Oahu Hawaii is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world, and if you get to visit this island paradise you’ll quickly see why. The third largest Hawaiian island is home to over 125 beaches, heaps of hikes, natural beauty galore, the bustling city life of Honolulu, and famous world-class surf.
From waterfalls, beaches, and waves, to nightlife, crafty eats, and shopping, there’s no shortage of things to do in Oahu. Treat yourself to the spectacle of a Surf Competition of the North Shore go whale watching, skydiving, snorkeling, swimming in crystal-clear waters, or simply chillax and sip a Mai Tai on one of the many picture-perfect beaches.
Oahu may be a tiny island in Hawaii, but you’ll find your days completely packed here (especially if you’re a nature-lover). If you’re looking for best things to do in Oahu, here are some;
Everyone visiting Hawaii should try their hand at surfing at least once. The island of Oahu is a surfer’s paradise with warm waters year-round, and excellent conditions to suit everyone from novices to surfing superstars. With lots of surf schools popping up along the coast and connected to every resort – this is the perfect time to try.
Oahu is home to one of the most notorious spots in the whole of the surf world and a major reason why people opt for visiting Hawaii– the iconic North Shore. In winter the swells throw up some of the biggest waves known to man and you need to be a hardened pro with nerves of steel. From Sunset each to Pipeline and Waimea Bay – these dense shorelines are worth watching but steer clear of the water unless you are an expert.
For softer play when visiting Oahu, you can seek out the frolicking white water spots of Waimanalo Beach and Bellows Beach – both excellent choices for beginners who want to get a foot on the board. Intermediate surfers can head for Sandy Beach with its powerful shore breaks and vibrant colored sand that seems to get stuck in every orifice.
Visiting Oahu becomes a pure playground for hikers, especially those who love to disappear into the wilderness. From craggy volcanic peaks, to Ziplining from the top, to dense orchid flaring rainforests, hidden waterfalls, and jaw dropping vistas – this island is etched with passages, trails, and hikes to blow you away. Diamond Head is one of the most popular, yet the Kuliouou Trail is also mild and simple and rewards climbers with clear and dazzling views from the summit. The Han Bay hike is another popular one, especially for those who want to indulge in a colorful snorkel afterwards.
Lanipo is for the less faint of heart – with her ridgeline crest trail that dips in and out of the rolling green hills. If you want to lose yourself in the humidity of the jungle and pass through banyan arches, then Ualaka’a is an expedition. Waimano Falls leads you down a shaded path until you reach a cascade waterfall of the brightest blue. Whichever path you choose, you can be sure that the best Oahu hikes will stay carved in your heart.
For the crème de la crème of Hawaii’s underwater wonders – Hanauma Bay is the poster child tempting snorkelers from across the world into visiting Hawaii. The visibility makes snorkeling one of the most incredible activities for those seeking what to do in Oahu..
During the summer months snorkelers can also head to Sharks Cove; a natural shallow garden surrounded by rocks and wonderful for younger snorkelers on calm days. In the warm liquid blue of Oahu you can swim alongside sea turtles, spinner dolphins, and a whole network of shimmering fish and marine species
- Swim in the Waterfalls
Like any paradise isle, Oahu is brimming with beautiful waterfalls. Some gush from dizzying heights, others trickle like the sound of music, some take death defying hikes to get to, others have serene blue pools for bathing. The only waterfall in Oahu you can swim in is in the Waimea Falls Park. The fifty-foot waterfall cascades into a freshwater pool, lifeguards man the edge, and you can even borrow life vests if you want to take the plunge safely. Surrounding the falls, you can find beautiful botanical gardens, and there are often Polynesian inspired cultural events taking place in the courtyard.
- Whale Watching
Common in December until May, whale watching tours can be a wonder to behold when visiting Hawaii. During the winter months, the humpbacks leave the icy waters to travel down to the balmy tropical seas that surround Hawaii. Here, they give birth and start to raise their calves. From Oahu, you can take a charter boat out to get up close and personal with these gentle giants. The most common spots you can book a boat tour from are the waters by Makapuu Lighthouse, along Hanauma Bay, and the coastline close to Diamond Head. Go the extra mile when looking for things to do on Oahu and book a boat with an expert guide who can tell you all about these fascinating creatures as you seek out your own Moby Dick.
With so much coastline you can be sure to find hidden gems scattered along the whole of Oahu and sometimes the best beaches in Hawaii are tucked away. These are beaches where you may not see another soul in sight and can leave a single set of footprints in the sand. A spot that needs discovering when seeking hidden things to do in Oahu is the Halona beach Cove Surrounded by craggy rock, this beautiful pocket of sand meets waters of the purest blue. Close to the fiery Halona blowhole, this is also the star beach that featured in the 1950’s movie – From Here to Eternity.
If you want to spend your days lingering on white sands but don’t want to miss out on the party, then Waikiki Beach should be top of your list for beaches when visiting Oahu. The two-mile stretch is split into sections ensuring that everyone gets a space to call their own. Watersports galore, cosmopolitan chic, and family fun – from sun rise to sun down; the good times don’t skip a beat at Waikiki.
It’s easy to see why Hawaii has become synonymous with paradise. Just look at these sugary beaches, Technicolor coral reefs and volcanoes beckoning adventurous spirits.