If this is your first time visiting Hawaii you must be very excited. But where do you start in making vacation plans? Here are our favorite top 10 things to do on Oahu to help you have the best vacation ever.
Our top 10 things to do on Oahu
1. Visit Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor is one of the most significant sites in recent American history. Home to the USS Arizona Memorial, USS Missouri, USS Bowfin, USS Oklahoma Memorial, the Pacific Aviation Museum, and the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, a wealth of history is waiting to be discovered at Pearl Harbor. You can even see bullet holes from the Japanese Zeroes when they attacked hangars on Ford Island.
The best way to experience Pearl Harbor is on tour, check out all the amazing possibilities of touring Pearl Harbor. Informative, exciting, and solemn all at the same time, a trip to Pearl Harbor is #1 on our top 10 things to do on Oahu list!
2. Snorkel at Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay is the most famous snorkeling spot on Oahu. Home to abundant sea life, bright colorful corals, and protected from open ocean currents by an narrow mouth, there is no better place for novice divers to get their feet wet.
If you want to go snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, just remember the park is closed on Tuesdays!
3. Try a Hawaiian “Shave Ice”
What’s the best way to escape the hot Hawaiian sun? With a delicious shave ice! A local favorite, this Hawaiian-style snow cone is topped with nearly any flavor you can think of! Getting a shave ice is definitely a must do!
One of the most popular spots on the island for shave ice is Matsumoto’s on the North Shore. Just one taste and you’ll realize why shave ice is on our list of top 10 things to do on Oahu!
4. Go to the Halona Blowhole
Oahu’s rocky south shore has one of the most famous natural landmarks on the island, the Halona Blowhole. Swells fill this ancient lava cave and force water up through the top making a majestic waterspout shoot up above the rocks. It’s quite an impressive site on big days.
While it may be tempting to venture down and get a closer view, IT IS A BAD IDEA TO DO SO. Its easy to get injured to venture beyond the viewing area. But be sure to check out Halona Cove to the right of the viewing area. It’s where the famous beach scene in “From Here To Eternity” was filmed.
5. Learn how to surf in Waikiki
Waikiki is the birthplace of modern surfing made famous by legendary Hawaiian surfer and Olympian Duke Kahanamoku, so it’s only fitting as for Waikiki Beach to be the place to learn!
Lots of rental spots on the beach make it easy and convenient to rent a board and take a lesson. Most of the places can watch your bags while you’re “shredding the gnar.”
6. Take a picture with Duke Kahanamoku
Duke Kahanamoku is the “Godfather of Surfing” and grew up surfing the breaks of Waikiki. Not only was he an Olympian, he introduced the sport to the rest of the west and got the world stoked on surfing.
This Hawaiian legend is immortalized with a statue at the beach he is known for. One of the most popular things to do is take a picture standing in front of the “Duke” statue, and you shouldn’t leave Hawaii without getting yours!
7. Experience the North Shore
When you go to Oahu’s North Shore you don’t just visit, you experience it. Journey to the town of Haleiwa and beyond, and take a step back in time to Oahu’s old country and connect with the land.
Not only home to many farms which grow local produce, the North Shore is famous for big wave surfing. Spots like Waimea Bay, Sunset Beach, and the Banzai Pipeline have solidified Oahu as the epicenter for the surfing world.
Don’t be disappointed if the waves are small if you go to the North Shore in the summertime, big waves only roll onshore in the winter months of October – February.
8. Have a “Loco Moco” for breakfast
One of the most popular breakfast dishes in Hawaii is a Loco Moco. Fried egg tops juicy hamburger patties covered in a smoky gravy over a bed of steamy white rice. While this may not sound appealing to everyone, one bite is all it will take to have you hooked!
You can find Loco Mocos at almost any local plate lunch shop, but our favorite place is the Rainbow Drive In, which is located just outside Waikiki and has even been featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive In’s, and Dives!”
9. Hike to a tropical waterfall
The lush tropical rainforest of Oahu are home to many hidden gems. Experience them by hiking up to a waterfall. The trail will be lined with trees and wildlife you won’t find back home, and many Hawaiian waterfalls end in a shimmering pond you can swim in.
10. Sail off Waikiki Beach
Nothing is more relaxing than cruising along the coast on a quiet sailboat soaking up the sun. Enjoy the Waikiki skyline and views of Diamond Head from beyond the beach. Check out this recent blog post highlighting Hawaii sailing tours.
Hopefully this list of top 10 things to do on Oahu gives you some great ideas for planning your vacation. We would love to share with you everything that we love about Hawaii, so join us on tour!
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