12 Exciting Things To Do In Oahu

Last updated: 1/17/20

Oahu is a beautiful island with a lot of things to do! In a way it’s kinda of like New York with the big buildings and all. We've stayed at the Hyatt in Waikiki and the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki and have loved both hotels. Waikiki has a nice beach, great shopping, and a lot of restaurants. It was also fun to go to other parts of the island that are more calm and relaxing though.

Here are 12 exciting things to do in Oahu.

1. Hike to the Lanikai Pillboxes

View from Lanikai pillboxes

This is our favorite hike we've ever done. It wasn't the easiest hike, but it also wasn't too hard. There are a few pillboxes you can hike to. The view of the ocean is amazing from them!

pillbox hike in hawaii

You can climb on top of the pillboxes or you can get inside of them.

2. Watch the fireworks at Hilton Hawaiian Village

Every Friday night at this hotel during Sept - May at 7:45pm and June - Aug at 8:00pm, there's a free fireworks show you can watch from the beach. They do the fireworks from out in the ocean and have some really good and big ones. This gets super busy, so we recommend getting there early.

Fireworks in Oahu at Hilton Hawaiian Village.

3. Stand up paddle board at Hilton Hawaiian Village

Stand up paddle board in waikiki hawaii

I'm not sure if stand up paddle board (SUP) rentals are something that anyone can do or if you have to be staying at the Hilton Hawaiian Village to rent them. We loved doing this here because they have a lagoon to do it in. The water was super calm, unlike the ocean.

4. Get an acai bowl or pitaya bowl at Eggs 'N Things

Pitaya bowl from Eggs 'N Things

The first time we ever had an acai bowl was at Eggs 'N Things and we were blown away with how delicious and refreshing it was. It has granola and fruit on top. Be prepared to have a long wait to get into the restaurant since it is super popular.

5. Hike Diamond Head


Stairs you'll have to hike on the Diamond Head hike
Stairs you'll find while hiking Diamond Head  
These stairs are at the end of the hike to the top of Diamond Head. You can either turn right and go up these miserable stairs, or turn left and walk right up. The left would obviously be easier, but we think the stairs are part of the experience.

View from Diamond Head
One side of the view from the top of Diamond Head

View from Diamond Head
The other side, looking down at Waikiki beach

6. Visit the Waikiki Beach


Sunset picture at Waikiki Beach in Oahu
Waikiki Beach at sunset
This beach is very crowded, but we still really enjoyed going a few times. We swam around, rented a cabana, and rented boogie boards. We were there in July and the water was a good temperature.

7. Go eat lunch at Disney Aulani

Eating lunch at Aulani is one of the fun things to do in Oahu
The Beach at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa 
We didn’t stay at Aulani, but we hope to someday! We ate lunch here, walked around, and hung out on the beach a little. We ate lunch at a little outdoor restaurant. I got the passion fruit pina colada and was in heaven! Aulani has a really nice beach where you can swim and paddle board. They also have an awesome looking pool and water slides. We can't wait to come back one day with our kids and stay here.

8. Drive to Round Top drive

View of Diamond Head and Waikiki from Round Top Drive
The view from Round Top Drive
This is a 9 mile loop with great scenery and lookout points along the way. You can see Diamond Head and Waikiki so well from here. If you're looking for a lookout point without a hike, then this is perfect for you.

View of Diamond head

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9. Visit the Dole Pineapple Plantation

Pineapple fields seen at the Dole Pineapple Plantation in Oahu
View of the pineapple fields
We rode the Pineapple Express train that takes you all around the plantation. It's so cool to see how pineapples grow. Before this, I had no idea what pineapple plants look like.

The Morgans eating a Dole Whip at The Pineapple Plantation
Adam and I sharing a Dole Whip cone
You’ll want to get the delicious Dole Whip while you’re there!

10. Go to Pearl Harbor

Picture of the Pearl Harbor Memorial
Pearl Harbor Memorial
Take the boat out to the Pearl Harbor memorial from the Visitor’s Center. This can be a busy tourist attraction, but it's a good one to go to if you've never been before.

11. Get a picture with the Chinaman's hat island

View of Chinaman's hat island off of Oahu

My grandpa had a painting of this island that he did and I always loved it. Because of that, we had to go see the island. It's a beautiful area, but the beach is really short, so no one really hangs out here.

12. Go to the Polynesian Cultural Center

The Polynesian Cultural Center (aka the PCC) is located on the north shore of Oahu. There's so much to do here. Make sure you get there early when it opens, as you'll want to spend all day here. There are 6 villages filled with fun activities. 

Picture in front of a waterfall inside the Polynesian Cultural Center in Oahu
Cute waterfall inside the Polynesian Cultural Center
At the village of Samoa, you'll see a man climb a 40 foot tall coconut tree with his bare feet!

Man climbing coconut tree at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Oahu
Look closely to see the guy climbing the tree
We also went to the big show after the luau, but wouldn’t recommend it. The show at the luau was much better!

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Things to do in Oahu