Hawaii is a melting pot of diverse ethnicity, which is clear once you experience the food, traditions, art, and even night life here. Enjoying your time on the island will include not only relaxing on beautiful beaches but also exploring sacred cultural sites, hiking to waterfalls, surfing on the Pacific ocean, or even camping. So in no specific order, here are 11 top things to do in Oahu this year.
Visit North Shore
North shore is just a 45 minute drive from Waikiki. When you get to the famed surf town, you’ll see a ton of restaurants to explore as well as several beaches. Including, Laniakea Beach where green sea turtles can be seen playing near the shoreline. You can also try your hand at surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, or shopping for souvenirs for your friends back home. Either way, North Shore is a must-go place when you visit Oahu and you can easily fill a whole day here.
Hike to Makapu’u Point
You will love this short hike. The trail is just under one mile and once you reach the top you will see the entire scenic shoreline of Makapu’u beach. From the top you can see the inside of Koko Crater, offshore islands, and you’ll maybe even be lucky enough to see some whales in the ocean! We recommend heading to the trail in the morning after breakfast because it will be sure to set a positive tone for your whole day on Oahu.
Go to the top of Diamond Head
Diamond Head is one of the more iconic destinations on Oahu. But that doesn’t mean it’s just a tourist destination. It’s definitely worth visiting if only to say ‘hey, I’ve hiked up the side of an extinct volcano’. Plus, the hike is only 0.7 miles and ends when you reach a World War II bunker and a breathtaking view of the Pacific ocean.
Shop around Waikiki
When you visit Waikiki, you’ll see that there’s no shortage of things to do. You’ll find everything from local surf shops to stylish designer flagship stores. If you’re looking for a more leisurely day, shopping around Waikiki is the perfect thing to do. Just be sure to bring good walking shoes for your stroll down the Waikiki Beach walk.
Explore a different kind of beauty when you go underwater snorkeling. We recommend snorkeling at Three Tables or Ko Olina Lagoons where you can swim alongside fish and sea turtles.
Pay a Visit to the Polynesian Cultural Center
If you are visiting Hawaii to explore some of the rich culture here, the Polynesian Cultural Center will be a must-do for you. Here, you can spend the day learning about the heritage of the Pacific Islands. The experience can take anywhere from 3 hours to a whole day. It just depends on what you want to do while visiting the PCC. For example, you can experience a luau, join a buffet for authentic and delicious Polynesian food, go on a boat ride, or explore the villages.
Now that you know what awaits you in Oahu, you can begin to pack and plan for your Hawaiian Vacation. For more ideas, check out our activities page to see what else Oahu has to offer.