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Things to do in Oahu

Things to do in  Oahu

Welcome to Oahu

This island gem—the third largest of Hawaii’s eight—offers city entertainment to the south and outdoor adventure to the north, just an hour’s drive apart. History buffs can visit Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona or get a taste of the island at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Experience the outdoors, from snorkeling to sailing to jetskiing to just plain lounging on Waikiki Beach, or with a hike up Diamond Head. And be sure to plan a night at a traditional lu’au; visit to Haleiwa on the North Shore for garlic shrimp and shaved ice; and trip to the Halona Blowhole to snap photos.

Top 10 attractions in Oahu

#1
Honolulu

Honolulu

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Honolulu is so much more than just the sunny resort area of Waikiki, where white sands stretch all the way to iconic Diamond Head. The capital city is Hawaii’s commercial and urban heart, with first-class museums, shopping, dining, clubs, and bars. And every year millions of visitors from around the globe find aloha in Honolulu, where surfboards, sunsets, swimming, and taking it slow are simply a way of life.More
#2
Mokolii Island

Mokolii Island

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Located a short distance offshore of Kualoa Point, Mokolii Island is one of Oahu’s most famous landmarks. This small, cone-shaped island attracts adventurous visitors with its secluded coves, rugged hikes, and views of Oahu’s windward coast and the Koolau mountains; the same mountains featured in scenes of the movie Jurassic Park.More
#3
Pearl Harbor National Memorial

Pearl Harbor National Memorial

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Made up of several historic sites and memorials, Pearl Harbor honors and educates the public about the Japanese attack on the United States on December 7, 1941 that propelled the country into World War II. It’s one of Hawaii’s most-visited attractions, and one of the country’s most significant WWII memorial sites.More
#4
Oahu North Shore

Oahu North Shore

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Surfing is king on Oahu’s North Shore, where summer’s placid snorkeling spots are transformed into pounding 40-foot (12-meter) waves come winter. On land you’ll find a peaceful respite from hectic Honolulu, with scenic waterfall hikes, sleepy farms selling tropical fruit, and food trucks doling out garlic shrimp.More
#5
Halona Blowhole

Halona Blowhole

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Once visitors are aware that hālona means “lookout” in Hawaiian, it becomes quite clear what the Halona Blowhole is about: views, Pacific Ocean and blowhole! The Halona Blowhole is one of the most spectacular natural wonders on O’ahu Island; the more than 1,000-year-old geyser-like rock formation is characterized by a hole which propels incoming surf in a narrow, molten lava tube, shooting sea spray high into the air as a result - sometimes up to 30 feet. This is mostly a summery phenomenon but wintertime also has a big ticket item drawing visitors: humpback whales. The lookout point offers unobstructed views of the O’ahu shoreline as well as glimpses of Lanai and Moloka'I Islands on clear days.The coast is home to a special type of coral that requires very little light to live, the Sinularia Leather Coral, where it is possible to find various species like echinoderms, slugs, corals, and eels. And although the marine life is quite plentiful and fascinating, divers should proceed with caution because of the strong and sometimes erratic currents, including the colloquially named Moloka'i Express, which can drag divers out to sea without warning. Visitors should know that below the hālona is one of the most dangerous ocean currents in the world, and should always proceed with care.More
#6
Dole Plantation

Dole Plantation

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What started out as a Wahiawa fruit stand in the middle of the pineapple fields in 1950 is now an extremely popular Hawaiian attraction. The sprawling Dole Plantation in central Oahu is a rural throwback to a time when the pineapple helped rule Oahu’s economy. Visitors can sample the sweet yellow fruit, ride on the famous Pineapple Express train and motor out through the fields, take a walk through a huge garden maze, learn how to find fresh pineapple when grocery shopping, and hear how pineapples are grown on plants—and not underground or on trees.More
#7
USS Arizona Memorial

USS Arizona Memorial

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The USSArizona Memorial floats above the watery site where the eponymous battleship was bombed and sunk, taking 1,177 lives with it, in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The solemn, all-white memorial features a marble wall of names of those who served onboard and spans theArizona’s width, with openings to look down on the sunken hull.More
#8
Makapuu Lighthouse

Makapuu Lighthouse

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Within Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline on Oahu’s Windward Coast, the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail is a popular hike ending at the historical red-roofed Makapu’u Lighthouse, built in 1909. Though the lighthouse is not open to the public, the moderately challenging hike attracts travelers and locals alike for its stunning coastal views.More
#9
Diamond Head

Diamond Head

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Arguably Hawaii's most well-known sight, Diamond Head Crater is more than just a famous Waikiki backdrop but also an entire attraction unto itself, featuring one of Oahu's best hikes for a panoramic view. From atop the 760-foot (231-meter) summit, visitors can gaze out from Koko Head Crater to the Honolulu skyline and down on Waikiki Beach, where surfers, paddlers, sailboats, and canoes all splash through the tropical waters.More
#10
Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach

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For decades, Waikiki Beach has been Oahu’s tourist mecca thanks to its palm-fringed white-sand beaches and high-rise luxury hotels that stretch from downtown Honolulu east toward the towering Diamond Head. Here all the spoils of Hawaiian beach life—from sunbathing and swimming to snorkeling and fruity-cocktail sipping—are within steps of world-class shopping and dining.More

Trip ideas

Top Hiking Trails on Oahu

Top Hiking Trails on Oahu

Top activities in Oahu

Paradise Cove Luau
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Paradise Cove Luau

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2036
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USD125.00
Chief's Luau Admission

Chief's Luau Admission

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USD155.00
Star Casual Sunset and Show Cruise

Star Casual Sunset and Show Cruise

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410
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USD115.00
Oahu Submarine Scooter Adventure
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Oahu Submarine Scooter Adventure

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USD166.50
Waikiki Atlantis Submarine Adventure

Waikiki Atlantis Submarine Adventure

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USD175.43
Kualoa Ranch - ATV Raptor Tour

Kualoa Ranch - ATV Raptor Tour

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USD144.95
Dolphin Watch and Snorkeling with Hula and Water Activities
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Pearl Harbor USS Arizona Memorial

Pearl Harbor USS Arizona Memorial

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USD99.00
Oahu Circle Island and Snorkeling Tour
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Salute to Pearl Harbor

Salute to Pearl Harbor

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2390
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USD50.26

Things to do in Oahu this...

Recent reviews from experiences in Oahu

star-5
Amazing Views
David_K, May 2022
Open-Door Helicopter Tour over Oahu
Excellent views over Oahu and a thrill to see from above!
star-5
Last minute purchase that...
Stephen_P, May 2022
Oahu Catamaran Cruise: Wildlife, Snorkeling and a Hawaiian Meal
We were lucky to see awesome wildlife (dolphins, sea turtles, fish, starfish, reefs), snorkeling was awesome, food was great, and cruising the coast was an amazing way to spend the day.
star-5
Awesome
Melissa_K, May 2022
Oahu Catamaran Cruise: Wildlife, Snorkeling and a Hawaiian Meal
And we got to see a whale and her calf!
star-5
A great, comprehensive tour of Oahu!
Valerie_S, May 2022
Grand Circle Island Tour with Byodo Inn Temple.
If you only have one day to see the island this is the way to do it!!
star-5
A wonderful tour of a beautiful island
Kristianne_C, May 2022
Ultimate Circle Island Adventure with Waimea Waterfall
We were able to see lots of the beautiful highlights of this lovely island, Oahu.
star-5
Great tour!
Jamila_S, Apr. 2022
Oahu Circle Island Tour + Pineapple and Snorkeling!
Can’t wait to visit Oahu again to hit these new spots I learned about.
star-5
Great Visit
Rita_L, Apr. 2022
Pearl Harbor: USS Arizona Memorial & USS Missouri Battleship Tour from Waikiki
If you get the chance to see Pearl Harbor, you will not be disappointed!
star-4
Would recommend - good for start of trip
Brianne_S, Apr. 2022
Oahu Circle Island and Snorkeling Tour
Tour guides gave great recommendations/tips so recommend booking this at the beginning of your stay to get a feel for what parts of Oahu you want to visit.
star-5
Beauty on the Sandbar
Cody_R, Apr. 2022
Kaneohe Sandbar Turtle Watching & Snorkeling Tour / 1:00 PM
Having promised my wife the experience of getting to see sea turtles, Captain Bruce and his amazing crew helped make it a reality!
star-5
Fantastic ride.
Brian_T, Apr. 2022
Private Helicopter Charter - Oahu "VIP Experience" (60 Minute)
Got to see Oahu from a completely different perspective.
star-5
Highly recommend this tour
Nelly_N, Apr. 2022
Ultimate Circle Island Adventure with Waimea Waterfall
I love our inclusion to byodo in temple, Waimea falls and lunch at shrimp truck.
star-5
Must do in Honolulu
Dale_S, Apr. 2022
Royal Crown of Oahu - 60 Min Helicopter Tour - Doors Off or On
Great way to see the island.
star-4
Good tour
Keely_H, Apr. 2022
Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona & Hawaiian History Tour - SMALL GROUP
We were able to see many sights and the small group made it much more personable which we liked.
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Book this tour now!
Pamela_G, Mar. 2022
Adventure With A Local: Half Circle Island Tour
It was completely customized to what we wanted to see and do.
star-5
Incredible Evening
Joe_F, Mar. 2022
Toa Luau at Waimea Valley
Would come back to Oahu just to see the Luau again.
star-5
Great time in Oahu!
Bernard_A, Mar. 2022
Grand Circle Island and Haleiwa 9 Hour Tour
In 9 hours, we were able to see the beautiful scenic spots in Oahu.
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Very Enjoyable Water Activity - Highly Recommended
Siavash_A, Mar. 2022
Oahu Submarine Scooter Adventure
Highly recommend if you're into water activities!
star-5
This was such a fun...
Rosa_H, Mar. 2022
Wild Dolphin Watch Cruise With BBQ Lunch & Optional Snorkel
So relaxing and beautiful To see the dolphins and other sea life.
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Dolphins, dolphins EVERYWHERE
KEN_K, Mar. 2022
Dolphin Watch and Snorkeling with Hula and Water Activities
It would have been better to do it closer to summer rather than mid March.
star-5
Best tour we did on Oahu
Dugmyers, Mar. 2022
Oahu Circle Island Tour + Pineapple and Snorkeling!
Was a great way to see the island!

People Also Ask

What should you not miss on Oahu?

Most visitors to Oahu head straight for Waikiki Beach, but once you’ve soaked up the scene there, you should make time for the beaches along the North Shore and Lanikai on the slower paced west coast. Snorkeling in Hanauma Bay is a must, as is hiking up Diamond Head.

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What is there to do in Oahu besides the beach?

You can dive into the cultural history of the Hawaiian Islands by visiting the Bishop Museum and Iolani Palace, which was home to the Hawaiian monarchy. History buffs should also visit Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona and keen hikers should follow the trails to the Makapuʻu Lighthouse, Lanikai Pillboxes, and Manoa Falls.

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Are Honolulu and Oahu the same?

No. While the words are sometimes used interchangeably, Honolulu is the name of the capital of, and largest city in, the US state of Hawaii. Honolulu is located on Oahu, which is one of the eight main islands of Hawaii—the others are Maui, Kauai, Lanai, Molokai, Kahoolawe, Nihau, and the Island of Hawaii (“Big Island”).

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What do locals do on Oahu?

A favorite thing to do is to grab some snacks from a local Foodland supermarket and spend a day with friends on the beach—though typically not on the crowded beaches such as Waikiki. On the first Friday of the month, the Honolulu Arts District and Chinatown host a street festival filled with art, music, and food and drink specials.

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Why is Oahu so popular?

Oahu holds a place in travelers imaginations because, for so long, it has been immortalized in travel brochures and movies. For better or worse, Oahu—with its beautiful beaches and swaying palm trees— is the embodiment of the tropical island paradise so many travelers are looking for.

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What is the prettiest part of Oahu?

Above the white sands of Lanikai Beach, Kaiwa Ridge, or the Lanikai Pillbox Hike, offers some of the best views on Oahu. From the top of the trail you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of the Windward Coast, over its deep blue water and offshore islands, to Chinaman’s Hat and Waimanalo.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the top things to do in Oahu?
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What are the top things to do near Oahu?
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