Things to Do & See in Oahu, Hawaii

Things to Do & See in Oahu, Hawaii
Oahu is the third biggest island in Hawaii and is home to famous landmarks such as Waikiki Beach and Hawaii's capital. Thousands of tourists visit the island's sunny coasts every year for its temperate weather and warm, pristine beaches. Nature enthusiasts will find many outdoor activities. Discover some of the things to do and see while visiting Oahu, Hawaii, for a vacation you won't forget.

Hiking

There are many hiking trails and walking paths across the island. Take advantage of the island's sunny weather and head out to Diamond Head Crater. This mountain is one of the island's most recognizable landmarks. The trail is approximately 1.5 miles long, and tourists must pay a $1 entrance fee. At the top of the extinct volcano, you'll find sweeping views of the coast, including nearby Waikiki Beach. If you want a more forested hike, explore the Kanealole Trail. This hike leads you through a towering Hawaiian forest where you may see exotic wildlife and plants. For either hike, pack a bottle of water and sunscreen, as there are no convenience stores or refreshment outlets near the trailheads.

Diamond Head Crater
4200 Diamond Head Road
Honolulu, HI 96815

Kanealole Trail
2131 Makiki Heights Drive
Honolulu, HI 96822

Beaches

No visit to Oahu is complete without a visit to its golden sand beaches. Ala Moana Beach Park is one of the most visited beaches on the island. Fronting a 76-acre landscaped park, the beach includes surf breaks for surfers and shallow bays for young swimmers. Public bathrooms, picnic tables, BBQ grills and numerous shade trees make this park a great place to spend a day or evening. However, you'll find the beach crowded on a sunny day. For a more tranquil beach experience, visit Kalama Beach. Quieter and less-frequented by tourists, this beach is perfect for a relaxing day of sunbathing.

Ala Moana Beach Park
1201 Ala Moana Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96814

Kalama Beach
280 N Kalaheo Ave
Kailua, HI 96734

Snorkeling

Oahu is home to numerous exotic marine animals, including many found nowhere else in the world. Get a glimpse of these animals at the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, one of the best places on Oahu to snorkel. This protected marine habitat is open to the public, though an admission fee is charged to help support the maintenance of the bay. As of September 2009, entrance costs $7.50 per person unless you have a Hawaii driver's license or are younger than 13. Once inside, you can take a tour of the facilities and learn about the fish and animals you may see. Then, rent a snorkel and mask and dive into the bay's crisp, clear waters. You'll instantly find yourself surrounded by colorful coral gardens and massive schools of tropical fish. If you're lucky, you'll see a rare Hawaiian green sea turtle.

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
7455 Kalaniana'ole Hwy.
Honolulu, HI 96825
(808) 396-4229

Shopping

After you've spent a day swimming, sunbathing and hiking, explore some of the island's indoor delights and go shopping. If Oahu's beaches and mountains are an outdoor enthusiast's paradise, Ala Moana Shopping Center is a shopper's paradise. It is the state's largest mall and one of the best places to try local cuisine, pickup cheap souvenirs to bring home and browse boutique designer shops. Stores include local favorites like Lin's Hawaiian Snacks, where you can pickup packaged Hawaiian and Asian candies and snacks, as well as international brand stores such as Prada and Express.

Ala Moana Shopping Center
1450 Ala Moana Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 955-9517
alamoanacenter.com

Article Written By Josh Duvauchelle

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.

FREE UPDATES

Subscribe

We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.