Top 5 Destinations for Visitors in Oahu


Top 5 Destinations for Visitors in Oahu


The Hawaiian islands have so many things to offer visitors.  No doubt visiting the islands conjures images of sun-soaked days on the beach or on a hiking adventure on a lush hillside.

However, aside from it’s natural wonders, there are many historic landmarks and cultural mainstays that are worth visiting as well.  For visitors looking to pry themselves off the beautiful beaches during their trip, here are some of the top destinations to visit on the island of Oahu.

Benefits of Going Beyond the Beaches

To really get the best experience when visiting a  new destination, it’s important to get a well-rounded experience.   For example, if you want to visit historical landmarks, there are many places on the island of Oahu that are filled with culture and history.  From learning about Hawaii’s role in World War II or exploring iconic buildings like Iolani Palace or visiting famous sites like Pearl Harbor – it’s important to go beyond the familiar beaches. 

Learning the historical context gives you a better understanding of how the culture was shaped and how the people in that place adapted.   Visiting the locations of historical events or significant people allows you to pay respects and learn about people with a rich culture so you can appreciate the island as much as they do.

The top 5 list compiled here will give you a great taste of the natural wonders, as well as a bit of the cultural and historical pieces as well.

Waikiki Beach

The white sand beaches of Waikiki are famous for good reason. This beach is the most popular tourist destination on Oahu, and it’s not hard to see why. There are stunning views of the Pacific Ocean on one side, while Diamond Head stands proudly over the city on another end.

Although Waikiki is one of the most crowded beaches in Honolulu, it definitely has much to offer for the beach-going visitor.   There are many water sports to try, such as surfing, scuba diving, and snorkeling. There are also several hotels and resorts to stay at while visiting Oahu. These include the Moana Surfrider Hotel, Sheraton Waikiki Resort & Spa, and the Outrigger Reef on the Beach Resort & Spa.

The Waikiki area is definitely a huge tourist draw and an area which is sometimes called the Oahu concrete hiking trail.

Diamond Head

Standing out as one of the most iconic and well-known landmarks in Honolulu, Diamond Head is a volcanic cone which provides visitors with both hiking trails and pristine beaches. The crater was formed over 100,000 years ago and most recently was used as a strategic military lookout. 

It is also an important historical landmark that was made a national park during World War II. Visitors will enjoy views from the top for miles around Oahu’s coastline. 

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

The Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is an oasis for both snorkelers and scuba divers to explore Hawaii’s marine life. The bay has a large population of green sea turtles, which are protected by law to ensure their safety. Visitors will also spot parrotfish, butterflyfish, eels, and many other kinds of fish.

The bay is a popular place to swim, snorkel, and scuba dive because it is protected from strong currents and waves by its natural curved shape.

There are also several other water activities that are offered here, such as scuba diving certification courses, snorkeling classes, kayaking activities, and ocean tours on a glass-bottom boat.

Kualoa Ranch

This ranch is where you can go horseback riding, kayaking, hiking, or just explore scenic trails through lush forests or along stunning coastline views.

It is known for being the mythical birthplace of the Taro plant as well as the filming location of over 70 Hollywood movies and television shows. Some of these movies include Jurassic Park and 50 First Dates. It was also used for some scenes in the television series Lost.

Many visitors come here to tour the ranch  and its many film and television locations. There are also several activities available like hiking trails, horseback riding tours, and ATV adventures.

Halona Blowhole

Located at the far north shore of Oahu near Kahuku Point State Park, Halona Blowhole gets its name from the powerful jets of water that shoot up through the rocks and force their way out of the blowhole.

It’s often-powerful show is attributed to strong currents which drive large amounts of water into a lava tube and eventually make its way back out towards the ocean.

Many visitors come here for this natural phenomenon, and it is best to visit in the early morning hours or just after a storm because the currents are much stronger then.

Now that you have read about these top destinations in Oahu, perhaps one of them will be your next island stop during your visit!

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