Things to do on Oahu for Awesome Memories, Top 10

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Things to do on Oahu


Here is a list of some of the top things to do on Oahu. This list is not listed in any particular order, it’s just in the order of when it came to mind.

What to do on Oahu #1: Hike up Diamond Head

This Diamond Head hike is located right after the end of Waikiki. It is very popular so expect a lot of people.

The length of this hike round trip is about 1.6 miles so it’s not a long hike.

Depending on your level of physical fitness, it may take about 40-60 to reach the top.

The 360 degree view from up top makes this hike well worth it.

Don’t forget to bring up enough water because there is a pretty long and steep staircase that the very top.

You will be rewarded with an amazing view of Waikiki on the top of the Diamond Head Hike summit. Go early to beat the rush.
The view at the top of the Diamond Head Hike

#2: Visit the Iolani Palace

The Iolani Palace was the former residence of Hawaiian Monarchs.

Located in Downtown Honolulu, Iolani Palace is the only palace on US soil.

The palace was used for many different reasons and is significant to how Hawaii became a State.

Go and visit the Iolani Palace as one of the things you should do when on Oahu. There's so much history and is the last royal palace on US soil.
Iolani Palace has a lot of historical significance for Hawaii

What to do on Oahu #3: Go Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay

Do you want to take the kids to a beach where there will be lots of fish to see?

Take them to Hanauma Bay! There’s lot of fish to look at so don’t forget to bring snorkel gear.

Because of its popularity, the parking lot fills quickly so go early to beat the rush.

You'll see lots of fish and marine life at Hanauma Bay. If you have kids, this should be one of the things to do while on Oahu.
Plenty of fish at Hanauma Bay

Things to do on Oahu #4: Zipline through Jurassic Park

How cool would it be to go ziplining at where they shot parts of Jurassic Park?

The green lush scenes were shot at the beautiful Kualoa Ranch located on the East side of Oahu.

The Kualoa Ranch property is beautiful and Jurassic Park is only one of many movies shot there.

Many movies have been filmed on Kualoa Ranch. Ziplining over Jurassic Park should be one of the things to do while on Oahu.
Ziplining Kualoa Ranch
PC: Hawaii Activities

#5: Check out Nu’uanu Pali Lookout

No matter what time of day or what season we’re in, the Nu’uanu Pali Lookout is extremely windy.

When you go to the Pali lookout, there is no point in bringing an umbrella because the it will do no good.

If you bring small kids, you’ll definitely want to make sure you are holding their hands the entire time because it will feel like they might fly away.

Before heading over, be sure to check the website for park updates here.

The windy Nu'uanu Pali Lookout should be one of the things you do on Oahu.
Nu’uanu Pali Lookout
PC: Phillip B. Espinasse 
Waikiki Sunset Cocktail Cruise – $96.75

There’s nothing quite like a Hawaiian sunset, and a cocktail cruise by catamaran may be the perfect way to experience one on Oahu. Sailing south along the coastline from Waikiki toward Diamond Head, enjoy two provided alcoholic drinks and a pupu platter of appetizers while you watch the sun slip below the horizon. Unlimited nonalcoholic beverages.

Things to do on Oahu #6: Jump on a Catamaran

This is a fun, relatively quick and not every expensive excursion to go on.

If you’re the fun, adventurous type go and sit on the mesh section because that’s where you’ll get bounced by the waves.

If you don’t really want to get wet and maybe just taking selfie videos is good enough, you can place yourself somewhere else.

Either way, you’ll get to enjoy the view of Waikiki.

Take a ride on a Catamaran in Waikiki. It's fun and you'll enjoy a great view of Waikiki from the ocean. Make this one of the things to do when on Oahu.
Manu Kai Catamaran in Waikiki
PC: Cleanfotos

What to do on Oahu #7: Jump off the rock at Waimea Bay

Jump at your own risk.

If you do decide to jump off the rock at Waimea Bay, I suggest you observe the locals for a while first.

It’s ideal to time your jump according to the oncoming bumps or waves heading towards shore.

There might be lots of people so be patient and wait for your turn. You don’t want to just barge yourself to the front of the line.

Waimea Bay Rock should be one of the things to do while on Oahu. Jump at your own risk after observing the local kids first.
Waimea Bay Rock
PC: Shutterstock

#8: Hang out on the Kaneohe Sandbar

If you are lucky enough to be on Oahu at the ideal time to visit the Kaneohe Sandbar, I suggest you go and experience it because it is awesome.

There are so many factors that go into the ideal scenario: Low tide, clear skies, access to a boat or driver.

You can still go out when the tide is high but it’s just not the same.

Ideally, you’ll want to go when the sand is exposed and dry so you can feel like you’re on a beach in the middle of the ocean. Its such a surreal experience.

The perfect conditions for the Kaneohe Sandbar are hard to obtain. If you're lucky and the stars are aligned, you should make this one of the things to do while on Oahu.
The Kaneohe Sandbar

What to do on Oahu #9: Visit the Historical Sites at Pearl Harbor

Pay tribute to the men & women who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom at Pearl Harbor.

The Pearl Harbor is located not far from the Honolulu Airport so getting there by the bus or using ride share is no problem.

Go and visit the very Harbor that was surprised attacked in 1941 and was the location of the start of World War II.

You won’t want to skip the Mighty Moe as it is the very ship where the Japanese surrendered and ended World War II.

Pearl Harbor and Mighty Mo should be on your list of things to do while on Oahu for sure. The Harbor marks the beginning of WWII, while the Battleship symbolizes the end of WWII.
Pearl Harbor and USS Missouri

Things to do on Oahu #10: Polynesian Cultural Center

The Polynesian Cultural Center will take up an entire day but you will learn a lot about the different Polynesian cultures.

Each culture demonstrates its unique songs and dances within its own little staged village.

There is a lot of activities for visitors to try and gets hands on learning so if you go, I encourage you to get involved with the activities.

If you stay for the night show which I highly recommend, you’ll see all the different songs and dances from the different cultures come together in one awesome show.

A day of education and fun, the Polynesian Cultural Center is a must of things to do while on Oahu. It's an entire day commitment but worth it.
Entering the Polynesian Cultural Center
PC: Michael Gordon