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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

Pearl Harbor National Memorial

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A hallowed name in US history, Pearl Harbor was the site of the December 7, 1941, bombing by the Japanese that wrenched the United States into World War II. In total, nine U.S. ships were sunk and a further 21 damaged, and the eventual death toll was 2,350. Pearl Harbor is still a Navy base today, and a National Historic Landmark. For visitors, the focus is the USS Arizona memorial, protecting the remains of the American battleship destroyed in seconds during the attack. The USS Utah was also sunk, and there is a memorial on nearby Ford Island. The highlight of the harbor's Bowfin Park is the submarine USS Bowfin and the adjacent memorial museum, packed with memorabilia and exhibits.More
#2

Diamond Head

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The pointy peak of Diamond Head forms a dramatic backdrop to Waikiki on Oahu’s south coast. Diamond Head is a State Monument, and a popular lookout point on Oahu. Formed from volcanic tuff, the crater is part of a geological outcrop of cones, vents and old lava flows, formed from eruptions around 150,000 years ago. If you’re feeling fit, work out with an exhilarating climb to the top of Diamond Head and take in the city views. The steep round-trip hike takes a couple of hours, with challenging stages of steps and tunnels.More
#3

Waikiki Beach

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Waikiki Beach is one of the most famous stretches of sand on the planet, up there with Ipanema and Bondi. Its curving stretch of sand is bordered by palms and high-rise hotels. Come here to soak up the sun, swim, pilot an outrigger canoe, sail a boat, or snorkel. Lifeguards are on hand to keep a watchful eye. The surfing isn’t bad either, with long rolling breaks. Look out for the statue of Duke Kahanamoku on the sands, the local who popularized surfing and brought it into the modern era. Pack a picnic to enjoy in nearby Kapiolani Park, hire a beach chair and umbrella, or sit back at sunset and watch the free movies screened on the beach.More
#4

USS Arizona Memorial

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The main Pearl Harbor memorial marks the final resting place of the USS Arizona, one of the battleships destroyed on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked and the USA joined the war effort on behalf of the Allies. The site also commemorates the 1,177 crew members killed aboard the ship that day. Start your visit at the visitor center, with a free introductory talk, audio tour and a documentary on the attack. Then board a US Navy boat to reach the memorial for a self-guided tour. Visitor numbers are restricted, and tickets can often run out early in the day at this extremely popular sight, so it’s a good idea to book a tour in advance.More
#5

Hanauma Bay

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Hanauma Bay State Park is a protected marine-life-preservation area with clear water ideal for snorkeling and a vast array of tropical fish and coral reefs surrounded by volcanic rock. Once used by the Hawaiian royal family for fishing, it is now one of Oahu’s top tourist destinations with about 1 million visitors each year.More
#6

Dole Plantation

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For a fun day out in the Hawaiian countryside, discover Oahu’s pineapple heritage at the Dole Plantation. What started out as a fruit stand in the middle of the pineapple fields in 1950 is now an extremely popular Hawaiian attraction. The Dole pineapple empire was founded more than a century ago by the Pineapple King, James Dole. Visit his original pineapple plantation to tour the living museum housed in a traditional plantation home. Exhibits trace the history of Dole and his pineapple industry, but there’s far more than history to be found here. Get lost amongst Hawaiian plants in the world’s largest maze, ride the Pineapple Express train through the fruit fields, take a garden tour of the hibiscus, bromeliads and other tropical flowers, and dine on island cuisine at the Plantation Grille.More
#7

Kualoa Ranch

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Family-owned Kualoa Ranch is a one-stop adventure playground in Oahu. Dating back to 1850, the cattle ranch is a popular location for horse-riding tours and all-terrain trails. Scenically, the ranch embraces a variety of Hawaiian landscapes, from fertile countryside to rugged mountains and tropical white-sand beaches. You may recognize some of the locations you’ll see from horseback or off-road ATV, as the ranch has hosted many TV and film crews, including Jurassic Park, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Five-O and Lost. Narrated bus tours point out famous locations, along with other historic and cultural sites.More
#8

Makapuu Lighthouse

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When the Makapu‘u Lighthouse was built in 1909 for ships traveling between Moloka‘i and O‘ahu, it was meant to serve as a luminary deterrent to keep ships away from the rocks. Today, however, the historic lighthouse with its bright red roof draws visitors to the rocks in droves, and the trail to the lighthouse has become one of the most popular hikes for visitors and families on O‘ahu. Two miles long and entirely paved, the trail climbs at a moderate pace until the dramatic lighthouse terminus. During the winter months, humpback whales can often be spotted splashing in the waters offshore, and large surf can break along the shoreline during the long, hot days of summer. As part of the Kaiwi Scenic Shoreline, the trail offers views of offshore islets such as Manana (Rabbit Island) and Kaohikaipu, which are protected from development as sea bird sanctuaries and provide a rustic nature to the coastline.More
#9

King Kamehameha Statue

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Planted firmly on the lawn of Aliiolani Hale, the State Supreme Court building, is the most visited of all the statues honoring King Kamehameha I in Hawaii. The 18-foot bronze icon with golden-colored detailing was erected in 1883 and depicts a spear-wielding and cloak-draped Kamehameha the Great, the first Hawaiian monarch and the ruler credited with uniting the Islands under single rule in 1810. Each year on a date near the June 11 state holiday commemorating King Kamehameha, community groups build massive flower lei garlands and drape them over the Honolulu statue using the ladder from a fire truck. The popular lei draping ceremony commemorates the King’s significance and kicks off week-long celebrations of colorful parades and festivals throughout the Islands.More
#10

Oahu North Shore

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For many visitors, Oahu’s North Shore means one thing: surfing! World-famous Waimea Bay and the Banzai Pipeline are sacred sites to surfers the world over, and some big-name surfing contests are held here. The main town is Haleiwa, a pretty boating harbor surrounded by beaches. For wannabe surfers it’s a particularly good place to take lessons or improve your board skills. In summer, nearby Waimea Bay is a popular snorkeling spot, and beachcombers hit the rock pools when the tide is out. The Banzai Pipeline lies just offshore.More

Trip ideas

Know Before You Go: Visiting Pearl Harbor

Know Before You Go: Visiting Pearl Harbor

Top Hiking Trails on Oahu

Top Hiking Trails on Oahu

Recent reviews from experiences in Oahu

star-5
Awesome experience!
Anastasia, Feb 2021
Private Helicopter Charter - Oahu "Magnum Experience" (50 Minute)
A great way to see the island of Oahu from the bird eye’s view!
star-5
Oahu like you never seen it before
Pedro_F, Dec 2020
Isle Sights Unseen - 45 Min Helicopter Tour - Doors Off or On
Had a great time, I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to see Oahu from the sky.
star-5
Best way to see Oahu is with Tyco & Spiritual Tours
Britt_W, Dec 2020
Private Customizable Grand Circle Island Tour of Oahu
No better way to see Oahu than with Tyco from Spiritual Tours was one of the best Tour guides I have had in 30+ years of traveling around the globe.
star-5
Amazing Best Experience of my Life
Shreyas, Nov 2020
No Certification Required Guided Scuba Diving Tour
Would definitely recommend this activity if visiting Oahu and can't wait to be back in summer :)
star-5
Don’t miss out on this Gem!!
Coral_and_James, Feb 2021
Custom Island Adventures Tour
Lastly, Elf took us on an absolutely breathtaking hike to a private waterfall that you’ll never be able to find on your own.
star-5
Great time with no crowds
Christine_S, Dec 2020
USS Arizona Memorial & City Tour
Our driver AJ gave us tips on great things to see and experience during our stay on Oahu.
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Go With This Company!
Callen_H, Dec 2020
Moana’s Sunset Sailing along Oahu's Waikiki Coast
Once on the boat, we were surprised to see there was a smaller group of about 10 of us!
star-5
Great day
Heather, Mar 2020
Oahu Circle Island and Snorkeling Tour
Great way to see the island and know what we wanted to do for the rest of our time on Oahu.
star-5
Not to be missed
Sharon_P, Mar 2020
Ultimate Circle Island Adventure with Waimea Waterfall
Great way to see Oahu and get history of the people, surfing.
star-5
Great family tour
Sheila_G, Mar 2020
Oahu Tour: Pearl Harbor, Haleiwa Historical Town and Honolulu City Tour
Great way to visit major attractions in Oahu with a very Knowledgeable and accommodating guide - Jay.
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Waianae coast snorkel cruise
Jason_J, Feb 2020
Waianae Coast Snorkel Cruise with Dolphin and Seasonal Whale Watching from Oahu
If you are going to Oahu, this should be on your list of activities without a doubt!
star-5
Loved the Dole plantation and the beautiful Rainbow Trees.
debbihoffman, Feb 2020
Oahu Circle Island Small Group Tour
Ideal way to visit the entire island.
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Great experience
michaeltb60, Jan 2020
Open-Door Helicopter Tour over Oahu
Best way to get a real look at the island of Oahu , especially the more remote areas & beautiful mountains & waterfalls.
star-5
Great day in Oahu!
BethK1525, Jan 2020
Oahu Circle Island Small Group Tour
He shared his knowledge and answered our questions and listened to what we wanted to see and do.
star-5
I’d give them more stars if I could!
aadkins742019, Nov 2019
Chief's Luau Admission
Activities were interesting and engaging, the venue was really great and the cast was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!
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Great way to see the north shore
Glenia C, Oct 2019
North Shore and Circle Island Adventure
Highly recommend this tour to see a different view of Oahu compared to Waikiki.
star-5
Awesome!
cortes198, Oct 2019
Oahu Catamaran Cruise: Wildlife, Snorkeling and Hawaiian Buffet
Didn’t get to see turtles but saw dolphins jumping around.
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Circle Island Tour with Waimea Waterfall 9/30/2019
mharnois123045, Oct 2019
Ultimate Circle Island Adventure with Waimea Waterfall
Thank you for a wonderful experience and a chance to see the beautiful island of Oahu!
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Around we go
barehead53, Oct 2019
Oahu Grand Circle Island Audio Driving Tour
Got to see some places of which many folks are not aware.
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Open-Door Helicopter Tour over Oahu
alunolds, Sep 2019
Open-Door Helicopter Tour over Oahu
What a great way to see the island

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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