Our most recommended things to do in Oahu

Honolulu: Glass Bottom Boat Tour along Oahu's South Shore

1. Honolulu: Glass Bottom Boat Tour along Oahu's South Shore

If adventure is what you seek, join this daily boat tour. Enjoy the beauty of Hawaii’s South Shore as you head out from the slip in the Kewalo Basin Harbor and head toward Lē’ahi. Discover the underwater world while staying dry with the glass-bottom boat. Aboard the Haleiwa Queen, enjoy the clear view of the Pacific Ocean floor as you cruise over live tropical reefs and one of Hawaii’s shipwrecks. Keep an eye out for honu sea turtles, eels, reef sharks, dolphins, and schools of tropical fish, all from the deck of the vessel through the glass bottom boat viewports. Experience a unique perspective of Honolulu, above and below the surface.

Oahu: Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona, and City Tour

2. Oahu: Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona, and City Tour

Spend the day visiting the most important historical sites and landmarks of Honolulu, Hawaii. Visit Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona Memorial, Iolani Palace, Kawaiahao Church, the Hawaii State Capitol, Honolulu City Hall, and more. Begin your tour with a visit to Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Enjoy the exhibits, galleries, and displays before boarding a Navy boat shuttle for a tour of the harbor along “Battleship Row.” Step off the boat to explore the USS Arizona Memorial, then continue to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl Crater. See the historical landmark against a backdrop of rolling hills and lush foliage. Wrap up your experience with a narrated tour of downtown Honolulu. Spot the impressive state buildings and learn about the Iolani Palace, the official residence of Hawaii’s last reigning monarch and the only royal palace in the United States. Make your way to the Hawaii State Capitol grounds. See the Eternal Flame, Korean and Vietnam War Memorials, Liberty Bell, the majestic statue of King Kamehameha, and Kawaiahao Church.

Oahu: Ka Moana Luau Dinner and Show at Aloha Tower

3. Oahu: Ka Moana Luau Dinner and Show at Aloha Tower

Get tickets to the oceanfront dinner theatre of Ka Moana Luau and enjoy an evening of Polynesian entertainment and a tropical-themed buffet dinner. Sip on a welcome Mai Tai with the celebrity option. Upgrade your experience by choosing hotel transfers from Waikiki. After check-in, head inside the venue where you can take part in a number of cultural activities like lei making, temporary tattoos, hula, and drum lessons, coconut-headband weaving and a coconut tree-climbing demonstration. The buffet selections include: Farm-to-table buffet: • Mixed greens salad • Hapa rice (brown and white rice) • Bread rolls w/ small-batch honey guava butter • Stir-fry veggies • Mahi mahi • Guava chicken • Local kalua pork Dessert: • Haupia • Ube cheesecake Complimentary beverage options: • Fresh lemonade • Water Bar menu: Enhance your Luau experience by indulging in some refreshing Ka Moana pineapple, served in a freshly cut pineapple and filled with a signature cocktail. • Island Mai Tai’s • Tropical Cocktails • Mixed premium and well drinks • Beers: Bud Light, Stella Artois, Kona Big Wave • Soft drinks: Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Passion Fruit Orange Juice, bottled water Following dinner, enjoy an award-winning production highlighting the vibrant traditions of Hawaii and Polynesia. The show navigates through Polynesia on a way-finding adventure. Your experience culminates with the Polynesian Sword of Fire dance and don’t be surprised if you find yourself as part of the experience. 

Oahu: Shark Cage Dive on the North Shore

4. Oahu: Shark Cage Dive on the North Shore

Swim with the sharks during this tour that offers you the unique adventure of a shark dive, while ensuring your safety at all times. Discover the wonders of the sea on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii alongside a certified guide. Bring your own masks and snorkels or use the ones provided on board. Your guide will give you a safety briefing at the start of the tour and will answer all your questions concerning this special adventure. See up to 200 feet (60 meters) in the crystal-clear, cobalt blue water. Depending on the season, you will encounter such magnificent animals as the Hawaiian Green Sea turtles, playful dolphins, and Humpback whales. Admire the sharks from the ship's deck, or experience the rush of entering the shark cage which allows you to be only inches away from sharks that can grow up to 15 feet (5 meters) in length. Capture pictures with your underwater camera of their grace and majesty in the water. Have 20 minutes to marvel at the sharks and cherish this unforgettable moment. Up to 8 people can be in the cage at the same time, so you can experience the sharks with someone you love.

Oahu: Waikiki Turtle Canyons Cruise and Snorkel Excursion

5. Oahu: Waikiki Turtle Canyons Cruise and Snorkel Excursion

Experience the magical underwater world of sea turtles. Dive under the waves with a snorkel and see the rainbow of tropical fish. Connect with the wide array of stunning marine life on this immersive tour. Start off with a cruise along the coast, where you can potentially spot spinner dolphins and humpback whales during the wither months. Once at the Turtle Canyons, you’ll get a brief lesson on snorkeling and your snorkeling equipment.  Snorkel alongside the sea turtles and tropical sea life under the supervision of a certified lifeguard, returning to the boat whenever you please to relax with complimentary refreshments.

Oahu: Waikiki Parasailing

6. Oahu: Waikiki Parasailing

Soar above the vibrant city of Oahu on a peaceful but exciting parasailing trip. Take off from the scenic Waikiki Beach and take in views of the island's golden sand beaches, turquoise waters, and cityscape. You'll even catch a unique glimpse of Diamond Head from a privileged perspective. Enjoy a truly introspective experience by flying away from the hustle and bustle of the area. All the noise from the boat and the city will cut away as you ascend, leaving you and your flight buddy in your own bubble of paradise. Make the most of your Hawaii holiday and experience Oahu in a unique way. Seize this incredible opportunity to go parasailing in the company of a professional team, providing all the necessary instructions and high-quality equipment to keep you safe at all times.

Oahu: Pearl Harbor, Arizona Memorial & Honolulu City Tour

7. Oahu: Pearl Harbor, Arizona Memorial & Honolulu City Tour

Hear fascinating stories on this tour of Pearl Harbor and downtown Honolulu. Witness the key sites and memorials to the 1941 attack, and experience the island's wartime history. Begin this tour with pickup in Waikiki. Travel first to Pearl Harbor and ride the navy launch to the USS Arizona Memorial. Visit the sombre monument above a sunken battleship from the day of the attack. Explore the memorials to the many groups who lost their lives, and pause to reflect at the wall of remembrance. Return to your waiting van for a historic tour of downtown Honolulu. Your expert guide will explain what it was like to live on the island during wartime. See sights including Iolani Palace, the State Capitol, King Kamehameha Statue and Aloha Tower as you learn about the fascinating history of this historic place.

Oahu: Waikiki Trolley Hop-on Hop-off All-Line Pass

8. Oahu: Waikiki Trolley Hop-on Hop-off All-Line Pass

Your Great Hawaiian Adventure is Just A Stop Away! There’s more to Hawaii than just the sights, and the Waikiki Trolley can take you to places beloved by locals and visitors alike. From soaring mountains that meet the sea to historic landmarks and even exciting shopping and dining venues, the choice is literally up to you. Blue Line: Sights and Tastes of the Oahu. With its coastal sceneries and delicious local dining stops, the Blue Line invites you to discover the best of Waikiki’s natural beauty and culinary delights. Take a breathtaking tour of Oahu’s southwestern shore on the way to Sea Life Park and enjoy some of the island’s local favorites at Kahala Mall, Diamond Market & Grill, or the ever-popular Rainbow Red Line: A Story of Hawaii's rich cultural past and modern present Hawaii has its own story to tell those who are interested in listening. This is where the Red Line shines. This line takes you through Hawaii’s cultural and historical past, from the time of kings and queens through its importance in WWII and even the cultures that influence it to this day. Truly, a Hawaiian vacation is incomplete without jumping aboard the Red Line. Green Line: Visit Diamond Head from Waikiki. Our newest and most unique line takes you to Diamond Head and KCC Farmers’ Market from convenient stops around the Waikiki area. It’s the easiest way to visit this world-renowned landmark! Pink Line: Hawaii's Iconic Shopping and Dining Hawaii is the epicenter of the Pacific, and it shows: Asian cuisine mingling with popular American comfort food, high-end fashion alongside popular streetwear that suit everyone’s comfort and style. You can find all these throughout Waikiki, but your Hawaiian vacation isn’t complete without a visit to Ala Moana Center–Hawaii’s Center–where all things shopping and dining collide into a truly Hawaiian experience. So much so that Ala Moana isn’t just for visitors–it’s a popular shopping mall for locals as well.

Oahu: Queens Waikiki Luau

9. Oahu: Queens Waikiki Luau

Get entry tickets to the Queens Waikiki Luau feast in Oahu, with traditional foods and entertainment. Relax inside as you enjoy cultural activities, Polynesian performances, and a buffet dinner and drinks right in the heart of Honolulu. Sit back and relax as you go on a journey through Polynesia. This spectacular event includes unique cultural activities where you can learn the hula, delicious Hawaiian food, and an authentic Polynesian show. Begin with some cultural activities before you taste traditional flavors and finish by watching a Polynesian performance including the fireknife dance. Menu Rice Macaroni salad Tossed green salad with lilikoi dressing Kalua pig cabbage BBQ shoyu chicken Long rice noodles with garlic Steamed vegetables Cake with haupia drizzle

Oahu: Oahu Ultimate Grand Circle Island Tour

10. Oahu: Oahu Ultimate Grand Circle Island Tour

Discover the best of the island of Oahu on a guided day tour from Honolulu. Enjoy beautiful scenery and views from locations such as the Diamond Head State Monument, the Kahala Scenic Route, Makapu'u Point, and Turtle Beach as you learn about local history. After meeting in central Honolulu, depart to your first stop of the day, the Diamond Head State Monument. Stroll through the famous East Honolulu neighborhood and enjoy a breathtaking sunrise view over Maunalua Bay. Travel along the Kahala Scenic Route, known for its large concentration of expensive real estate and beachfront properties, which include some of the most expensive in the entire state. Visit the Halona Blowholetake "postcard-worthy" photos to show off to your friends. Continue to Makapu'u Point and capture stunning images of Rabbit Island's crater and cliffs. Experience firsthand why many famous movies were filmed at this location. Drive along Kauai's windward coast, from Waimanalo onward to Kualoa. Right before heading to Kualoa's Mac Nut Farm, stop for shave ice and ice cream. Try some free coffee samples, mac nuts, and take a picture in front of the Kamehameha Statue. Visit the appropriately named Turtle Beach on the North Shore and spot Green Hawaiian Sea Turtles. Enjoy some free time for swimming or sunbathing and this beautiful beach. Then, visit vintage farms and the surfer town of Hale'iwa as you learn about Hawaii's surfing culture and big wave competitions. Next, learn about Hawaiian pineapples at the Dole Plantation. Wander through the largest pineapple maze here, and you can find gifts for your loved ones. Finally, stop at the Green World Coffee Farm where you can enjoy samples of coffee and tea to sip while perusing the storefront. Afterward, relax on the journey back to Honolulu.

Add dates

Things to do in
Oahu
Visit Pearl Harbor, catch a wave on Waikiki Beach, or shop til you drop on this iconic Hawaiian island.

Top activities

Top sights in Oahu

All activities

356 activities found
Sort by:

Immersive experiences

Go beyond Oahu

Explore all

Frequently asked questions about Oahu

What top attractions are a must-see in Oahu?

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Oahu

As one of Hawaii's most popular islands, Oahu is fittingly called "The Gathering Place." To help you make the most of your time to the Hawaiian paradise, we've enlisted the help of travel expert Jackson from Journey Era. Read below for tips on how to best experience the island.

What should I do on my first trip to Oahu? 

If it's your first time to Oahu there are a few top things you cannot miss. If you are a keen hiker there are lots of epic trails on the island but there's also a short trail everyone should do. Hiking to the top of Diamond Head Crater is just a few kilometers and gives you an incredible view of the entire Waikiki area and the beaches in the south. 

If you are into history, visiting the Pearl Harbor Museum and memorial site is a very important piece of American war history and makes for a good half-day trip. Renting a car or jumping on a guided tour to the North Shore of Oahu to check out the iconic surf town of Haleiwa is a great way to relax while on vacation

What are some hidden gems to see in Oahu?

The Atlantis Submarine tour is an epic adventure where you will climb aboard a 48-passenger submarine and adventure through the underwater passages of the famous Waikiki beach. Through its portal windows, see Hawaiian fish, coral, turtles, sunken ships and airplanes, and more! 

It’s truly an amazing experience to see sunken warships and planes and all of the marine life that is now calling it home. Another unique activity on Oahu is to hike to the top of Koko Crater, which is a demanding and steep hike. The unforgiving incline will have you gasping for breath by the time you reach the top.

How much time should I spend in Oahu?

Most people feel that 7-10 days is a good amount of time to spend on Oahu. This gives you time to book a few tours, rent a car and explore for a few days and unwind with no activities with a few relaxing beach days. 

The time will fly by so any less than a week will feel rushed. Basing in Waikiki or the south is fine and how most people structure their stay. You can drive to all parts of the island within an hour from Waikiki so there's no need to base in multiple locations.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Oahu?

Waikiki is the hub of Oahu. Let’s start with Waikiki because it is the most popular place to stay in Oahu. The majority of the hotels are on this famous strip of beach. There are hundreds of restaurants, cafes, tour centers, transport options, and convenience stores. It has a great little surf break perfect for beginners. The water is warm, the cocktails are flowing and it is an all-around beach vibe.

For families: Waikiki is the number one choice for families. They are centrally located for all of the tours to different spots around the island. Kids have protected beaches to swim in without worrying about waves. There are several man-made reef breaks, which act as saltwater swimming pools. For mom and dad, there are plenty of nightspots and relaxed bars throughout Waikiki. It is a safe neighborhood and it is also a shopping heaven with lots of high-end retailers.

For couples: Honeymooners and couples have found the perfect getaway spot in Waikiki. Think of dining out and nice restaurants each night after a day of adventures each day. It is the perfect base to hit the beaches, adventure the island but still have the luxury of great accommodation, dining, and convenience on your doorstep.

For older travelers: The older adventurers among us love Waikiki for a few reasons. It’s simple. Everything is on your doorstep. The tours pick you up and drop you off at your hotel lobby. There are quality restaurants in all directions and the famous Waikiki Beach is within walking distance. You are never far from a refreshing dip in your hotel pool, the ocean, or an air-conditioner.

What is the best way to get around Oahu? 

If you are booking several tours you may not want to rent a car. However, if you like to explore yourself, it is best to hire a car, which costs about $60-100 per day. This way you can visit the east, north and west coast at your leisure. Within Waikiki, you can use the local bus service or Uber to get around as it is quite a small area. Within Waikiki, you can walk from most hotels to the beach so there is no real need for transport services if you are just enjoying beach days.

What are the best months to visit Oahu?

Oahu is a great place to visit all year round due to its tropical, temperate climate. However, in the winter the big surf in the north of the island can be a huge attraction and there are a number of big-wave surfing events. The summer months of May, June, and July are very popular due to the warm, consistent weather making it perfect for tanning on the beach and sipping cocktails

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

Waikiki is the luxury shopping center of the island. You can find lots of upmarket stores in the strip, which is fun to walk up and down at night. Rolex, Gucci, and other high-end stores can be found in this area but there are also lots of regular stores like H&M and souvenir stores to find some Hawaiian-style gifts for your family and friends.

Other Sightseeing Options in Oahu

Want to discover all there is to do in Oahu? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Oahu

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 8,829 reviews

This experience was amazing and I highly recommend it! I’ve told all of my friends and family that this is a must do activity for any vacation to Oahu. Our crew Brandon and Ford were so kind, knowledgeable, helpful, and made the entire experience that much better. They had complimentary water, they took photos, answered questions, and we even got the chance to see a turtle and a mother and baby whale. The boat was clean, safe, and had cool music and lights! It was also my boyfriend’s birthday and the crew made sure to go out of their way to make his day, everyone was so friendly, they even played a birthday song for him. I’m so grateful I booked this sunset cruise and will definitely be back! Thank you Brandon and Ford!

My daughter and I had a great time snorkeling with sea turtles and looking for dolphins. We did see some whales. We will return another day to see about those dolphins. The crew was fantastic!! Fresh pineapple was a treat! This was probably our best memory from the trip. We highly recommend.

Great experience. Andrew was our guide and took us on a all day tour of Oahu that included North Shore beaches, a coffee farm, a Buddhist temple, a botanical garden. We saw a rare monk seal and Humpback whales. Lunch stop was at a collection of food trucks with great native dishes.

Ryan was an excellent guide and the e-bikes were the best we have ridden. Great combo of riding and a bush-walk with lots of local information shared along the way. Thanks Ryan for a great family experience.

Fantastic way to see the island. We had a really memorable flight and experience