When rest and relaxation are in order, there is perhaps no better place to visit than Oahu. The clock always reads island time in this Hawaiian destination, and there are plenty of ways to forget about your worries back home. Things to do in Oahu include the cultural and the athletic. Naturally, you can always soak up some Vitamin D while you’re on the island, too. From the vibrant crowds on Waikiki Beach to the reinvigorating solitude afforded by inland jungle landscape, Oahu has something for everyone.
People often think of white ribbons of sand when they imagine a trip to Hawaii, and you will encounter no shortage of coastline on a vacation to Oahu. Still, if it’s lush landscape or busy city streets you’re after: The island still delivers. The neighborhoods and cities in Oahu are diverse and exciting.
Honolulu — As the capital of Hawaii, Honolulu is a hub for business and entertainment. Naturally, this means some of the best things to do in Oahu, Hawaii make their homes here. Downtown Honolulu and Chinatown are particularly popular among visitors, and Waikiki Beach offers a place to get sand in between your toes.
Windward Coast — The Windward Coast region of Oahu is on the southwest side of the island, just a short drive from Honolulu. Visit sites like the Makapuu Point Lighthouse and Nuuanu Pali Lookout while you’re in the area.
Leeward Coast — Situated on the western side of the island, the Leeward Coast is at the base of the Waianae Mountains. The climate here is notably drier than other parts of Oahu, and the region has far less tourism than the Windward side. Visit the Leeward Coast for a secluded surfing excursion or quiet beach day.
North Shore — People-wise, the North Shore is also quite tame when compared to the hustle and bustle of Honolulu. This side of the island is deal for snorkeling, hiking to waterfalls, and strolling through charming beach villages, not to mention the famous big wave surfing opportunities here.
Before you step into your hiking boots or swim fins, there are lots of things to see in Oahu, not the least of which are the spectacular views. Grab your best camera and head to spots like Diamond Head Crater and Puu Ualakaa State Park for a chance to take a frame-worthy snapshot. Of course, you can also be entertained on the island. Oahu activities like luaus put you front and center with dancers and other performers. You can also take in a refined performance at the Oahu Ballet or one of the island’s many theaters.
Oahu offers lots of opportunities for adventure by both land and sea. If you want to keep your feet dry, head to Leahi (Diamond Head) or the Waimea Valley for a day hike. Not only will you burn some calories, but you can enjoy wonderful views and take in the diverse terrain. When it comes to water activities on Oahu, adventures range from body boarding at Hanauma Bay to outrigger canoe rides at Waikiki. Guided Oahu tours let you see different parts of the island in the same day without getting lost.