Oahu Things To Do

Explore the island called the Gathering Place.

Featured Activity

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Enjoy Stunning Oahu Views - Makapuu Lighthouse Hike

A sunny hike on the east side of Oahu, the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail offers a paved path to a stunning vista. Clear days feature views of the neighboring islands and winter whales. The trail’s summit offers a stunning view up the coast to Kailua.

Insider tip: Drive 15 minutes up the coast Ai Love Nalo for a healthy lunch and local fruit smoothie after your hike.

Where to Stay

See An Insider's Guide to Hawaii

Thrills of Oahu

Enjoy a wide variety of excursions. 

On the island called the Gathering Place you can embark on a day’s excursion that will take you up a coastline, past beaches featured in Hollywood films, mountains seemingly carved by gods, tranquil waters and pounding surf, and a Hawaiian culture over a thousand years old. 

A few favorite activities:

Drive up the Waimanalo Coast and stop at Cockroach Bay, sight of the love scene in “From Here to Eternity”.

Snorkel in Hanauma Bay – an underwater nature preserve.

Eat a “shave ice” in Haleiwa.

Stand at the Pali Lookout. Learn about the history of Oahu. Hold on to your kids – it’s windy!

Learn to surf from a Hawaiian beach boy in Waikiki.

*Photo provided by Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)/Tor Johnson

 

Go whale-watching in the winter or take a zodiac ride and swim with dolphins in the morning sunlight.

Go hiking at Diamond Head Crater, Manoa Falls,
or Tantalus. Know your limits and don’t hike alone.

Take a walking tour of Chinatown. Sure every major city has one – but none quite like this!

Walk through Lyon Arboretum, Manoa – a university botanical garden located in a tropical rainforest.

Tour the National Cemetery of the Pacific, Punchbowl – dedicated to the men and woman in the United States Armed Services.

*Photo provided by Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)/Tor Johnson

Learn to surf.

Authentic Waikiki Beach Boys follow in the footsteps of legendary waterman Duke Kahanamoku by teaching visitors how to surf in Waikiki.

*Photo provided by Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)/Tor Johnson

Inside the soul of the Islands

This love is called aloha.

For a culture centered on the most remote islands, the Hawaiian people get a lot of attention. Love will do that. The love of a people for its land; the love of traditions centuries old; and the love for the visitors who come here to experience Hawaii first hand – this love is called aloha.

Spend a few hours at Bishop Museum.
Permanent and special collections celebrate the history of Hawaii and its people, as well as science and the stars.

Visit Iolani Palace.
America’s only royal palace offers a glimpse into the life of Queen Liliuokalani, Hawaii’s last reigning monarch.

Walk through Aloha Tower.
before air travel, the tourist ships landed here, welcomed by locals who dived into the waters to greet them.

 

Reserve a couple of hours for the Honolulu Academy of Arts
with its beautiful grounds, excellent café and more than 50,000 works of art amidst state-of-the-art galleries.

Spend a leisurely day at the Polynesian Cultural Center
where seven Polynesian cultures come alive six days a week. The Samoan fire-knife dancing alone is worth the trip.