Hawaii’s island of Oahu, also known as the “gathering place,” perfectly fits its nickname, as its beauty and wealth of near endless activities attracts tourists from across the globe. From outdoor adventures to world class shopping and historical sites, we’ve “gathered” the top things to do in Oahu so that you won’t miss any of the magical moments this idyllic island affords.
When deciding what to do in Oahu, it’s always a good idea to start at the beginning — honoring Hawaii’s past by visiting its historical and cultural sites. Partake in the Polynesian Cultural Center’s authentic luau after visiting its Polynesian village exhibits, peruse the displays at Honolulu Museum of Art or Bishop Museum, or see how the Hawaiian royal family lived as you walk through the hallowed halls of Honolulu’s Iolani Palace.
For those who have served in the military, or who simply want to pay their respects for those who did, Pearl Harbor, including the USS Bowfin, USS Missouri and Arizona Memorial, is one of the best things to do in Oahu. Read more
Return to the present, and gift yourself with some stellar finds at any of Oahu’s world class shopping venues. Ranked among visitor favorites are the abundant options available at Ala Moana Shopping Center and Waikiki’s Royal Hawaiian Center. The Oahu enclaves of Kailua and Kaimuki also offer an eclectic array of charming boutiques and specialty shops. And after all that shopping, you may need to look for some free things to do in Oahu! Among the island’s cheap things to do — yet no less exciting — are those Oahu activities found outdoors. Surfing knows no equal here, and the North Shore waves are world famous. The crystal blue waters of Hawaii also offer great conditions for snorkeling (try Hanauma Bay or Sharks Cove), kitesurfing, swimming and scuba diving. Other cheap things to do in Oahu while enjoying nature are hiking or simply spending an enjoyable day with loved ones at the beach. Two of the most popular hikes on Oahu are Diamond Head Crater and Koko Crater trails. For beach going, Kailua Beach, Waimanalo Beach and of course, Waikiki and any of the North Shore stretches of sand are sure wins for fun things to do in Oahu. See our top 5 beaches on Oahu here. For those adventure seekers, several companies offer exciting helicopter tours, horseback riding excursions, boat tours and jeep or ATV tours to thrill you.
No matter which Oahu island activity you choose, you can’t lose!