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Top Activities in Oahu

See all 498 things to do in Oahu

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What to Do in Oahu: Must See Attractions

Oahu Attractions

When rest and relaxation are in order, there is perhaps no better place to visit than Oahu. The clock always reads island time in this Hawaiian destination, and there are plenty of ways to forget about your worries back home. Things to do in Oahu include the cultural and the athletic. Naturally, you can always soak up some Vitamin D while you’re on the island, too. From the vibrant crowds on Waikiki Beach to the reinvigorating solitude afforded by inland jungle landscape, Oahu has something for everyone.

Areas & Neighborhoods on Oahu

People often think of white ribbons of sand when they imagine a trip to Hawaii, and you will encounter no shortage of coastline on a vacation to Oahu. Still, if it’s lush landscape or busy city streets you’re after: The island still delivers. The neighborhoods and cities in Oahu are diverse and exciting.

Honolulu — As the capital of Hawaii, Honolulu is a hub for business and entertainment. Naturally, this means some of the best things to do in Oahu, Hawaii make their homes here. Downtown Honolulu and Chinatown are particularly popular among visitors, and Waikiki Beach offers a place to get sand in between your toes.

Windward Coast — The Windward Coast region of Oahu is on the southwest side of the island, just a short drive from Honolulu. Visit sites like the Makapuu Point Lighthouse and Nuuanu Pali Lookout while you’re in the area.

Leeward Coast — Situated on the western side of the island, the Leeward Coast is at the base of the Waianae Mountains. The climate here is notably drier than other parts of Oahu, and the region has far less tourism than the Windward side. Visit the Leeward Coast for a secluded surfing excursion or quiet beach day.

North Shore — People-wise, the North Shore is also quite tame when compared to the hustle and bustle of Honolulu. This side of the island is deal for snorkeling, hiking to waterfalls, and strolling through charming beach villages, not to mention the famous big wave surfing opportunities here.

Things to See in Oahu

Before you step into your hiking boots or swim fins, there are lots of things to see in Oahu, not the least of which are the spectacular views. Grab your best camera and head to spots like Diamond Head Crater and Puu Ualakaa State Park for a chance to take a frame-worthy snapshot. Of course, you can also be entertained on the island. Oahu activities like luaus put you front and center with dancers and other performers. You can also take in a refined performance at the Oahu Ballet or one of the island’s many theaters.

Sightseeing in Oahu

Oahu offers lots of opportunities for adventure by both land and sea. If you want to keep your feet dry, head to Leahi (Diamond Head) or the Waimea Valley for a day hike. Not only will you burn some calories, but you can enjoy wonderful views and take in the diverse terrain. When it comes to water activities on Oahu, adventures range from body boarding at Hanauma Bay to outrigger canoe rides at Waikiki. Guided Oahu tours let you see different parts of the island in the same day without getting lost.

Things to Do in Oahu with Kids

There's fun for the entire family in Oahu. Here are a few family friendly experiences to enjoy together that'll make your vacation unforgettable:

Free Things to Do in Oahu

There's no need to dig deep into your pockets in Oahu. The following won't cost a penny.

Hawaii Loves Barbie Dolls Museum - Bring the entire family and embark on a fascinating adventure through history with one another.

Wahiawa Freshwater State Recreation Area - If you're looking to ramp up the fun factor on your vacation, this is the place to do it.

Puuomahuka Heiau - Get educated on some of the intriguing history of the region through this site.

Mokolii Island - Just being near the water is guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Chinatown Markets - Open up your guidebook and learn why this place is worth adding to your to-do list.

Koolaus Mountains - Bring along your camera and let Mother Nature spark a sense of wonder in you.

Kahana Bay Beach Park - Refresh your mind and soul by spending some time in nature.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What to do in Oahu on a sunny day?

Take advantage of the good weather (and stretch those legs too) with one or two of these outdoor activities:

What to do in Oahu on a rainy day?

Throw yourself into a few of these popular indoor activities and turn a miserable, rainy day into something unforgettable:

What is Oahu famous for?

Pack some comfortable shoes because there are lots of well-known attractions you just have to see:

  • Diamond Head
  • USS Arizona Memorial
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • Aloha Tower

What should I not miss in Oahu?

Put these things at the top of your must-do list to get the most out of your trip:

  • Ala Moana Center
  • Kailua Beach
  • Honolulu Zoo
  • Lanikai Beach

Are there cheap things to do in Oahu?

Keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket with these cheap and fun things to do:

What can you do in Oahu for free?

You could even leave your money in the hotel safe for the day, because these fantastic attractions won't cost you a thing:

  • USS Arizona Memorial
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • Aloha Tower
  • Ala Moana Center