There’s no shortage of things to do in Oahu, Hawaii. From soaking up the sun on one of the many beautiful beaches to exploring historic sites and hiking through stunning landscapes, there’s always something for you to do on this awesome island.
To help you plan your trip, here is a compiled list of the top 10 things to do in Oahu.
So without further ado, here are the top 10 things to do in Oahu, Hawaii:
1. Soak Up the Sun on One of Oahu’s Many Beaches
There’s no shortage of beautiful beaches to relax on in Oahu. Whether you’re looking for a secluded spot to sunbathe or a place to people-watch, you’ll find the perfect beach for your needs. Popular beaches include Waikiki Beach, Lanikai Beach, and Kailua Beach Park.
If you’re feeling active, plenty of water activities keep you busy. Snorkeling and stand-up paddleboarding are popular options, or you can take a surfing lesson if you’ve always wanted to try it.
2. Visit Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial
Pearl Harbor is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Hawaii. The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is the best place to start your visit. Here you can learn about the history of Pearl Harbor and the attack on December 7, 1941. You can also see artifacts from the attack and watch a short film about the event.
After visiting the visitor center, you can take a boat ride to the USS Arizona Memorial. The memorial is located on top of the shipwreck of the USS Arizona, which was sunk during the attack on Pearl Harbor. More than 2,000 people were killed when the Arizona was attacked, making it one of the deadliest attacks in American history.
The Pearl Harbor Historic Sites are open daily from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm. Admission to the visitor center and boat ride to the USS Arizona Memorial is free, but you must purchase a ticket in advance. Tickets can be purchased online or at the visitor center.
If you’re interested in learning more about the history of Pearl Harbor, you can also visit the USS Missouri Memorial and the Pacific Aviation Museum. These sites are located on Ford Island, which is accessible by shuttle bus from the visitor center.
3. Hike to the Top of Diamond Head Crater
Diamond Head is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the island of Oahu. The crater is a volcanic tuff cone created during a single explosive eruption over 100,000 years ago. Today, it is a state monument that offers stunning views of Honolulu and the surrounding area.
The hike to the top of Diamond Head Crater is short but strenuous and recommended for reasonably fit travelers. The trailhead is located just outside of Waikiki, and the hike takes about 1-2 hours to complete. Along the way, hikers will enjoy incredible city views and the coastline. At the top of the crater is an observation deck where visitors can take in panoramic views of the island.
The Diamond Head hike is a great activity for travelers looking to get some exercise and experience some of the natural beauty of Oahu. It is also a great way to get some great photos.
4. Explore Waimea Falls Park
Waimea Falls Park is one of the top things to do in Oahu, Hawaii. The park features a beautiful waterfall that travelers can explore. There are also hiking trails and picnic areas available in the park. Visitors can also swim in the pool at the base of the waterfall.
5. Take a Surf Lesson at Waikiki Beach
One of the top things to do in Oahu, Hawaii, is taking a surf lesson at Waikiki Beach. Honolulu’s famed Waikiki Beach is a great place to learn how to surf and enjoy some of the most beautiful views in Hawaii.
With its gentle waves and warm water, Waikiki Beach is the perfect place to catch your first wave. And what better way to learn than with a professional surf lesson? Plenty of surf schools are located right on the beach, so you can easily find one that suits your needs and budget.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can test your new skills by riding the waves at one of the many nearby surf spots. If you’re looking for a challenge, head to the famous Banzai Pipeline. This surf spot is reserved for experienced surfers only, as the waves can get quite large.
6. Visit Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay is one of the top things to do in Oahu, Hawaii. The bay is home to a beautiful coral reef, which makes it a popular destination for snorkeling and diving. Visitors can also enjoy the sandy beaches and turquoise waters.
To help protect the coral reef, Hanauma Bay has implemented a few rules that visitors must follow. First, all visitors must watch a short film about the bay before entering. This film provides information about how to avoid harming the reef and its inhabitants.
Visitors are also required to use reef-safe sunscreen and to avoid touching the coral. Hanauma Bay is a beautiful place to experience Hawaii’s underwater world, and following these guidelines will help ensure that the reef remains healthy for future generations.
7. Visit the Honolulu Zoo
The Honolulu Zoo is one of the top things to do in Oahu, Hawaii. The zoo is home to more than 1,200 animals from across the globe. Visitors can see lions, tigers, elephants, giraffes, and many other animals.
The zoo also has a number of interactive exhibits, such as a petting zoo and a bird aviary. The Honolulu Zoo is a great place to learn about the animal kingdom and have some fun.
8. Take a Hike
Oahu is home to some of the most beautiful hiking trails in Hawaii. From easy, short hikes to multi-day backpacking adventures, there is something for everyone.
Some of the top hiking trails on Oahu include the Diamond Head Crater Trail, the Manoa Falls Trail, and the Lanikai Pillbox Hike. These trails offer stunning views of the island and its surroundings. So, if you’re looking for a way to get some exercise and experience some of the natural beauty of Hawaii, be sure to add hiking to your list of things to do in Oahu.
9. Shop at Ala Moana Center – The Largest Outdoor Shopping Mall in Hawaii
Ala Moana Center is the largest outdoor shopping mall in Hawaii. With over 350 stores and restaurants, there are many things that you can do in Ala Moana.
From high-end designer brands to local boutiques, you can find it all here. And if you get hungry, there are plenty of places to grab a bite.
Ala Moana has everything if you’re looking for a casual meal or a fine dining experience. So if you’re looking for retail therapy while in Oahu, check out Ala Moana Center.
10. Play golf at one of Oahu’s many world-Class Golf Courses
With over 50 courses to choose from, golfers of all levels can tee off at one of Oahu’s many world-class golf courses. From lush tropical greens to sweeping ocean views, there’s a course for everyone. And with average temperatures in the low 80s year-round, you can play golf on Oahu any time of the year.
Whether looking for a challenging round of 18 or a leisurely 9-hole game, you’ll find the perfect course on Oahu. Some of our top picks include the Waialae Country Club, home of the PGA Sony Open, and the Ko’olau Golf Club, which has been rated one of the top 100 courses in the world.
If you’re new to the game or want to brush up on your skills, there are plenty of golf schools on the island where you can take lessons. Then hit the links and enjoy a round of golf in paradise.
Thoughts and Conclusion
There you have it, the top 10 things to do in Oahu, Hawaii. From enjoying the beautiful beaches to exploring the amazing hiking trails, there is something for everyone in this island paradise.
You can check out Best Things to Do in Maui Hawaii and Best Things to do in Honolulu.
Thank you so much for writing this article on the top 10 things to do in Oahu! I was looking at potentially going to Hawaii, but I couldn’t choose between all the various islands. I think I might go with Oahu after reading this article, though. The Diamond Head Crater really caught my eye, and I was surprised to see so many different things to do other than go to the beach. Thank you once again!
Thank you for the feedback. Yes definitely come out to Oahu Hawaii, you’ll definitely have a blast and have fun, if you enjoy the island life style. Thank you for sharing, happy holidays.