Oahu, Hawaii is the largest and most populated Hawaiian island, with over 1.2 million people living on this island. It has a reputation for traffic congestion around Honolulu, but it’s still one of the most beautiful Hawaiian islands and there’s plenty of activities on Oahu.
Oahu has many beaches for sunning, swimming and snorkeling.
Photo by Marco Garcia/Getty Images
Let’s take a look at the top things to do on Oahu.
- Pearl Harbor – USS Arizona. The USS Arizona Memorial is over the actual sunken ship, and the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center has recently (2015) been re-built. It’s Hawaii’s #1 Visitor Attraction and there is often a wait. Go early.
- Polynesian Cultural Center. Originating in 1963, the Polynesian Cultural Center is today a huge entertainment complex (over 42 acres) comprising of villages and exhibits highlighting the Polynesian islands from Fiji to Samoa. They also host one of the island’s most authentic luau feasts.
- Haleiwa. This is called the “Surfer’s Capital of the World” and it holds true to its name, as the gigantic waves on the North Shore host of the biggest and best surfing competitions in the world. Spend time in Haleiwa Town, get a famous shave ice at Masumoto’s, and the head on to Sunset Beach. Stop at the Dole Plantation on your way.
- Kualoa. Kualoa is one of the most beautiful and spiritual places on Oahu, with over 4,000 acres of spectacular scenery. It’s the site of some famous movies, and Kuloa is a wonderful half-day experience.
- Hanauma Bay. This is Oahu’s best family snorkel location. The waters are very calm, the water is crystal-clear, and there’s even tiny fish near the shoreline. But you better get to Hanauma Bay early, as the parking lot fills fast. You can also take the bus and avoid the cost of parking and the possibility of a full lot turning you away from Hanauma Bay.
- Sea Life Park. This is a family-oriented activity that all ages will enjoy, and it’s located on the far east side of Oahu. You’ll go by the Makapu’u Lighthouse hike on your way from Waikiki, and you might combine the two experiences into a one day adventure.
- Ko Olina. The Ko Olina Lagoons are a wonderful way to spend a day, and you can also walk through the Disney complex named Aulani – a Disney resort and spa.
- Waikiki Beach. The Waikiki area hosts most of the large, mammoth resorts on Oahu and is where the majority of the visitors and tourists stay on Oahu. It hosts Waikiki Beach, the Honolulu Zoo, and countless shopping venues and restaurants. Walk through the gigantic Hilton Hawaiian Village complex, too.
- Kailua. The quaint community of Kailua is on the windward side of Oahu, and Kailua Beach is a wonderful place to spend half of a day. Kailua has many shops and restaurants and the beach has picturesque views of two small islands.
- USS Missouri. Visitors can walk the actual deck of the actual USS Missouri, and completes a historical day as the USS Arizona Memorial is next to this ship. Spend a day touring both memorials and remembering those that served the USA.
As you guessed, there certainly is a lot more than just 10 activities on Oahu. In fact, there are probably over a hundred things to do on Oahu that are fun, adventuresome, and thrilling. Don’t forget a visit to Chinatown in Honolulu, breakfast at Wailena Coffee Shop, drinks at Duke’s in Waikiki, and shopping at the mammoth Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki.
Hawaii Travel & Food!
The Hawaiian islands of Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and The Big Island the most visited Hawaiian islands, and Waikiki is one of the most famous beaches. Also, Honolulu airport is the “gateway” to Southeast Asia and Bangkok, Thailand is one of the most visited cities in the world.
Maui Photo Magnets offers incredible island photography on magnets and aluminum metal, along with Hawaiian petroglyphs on stone.
Love Homemade Food? Check-out the “Homemade Gurus” of Homemade Pizza and Homemade Mexican food. They have delicious recipes.
Lahaina Fish Company
Top 10 Maui Restaurants.
- Mama’s Fish House is one of the most well-known restaurants on Maui.
- In Lahaina Town, try Lahaina Grill. It’s one of the best restaurants on Maui.
- Merriman’s Hawaiian Restaurant in Kapalua has won many awards for outstanding food.
- The Pineapple Grill in Kapalua is a popular, upscale restaurant popular with locals and tourists alike.
- On the west side of Maui, try Star Noodle. It’s one of the most popular restaurants on the island.
- The Plantation House in Kapalua offers an excellent fine dining experience.
- Sarento’s On The Beach in the Kihei area of Maui is always recognized for outstanding food and service.
- Hali’ imaile General Store has pleased customers since opening in 1988 with its upcountry location.
- Japengo At The Maui Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa is a recent addition to the Top 10 Restaurants on Maui.
- Roy’s in Ka’anapali has consistently been one of the top restaurants on Maui, Hawaii.
Maui’s Top Attractions.
- Haleakala National Park lets you visit one of the most rare sights in the world at over 32,000 feet.
- The Road To Hana takes a full day but is one of the most famous drives in the world.
- One of the wettest and most beautiful valleys on all the Hawaiian islands is at Iao Valley.
- Visit 7 Sacred Pools (Ohe’o Gulch) past Hana on the far windward side of Maui.
- A “must-see” beach is Big Beach at Makena State Park on the southwest side of Maui, Hawaii.
- Lahaina Town & Banyan Tree on the west side of Maui is a historic whaling town with much to see.
- Stroll through gardens with over 45 varieties of lavender at the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm.
- One of Maui’s top-rated family attractions in the Maui Ocean Center.
- Maui Tropical Plantation offers rides through a tropical plantation and has a fun zipline.
- The Sugar Museum is located on Hawaii’s largest working sugar factory.
- Tedeschi Winery produces wine from Maui-grown grapes at the Ulupalakua Ranch.
- Surfing Goat Dairy has world-class cheese made upcountry in a unique setting.
The Westin Maui Resort & Spa
Maui’s Top Activities.
- See a unique perspective of Maui with a zipline adventure with Piiholo Ranch Adventures and Skyline Eco Adventures.
- See Molokini or the remote stretches of the Kanaio Coast with Red Line Rafting.
- Atlantis Submarines offers you the only underwater tour adventure on Maui that the whole family can enjoy.
- To rent snorkel equipment on Maui, go to Snorkel Bob’s or Boss Frog’s.
- Want to see another Hawaiian island? Go with Expeditions to the island of Lanai.
- There’s nothing like seeing Maui from a helicopter and Blue Hawaiian may be the best of Maui.
- Looking to jet ski? Jet Ski Maui is a seasonal activity but is a lot of fun even for beginners.
- Sunset dining on Maui gives you an unforgettable experience, and the Maui Princess is the boat to be on.
- Want to parasail while on Maui? UFO Parasail on Kaanapali Beach has been doing it longer than anyone.
- Bike down the Haleakala volcano for an amazing experience with Haleakala Bike Company.
- Trilogy offers one of the best excursions on Maui with several different daily tours.
- Enjoy The Road To Hana in a luxury vehicle with The Maui Touring Company.
- Go with the whale experts at Pacific Whale Foundation. They offer a wide variety of daily excursions.
- Wanting to go horseback riding on Maui? Go with Pony Express Tours for the best experience.
- Go sportfishing out of Lahaina Harbor with Start Me Up.
- Captain Steve’s Rafting Adventures is the top dolphin and whale tour company on Maui.
- Warren and Annabelle’s magic show is one of the best entertainment values on Maui.
- For the best luau on Maui, go to the Old Lahaina Luau in Lahaina Town on the west side of Maui.
BONUS – Free Hula Shows!
At The Lahaina Cannery Mall on the west side of Maui, there are free hula shows. The Polynesian Dancers perform at 7 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. The Keiki Hula Show (children performing) is at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Maui’s Best Luau!
While visiting Maui or any of the islands of Hawaii. a luau is a must. Learn a few things about a luau before you go, and here’s a list of popular luaus to consider:
- One of the most popular and highly-rated luaus is the Old Lahaina Luau on the west side of Maui.
- The Feast At Lele is an oceanfront luau at 505 Front Street in Lahaina Town.
- The best family luau is the Kaanapali Beach Luau.
- Staying in Wailea? Consider the Wailea Marriott Luau and The Grand Wailea Luau.