For some, Oahu is a honeymoon or a romantic escape to the white sand shores of paradise. For others, it’s an annual pilgrimage to a surfing mecca and the site of the “Seven Mile Miracle.” Mostly, however, Oahu is for families, and smiling groups of parents and children form the core of the island’s visitors. After all, with year-round sunshine, non-stop activities and over 125 beaches to choose from, Oahu is a tropical outdoor playground that the whole family can enjoy.
One of the most popular activities for families in Oahu is to take a family surf lesson, where you can share in the successes and awkward failures of trying to learn a new sport. The gentle waves of Waikiki are perfect for beginners and children, but you can also pile the whole family into an outrigger canoe to ride waves like ancient Hawaiians. Or, pair up into family groups and fly hundreds of feet in the air while getting a panoramic view of the city from a parasail canopy in paradise. You can spend family time beneath the water while snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, or take your family to the depths of the ocean with a submarine tour of the sea floor.
But there’s more to Oahu than just the ocean, and it's a great place for that time-honored activity of a family road trip. On an all-day outing to the island’s north shore, make some stops along the way to keep the family entertained. In winter, take a hike to the Makapu‘u lighthouse to look for whales from the viewpoint, or watch the surf at Waimea Bay or the famous Banzai Pipeline. To delve deep in a valley that served as the filming site for some of the family’s favorite movies, explore beautiful Kualoa Ranch by either horseback or ATV. By night, gather around the family dinner table at a fiery Polynesian luau, where the twirling fire and swaying hips will make memories that last a lifetime.