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.
Beaches, Shopping and Ports
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.
Become immersed in the history of the attack on Pearl Harbor, which resulted in the United States' involvement in World War II. Experience the sobering memorial to the sunken USS Arizona, and learn fascinating details about the attack from your guide and the comprehensive museum.
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.
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.
Barefoot, board the boat right on Waikiki Beach and sail out through the surf line, leaving the hustle and bustle of Waikiki behind. Sit back and enjoy Hawaii's beauty as you experience a true Hawaiian sunset and sip beverages such as Mai Tais, beer, champagne, wine, juice, and soft drinks.
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.
Your Oahu parasailing adventure departs from the Hawaii Kai Shopping Center in Honolulu. You can show up anytime between 9am and 2:30pm (rides depart every 30 minutes and are included in the price), or opt for pickup from your Waikiki hotel at your pre-selected departure time.
Feasting on the top foodie favorites in Hawaii's capital city.
Uncovering Oahu's best beaches
Savoring the best bites in Hawaii, South Korea, and more