While the weather may still feel like winter in some parts of the country, it’s always sunny in Oahu, Hawaii. Oahu is the perfect vacation destination for travelers looking to get away from their day-to-day lives to an island paradise. Ocean breezes, beautiful beaches, and all the pineapple you can eat are just a few things you can look forward to in Oahu. There’s a little bit of everything on this small island. If you’re planning a trip to Oahu or joining us on our Hawaii By Rail tour, you may want to plan your Oahu itinerary around your travel style. Here are our suggestions for some of the best things to do in Oahu for every type of traveler.
As the site of the Pearl Harbor attack, Oahu has a rich military history and several attractions that are worth seeing. One of Oahu’s must-see historic sites is the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial and the Battleship Missouri Memorial at the U.S. Navy base in Pearl Harbor. These memorials tell the tale of the Japanese attack and surrender back on that fateful day in 1941. Visiting the memorials is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience and incredibly moving. When you visit, be sure to get tickets ahead of time and arrive early for guaranteed admission.
There is so much great food grown in Oahu that it’s essential for food lovers to tour local plantations and farms. Tropical Farms is a macadamia nut farm and roadside stop where you can learn more about macadamia nut farming and purchase authentic nuts and Kona coffee. Visit the Dole Plantation to find every pineapple food you can imagine, including the world-famous Dole Whip. During your Oahu travels, be sure to stop for Hawaiian Shave Ice and a shrimp shack for garlic shrimp and traditional Hawaiian poi.
Oahu is the ideal spot for adventure seekers. One of the most popular attractions for adventure lovers is hiking the Diamond Head Crater trail. Diamond Head is a 300,000-year-old volcanic cone where visitors can hike the one-mile trail around it. Along with views of inside the crater, you’ll also get the best view of the Pacific Ocean at the top of the crater. Another great adventure attraction is Kualoa Ranch. The ranch is both an adventure park and was the film site for the “Jurassic Park” movies, “Godzilla” and “Kong: Skull Island.” Ride ATVs through the movie site locations, zipline through Jurassic Valley or go horseback riding through Oahu’s hidden valleys.
You can’t visit Oahu without stopping at a few beaches. Oahu is home to the famous Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. Not only can you surf and swim on Waikiki, but it also has one of the best sunsets in the world. Kailua Beach Park is one of Oahu’s prettiest and most relaxing beaches. The park boasts three miles of white sand and turquoise waters and is ideal for windsurfing or even an afternoon picnic. If you’re looking for an ideal snorkeling spot, Kahaluu Beach Park is famous for its crystal-clear waters and reef where you can often spot sea turtles.
One of the best things to do once the sun goes down in Oahu is to dance the night away Hawaiian style at a luau. One of the best luaus on the island is hosted at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Along with a traditional luau dance and Hawaiian buffet dinner at night, you can also explore the cultural center during the day with a canoe ride through the park. After the luau, you can explore Honolulu’s vibrant nightlife. From beach bars to comedy clubs, be sure to grab a Mai Tai at one of Honolulu’s nightlife spots during your trip.
Oahu’s beautiful weather and pristine beaches make it one of the best vacation destinations for any traveler. Be sure to look at America By Rail’s train trips through Hawaii for a pre-planned itinerary through the Hawaiian Islands.