Oahu is Hawaii most well-known island, and for good reason! It offers visitors the opportunity combine city life in Honolulu with the ultimate Hawaii beach experience at Waikiki! From climbing Diamond Head Crater to seeing the historic Pear Harbor, there is something for everyone to enjoy on Oahu. The below ideas are just a small portion of our favourite things to see and do on Oahu, for a more personalised and extensive itinerary and recommendations we leave you in the hands of our expert Travel Advisors! Why not get in touch today and as them all about the amazing Hawaiian Island of Oahu.
Why not read on to see a more extensive list of all the fabulous things to do on Oahu, or check out some of our favourites just below!
The Island of Oahu will spoil you for choice with its timeless beauty that contrasts gently between ancient and modern making it literally a voyage of discovery. This is the third largest of these paradise Hawaii islands and leaves out nothing to ensure you have the perfect holiday to Hawaii adventure.
The iconic Diamond Head is a crater formed over 150,000 years ago. In the late 1700's British seamen named this place as they thought they had found diamonds here when what they saw were actually calcite crystals sparking in the sunshine it is a magical view from Waikiki Beach. Hike to the top and take in the panoramic views of Waikiki and the southern shore or you can take transport as far as the bottom of the road leading to the monument gate and from there on foot.
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
With its clear blue waters and reefs alive with colourful fish, Hanauma Bay is seen as one of Oahu's best snorkelling destinations and one of the most visited beaches along with Turtle Bay. Formed out of an ancient volcanic crater, it has been declared a protection marine life conservation park, and is a great place for beginners to learn to snorkel in the protected waters. If you enjoy hiking, trails above the bay offer spectacular views of the sublime blue waters.
Historic Pearl Harbor
Pay a visit to the historic Pearl Harbour and the USS Arizona Monument; sunk by the Japanese during the attack on Pearl Harbour on the 7th of December 1941, a visitor centre spans the hull of the ship, which is accessed by boat. Many come to pay their respects to all those who lost their lives during the battle and subsequent war in the Pacific that followed.
USS Battleship Missouri
A veteran of World War II, the Korean War and the 1991 Gulf War USS Missouri received eleven battle stars for her services. Donated to the Memorial Association, Missouri is now docked at Ford Island. You can take a guided tour led by a retired military veteran guide and it is worth setting aside a whole day to visit the Pearl Harbour Historical sites.
Oahu's North Shore - Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (November - December)
The North Shore is famous for its surfing waves that are gentle in summer but can reach a dangerous 30 feet in winter. Surfers from all over the world take part in top competitions with the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing taking place between November and December. Whether you want to watch the experts surfing during the winter months or try your hand during summertime there is plenty to experience. Alternatively, just enjoy strolling along the seven miles of beautiful beaches.
Polynesian Cultural Centre
This is definitely an experience not worth missing and something all visitors enjoy with canoe pageants, dinner show feasts, evening shows and a chance for you to meet people from Hawaii, Samoa, Maori New Zealand and Tonga to name but a few and to learn all about these people and their culture.
The world famous Waikiki beach is a cosmopolitan setting showcasing the best in modern and traditional Hawaii culture and customs. Fantastic shopping and dining can be found along Kalakaua and Kuhio Avenues, and the central location of Waikiki makes it the perfect base from which you can explore the rest of the island.
Waterfalls on Oahu
Waterfalls on Oahu are a lot more accessible than on the other Hawaiian Islands — for example, just a short distance from Waikiki is Manoa Falls! After an exciting walk through lush tropical rainforest you will arrive at the stunning 150 vertical falls, tumbling down into a small pool. We recommend comfortable trainers, bug spray and a change of footwear for your voyage of discovery.
Located in the heart of downtown Honolulu this is the historic home of the kings and queens of Hawaii of times gone by, over a century old it has paid witness to the transformation from independent monarchy to the 50th state of the United States of America. Uncover the magnificent throne room and dining room, and view the regalia, swords and precious jewellery of Hawaiian Royalty.
Nuuanu Pali Lookout
If you visit the Nuuanu Pali State Park you will be able to see the Koolau Mountain Range from the 985 foot cliffs. Here a fierce battle took place in 1795 when the army of Kamehameha I invaded Oahu driving thousands over the steep cliffs. The State Park is open daily to visitors.
Queen's Surf Beach
This is the former home of Queen Liliuokalani's beach house and pier where you can watch free outdoor films on huge screens. There is musical entertainment and food also provided. Located in the heart of Waikiki beach, situated between the Kapahulu Groin and the Waikiki Aquarium the beach became famous as â’Dukeâ’ Kahanamoku an Olympic champion and Hollywood actor tamed the waves that break just 75 yards from the shore, and transformed the beach into a surfer's paradise. This is now a popular place for Hawaiians and tourists to learn to surf.
The Waikiki Aquarium and Honolulu Zoo
Visit the 42 acre Honolulu Zoo home to almost 1,000 animals from around the world, including Komodo Dragons, Orang-utans, Elephants and Lions to name a few. The Waikiki Aquarium houses over 2,500 sea creatures, and is noted for its coral reef exhibit allowing visitors to get an up-close view of a living coral ecosystem. Part of the University of Hawaii, it has an active research team focusing on understanding the aquatic life of the Pacific.
Shop-till-you-drop in Waikiki
If you have any energy left after all that sightseeing, Waikiki is the best place to shop, made easy by the trolley buses that run between a number of hotels. There is an amazing choice of shopping centres, with a mix of traditional Hawaiian crafts and the very latest designer fashions and everything else in between. Visit DFS Galleria with many selling luxury duty free goods.
Named after King David Kalakaua this is a premiere shopping area with some of the best hotels and restaurants available, designer boutiques and where you will have difficulty choosing from the vast selections available to secure that special gift to take home. There is plenty to choose from with jewellery, ceramics and even fruit preserves.
Luxury Row is home to eight luxury boutiques, set on Kalakaua Avenue. Be spoilt for choice with some of the world's very finest brands, Tiffany & Co., Coach, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel Bottega Veneta, and Hugo Boss. Whether you are compiling a wish list or treating yourself at the end of your holiday, become immersed in the high quality goods set in luxury flagship stores.
For those of you wishing to take in some history pay a visit to the Bishop's Museum with artefacts, documents, Hawaiian history, video stations and a natural history collection of over 22.3 million plant and animal life specimens, some of which are now extinct. A scientist is on hand to advise and answer questions on all aspects of this amazing place and will even identify plants and animals for you.
Royal Hawaiian Centre
Another exciting shopping experience to enjoy is Waikiki's largest shopping mall with 100 stores, boutiques and restaurants. The Centre stretches for three blocks along the famous Kalakaua Avenue. Visitors can experience an atmosphere enhanced by complimentary music, hula and cultural classes at the Royal Grove and open late into the evening; it is a vibrant spot day and night.
Ala Moana shopping centre
Be sure to take some time to visit the Ala Moana Shopping Centre, home to over 300 stores it is the world's largest open air shopping centre, with something for everyone. The Ala Moana farmers market runs every Saturday morning with over 30 vendors offering the freshest locally sourced seafood and meats.
Tailormade Hawaii's expert team are on hand to offer all the advice you need together with competitive prices on all aspects of your dream holiday to Oahu. Whether it is a luxury boutique hotel, car hire or excursions, your dedicated Hawaii specialist will guide you through all the smallest details to make your perfect trip unforgettable. Drop us an email or call today and start planning your holiday of a lifetime.
Find Elvis Locations in Hawaii. Many Elvis films were shot in Hawaii thanks to its stunning scenery. Whilst on your Hawaii holiday, you can visit some of these special locations including hotels, beaches, coves and more!