Oahu Vacation And Travel Guide 2023
Oahu, the third-largest of all the Hawaiian islands has something the other islands do not. All the allure from the other islands are gathered here, from the best kayaking opportunities to the most popular bars and clubs with jazz music. There are a lot of museums, historic monuments, art galleries, and walking tours, something to do every day of your vacation. A modern touch to the Hawaiian neighborhood is also applied to some of the buildings in Oahu. But if you want to get lost in rural landscapes and the laid-back atmosphere, Oahu is the ideal place for that as well. Feel the beauty all throughout this gorgeous island and you will know there is no other place like this.
- Oahu Activities
- Leeward Hotels
- Cheap Hotels
- Waikiki Hotels
- Oahu Attractions
- Honolulu activities
- Honolulu Attractions
- Pearl Harbor
- Diamond Head
- North shore
- Shore Excursions
What to see and do on Oahu vacation
According to U.S. Census, Oahu's population in 2017 is close to 976,000 residents. This island's population makes up 71% of the entire Hawaii population. Locals in Oahu value family, friendships and life, that is why once you visit the island you will see an abundance of cultural events, traditional cuisine and a variety of entertainment portraying the dazzling local life.
Oahu is home to Honolulu, the capital city of Hawaii. This is also where the nation's only royal palace is located. Honolulu is packed with bars, restaurants, exquisite shopping and open markets. And if you are in for a visit in the capital, check out Waikiki, a tourist's paradise located on the shores of Oahu with a number of the most luxurious resorts, hotels, dining establishments and the most sought after entertainment.Honolulu, Oahu
Photo by Jasperdo
If you are still not sure if Oahu is your next vacation destination, we will outline the top reasons for you to visit this island with the endless supply of scenic beauty!
Nightlife as well as dining in Oahu is hands down the best in the entire Hawaii. The most prestigious bars and restaurants are all located here, along the coastlines of Waikiki Beach. Surfers seeking the world's best waves will have a blast at the North Shore. This famous surfing spot attracts professional surfers from all over the world and is the center of a surfing paradise.Waikiki Beach, Oahu
Photo by Jasperdo
One of the most sought after attractions in Oahu is Diamond Head. An extinct volcano is a perfect outdoor adventure for thousands of tourists every year. Many choose to hike Diamond Head, but plan ahead, this walking and climbing trip will take you 2 hours at the minimum just to go up. A really rewarding experience to see Hawaii from the top of the world, and a perfect exercise before or after your stroll through the local delicacies markets.Diamond Head
Photo by Ed Suominen
The most exciting watersports and other activities are all found in Oahu as well! Depending on your preference on how to occupy your time during your tropical getaway, you may choose from a variety of things to do! Luaus are a big thing in Hawaii, so multiple day and evening parties are available to show you the real Hawaiian traditions, cultures and customs. A number of shows and concerts are also offered to the guests during these times. Attend one or a few and you will be delighted by the professional costumes, masterful artists and the unforgettable shows. If you are a food lover, take a food tour to experience the ultimate delicacies in the local cuisine.
No vacation can be complete without the amazing water sports. After all, the crystal-clear ocean with gorgeous turquoise waters is one of the reasons you will be travelling to Oahu! Take yourself and your loved ones on a cruise and boat tour, or simply go for some sailing fun in the middle of the waters. If you would like to see the local marine life, definitely go for dolphin and whale watching or a submarine tour. Here you will dive into the underwater world to admire its inhabitants and coral reefs.
Duck tours are also popular in Oahu. Once you board a colorful open-air boat that looks like a big duck, you will be taken on the most thrilling sightseeing adventure. It's a unique way to spend your day in the company of fellow tourists. Other activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, parasailing, paragliding, kayaking, canoeing and sailing are also at your service. To boost up your adrenaline, take a shark diving adventure. For a fun-filled vacation book a few activities over the course of your stay and simply enjoy!
Rise high in the sky by taking a helicopter tour to contemplate the dreamlike surroundings from up above. And if you would like to do some island exploration by foot or on your own set of wheels together with a little bit of exercising, either take a running, walking or biking tours to discover the hidden gems within the region.
Oahu knows well that once romance is in the air it has to be celebrated in the most unique and fascinating ways. Romantic Sunset Tours as well as horseback riding trips are there for everyone looking for an evening or day to be spent in privacy while still enjoying the island.
If you are more of a walker and love exploring the surrounding nature by foot or on a set of wheels, amazing cultural and historical tours as well as hiking, running and Segway trips are all on the menu. You may also book a 4WD, ATV and other Off-Road adventures, a pleasurable experience for those looking for some speed. Engage in amazing zipline tours and contemplate on the beautiful small canyons and trees all around you.
Visiting Pearl Harbor while you are in Oahu is a must! Its multiple iconic sites will take you back to 1941 and will let you experience the tragic events of that time. Museums and memorials are also here for you to pay your tribute to those that have fallen during World War II.Pearl Harbor
Photo by Nico Aguilera
Oahu is large, and its capital city Honolulu is even impressive with the best things to do while enjoying your tropical getaway there. For a more calming adventure, a sightseeing tour will do just that. If you would like to dig dipper into the history, take a History and Culture Segway tour. Not only you will be delighted to enjoy the historical landmarks while riding a Segway but you will also make a few friends that will be with you on this super cool adventure. World War II Red Light District Tour of Honolulu will bring you years back to learn what has happened during that catastrophic time. If you are not afraid of heights, book a Seaplane Flight. You have a choice between a 30-minute or a 1-hour adventure.
Honolulu Food Tour is also among the most fun things to do while staying in Oahu! While here, opt in for local delicacies. These, prepared fresh with the finest ingredients and spices will delight your palates to the fullest and will open up a world of new taste, succulent dishes and mouthwatering cuisine.
To learn more about spiritual culture, take a Sacred Hawaiian Spirits Morning Tour. Together with a qualified guide you will be able to visit numerous sacred sites all scattered throughout the island. A must-see experience!
Once you find yourself in Waikiki, the never-ending adventure of fun begins. A number of the most fascinating things to do available for guests of all ages, just so you never feel bored during your stay. For a thrilling ride, take either an open-door Helicopter Ride or a Parasailing adventure. Either one of these will keep you at the edge of your seat. Other water sports such as Banana Boat Ride, Surfing, Bike/Sail & Snorkel Tours, Sunset Cruises, Fishing Tours, Panorama Sailing, Scuba Diving, Segway on the Beach tours and Waikiki Secret Beaches trips are all happening in the heart of Honolulu-Waikiki Beach. If you want to explore the area by bus, a trolley hop-on hop-off bus makes frequent runs with daily and multi-day passes. And we hope all your cameras are fully charged, because this open-air bus is perfect for capturing even the furthest of the local gems.
Ready for some fun, laughs and just a great time? Evening shows are widely available to all tourists, whether you are vacationing alone, with your family, kids, loved ones or friends. Legends in Concert gathers huge auditoriums and makes the audience groove to the best songs of Michael Jackson, Celine Dion and many more other famous hits!
Oahu also has some of the softest, cleanest, most breathtaking beaches on the planet. Whether you choose to sunbathe, dig your feet into the warm velvety sand while day dreaming or simply take an invigorating swim, these beaches offer more than just total relaxation. An abundance of various water sport activities are here for all the beachgoers to enjoy. And if you get hungry, snack bars and cafes are all a short distance away.
The tropical landscape surrounding the most breathtaking waterfalls in Oahu is the perfect view for tourists to enjoy while contemplating on the local nature. Manoa Falls, Waimea Falls Park or Lulumahu Falls are all among the most picturesque waterfalls in the world. Many waterfalls are easily accessible by a short hike during which you will be passing through luscious Hawaiian rainforests and other types of local vegetation. A truly awesome experience that needs to be seen to be believed.
If you love exploring the area by foot, we suggest you take a couple of Oahu's hiking trips among the most popular local hiking trails. A variety of trails are available to everyone, even if you are just a beginner. Waimea Valley Trail, for example, is an ideal trail for families with children. This trail provides a great educational materials by giving you an opportunity to learn the local plants, trees and other historical exhibits that you will pass through. If you don't mind walking up a very long path, then Koko Crater Trail is just for you. A trail made of 1,106 wooden stairs that were made from railroad ties stretch a long way up the hill. This trail is steep until you start crossing the bridge. The final 400 stairs will take you to the top of Koko Crater, a magnificent view of Oahu that needs to be photographed!
How to Get to Oahu
Honolulu International Airport that is located in Oahu, 15 minutes from Waikiki, is Hawaii's major airport serving domestic and international aircrafts of all sizes. Non stop service to Oahu is available from various cities including Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta and San Francisco, but if you are a European visitor, a plane transfer must be made on U.S. mainland.
If you are staying on one of the other Hawaiian islands and thinking of visiting Oahu, then the only way to get here is by air. Most Hawaiian islands have their own domestic airports, and flights between the islands are offered several times a day. Depending on your destination, flight time can range anywhere from 15 minutes to about 1 hour.
Where to stay during Oahu vacation
Let your search for the best lodging conclude when you step your foot in Oahu! This mesmerizing Hawaiian treasure has got everything you look for in a vacation. Aside from the hottest nightlife, the most fine dining establishments and the hidden pearls of nature, Oahu has the top-class hotels providing the best service to their patrons! Oahu is large, but if you know you are staying in Honolulu or Waikiki, keep in mind, that these areas of the island are considered the most visited. Hotels and resorts here pride themselves in offering top amenities, a fabulous service and an experience like nowhere else. Waikiki hotels are mostly beachfront properties, so you will get to the beach in no time. For budget-planners a series of comfortable, clean and affordable lodging is available in other parts of Oahu. These places are known for their hospitality, clean and cozy rooms and cost-effective pricing. Beaches attached to these properties are beautiful, carrying the cleanest aura you will ever feel. These properties also offer the much needed privacy and a lot less crowds even in their busiest season. Those that wish to be their own bosses during their tropical getaway, may opt in for renting a condo, a vacation rental or a small inn. These places by far are the best ones around offering attentive staff, home-made meals upon request and an opportunity to set your own pace while vacationing.