A shortlist of my all-time favourite things to do on Oahu.
These must-do experiences are waiting for you on Oahu, social hub of the Hawaiian Islands.
01. Conquer the Diamond Head crater hike
02. Plunge into Oahu’s sparkling waters
03. Relax with a tropical cocktail at sunset
04. Tick off the island’s shopping hot-spots
05. Dip under the wonderful Waihi Waterfall
06. Road-trip to the North Shore surf mecca
07. Engage in a Hawaiian cultural activity
08. Get educated on Hawaii at a major museum
09. Re-visit history at Pearl Harbor Historic Sites
10. Explore the stunning South-East Coast
SEARCH ACTIVITY SHOP: Oahu Tours
Brave the 0.8 mi (1.2 km) hike to the top of Diamond Head, an extinct volcano crater, via 200+ steps and a few tunnels. You’ll be rewarded with postcard views over Honolulu.
SEARCH ACTIVITY SHOP: Diamond Head
Choose from a raft of ocean activities like kayaking, outrigger canoe riding, parasailing, scuba diving, shark diving, snorkelling, stand up paddleboarding, surfing, windsurfing, banana boating and the list goes on…
SEARCH ACTIVITY SHOP: Water Sports in Oahu
Position yourself at one of Waikiki’s incredible beachfront bars, order a cocktail (try a Mai Tai, Blue Hawaii or Lava Flow) and watch an unforgettable sunset over the Pacific Ocean.
- Duke’s Waikiki at Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort
- Mai Tai Bar at The Royal Hawaiian Resort
- RumFire Waikiki at Sheraton Waikiki
- The Beach Bar at The Moana Surfrider
- Tropics Bar & Grill at Hilton Hawaiian Village
Oahu delivers a shopper’s paradise with everything from the world’s largest outdoor mall and duty-free galleria to local boutiques and an open-air factory outlet.
- Ala Moana Center
- Aloha Stadium Swap Meet & Marketplace
- Collections of Waikiki
- Haleiwa Store Lots
- Hilton Hawaiian Village Shops
- Hukilau Marketplace
- International Market Place
- Kahala Mall
- Ka Makana Alii
- Kapolei Commons
- Luxury Row
- Pearlridge Center
- Pualeilani Atrium Shops
- Royal Hawaiian Center
- Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH
- South Shore Market
- T Galleria by DFS
- Waikiki Beach Walk
- Waikiki Business Plaza
- Waikiki Premium Outlets
- Waikiki Shopping Plaza
- Ward Village Shops
SEARCH ACTIVITY SHOP: Waikele Center
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Waihi Waterfall is 45 ft (13 m) piece of paradise in Waimea Valley on Oahu’s North Shore (opposite Waimea Bay). Visit this attraction for a peaceful botanic garden walk and refreshing swim.
SEARCH ACTIVITY SHOP: Oahu Coach Tour including Dole Plantation and Waimea Falls
Rent a car or take a tour to Oahu’s beautiful North Shore, explore the historic surf town of Haleiwa and famous surf spots like Sunset Beach. Don’t forget to try shave ice and eat at a shrimp truck (my favourite is Fumi’s).
SEARCH ACTIVITY SHOP: North Shore
Connect with Hawaii’s host culture through a ukulele, lei making, quilting, lauhala weaving or hula lesson. Royal Hawaiian Center offers complimentary cultural programming Tuesday to Saturday.
SEARCH ACTIVITY SHOP: Oahu Cultural Tours
Carve out some holiday time to delve deeper into Hawaii’s history, people, arts, plants, animals and more, at one of Oahu’s many museums.
- Bishop Museum
- Hawaii State Art Museum
- Hawaii Mission Houses
- Honolulu Museum of Art
- Iolani Palace
- Queen Emma Summer Palace
SEARCH ACTIVITY SHOP: Bishop Museum
Allow ample time at this national historic landmark to visit not only the USS Arizona Memorial but the Battleship Missouri Memorial, USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, Pacific Aviation Museum and the USS Oklahoma Memorial.
SEARCH ACTIVITY SHOP: Pearl Harbor
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Rent a car or take a tour to Oahu’s south-east coast, snorkel at Hanauma Bay, dip in Halona Beach, hike to Makapuu Point Lighthouse, explore Kailua and Lanikai beaches before returning via the Nuuanu Pali Lookout.
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