and culture of Hawaii.

  • Pearl Harbor

    1. Pearl Harbor

    Visit Pearl Harbor, the site of the Japanese attack during WWII. Pay your respects at the USS Arizona Memorial and learn about its tragic and heroic past. Spend a day hearing stories surrounding the Battleship Missouri, the USS Bowfin Submarine, and the Pacific Aviation Museum to learn the rich history behind one of Hawaii's most somber locations.

  • Diamond Head

    2. Diamond Head

    An icon of Oahu, Diamond Head began as a volcano. This popular site was also once an army base, but now is a moderate hike. Trek to the summit and take in the spectacular views of Waikiki. Guided tours are also available if you are yearning to know more of the history behind Diamond Head.

  • Waikiki Beach

    3. Waikiki Beach

    Nestled in the shade of Diamond Head rests Waikiki beach, Hawaii's most famous beach. Stroll past restaurants, shops, and colorful stands. Want to try out surfing? Take a lesson from the famous beach boys and hear the stories of Duke Kahanamoku, the father of surfing and a Hawaii legend. Not looking for thrills? Lounge on the warm white sand and enjoy the sun.

  • Polynesian Cultural Center

    4. Polynesian Cultural Center

    Hidden in northern Oahu, the Polynesian Cultural Center boasts a spectacular display of local and Polynesian culture and customs. Wander through villages and learn the traditions of Tonga, Tahiti, Samoa, Fiji, Hawaii, and Aotearoa, or settle down for a spectacular canoe show on the water. Get a taste of Polynesia at their famed luau, or indulge in local treats as you wander through the scenic grounds.

  • Kualoa Ranch

    5. Kualoa Ranch

    Welcome to Jurassic Park...and Jumanji, and more. Kualoa Ranch has been made famous on the silver screen, now see it for yourself. Go by horseback, ATV, boat, or foot and explore this 4000-acre nature preserve. Nestled between the mountains and the ocean, this stunning location has views and adventures that are sure to impress.

  • The North Shore

    6. The North Shore

    One of the world's most famous surf spots, Oahu's North Shore is home to a plethora of activities. Shop, surf, dine, hike -- the choice is yours. Looking for a once in a lifetime activity? Grab a snorkel mask and head out to sea to cage dive with Galapagos Sharks. Hang around until sunset for scenery that can't be beat.

  • Hanauma Bay

    7. Hanauma Bay

    Visit Hanauma Bay and see the gorgeous marine life that made this little cove famous. Tropical fish, octopus, eels and even turtles -- this bay boasts an incredible diversity of wildlife. Head there early to beat the crowds and be sure to bring cash. The number of daily visitors is limited and the bay is closed on Mondays.

  • Authentic Hawaiian luau

    8. Authentic Hawaiian luau

    A luau is a traditional Hawaiian party or feast that is accompanied by hula and fire dancing. Get immersed in Hawaiian culture and learn the story of Polynesia at a luau, perfect for honeymooners and families. Upgrade your experience to preferred seating to get the best views of the show.

  • Bishop Museum

    9. Bishop Museum

    Walk with Hawaiian royalty when you visit the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, the state's largest collection of Polynesian cultural artifacts and natural history specimens. Learn about the history of Hawaii and see the evolution of Hawaiian royalty.

  • Manoa Falls

    10. Manoa Falls

    Take a walk through a Hawaiian rainforest and head to Manoa Falls. This moderate hike through bamboo forest and retired sugar plantation canals leads you to a stunning 150-foot waterfall. Watch out for mud along the way, and be sure to bring cash if you need to park your car.

What people are saying about Oahu

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 2,877 reviews

Highly advise to reserve the boat ride to uss Arizona as we waited on a stand by list for 2-3 hours. You can get a pass for everything once you get there for $72. Memorable trip, but bring your narrator and headphones because there’s no guide or explanation of what you are looking at other than some maps.

The captain and first Nate were such good people and very knowledgeable. They were committed to everyone having a good experience. We got to see dolphins, turtles, and a tour of the Waikiki shoreline. The boat was pretty empty bc if pandemic. Enough room to socially distance. It was well worth the money.

What an amazing experience! You got to witness what the bottom of the ocean looked like. You learn the history of the island and the owners were very friendly. Would recommend this to people who are on vacation. I loved every moment of the Afternoon Glass Bottom Boat Tour in Waikiki!!

Such a great experience. The tour guide and his wife were so kind. Very knowledgeable about the area. This was exactly what we were looking for! Would definitely recommend and would go again!

Fun and short kayak experience out to popoi island. The rocks are sharp on the island so wear appropriate shoes. Has a fun little tidepool too you can pop down into.