Whether it’s the only island you’ll visit or one of several you’ll stop off at during your trip, there’s definitely no shortage of exciting things to do on Oahu, from strolling along the sands of iconic Waikiki to taking in dinner and a show at the famous Polynesian Cultural Center. Have a trip to Hawaii on the horizon? Here’s a quick look at just seven of the many amazing things to do on Oahu.
Table of contents:
- 1. Visit the Polynesian Cultural Center
- 2. Explore the North Shore
- 3. Stroll along Waikiki
- 4. Discover History at Pearl Harbor
- 5. Go Hiking at Diamond Head
- 6. Ride an Atlantis Submarine
- 7. Check out Iolani Palace
1 Visit the Polynesian Cultural Center
No list of great things to do on Oahu would be complete without a visit to the Polynesian Cultural Center, which offers the perfect chance to learn about the unique island cultures of Hawaii, Samoa, Fiji, Tahiti, Tonga, Marquesas and Aotearoa. Make a reservation to enjoy dinner and a luau, and also consider signing up for the Circle Island Tour, which takes you on a journey to several key sights around Oahu, including Hanauma Bay, the Dole Plantation and Diamond Head.
2 Explore the North Shore
Planning your trip sometime during November through February? Head to the North Shore to explore the area’s more than seven miles of gorgeous beaches while also watching professional surfers take on monstrous waves. Not traveling during the peak time? There is still plenty of surfing and fun in the sun taking place here all year long, so don’t miss your chance to join in the excitement! Hungry? The North Shore is also home to a number of popular shrimp trucks.
3 Stroll along Waikiki
Located in Honolulu, the famous Waikiki offers plenty of great hotels, resorts, restaurants and shops. Want to try your hand at surfing? Visit the aquarium? Check out the zoo? Explore the Waikiki Historical Trail? Pick out a seaside bar and watch the sunset while sipping a Mai Tai? Head to Waikiki to experience all of these things and more!
4 Discover History at Pearl Harbor
Honor those who lost their lives on the infamous day of December 7, 1941, by visiting Pearl Harbor, home to the USS Arizona Memorial, USS Oklahoma Memorial, USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, Battleship Missouri Memorial and Pacific Aviation Museum. Since Pearl Harbor can be quite busy, especially during the summer months, be sure to check out the advance reservation program at Recreation.gov, where you can make plans to visit the USS Arizona Memorial and other sites.
5 Go Hiking at Diamond Head
For those who love to explore the outdoors, hiking at Diamond Head State Monument is an absolute must. Comprised of a 760-ft. crater, Diamond Head offers what GoHawaii.com describes as a moderate intensity trail featuring two sets of stairs with a total of 175 steps, along with underground tunnels and military bunkers. Of course, at the top, the trail opens up to remarkable panoramic views.
6 Ride an Atlantis Submarine
Adults and kids alike will love getting an up-close look at sea life and artificial reefs aboard one of Waikiki’s Atlantis Submarines. This tour company also offers dinner cruises and seasonal whale watching excursions, so check out the various options when planning your trip.
7 Check out Iolani Palace
Recognized as the only official state residence of royalty in the United States, Iolani Palace in Downtown Honolulu was home to King Kalakaua and then Queen Liliuokalani from 1882 to 1893 during the Hawaiian Kingdom’s final years. Today, Iolani Palace is open to the public, allowing visitors to explore everything from the throne room to the royal family’s living quarters.
Have you ever been to Hawaii? What are some of your favorite things to do on Oahu?
Sources: polynesia.com, gohawaii.com, nps.gov, recreation.gov, atlantisadventures.com
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