Oahu is the ideal Hawaiian island for those seeking a perfect mix of city amenities and stunning beaches. You can be immersed in the history of Pearl Harbor, experience some of the best luaus, enjoy world-class hiking, surf the day away on the North Shore, or get head spinning views at Diamon Head . With all there is to see and do on the island, it can be hard to know where to start.
1. If you’ve ever browsed photos of Hawaii online, you’ve probably seen a glimpse of Stairway to Heaven in Oahu. This hike offers some of Oahu’s most iconic views, but it is also illegal. Police have cracked down in the past few years and frequently issue hefty fines for using the stairs, so it’s best to take the alternate, legal route along the Kulana’ahane Trail.
2. Learn more about the attack on Pearl Harbor and the start of World War II at this non-profit museum. You’ll find interactive exhibits, guided tours, and get an up-close look at historic planes and the sunken USS Arizona.
3. Hawaiian luaus are a dime a dozen in Hawaii, but if you’re looking for the best luau in Oahu, you’ll want to do your research ahead of time. Paradise Cove Luau is one of the best luaus on the island, and you’ll love the seaside location at Ko Olina Resort.
4. The 150-foot Manoa waterfall is one of the most stunning on the island. Swimming in the pool is discouraged due to risk of infection, but the views alone are worth the trek. Enjoy the 2.6 kilometer hike that is appropriate for all skill levels.
5. Ready to try your hand at surfing? There’s no better place to start than Sunset Beach, where some of the world’s best surfers compete for big wave surfing in the winter. Try Jetty Betty Surf School or Ken Bradshaw Hawaiian Surf School to learn from the pros.
6. If you’re looking for good eats, head straight to the hippest area on the island: Kaka’ako. This Honolulu neighborhood is home to fantastic fresh juice bars, casual craft beer spots, and Hawaiian farm-to-table eats.