Things to Do in Oahu, HI
The Island is your playground. Here are some of our favorite things to do in Oahu. Choose your adventure and experience all the island has to offer.
Kailua & North Shore
Kailua and Haleiwa town are the homes to a charming array of locally owned boutique shops and galleries – offering everything from classic souvenirs to fun island fashion and more.
Aspiring and avid surfers can find all the gear they need and more.
Paradise is the inspiration for great local imaginations and art work that make for special keepsakes.
Famous for its calm, tranquil water and silken sands, Lanikai beach is ideal for relaxing without the worry of rough waves.
Snorkeling & Swimming
Don’t be surprised if you see a Honu (Hawaiian sea turtle) while flipping your fins in the blue waters. For unbeatable snorkeling head to Hanauma Bay and experience a gorgeous reef abundant with sea life.
Kayaking & Stand Up Paddle boarding
Head out to the famous Mokulua Islands, a designated bird sanctuary, host to intriguing sea birds, where you will find a gorgeous white sand beach. You may even see a monk seal basking in the sun.
Windsurfing & Kiteboarding
Steady trade winds, turquoise water and a gentle beach make for a windsurfing paradise in Hawaii. Windsurfers in Kailua Bay get the best of both worlds, with waves on the outer reef and cleaner slalom conditions inside.
In the winter the North Shore is renowned for its world class surfing, and in summer, gentle waves and miles of sandy beaches beckon.
Whale Watching Tours
Sail in search of majestic winter visitors, the humpback whales!
Sunset Beach Park
In the winter get stoked watching experienced surfers take on the swells of the North Shore at this idyllic beach.
Discover endangered giant sea turtles lounging lazily on the beach.
Deep Sea Fishing, Diving & Shark Cages
Adventurous visitors can tell the “tail” of a lifetime after experiencing the deep waters of Oahu.
Have an experience of a lifetime and learn how to surf or stand up paddle board on gentle clear waters. The North Shore is famous for the Banzai Pipeline, drawing big wave competitions like “The Eddie”.
Kailua Town is the gateway to the many wonders of Eastern Oahu, including abundant sea life, exploring nature, and the wonders of Haunama Bay.
Among many awesome hikes, experience the Lanikai Pill Box hike at sunrise. When you reach the peak you will feel like you are on top of the world admiring a sweeping view of the windward side.
Biking is a great vehicle for exploring the rolling hills and miles of bike paths Kailua has to offer. Check out a marsh front levy-trail, offering great bird watching and wetlands.
Sea Life Park and Chief’s Luau are in close proximity. Horse back riding and ATV adventures are about a 30 minute drive away at Kualoa Ranch, located between Kailua and the North Shore. Hit the greens at the many lush public golf courses on the windward side.
Activities on the North Shore are as wild and varied as the stunning natural landscapes. You’re never far from your next adventure.
Take a casual walk through world renowned botanical gardens at Waimea Valley learning about Hawaiian history, spirituality and traditions.
Polynesian Cultural Center
Home of the famous Alii Luau and world’s largest Polynesian revue. Featuring seven native pacific island villages and the daily traditions of their people. Explore everything the park has to offer, from fun activities and music to entertainment
including an exciting fire-dancing show.
Historic Dole Plantation
Attracts families with a train ride, garden tour and world’s largest maze. Visit the Country Gift and Refreshment store to enjoy a Dole Whip and of course purchase a pineapple to bring home with you.
Save some time and check out some of our Oahu hiking trail recommendations.
Indulge in mouth watering breakfasts at Cinnamon’s or Boots & Kimo, where you will fall in love with the macadamia nut pancakes. Venturing around the island and need to pack a picnic lunch? Head to Kalapawai Deli, Aloha Salads, Teddy’s Bigger Burgers or Maui Tacos.
For wood fire pizza and tapas style dining, Prima is a must. At Formaggio Grill listen to live local music and choose from an extensive wine menu.
Visit Buzz’s Steakhouse for surf and turf in a laid back tiki hut style space. Craving Thai, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese or Vegetarian? Yes, Kailua has it all.
Enjoy local produce, plate lunches, floral and many other local specialties at the Longs parking lot Farmers market every Thursday at 5:00–7:30pm and on Sundays 8:30–noon at Kailua Elementary.
A few North Shore faves you must try are Haleiwa Joe’s for an island inspired menu, Cholo’s Homestyle Mexican, Luibueno’s Mexican and Latin cuisine, The Beet Box Organic Café and Bob’s Pizzeria. Ted’s Bakery (within walking distance) is famous for their delicious Chocolate Haupia (Coconut) pies and local style plate lunches. Turtle Bay Resort just a 5 minute drive away from the home offers several dining choices from casual to upscale.
A flavorful and cultural experience you don’t want to miss is a North Shore shrimp truck. While the best shrimp truck on the island is the subject of much debate, there’s no doubt you will want to try a delicious garlic shrimp plate yourself.
Our faves are Giovanni’s, Romy’s and Fumi’s. Don’t forget shave ice! Matsumoto’s may have a line but it’s always worth the wait.
Haleiwa Farmers Market
Offering local produce and organic meats every Thursday 2:00-6:00pm