Welcome to Oʻahu


Island Life

Spam, surfing, hula, ukulele, pidgin, rubbah slippah (flip-flops) – these are just some of the touchstones of everyday life on Oʻahu, an island out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. People are easygoing, low-key and casual, bursting with genuine aloha and fun. Everyone knows how lucky they are to be living in this tropical paradise and Oʻahu proudly maintains its own identity apart from the US mainland. You’ll feel welcome whether you’re a globe-trotting surf bum, a fresh-faced honeymoon couple or part of a big ʻohana (extended family) with grandparents and kids tagging along.

Outdoor Adventures

Oʻahu has so much going on, especially if you like sun, sand and adventure. Playing in or on the water could keep you happy for months. Learn to surf, and if you're already good, hit the big waves on the North Shore; bodyboard at Waimanalo, stand up paddle at Haleʻiwa, dive into Hanauma Bay’s giant fishbowl, or windsurf or kayak in Kailua Bay. On the land, hike up Diamond Head or atop knife-edged pali (cliffs). Up top, jump out of a plane or soar in a glider above the North Shore; circle the island in a helicopter. It's all there waiting.

Unparalleled Melting Pot

Oʻahu, like the rest of the Hawaiian islands, is proud of its multicultural heritage. The nerve center of the archipelago brings you face to face with Hawaii as it really is, not just a postcard fantasy. All over this island, nicknamed ‘the Gathering Place,’ pulses the native Hawaiian lifeblood, from ancient heiau (stone temples) to sacred hula dances and chants. Mix in the descendants of European explorers, American missionaries and Asian plantation-worker immigrants, plus recent arrivals from all over the Pacific, and you have one of the most multicultural communities on the globe. Boisterous festivals help keep diverse traditions alive.

Hawaiian Heartland

There’s another side of the island: the ‘country,’ where farms and dirt roads lead deep into a passionate Hawaiian heartland. Where anti-development slogans like 'Keep the Country Country' are everywhere and locals want a fair go to enjoy life in their much-loved and appreciated natural environment. On some wild, rugged and nearly deserted beaches, sea turtles still outnumber surfers. Set your watch to island time and cruise past the Windward Coast’s emerald valleys, rustic ranches and roadside shrimp trucks, savor Central Oʻahu's rich volcanic soils and pineapple fields, or lose yourself on the rural Wai‘anae Coast.


Top experiences in Oʻahu

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Travel guides

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Oʻahu activities

$98.31 Cultural & Theme Tours

USS Missouri, USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor from Waikiki

Start your Pearl Harbor tour with hotel pickup in Waikiki by air-conditioned coach. Your full-day tour includes skip-the-line admission to each attraction, including the USS Missouri and USS Arizona Memorial. Your first stop is the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center to see artifacts from the bombing that propelled the US into WWII. Then take a ride in a Navy launch across Pearl Harbor to the USS Arizona Memorial, the final resting place of the 1,777 crew members who lost their lives on December 7, 1941. The national memorial, which commemorates the attack on Pearl Harbor, spans the mid-portion of the sunken battleship.Next, you'll take a guided tour of the USS Missouri. The ship served from WWII through Desert Storm and was the site of the 1945 Japanese surrender to the Allies.After an intriguing look through US war history, return to your coach for a drive through downtown Honolulu. Your guide makes stops at Kawaiahao Church, the Hawaii State Archives and State Public Library, the famous statue of King Kamehameha, Honolulu Hale, and the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives (formerly called the Mission Houses Museum).You'll also see Iolani Palace, the only royal palace on American soil, and take a drive through the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as Punchbowl Cemetery, before hotel drop-off.

$97 Cultural & Theme Tours

Paradise Cove Luau

This tour is likely to Sell-out! Paradise Cove Luau regularly sells out weeks in advance, so book ahead to avoid disappointment! The Waikiki luau at Paradise Cove Luau begins with a tropical Mai Tai greeting, while live Hawaiian music sets the festive mood of the evening. Take a stroll through the Hawaiian Village to learn the arts and crafts of the islands, or test your skills at the Hawaiian Games.After the delightful Shower of Flowers, participate in the Hukilau on the beach and learn the net fishing techniques of old Hawaii. Following the pageantry of the Royal Court Procession and imu (earth oven) ceremony, your evening continues with a sumptuous feast.Make sure you bring along your appetite to fully enjoy Paradise Cove's extensive menu, blending the best traditional Hawaiian dishes, local favorites and continental cuisine.Then, after dinner, with a spectacular Hawaiian sunset as a backdrop, award-winning performers will entertain and amaze with an unforgettable display of songs and dances from across Polynesia at the Paradise Cove Extravaganza.Paradise Cove boasts brilliant sunset views from its oceanfront setting and offers three dining packages, perfect for all tastes and budgets. If you are staying in Waikiki, you have the option to include hotel pickup and drop off to ensure a hassle free night of Hawaiian fun. See tour and pricing options below for full details.

$50.96 Cultural & Theme Tours

Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor and Punchbowl Sightseeing Tour

Skip all the long lines on this Pearl Harbor half-day tour! The USS Arizona Memorial is the final resting place of the 1,777 crew members who lost their lives on December 7, 1941, during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The national memorial commemorating the attack which thrust the United States into World War II spans the mid-portion of the sunken battleship.Pearl Harbor tickets take you to the Visitor Center to see artifacts from the attack, plus film and footage of the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack, before boarding the Navy launch to cross Pearl Harbor to the Arizona Memorial.During your Pearl Harbor tour you'll also see Iolani Palace, the only royal palace on American soil and downtown Honolulu, as well as driving through Punchbowl National Cemetery of the Pacific.

$36.65 Cultural & Theme Tours

Diamond Head Crater Adventure

This guided walk through Diamond Head State Park to the 760-foot (228-meter) summit of Diamond Head Crater is led by a professional guide who will escort you to the summit to provide you with an exciting and safe excursion.At the summit, incredible 360-degree views of Waikiki and the turquoise blue Pacific Ocean await you. On this Diamond Head Volcano adventure you will learn about the crater's fascinating geology, history, archaeology, flora and fauna. Knowledgeable and expert guides are very friendly and informative, and can identify the numerous bird and plant species found in the crater.You'll enjoy a personalized experience on this exclusive tour and all hiking equipment is provided. There's no need to pack any extra gear, as you'll enjoy free use of a backpack and walking staff.Fitness Level: Intermediate Trail Condition: Sometimes wet and slippery Distance Walked: 1.4 miles, 2 hours walking time

$106.81 Day Trips & Excursions

Oahu Grand Circle Island Day Tour

Start your full-day tour of Oahu with morning pickup at your Waikiki hotel and set out in a deluxe air-conditioned coach with an expert guide. Leaving Honolulu, drive past the ritzy Kahala area en route to the Amelia Earhart Lookout, named in honor of the famous aviator who in 1935 completed the first successful solo flight from Honolulu to the continental US, landing in California. Take in panoramic views of the 350-acre (142-hectare) volcanic crater that forms Diamond Head and watch surfers catching waves in the ocean below. Down the road, stop at the lookout over Hanauma Bay, a marine nature reserve known for calm clear waters with excellent snorkeling. Then stop for a look at the Halona Blowhole and hope to see a geyser-like spray of water rocket into the air. Travel into the hills to reach the Nu'uanu Pali lookout where you are treated to sweeping views of Kanehoe Bay and Kailua Bay. Continue to Byodo-In Temple, a smaller-scale replica of a 950-year-old Buddhist temple in Uji, Japan. The stunning site, which features ornate temple buildings with a golden Buddha statue that stands more than nine feet (three meters) tall, is tucked into the foothills of the Ko'olau Mountains. Back on the road, enjoy great views of Mokoli'l Island (Chinaman's Hat), Kahana Bay and the beaches along the North Shore of Oahu. Visit Sunset Beach and Waimea Bay, made famous in the 1960s when big-wave surfing took hold here. In the winter, the beaches still draw surfers from around the world.Head inland to the Dole Plantation, where you have a quick stop to view lush tropical gardens, take a quick break and browse the gift shop. During the day, take a 1-hour break to purchase lunch at a sit-down restaurant. Your tour ends with drop off at your hotel in the evening.

$104.95 Cultural & Theme Tours

Polynesian Cultural Center Luau

The six villages showcase the indigenous Polynesian cultures of Hawaii, Samoa, Fiji, New Zealand, Tonga and Tahiti. Real Polynesians share knowledge of their traditional customs, and you can either watch the demonstrations or jump in and participate! Take a canoe ride on the lagoon and cook a meal in the Samoan village. Kids will love getting temporary tattoos, spear throwing, ukulele lessons and fishing. No evening at the Polynesian Cultural Center would be complete without experiencing "Ha: Breath of Life", an ancient, yet universal tale. Performers dressed in authentic attire share their traditions and culture, just as their ancestors once did. You will also witness the exciting fire walkers and fire-knife dancers. Polynesian Cultural Center boasts an authentic cultural experience and offers a variety of dining and show packages, perfect for all tastes and budgets.