The Best Things to Do in Oahu

By Kenya Barrett

Oahu is a beautiful island filled with several historic and scenic destinations for travelers to explore. You can spend the day touring sites dedicated to the important events surrounding Pearl Harbor or enjoy the clear waters and white sand beaches that adorn the island. Whichever you choose, the options are endless! Here are some of the best things to do in Oahu.

Honolulu - Waikiki Beach

Famous for its precious waters, delectable eats, and perfect surf tides, Waikiki Beach continues to be a hotspot for visitors coming to Oahu. Ocean lovers can enjoy a day snorkeling and observing the various species of sea critter or participate in a daring shark diving experience. If you’re up for the challenge, Waikiki Beach is the best place to learn to surf thanks to its gentle waves. Outside of physical activities involving the water, travelers can hop aboard a glass boat and view underwater life from the comfort of their seats.

Land lovers also have an array of amenities at their disposal along the coast of the beach. One can enjoy a spa day at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort or sip margaritas at any of the beach front bars. Some places to grab a bite include Hula Grill Waikiki, Aloha Kitchen, or fresh shaved ice from Island Vintage Shaved Ice.

Downtown Honolulu

Downtown Honolulu is home to a number of attractions. Art lovers can spend a day in the Art District to view street art from local artists and contemporary pieces at the Hawaii State Art Museum. Other Instagrammable destinations include the King Kamehameha Statue, the Iolani Palace, and the Aloha Tower. Foodies can head to the Pig and The Lady for delicious Vietnamese cuisine or Lucky Belly for some popular Asian-infused bites.

Pearl Harbor

The historic importance behind Pearl Harbor draws visitors from around the world to this part of Hawaii annually. As such, the area contains several museums and centers that provide information about events surrounding the former naval base. Travelers can start at the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites Visitor Center, where they can learn more about the naval base specifically. You can then venture to Ford Island to explore the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, the Battleship Missouri Memorial, or the infamous Luke Field.

For those less interested in historic tours but would enjoy a scenic view nonetheless, you can visit the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument that is filled with several protected archaeological remains. Also, visitors can view the Banyan Tree, watch dogs at the Ford Island Dog Park, and spend time at the Battleship Cove Playground.


Away from the beautiful shores of Oahu is the Wahiawa region, known for its agriculture, flora, and mountainous landscapes. More specifically, Wahiawa is home to the Dole Plantation - a popular tourist destination due to the harvesting of Dole pineapples. An attraction for all ages, the plantation not only offers visitor tours but also train rides and one of the world’s largest mazes.

Green thumbs can also visit the Wahiawa Botanical Garden. Here, one can view plants that are native to the area in a 25-acre garden that rests atop a slight elevation. Additionally, golfers can swing until their heart's content at the Leileuha Golf Course.


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