From the jungles of Jumanji to the peaks of Diamond Head, from the perfect waves of the North Shore to the hustle and bustle of Waikiki – the island of Oahu is bursting with things to see and do, making it the ideal tropical holiday getaway. Make your Hawaiian holiday the best it can be with these top 10 things to do in Oahu.
1. Spend the day at Waikiki Beach
Start your day by honouring “the father of modern surfing” Duke Kahanamoku at his statue on Waikiki Beach before grabbing a board and learning how to surf on the gentle waves at this iconic beach. Stroll along Kalakaua Avenue for a spot of shopping before a bite to eat at The Cheesecake Factory (with the world’s largest menu!) or Duke’s Waikiki for some hula pie and a mai tai.
2. Snorkel Hanauma Bay
Formerly a volcanic crater, Hanauma Bay is now a protected marine life conservation area and home to more than 400 species of Hawaiian fish, turtles and other marine life, making it the perfect place for snorkelling in Hawaii. With a tram to get up and down the steep hill to the beach, lifeguards, food stalls and snorkel hire, it’s the perfect place to spend a sunny day.
3. Experience a traditional Luau
Head to the Polynesian Cultural Center (or a number of other establishments) for a delicious Polynesian Luau buffet complete with hula dancing and plenty of other traditional entertainment.
4. Hike to the top of Diamond Head
The somewhat challenging hike to the Diamond Head State Monument is well worth it for the spectacular views across the Pacific Ocean and Honolulu as well as a visit to the 300,000 year old crater, once an active volcano.
5. Shop up a storm at the Ala Moana Center
Ala Moana Center is the world’s largest open-air shopping centre and is home to more than 350 shops and restaurants. In addition to some world-class shopping and dining, you can learn the hula, enjoy live Hawaiian music or take your keiki (child) to the children’s play area for some fun.
6. Recreate scenes from Jumanji at Kualoa Ranch
Made popular by movies such as Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Jurassic World, Pearl Harbor and Godzilla and TV shows such as Hawaii Five-0 and LOST, Kualoa Ranch Private Nature Reserve is committed to protecting the natural beauty of the land and educating its visitors. Explore this Hawaiian paradise by ATV, horseback, kayak, jeep or by foot!
7. Embrace the nightlife in downtown Honolulu
With classy wine bars, kicking karaoke lounges and plenty clubs with popular DJs, downtown Honolulu is the place to party into the night. Head to Chinatown to discover Oahu’s underground bars and clubs, live music and theatre or join in on the Chinese New Year celebrations each February.
8. Check out the Vans Triple Crown WSL (World Surf League) event
During the months of November and December, the Vans Triple Crown (the Hawaiian Pro, Vans World Cup of Surfing and Billabong Pipe Masters) hits the North Shore of Oahu. This world-renowned WSL event is one of the most challenging with waves reaching 15 feet or more, and is a spectacle you won’t want to miss!
9. Cruise to the North Shore in a Mustang
Hire a Mustang, put the top down, and take a leisurely drive to the North Shore for a day of relaxation. Explore charming towns, cool off with some shave ice, stroll along miles of beautiful beaches and simply enjoy the slower pace.
10. Pay your respects at Pearl Harbor
The National Historic Landmark of Pearl Harbor marks the place where the Japanese attacked the United States naval base on the 7th of December, 1941. Visit the USS Arizona Memorial, Battleship Missouri Memorial, USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, USS Oklahoma Memorial and the Pacific Aviation Museum for a humbling step back in time.
Stay in the heart of Honolulu at Ala Moana Hotel by Mantra. Click here for the latest specials.