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Oahu

Known for Beaches, Shopping and Ports

Visit the true tropical paradise of Hawaii’s most populated island, which has the state’s sprawling capital in the south and world-class surfing on the long North Shore.

How do you get to Oahu?

On the Hawaiian island of O’ahu, Honolulu is the center of activity. It’s where you can enjoy white-sand beaches and high-end shopping only blocks apart. Just west of Honolulu, find memorials to those who lost their lives in the Pearl Harbor bombing and World War II counterattacks. Continue on to Waipahu to visit a Hawaiian plantation village or enjoy golf and shopping.

An hour’s drive from Honolulu, the North Shore features 8 miles (13 kilometers) of beach, from Hale’iwa to Waimea Bay, Banzai Pipeline and Sunset Beach. Visit in winter to watch international surf competitions. In summer, snorkel or dive at Pūpūkea Beach or simply relax on the North Shore sands, enjoying a picnic or spectacular sunset.

Stay at the Turtle Beach Resort, which has easy access to North Shore beaches. The resort offers luxury accommodations and extensive outdoor activities from mountain biking to surf school. Learn to dance the hula, make a lei or play the ukulele.

On the eastern shore, find scenic beaches, generally with smaller waves. Beaches near Kailua are great for windsurfing and kitesurfing. Some offer beach access for the disabled. Near the area of Kāne’ohe experience peace and tranquility in a botanical garden. Makapu’u Beach has glorious shoreline views. Hike to vistas above the working lighthouse here to spot whales and passing ships.

O’ahu has much more to offer in addition to beaches and surfing. Rent kayaks, outrigger canoes or paddleboards to enjoy gentler waters. Mountain bike, ride a horse or hike on jungle trails to reach lookout points with stunning views. Explore plantations or spy on sea turtles. Play golf on well-kept courses and shop at high-end boutiques or outlet stores. Or, simply relax with a treat of tropical shave ice.

Reach O’ahu by flying into Honolulu International Airport and then get around the island using a rental car, moped or motorcycle, taxis or the public transport system called “TheBus.” O’ahu is a popular vacation and honeymoon destination offering a pleasing mix of city and countryside, relaxation and excitement, modernity and history. Come see why visitors from around the world enjoy “the gathering place” of O’ahu.

For more details on interesting local attractions and activities, check out our thngs to do in Oahu page.

Best neighborhoods to visit in Oahu

Things to do in Oahu

Make the short climb to the rim of this extinct volcanic crater for spectacular views of Honolulu, the Pacific Ocean and the rugged ranges of Oahu’s interior.

Learn about one of the most tragic days in America’s history, and pay your respects to the sailors who lost their lives, at this Pearl Harbor memorial.

Explore this huge vessel and learn about the Battle of Pearl Harbor on the spot where World War II ended.

Head to the top of one of Hawai’i’s most iconic buildings for remarkable bird’s-eye views of Honolulu on one side and the ocean on the other. 

Paddle a kayak to the nearby islands, relax in the white sands or enjoy a picnic in the shade of the native trees at one of Oahu’s most popular beaches.

What began as the exotic bird collection of the island’s king is now a park with over 1,200 animals, including several rare and endangered species.

More than 400 fish species and green sea turtles live in this marine ecosystem at one of the best snorkeling spots in Hawaii.

Discover the triumphs and tragedies of the Hawaiian royal family and see their jewels, living quarters and more in Hawaii’s royal palace.

Tickets & Tours

Embrace the culture and spirit of Hawaii with an evening of lively entertainment and delicious cuisine at the spectacular Paradise Cove Luau. Participate in island games and crafts, learn about traditional ceremonies, and savor a buffet dinner while you watch a revue filled with music and dance.

Tickets & Tours

Delve into the ancient traditions of the islands and celebrate the cultures of the South Pacific at Germaine's Luau—where dance, cuisine, and customs meld seamlessly together to capture the beautiful spirit of old Hawaii.

Tickets & Tours

Delve slowly beneath the ocean's surface off Waikiki aboard the 48-passenger Atlantis Undersea submarine and get up close and personal with a sea teeming with marine life. Marvel at the marine creatures that populate coral reefs and sunken shipwrecks as you float through the tropical waters they call home.

Tickets & Tours

Enjoy a bird's-eye view of Honolulu and beyond as you take to the blue skies above Waikiki on a thrilling parsasailing adventure. With room for up to 2 people, you can fly solo or team up with a friend to take a tandem flight that lets you out on lines up to 1,000 feet (305 m) long.

Tickets & Tours

*NOTE: Visitor access to the USS Arizona Memorial is temporarily suspended. Travel back to World War II-era Hawaii on this tour of Pearl Harbor, the USS Arizona Memorial, and the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific located at Punchbowl.

Tickets & Tours

Dip beneath the waters of Hanauma Bay and find out why this sheltered cove is one of Oahu's most popular snorkeling destinations. Drift past colorful coral reef formations, wave to passing sea turtles, and follow schools of neon-bright tropical fish.

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