From natural preserves to authentic, world-class luaus, there is so much to relish on the island of Oahu.
1. Diamond Head
One of Hawaii’s most popular state parks, Diamond Head is a volcanic cone that offers incredible views of Honolulu and the Pacific Ocean. Once an active volcano, Diamond Head has not erupted in more than 150,000 years. Guests can hike to the 300,000-year-old crater up to an observation point for scenic views and the best picture opportunities.
Enjoy some of Oahu’s top-rated luaus so you can enjoy top-rated local entertainment and dining by the water:
- Germaine’s Luau Oahu
- Diamond Head Luau
- Ka Moana Luau Oahu
- Paradise Cove Luau
- Experience Nutridge Luau
- Toa Luau
3. Hanauma Bay
Get up close and personal with tropical fish and marine life living in Hanauma Bay. Formed within a volcanic cone, the bay houses a unique marine ecosystem Honolulu strives to preserve. Located along the southeast coast of the island, the bay offers opportunities to snorkel near animals such as sea turtles or simply lay out and enjoy the sun.
4. Pearl Harbor National Memorial
The most visited destination in Oahu, the Pearl Harbor National Memorial pays tribute to the events leading to the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II onward to reconciliation between the U.S. and Japanese government bodies. Now encompassing the USS Arizona, USS Oklahoma, and USS Utah Memorials, as well as six officer bungalows, three mooring quays, and the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, guests can honor the legacy of the fallen officers and vessels and learn more about the Pacific War in-depth overall.
5. Iolani Palace
Built in 1882 by the last king of Hawaii, King Kalakaua, Iolani Palace served as the royal residence until the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown in 1893. Afterward, the palace acted as the “capitol of the Provisional Government, Republic, Territory and State of Hawaii until 1969.” Now registered as a National Historic Landmark, the palace has been beautifully restored to showcase the opulence of the royal monarchy. Located in downtown Honolulu, this is a must-see attraction.
6. Dole Plantation
Fun for the whole family, guests can enjoy the historic pineapple plantation and its many engaging attractions. Visitors can wind their way through the 2008 World’s Largest Maze, take a ride on the Pineapple Express train, and learn about the history of the plantation as well as Hawaii’s agriculture. Additionally, you can tour the Plantation Gardens, which encompass a variety of flowers, native plants, and fruits arranged in mini gardens.
One of the most famous Hawaiian neighborhoods, Waikiki is the premier resort, hotel, and entertainment district in Oahu. Of course, you’re most likely familiar with picturesque beach scenes from the shores of Waikiki Beach, which is just as beautiful as you imagine. Visitors can also walk along Kalakaua Avenue to experience top notch dining, shopping, activities, and entertainment. Furthermore, the area boasts attractions like the Royal Hawaiian Center, the Waikiki Beach Walk, the Honolulu Zoo, and so many more.
8. Nuuanu Pali Lookout
Only five minutes from downtown Honolulu, the Nuuanu Pali Lookout provides breathtaking views of the towering Koolau Cliffs and verdant Windward Coast. One of the best Oahu attractions, the lookout is set 1,000 feet above the coastline, surrounded by mountain peaks and billowing clouds. Below and beyond, one can see views of Coconut Island, Mokolii, the Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden, and other points of interest. Visitors can drive up the Pali Highway through lush forests to get to the lookout point.