Welcoming the largest number of visitors compared to any other Hawaiian Island, O`ahu is the perfect tropical paradise for all. The island features large urban areas and vast areas of natural beauty. Perhaps the most famous of its attractions are the many beaches found around the island. Which beach you decide to visit might depend on a number of factors from the season, your location, or your desired beach activities. Divided into four geographic areas, O`ahu’s shores each offer different…
Things To Do On O`ahu
From diving under into the depths of the ocean to hiking up into the clouds, O`ahu is full of fun things to do. Keep reading for the best things to do on O`ahu. Great for first time visitors who don’t know where to start. Let Kintetsu International Hawaii Company help with all your travel needs.
Learn How To Surf
Of course, the most obvious thing to do in Hawai`i is to learn how to surf. There truly is no better place to learn than in the sport’s birthplace. Waikīkī Beach, once home to legendary waterman Duke Kahanamoku, offers surfboard rentals and surfing lessons all along the beach. You’ll be able to find private or group lessons from the beach’s many professionals. For those confident in their abilities but lacking the proper equipment, you can simply rent a surfboard for an hourly or set fee.
Outside of surfing, Waikīkī Beach also offers a variety of beach rentals. Ranging from stand up paddle boards to beach lounge chairs and umbrellas, you’ll be able to enjoy O`ahu’s beaches to the fullest. Outside of surfing, there are many beaches around the island for swimming, snorkeling, or kayaking. To read more on O`ahu’s best beaches, click here.
Looking for an active start to the day? Go on a hike! The Diamond Head State Monument is perhaps one of the most popular and famous hikes in the state. The gates open early in the morning, allowing you to catch the sunset rising over the island. Less than two miles in total, the hike is suitable for hikers of all ages. The Diamond Head hike features a narrow tunnel, stairs, and a military bunker from WWII, making it a fun and educational experience. Audio Tours on the area’s history, legends, and environment are also available for rent.
Beginning May 12, 2022, a reservation system will be implemented to regulate the crowds. Prior to visiting the park, a reservation and payment must be made. For more information on the reservation system, click here.
There are many other hikes scattered throughout the island. You can hike through lush forests, wade through natural streams, or conquer mountains. Other popular hikes include the Makapu`u Lighthouse Trail, Manoa Falls, and Koko Head.
Polynesian Cultural Center
Hawai`i has a long history during which a rich culture of traditions and beliefs was created. The most popular aspect of Hawaiian culture is hula, a traditional dance that has spread around the globe. The Polynesian Cultural Center teaches visitors about the rich cultures found in Hawai`i and throughout the Pacific. Featuring cultures from six different island nations, the PCC combines education and entertainment. You can learn about these cultures through cultural presentations set multiple times during the day and various hands-on activities. The center also provides multiple dining and shopping options for all-day entertainment. To end the night, watch the Hā: Breath of Life Show which combines elements from each of the six island cultures for a fantastic end to the day’s activities.
Visit the Set of Jurassic Park
Home to breathtaking views found nowhere else in the world, Hawai`i has been the set of various blockbuster films. Located in Ka`a`awa Valley, you might recognize Kualoa Ranch in the background of some of your favorite movies. Jurassic Park, Jumanji, and Fifty First Dates are only a few of the productions filmed here. Kualoa Ranch offers several guided tours that take you to visit these famous film sets where some props still remain.
Kualoa Ranch also offers other tours where you can pick taro, drive an ATV, or go horseback riding. Go ziplining through the “Jurassic Valley” or travel to a Secret Beach. Kualoa Ranch has activities for all ages and is perfect for entertaining the entire family.
Venture Underwater With Atlantis Submarine
Want to experience Hawai`i from a different point of view? Atlantis Adventures takes you down under the ocean where you can see the marine life without getting wet. Venture 100 feet beneath the ocean’s surface in the world’s largest recreational submarine equipped with large portholes to see out of. The submarine’s dive site takes you to ship wrecks and other structures that are home to many sea creatures. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of sea turtles, sharks, or eels, among the many species of fish.
A trip to Honolulu is not complete without a trip to Pearl Harbor. Welcoming over one million visitors every year, Pearl Harbor is one of Hawai`i’s top tourist destinations. The attack of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 pushed the U.S. into World War II. Built over the remains of the sunken USS Arizona, the USS Arizona Memorial receives many visitors wishing to pay their respects. Guests may also visit the Battleship Missouri Memorial, USS Oklahoma Memorial, Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum, and the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum. Although there are no escorted tours at the Visitor Center, the USS Arizona Memorial Audio Tour takes you through the experiences of actual survivors on an emotional experience of the day’s events. The Audio Tour is available in 9 languages and takes approximately two hours to complete.
Built in 1882 by King Kalākaua, I`olani Palace was the home of Hawai`i’s last reigning monarchs. I`olani Palace has a diverse history as the official residence of Hawaiian monarchs, a prison for Hawai`i’s Queen, and headquarters for the Provisional Government before serving as the government capitol building until 1969. The palace has since been restored to its former glory and features original furnishings and artifacts. Guests wishing to tour the palace may do so via a guided tour or with a self-led audio tour. There are also various specialty tours available throughout the week. The tours take you through rooms on the first and second floors of the palace including the throne room, royal residences, and the Queen’s imprisonment room.
Sunset Dinner Cruise
Offering various dinner options, the Star of Honolulu is Hawai`i’s largest sunset dinner cruise ship. Enjoy a delicious meal with stunning views of Waikīkī and live entertainment. Departing from Honolulu Harbor, the Star of Honolulu heads to Diamond Head and circles around to views of Waikīkī city lights. The Star of Honolulu also embarks on holiday cruises throughout the year and whale watching cruises during the winter. Four walk-around decks and a 60-foot high observation deck make this the perfect vessel for whale watching.