Top 7 Best Things to Do in Oahu

Sunset in Oahu North Shore. Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Agency

By Danny R. Johnson – Travel and Entertainment News Editor

This past December, San Diego County News visited Oahu, a paradise island known for its beautiful beaches, tropical climate, and vibrant culture. Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Oahu is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

Whether you are looking for outdoor adventures, Polynesian cultural experiences, or a relaxing vacation, Oahu has something for everyone. One of the best things to do in Oahu is to hit the beach. Oahu has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, ranging from tourist hotspots to secluded stretches of sand. Whether you are looking to catch some waves, snorkel, or soak up the sun, a beach on Oahu is perfect.

Top 7 Things to Do in Oahu, Hawaii

Besides its stunning beaches, Oahu is known for its rich Polynesian culture and wide-ranging history. The island has several historical landmarks, including the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, the Iolani Palace, and the Nu’uanu Pali Lookout. Visitors to Oahu can learn about the island’s fascinating history and experience the unique blend of Hawaiian and American culture that is unique to the island. So, let us look at our seven amazing things to do on one of Hawaii’s most popular islands.

Helicopter tour of Oahu Diamond Head. Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Agency

1. Take A Helicopter Tour

One of our favorite things to do in Hawaii is to take a helicopter tour. We took one at each island we visited, and Oahu was one of our famous flights. The beautiful sea cliffs and waterfalls are a gorgeous view from above. Still, Oahu was a bit different from the other islands as we flew over Pearl Harbor, giving a bird’s eye view of the warships still sitting underwater in the harbor. We flew with Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Tours out of Honolulu.

It may cost a few extra bucks, but the views are worth it, especially if the weather is nice. Ask for a window seat, or you may get stuck in the middle seat like Dave and not see much. · This helicopter tour left from Waikiki Beach to the North Shore, which was beautiful. · Magnum PI fans will love this helicopter tour in a replica of the helicopter from the series. See all the places where Magnum PI was filmed and the other top things to see on Oahu, like the North Shore, Pearl Harbor, Sacred Falls, Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, and Le‘ahi (Diamond Head).

2. Visit Pearl Harbor Memorial

One of the top things to do in Oahu is to visit the Pearl Harbor Memorial. The USS Arizona Memorial commemorates the sailors and ship that went down in the harbor when the Japanese attacked in 1941 during World War II. You can take an audio tour of the memorial from the visitor’s center, where you will hear stories from survivors and historians. (Jamie Lee Curtis voices it)

The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is open seven days a week and is free to visit the two museums and the USS Arizona Memorial. You must make reservations to visit the memorial for a timed entrance. You can do that here.

Your trip includes a boat ride to/from the memorial and allows for 15 minutes at the monument. Combine your Pearl Harbor visit with a Waikiki Honolulu City Tour. It includes a tour of Honolulu, a stop at the King Kamehameha Statue in front of Hawaii Five-0 Headquarters, the Pearl Harbor National Park, and the chance to take the boat to the USS Arizona memorial.

Underwater snorkel with Sea Turtles. Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Agency

3. Learn to Surf at Waikiki Beach

Being an island of Hawaii with over 110 miles of coastline, Oahu has no shortage of stunning beaches. The clear turquoise waters are bordered by warm golden sands and blessed with pleasant sunny weather; the beaches are one of the main attractions of Oahu. One of the most popular ones is Waikiki Beach, which offers visitors an opportunity to top up their tan and relax under a brightly colored umbrella.

With the sun shining brightly, a cool breeze blowing, and waves crashing softly into one another in the background, lounging on Waikiki Beach seems like a dream come true. However, you should know it is prevalent among tourists, just like Turtle Beach and Hanauma Bay, and hence highly likely to be buzzing with activity and people most of the year. Lined with hotels and restaurants, it is a fantastic place to hang out. One of the most popular things to do in Oahu and at this beach is to learn to surf.

The conditions on Waikiki Beach are some of the best for learning to surf. With excellent, easy waves and a sandy bottom, this is the ideal place to fulfill your bucket list of surfing in Hawaii. The Surfer Girl Academy offers group lessons.

But we highly recommend one surf instruction. Having a surfing instructor with you is effective in helping you stand. Kahu Surf School offers private lessons.

4. Oahu’s North Shore

Avid surfers will not be surfing at Waikiki Beach but will go to the north shore. Waimea Bay Beach Park is famous as the big wave surf spot where, during the winter months, the waves reach thirty feet high! While you will not be in the water with them, watching the surfers catch a wave is incredible. There are plenty of things to do at Waimea Beach besides surfing, and you can lounge on the soft sand or go swimming in the summer months (when the water is calm).

You can try stand-up paddleboarding or dive into the clear turquoise waters for a fun swimming experience. Not only that, but summers at Waimea also offer the perfect opportunity to go snorkeling with the turtles and the schools of local fish. If you want to do some snorkeling, pack your gear. Or you can go to watch locals jump from the cliffs.

5. Shark Diving Oahu is famous for its shark diving, and this highly rated North Shore shark cage dive tour is on the bucket list. It is two tours in one. A scenic boat ride takes you offshore from the North Shore, where you will hop in a cage to see sharks swimming in their natural habitat of the Pacific Ocean. No experience is necessary. You can even bring your mask and snorkel as it requires no oxygen tanks. You hold your breath and watch. Seeing sharks up close is an incredible experience. When you see them up close under the water, your fear disappears as you watch them effortlessly glide through the sea.

6. Swim with Sea Turtles

Hawaii is one of the best places to go snorkeling with sea turtles. We always recommend a guided tour for snorkeling as the professionals know where to find them. This Hidden Gems Tour does not only include a chance to snorkel with green sea turtles, and you will also stop at Chinaman’s Hat and Sunset Beach.

Since it is a full-day tour, it is a beautiful way to check off many of the best things to do in Oahu in one day, including stops at Hanauma Bay, Halona Blowhole, Makapuu, Pt. Macadamia Nut Farm, North Shore Shrimp Trucks, North Shore Fruit Stand, and the Dole Plantation. Snorkel Gear

7. Sunset Beach

Surfers flock to Sunset Beach to ride the waves, but it is also one of the best spots in Oahu for sunset. Hence the name. Located on Oahu’s North Shore, this is another spot for big waves and is part of the Triple Crown Surfing Contest. However, non-surfers can go swimming and snorkeling in the summer. However, it is the sunset that attracts a crowd. Sunset Beach is a beautiful two-mile stretch of sand to drive to its free parking lot. Other fantastic places for sunset are Ala Moana Beach Park and Ka’ena Poin.

Similar Posts