All of the Hawaiian islands boast long lists of things to do, and there is certainly a variety of ways to stay busy when visiting Oahu. A vacation in Oahu can include sunbathing on a world-famous beach, snorkeling in a scenic underwater park, shopping for souvenirs, and so much more. From Honolulu to Haleiwa, Oahu's attractions offer plenty of tantalizing activities. Whether it's strictly an Oahu beach vacation that you have in mind or a full island tour, finding things to add to your itinerary won't be difficult. Adding to the allure of Oahu vacations is the fantastic Hawaii weather, which encourages a visit regardless of the time of year.
While you are free to decide which Oahu attractions you are going to visit, there are a few that beg inclusion on any itinerary. For starters, exploring the city of Honolulu and its world-famous neighborhood of Waikiki is a must. Many an Oahu beach vacation is based in Waikiki, as it's here where you will find most of the island's top hotels. Oceanfront resorts such as the Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach and the Hilton Hawaiian Village not only offer great locations on renowned Waikiki Beach, but also a number of complimentary activities for their guests to take advantage of. If you're not up for staying at a resort on your visit to Honolulu, perhaps a bed and breakfast such as the Diamond Head B&B will better suit you. An Oahu vacation rental is always worth considering as well. A condo on the beach can be a good choice for couples, and if you're planning a family vacation to Oahu, you might opt for a home rental instead.
Families who are visiting the island of Oahu will have numerous family-related attractions to choose from, including the Dole Plantation, where you can learn all about the mighty pineapple and its role in Oahu history. On a family vacation to Oahu, heading to the Waikiki Aquarium to learn about the underwater world of Hawaii is recommended. Kids are also likely to enjoy a trip to the Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park in Kapolei, where the thrilling waterslides and huge wave pool are among the main attractions. Other Oahu attractions you might consider adding to your family's agenda include the Sea Life Park, where you can swim with trained dolphins, and the Honolulu Zoo, which features quite an array of fascinating creatures, including African lions and Hawaiian pigs.
Oahu vacations aren't just ideal for families, as the island's attractions truly offer something for everyone. Shoppers will find Honolulu to be an excellent place to be, as the numerous shops in Chinatown and Waikiki alone can fill hours on end. The Shop Aloha Flea Market, which is held at Aloha Stadium on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, is also an excellent shopping attraction, as is the Ala Moana Center, which is the largest mall in Hawaii. Where you will find shops in Oahu, you will also find restaurants, and dining out is certainly among the top pastimes is associated with Oahu vacations. The rich mix of cultures in Hawaii has helped make Hawaiian cuisine both diverse and exciting, and even if you never make it out of Honolulu, you won't tire of the restaurant selection. Of course, any vacation in Oahu should include at least one luau. These colorful Polynesian-themed dinner shows can be enjoyed by all ages, which only adds to their popularity.
Spending quality time in Honolulu during Oahu Hawaii vacations is a must, and while some visitors will strictly stay within the capital city, others will look to explore some of the island's other tantalizing destinations. After making it around to top Honolulu attractions such as the Bishop Museum and Diamond Head Crater, you might hop in your rental car and head up the windward coast to see what's going on in Kailua or Kaneohe. Both of these laid-back towns offer proximity to Kailua Beach and Lanikai Beach, which figure among the island's best strips of sand. Kayaking out to the Mokulua Islands off the windward coast is something that more adventurous visitors might consider. After you kayak in Kaneohe Bay, you might treat yourself to an ATV tour in the Kaaawa Valley, which is fast becoming a popular pursuit on Oahu Hawaii vacations.
When you're interested in exploring other parts of the island during Oahu Hawaii vacations, visiting Pearl Harbor and taking in attractions such as the USS Arizona Memorial are bound to please. Heading west of Pearl Harbor, the Ko Olina Resort & Marina welcomes those who have an upscale resort getaway in mind. Leeward coast towns such as Waianae and Makaha can be an ideal base if you are planning on surfing, booking a whale watching tour, or treating yourself to a dolphin swim. Regarding surfing, Oahu's North Coast is one of the world's most legendary destinations, especially in the winter, so don't forget to keep it on the radar if you plan on riding the waves. If you're not adept at surfing, grabbing a shave ice in Haleiwa and heading to the nearby Banzai Pipeline to watch the surfers is a thrill in itself. There's no shortage of entertainment on a vacation in Oahu, and as inter-island flights depart from the Honolulu International Airport on a regular basis, zipping off to Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, or the Big Island is always an option.
When you're looking to enjoy a beach getaway that involves more than just swimming and sunbathing, then a vacation to Waikiki might be just what you're looking for. Waikiki is the top vacation destination in Oahu, partly because most of this Hawaiian island's top hotels can be found along world-famous Waikiki Beach. It also has a lot to do with the good weather, the mix of interesting attractions, and the wealth of shops and restaurants. You could easily spend all of your time in Waikiki on an Oahu vacation and not run out of fun things to do. Waikiki vacations can easily be all about relaxation, but there's plenty to keep you busy if you're up for some adventure on the side.
Waikiki Beach, which is often crowded with locals and tourists alike, is one of Hawaii's top beaches for a reason. The relatively calm water conditions along this two-mile stretch of sand make for good swimming, and when the surf is up on windier days, both beginning and advanced surfers are bound to enjoy the long and rolling waves. In addition to swimming and surfing, your Waikiki Beach vacation can see you setting sail on a catamaran, taking to the water in an outrigger canoe, and boogie boarding, among other things. Various tourist facilities front Waikiki Beach, as do high-rise hotels, so numerous services and amenities will be at your disposal. Surfing lessons can easily be booked on a Waikiki Beach vacation, and snorkeling equipment is available for rent if you want to explore the underwater realms. If you are especially interested in snorkeling, you might also consider a side trip to nearby Hanauma Bay during your vacation to Waikiki.
Spending quality time on Waikiki Beach is just part of what Waikiki vacations are all about. Thanks to the abundance of unique shops in this vibrant neighborhood, shopping also figures among the top things to do on a vacation to Waikiki. In the heart of the area, the International Marketplace is a good place to peruse some goods. You might also want to check out the Waikiki Beach Walk, which is one of the neighborhood's newest shopping hot spots. Of course, Kalakaua Avenue, which is Waikiki's main drag, is not to be neglected on shopping trips. These top Waikiki shopping destinations are also great places to dine, so you'll have no problem finding something good to eat when you need a break from the stores.
For some travelers, going out on the town once the sun goes down is of considerable interest on a vacation to Waikiki. Waikiki boasts a fine array of nightclubs and bars, and if you're up for a luau, including one on the nightlife itinerary won't be hard. The luau, a dinner show that revolves mostly around Polynesian culture, should be added to the itinerary for any Oahu vacation, but for those who are interested in Waikiki nightclubs as well, there are plenty to choose from. Some of the clubs are open until 4 a.m., so you can party well into the morning hours on Waikiki vacations if you please. Just remember to get some sleep, as you'll want to have energy for things like a hike to the top of Diamond Head Crater, which lies on the eastern edge of Waikiki.
Diamond Head, which is an extinct volcanic cone, rises some 750 feet into the Oahu sky. For those who make it up to the summit, breathtaking views of Waikiki and downtown Honolulu await. The 30-minute hike up to Diamond Head's summit is relatively easy, so almost everyone in your group should be able to handle it. Back at sea level, stopping by the Waikiki Aquarium is something that families with kids will definitely want to include in their Waikiki Beach vacation plans. Kayaking on the Ala Wai Canal, booking a pleasure cruise, and enjoying the open green space that Kapiolani Park provides are just some of the other options for things to do on Waikiki vacations.
The proximity to the Honolulu International Airport helps make Waikiki vacations so attractive, and taxis and shuttles are available to get you to your Waikiki hotel. The rest of Honolulu and all its great attractions beg to be explored if you're looking for things to do on the side during your Waikiki Hawaii vacation, and you're encouraged to rent a car and explore the rest of Oahu as well. Whale watching in Waianae, lounging on Lanikai Beach, and enjoying an ATV tour in the Kaaawa Valley are just some of the options when it comes to things to do in the rest of Oahu. With the array of things to do in the area, visitors to Hawaii will easily find plenty to create a personalized, memorable itinerary for their Waikiki Hawaii vacation.
While Honolulu boasts its fair share of hustle and bustle, it's a fantastic city to escape to when you want to relax. Home to the world-famous neighborhood of Waikiki, Honolulu has long been a fixture on most Hawaiian vacation itineraries. The capital of the Aloha State, Honolulu figures prominently on the Hawaiian horizon, and it is undoubtedly the cultural and commercial hub of this tropical island chain. Honolulu vacations offer much to travelers, and they can be as busy as you want them to be. Running out of interesting things to do on a Honolulu trip is difficult, even if you spend a few weeks here.
On your vacation in Honolulu, attractions such as the Punchbowl Memorial and the Waikiki Aquarium are there whenever you need a break from the beach. On rainy days, the Bishop Museum is an ideal attraction, especially if you are interested in learning about Hawaiian history and culture. Art enthusiasts will do well to visit the Honolulu Academy of Arts during a vacation in Honolulu, and the Contemporary Museum and Hawaii State Art Museum also deserve a look if you have the time. In addition to visiting the Waikiki Aquarium, families who are enjoying Honolulu vacations might also consider a trip to the Honolulu Zoo, which welcomes some 750,000 visitors annually.
The list is a long one when it comes to the Honolulu attractions, and should the fairly quick pace of the city have you looking for a quiet afternoon at some point, stopping by the Foster Botanical Gardens or the sprawling Kapiolani Park can be a good idea. The natural settings of these destinations are an ideal complement to Honolulu's more urbanized areas. Of course, a spa treatment at one of the Waikiki spas is sure to put you in a relaxed frame of mind. Diversity is the name of the game when it comes to Honolulu, which is why Honolulu trips continue to be so popular.
When you're not touring the city streets on your vacation in Honolulu, treating yourself to a pleasure cruise is something else you might consider. Getting out on the water is easy in Honolulu, and if you're enjoying an Oahu honeymoon, a dinner or sunset cruise is sure to be a romantic addition to the agenda. Savory dinner menus help make Honolulu dinner cruises so tempting, and the same can be said for the numerous Honolulu restaurants. You won't want for options when it comes to getting something to eat on Honolulu Hawaii vacations, as virtually every world cuisine is featured here.
Honolulu trips can be enjoyed year-round, as the weather doesn't vary all much from season to season. You can definitely leave the cold weather clothes at home when packing for your vacation in Honolulu, unless you are thinking of shoving off to the Big Island to climb to the top of Mauna Kea. Side trips to the other islands in Hawaii are easy to arrange in Honolulu, especially since the Honolulu International Airport is the main airport in the state. Inter-island flights depart from the Honolulu International Airport regularly, so you're encouraged to do a little island hopping on the side when vacationing in Honolulu.
For those who are more interested in exploring the rest of Oahu during their Honolulu trips, Pearl Harbor is not far to the west. The Ko Olina Resort & Marina, a little further to the west, is a great destination if you're looking to golf, swim with dolphins, or splash around at the nearby Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park. In the winter, the legendary waves on the North Shore will have advanced surfers looking to include a side trip on their Honolulu vacation itineraries. Back in Honolulu, the surf conditions at Waikiki Beach are better suited for beginners, and surfing lessons can be booked if you're interested in learning the ropes. Honolulu vacations and Waikiki vacations are essentially one and the same, as Waikiki is but a stone's throw from downtown Honolulu. Many top Honolulu attractions can be found in Waikiki, and this famous neighborhood is also home to the majority of the Oahu hotels, which helps make it a convenient travel base.
There's something for everyone in Hawaii's capital city, especially when you consider local festivals and events such as the Pan-Pacific Festival and the King Kamehameha Day Celebration, both of which are lively and colorful. Honolulu nightlife is lively and colorful as well, so you can keep the fun going well into the night if you choose.