There are so many exciting things to do on Oahu that you are sure to find activities that everyone in your family will enjoy. Be sure to make plenty of time to sleep in and enjoy your vacation, but also schedule in some excursions and activities. Here are some of the top things to do on Oahu.
Eat The Street
Every Friday night in Kakaʻako Park there is a Sunset Bazaar featuring local food vendors, retailers, live music, arts, crafts and more! If you are on Oahu on the last Friday of the month, head to the monthly ‘Eat The Street’ festival to enjoy some of the best food trucks on the Island.
Try A New Water Sport
If you don’t live near water, your Hawaiian vacation is the time to take advantage of the long list of water sports and activities available to you in the Pacific Ocean. This goes beyond swimming, meaning you can try exciting activites like snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, deep sea fishing, jet skiing, body boarding, kayaking, parasailing and more, all year round!
Go To A Luau
There is no better place to experience a luau, so it’s a must when visiting the islands! There are many to choose from, so schedule one that fits into your vacation. Enjoy traditional kalua pork, lomi salmon, taro rolls, poi and more. Also enjoy a variety of activities, as well as live music and authentic Polynesian dancing.
Head To A Museum Or Historic Site
Hawaii is rich in history and culture and there are a long list of museums and historic sites to choose from. A few to consider include:
- Polynesian Cultural Center (which also hosts luaus)
- Hawaii State Capitol
- Kamehameha I Statue
- Kawaiaha’o Church
- Mission Houses Museum
- Old Federal Building
- Bishop Museum
- Pearl Harbor
- USS Arizona Memorial
Head To A Flea Or Street Market
Find unique arts, crafts, gifts, farm fresh produce and fresh caught seafood. You have many options including the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet And Market Place, The Saturday Farmer’s Market KCC, Morning Market at Kapiʻolani Community College, and Art on the Zoo Fence.
While planning your stay, one of the most important things to consider is lodging. The Moana Blu Collection offers some of the most luxurious vacation properties on Oahu, with all the amenities and services you could ever need. We have simplified vacation activity booking for our guests, so you can save time on planning. Please take a look at our concierge page before your next trip and see what we can do for you!
Is this your first time on Oahu with your family? Are you looking for information on the best family, kid-friendly activities on Oahu? Well, keep reading!
Oahu is one of Hawaii’s biggest islands, and is referred to as the “gathering place”, where people from all over the world get together and enjoy what Oahu has to offer. There are plenty of fun family activities; snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, shopping, visiting the museums and parks, spending time at the cozy restaurants, coffee shops and much more.
A great way to begin your tour of Oahu is with a visit to Pearl Harbor to pay your respects at the USS Bowfin, USS Missouri and USS Arizona Memorial. Head over to the Pearl Harbor Website for more information on schedules and tours.
Afterwards, you might want to take your kids on any of the family friendly tours offered, like the Pacific Historic Parks tour; where they can explore the natural history of Oahu and all the plant and animal species that have lived here.
The whole family will love going on any one of these Hawaiian wildlife expeditions:
Looking for more excitement?
Watch the dolphins up close at Dolphin Excursions.
What are some of the other amazing things to do on Oahu? Food tours are very popular, and for a reason. Why not go on the Aloha Food Tours and get a taste of the local cuisine?
Following that, you might want to try some of the following adventure tours on Oahu:
Are you a big fan of photography? Are you teaching photography to your kids? Then why not take them on a photography tour around Oahu organized by Oahu Photography Tours? You will get to take spectacular photos, improve your camera work and get to see some of the greatest sights Oahu has to offer!
Also worth visiting is the Bishop Museum. This is a very popular place on Oahu which seeks to celebrate the Hawaiian culture, natural history and heritage through spectacular exhibits. Call ahead for guided tours that are fun for the whole family. The kids will love the J. Watumull Planetarium.
Now, the best places to take your family on Oahu are the beaches!
Waikiki beach is packed with tourists from dawn to dusk and is very popular. Hanauma Bay is favored by families and perfect for children. But remember, it’s closed on Tuesdays, and when the conditions appear to be too windy. Kailua Beach is a great choice for families as well and is dotted with many fine eateries and coffee shops.
The beaches here are very family friendly. Just find a great spot, lay down your towels and set down the picnic basket. You might want to bring a beach umbrella as well, it can get hot under the sun.
If you have small children, they will enjoy playing in the sand and swimming in the water close to shore. For older kids and teens, they might want something a little more adventurous, like surfing and snorkeling.
In that case, why not take them on a water sports adventure?
There are many companies that take you on sailing, scuba diving, snorkeling and other fun ocean adventures. Some of the most popular ones are:
If you have always wanted to learn snorkeling or scuba diving in a tropical climate, why not join the folks at:
If you’re looking for surfing, you will want to sign up with:
North Shore Catamaran Charters is a company that organizes sailing trips for the whole family. You will sail out on the Pacific with the captain and the crew. They are very respectful and make sure that you and your family have an enjoyable and unforgettable time.
Sharks! While scary, these majestic creatures are part of what makes Hawaii beautiful. Why not take your kids to Hawaii Shark Encounters and see for yourself? You will encounter about 40 different species of sharks in a safe environment. The most prominent shark species are the Galapagos, Sandbar and Tiger Sharks. You might also come across the Blue Sharks, Hammer Heads and Silkies. Do a little research with your kids before you arrive and have fun trying to spot the different sharks!
Hope you enjoyed reading about the fun family activities on Oahu. Finally, before making your way to this beautiful island you will need to book family-friendly accommodations. Everyone loves resorts, but with a vacation rental you can come back to a home that’s yours, not a crowded hotel. The Moana Blu Collection of luxury vacation rentals are the best that Oahu has to offer. Our rental properties are immaculately designed and beautifully furnished, with all the amenities you will need. It’s just perfect for the whole family.
Can’t live without coffee? Looking for the best coffee shops on Oahu?
We know exactly how you feel! The coffee shops on Oahu are great places to chill, kill time on a lazy afternoon and yes, have coffee that tastes much better than anything you’ve had at Starbucks.
Here’s a look a the best coffee shops on Oahu…
Olive and Oliver is a high-end coffee shop that’s right next to the famous Surf Jacks Hotel on Oahu. This lovely cafe doubles up as a boutique. You can shop for designer clothes here and enjoy a nice Hawaiian banana latte! It’s a very picturesque coffee shop with some of the cutest coffee cups you will ever see. This is a great place to visit anytime.
Kona Coffee Purveyors is another picture perfect Hawaiian coffee shop in Waikiki, located in an area that is brimming with tourists, day and night. There are plenty of great breakfast and lunch options, so you won’t go hungry. This is a great place to grab a bite after spending the day shopping or sightseeing on this part of the Island. It’s also a great place for a date. You will LOVE the outdoor patio here. Oh, did we mention that the coffee around here is really, really great? Yes, that too!
Morning Brew is a popular coffee house in the town Kailua. It has everything you would expect from a coffee shop; great Wi-Fi, excellent breakfast options, sumptuous lunch menu, and yes, the absolute best coffee, tea or espresso you’ve ever had. The place is quite spacious with 2 floors plus outside seating. There are lots of fun and tasty items you can order here, such as Belgian waffles, chocolate latte, banana latte and more.
Island Brew Coffeehouse is located in Hawaii Kai, right on the water. Great place to visit if you are traveling to Koko Head or Hanauma Bay. It has everything you want in a coffee shop – a perfect view of the sea, Wi-Fi and great coffee. The breakfast and lunch options are great, there’s something for everyone. The seating arrangements are perfect, with chairs under the shade by the water. It is a quaint and small local shop full of charm. Pleasant music is always playing in the background.
The North Shore is the least crowded and the most laid back part of Oahu. You should certainly visit the North Shore during your time here, and when you do, make your way to Island Vintage Coffee for a perfect Hawaiian latte and cappuccino. This is a delightful coffee shop where you will be surrounded by pleasant people. It is a great way to pass time on the island.
The Hawaiian Island Café is located on the breathtaking Waimanalo Beach. This coffee shop is very popular and has excellent ratings on social media sites. The staff is very friendly and always willing to help tourists. Hawaiian Island Cafe could easily pass off as a restaurant with the number of breakfast and lunch options offered. We suggest you try their Acai Bowl.
Chad Lou’s Coffee is located in a particularly busy and bustling area of the Island, Kailua, and is generally full of happy tourists. What’s great about this place? They offer the best Chai Latte you will ever have. Yes, trust us on that, you have never had anything like this before. This place has a very bohemian feel to it and is a great spot to hang out with friends. It also is a great spot to go on a date!
If you happen to visit the North Shore, you should certainly make your way to Coffee Gallery in the town of Haleiwa. This is one of the best coffee shops on the island, and located in a popular shopping center, so it’s hard to miss. There is an outdoor patio where you can relax with your coffee. We suggest you try their espresso!
ARVO is a very hip and modern coffee shop which enjoys a lot of popularity with the younger crowd here on Oahu. The coffee shop has a modern, avant-garde design and looks great. The coffee is fabulous, especially the Blue Tidal Coffee, which is a specialty around here. The breakfast and lunch options include salmon and toast, avocado toast and nutella and toast.
Coffee Bean has coffee shops all over Oahu and is referred to as the Hawaiian Starbucks. It’s just as good as Starbucks in our opinion. The coffee here is good and priced reasonably. You certainly won’t be disappointed.
These are our picks for the best coffee shops on Oahu. Do you have a favorite that you would like us to add to this list? Let us know in the comments!
Meanwhile, book your accommodations with Moana Blu and experience the best luxury vacation rentals Oahu has to offer.
The island of Oahu is the third largest island in Hawaii and is often referred to as the “gathering place”. The reason is, it’s one of the most popular places in Hawaii and attracts millions of tourists from around the world every year.
There are lots of fun activities that you can be a part of during your trip, and you don’t have to break the bank doing it. Let’s have a look at some of them.
One of the best, most relaxing options that costs absolutely nothing is visiting the fabulous beaches here. Kids can build sand castles or play in the water while you relax with a book in hand, under the shade of an umbrella. It does get a little hot around here during the summer, but generally the temperatures are mild.
What are the best beaches on Oahu? Lanikai Beach, located in the beach town of Kailua towards the windward side of the island, is very beautiful with great conditions for swimming. Just a little farther away is the Kailua Beach Park, considered by many to be one of Hawaii’s best beaches.
Waikiki Beach, which stretches for 2 miles, is the most famous beach here and has attracted thousands of tourists every year since the 1950s. There are plenty of fun things you can do for free here, such as surfing, beach volleyball, canoe racing, football, soccer and more.
Sunset Beach, which is located on the North Shore of Oahu, has always been a major tourist attraction. The waters around there are clear and generally calm, which makes it ideal for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving.
If surfing is what excites you, you may want to join any of the following groups:
You can also go kayaking on Oahu. The island perfect conditions for this activity and it doesn’t cost you much to rent a kayak. For a very reasonable fee, you can join some of the organizations that carry out kayaking trips under expert supervision, such as:
What are some other fun activities that won’t break the bank?
Have you been to the Kapiolani Community College’s Farmers Market? This is Oahu’s own weekly farmers market where the local farmers from around the island sell fresh produce directly to locals and tourists.
You will find some of the freshest fruits and vegetables, such as the red rambutan fruit (similar to the lychee), and special organic dishes such as banana fritters and sweet potato with maple syrup. You can still enjoy taking a stroll around the market, and it won’t cost you anything!
One thing that is absolutely free is watching the sunrise and sunset on Oahu, and capturing it with your camera. You may have seen the sunrise and sunset dozens of times in your life, but you haven’t really seen anything until you see it on Oahu.
Our suggestion; go to one of the beaches on the island, like Kailua Beach, as early in the morning as possible, go for a swim and watch the sun as it rises over the horizon. This is one of the most beautiful things you will ever experience.
For the best view of the sunset, you could make your way to the south or west shores of the island, preferably at the picturesque Waikiki Beach. This is a great spot to catch the sun as it sets and bid a fond farewell to the day!
Many tourists opt for a car rental and drive around the island. Go on what is called as a “holo holo” or a “leisure drive”, and just enjoy the scenery. For incredible rates on an extensive fleet of vehicles available, check out JN Rentals, conveniently located right by the airport
Driving around the island can take about two to three hours. You will be able to make your way to the countryside and back to the city in no time at all if you plan accordingly around rush-hour. Stop over and take pictures as often as you can, they will be a BIG hit!
These are just some activities on Oahu that won’t break the bank. When booking your vacation take a look at the Moana Blu Collection for beautiful island-inspired homes, giving your stay on Oahu a touch of aloha.