Oahu is a piece of paradise located in the state capital, Honolulu. This beautiful island has scenic countryside, exquisite sights that will leave you awe-struck, beaches so pristine they look like a postcard (and can be surfed or lounged on all day), tasty cuisine, and friendly locals. There aren’t many places on Earth as diversely scenic in their natural beauty spots as Oahu. Just make sure to bring your camera when visiting this paradise to capture every beautiful moment.
To help you get the most out of your Oahu trip, here are five key activities that you can do. These will ignite that passion for fun and adventure within yourself!
1. Join sightseeing, food tours, and turtle spotting
Circle Island Tour
Ready for an exciting road trip in the countryside to experience the true beauty and charm of Hawaii? Drive from the east side all the way to the North Shore to see captivating lookouts on the island. The great outdoors is waiting for you on this scenic journey!
Spend an amazing day with your family and friends amid breathtaking natural scenery and capture unforgettable photos. With so much beauty and culture in one small island paradise, there’s no shortage of fun things to do!
The best way to explore Oahu is on a private tour so you can have the freedom to explore at your own pace. Choose where to go and what to do (decide what type of experiences suit your preferences). If you have kids joining you on the tour, you can create a child-friendly itinerary tailored for them.
Are you ready to fall in love with the breathtaking sceneries of Oahu? Let expert local guides take you to explore tropical gems such as Diamond Head Lookout, Chinaman’s Hat, Jurassic Park Mountains, and other scenic locations. If you like the sun, sand, and a dose of vitamin sea, head out to Oahu’s beautiful beaches and legendary surf breaks where you get a chance to see giant waves up to 60 feet high during the winter time.
The serene and picturesque beaches that line this island are home to some of the world’s largest marine turtles. Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles spotting at Turtle Beach is the perfect activity for all ages. Find yourself mesmerized by these giant green sea turtles in their natural habitat.
Exploring the North Shore is not just a feast for the eyes but also a feast for your stomach. Sightseeing and Food Tour gives you the best of both worlds – sample yummy delicacies from the tropical fruit market, shrimp trucks, and coffee farm while appreciating the incredible sights. The final stop is always an exciting one: sweetened with delicious pineapple ice cream from the Dole Plantation tradition.
Hawaii turtle tours
Imagine swimming with turtles in the wild. These ancient creatures have been through more than 100 million years of evolution, adapting to their environment and overcoming countless obstacles! Be one of the lucky people to swim alongside these incredible creatures in their natural habitat.
What could be more surreal than swimming with the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle? You can join a semi-private and budget-friendly tour of up to 25 people. For your safety, lifeguards are always on standby during your snorkeling activity.
Hawaii’s turtles are some of the most delicate and cherished animals in our state. Please respect these wonderful creatures by following proper interaction protocols. Don’t chase or get too close to turtles (stay at least 15 feet away from them). They might be cute but it is against the law to touch them. So please remember, hands off!
2. Go on a fun beach tour
North Shore Tour
Maximize your time by going straight from Waikiki to North Shore beach to spend more time there. You can visit the glorious Waimea Bay, see the cascading Waimea Falls, set foot on the legendary Banzai Pipeline, and even customize what you want to experience at each stop of the North Shore Beach Tour. Choose a private tour to enjoy freedom and flexibility in planning your itinerary and setting your own pace with your family or friends.
If you want to experience a blend of old and new, we suggest visiting the thriving community of Haleiwa. This charming town on Oahu’s North Shore is noted for its artistic and surfer community. It is home to exciting water activities including epic surfing competitions, kayaking, and paddle boarding. There are also a lot of interesting shops and art galleries that can be found nowhere else.
One of the best parts of any tour is the food! Your Oahu trip will not be complete if you don’t try the famous shave ice. The pillowy ice that is often served in a disposable cup or bowl is topped with colorful fruit syrup of your choice. You can stop by for shave ice and enjoy it while sightseeing. Check out the food trucks along the way too and grab local treats like shrimp plates, poke bowls, smoothies, malasadas, and more.
Another highlight of the North Shore Tour is turtle spotting or snorkeling. These magnificent giant turtles can be seen basking on the beaches of Oahu such as Laniakea Beach.
Kevo’s Beach Bus
Enjoy a fun and laidback guided bus tour around Oahu. Kevo’s Beach Bus is a semi-private tour that can accommodate up to 25 passengers and is designed to help you spend the maximum fun time outside of the bus. Led by fun tour guides, you can visit amazing sites like Waimea Bay and Pipeline. The fun doesn’t end there – you can also go paddleboarding and kayaking in the river! They offer three different trips per week so there’s always an option that works best with your schedule.
3. Sign up for a Pearl Harbor Tour
To learn more about the history of World War II in Hawaii, take a trip to USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor City. The USS Arizona Memorial is where your Pearl Harbor experience begins. It’s the final resting place for the 1,177 crewmen who lost their lives when their ship was bombed by Japanese Naval Forces. The Pearl Harbor City Tour takes around four to five hours but can extend up to six hours if you visit the historic USS Missouri battleship. You can enjoy a customized private Pearl Harbor Tour good for up to four people.
4. Sail away in a sunset cruise
The breathtaking sunsets in Hawaii are a photographer’s dream. What better way to witness the enchanting colors fill the sky than on an evening cruise at sea? Glide along the coastline of Waikiki or West Oahu on a Sunset Sail Catamaran and enjoy unobscured panoramic views of the vibrant hues of the skyline.
5. Have a fun luau
Experience the magic of the Starlight Luau, a beautiful celebration of life that transcends borders and brings together people from all over the world. This traditional Hawaiian celebration has become an international symbol of goodwill, sharing, and friendship.
We recommend the luau that takes place behind the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Enjoy an award-winning production, live music, dramatic fire spinning, hula lessons, flavorful local food, and refreshing drinks in an outdoor setting. This great local Hawaiian fiesta experience under the stars is one for the books!
We hope you enjoyed our list of the five best things to do in Oahu. As you can see, there is something for everyone – from scenic drives and hiking trails to beaches and cultural experiences. If you’re looking for an unforgettable adventure in paradise, be sure to put these activities at the top of your list. Mahalo for reading and we hope to see you soon on the island of Oahu!