Oahu is the third largest and most populated Hawaiian Island. It is the home of Hawaii’s capital city of Honolulu and the birthplace of the 44th United States President, Barack Obama.
There is truly something for everyone to enjoy during their visit to the Island of Oahu. With numerous sandy beaches that have crystal clear water to relax and play on, moderate to extremely intense hiking trails, museums, amusement parks, local and world renowned designer shops to frequent and superb dining options your stay is guaranteed to be the right mix of fun and relaxation.
Stop by the Polynesian Cultural Center to experience the culture of seven Polynesian island groups in one place. Visit the state’s only general fine-arts museum, the Honolulu Museum of Art, to see one of the top Asian art collections in the country.
Take a tour of the USS Arizona National Memorial. This is a 184-foot memorial that was completed in 1961 and a flag is flown from the destroyed mast. Visitors will enjoy a short film that explains the events that transpired when Pearl Harbor was attacked.
Take the family on a trip to the Honolulu Zoo. There are over 900 tropical, Asian and African species to visit. Then, you can cool off with a swim on the shore of Diamond Head or enjoy lunch at one of the restaurants nearby.
Visit the Waikiki Aquarium. You will be amazed at the Green Sea Turtles, Hunters on the Reef and Coral exhibits. Great for small kids to get an up-close look at the animals that live under the sea!
Hawaii’s Wet N Wild Water Park is an excellent place to visit for families with kids of all ages. While it is located off the tourist path, it is easily reached on the public bus route. The water park has rides that range in intensity and a play area specifically for toddlers. Wet n’ Wild is open year round with varying days of closure dependent on the season.
Hike Makapu’u Light House Trail. This trail is one of the easiest hikes for families with small children as it is completely paved. So, bring your strollers, water, hats and sunscreen and enjoy the 1 mile hike to the peak. Don’t forget your camera as some families are lucky enough to spot a humpback whale during their migration season!
Snorkeling tours are easily booked in Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay. This bay is one of the most famous in all Oahu snorkeling as it has a lot of tame fish, calm water and white sand. Snorkeling is closed on Tuesdays to preserve the eco system, so plan accordingly.
Must see family friendly beaches include Kailua Beach and Lanikai Beach. The best thing is these two beaches can be visited on one day as they are neighbors! They offer crystal clear waters great for swimming and sugary white sands to relax on.
If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can hike the Lanikai Pill Box Trail before your visit to the beach and then take a dip on one of these beaches to relax on after you’ve conquered your hike.
Speaking about hiking, trails can be found almost everywhere on the Island. Some that we highly recommend are Maunawili Falls and Koko Head Crater.
Whichever hike you decide to attack, please make sure to check tourism guides for recommended gear and difficulty rating. Safety is paramount!