Oahu: Top 10 Things to do In Oahu

By Kristen and Sam Smith

November 16, 2021

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Top 10 Things to do In Oahu

We spent the last four months of our lives living and working in Hawaii.  We have put together a list of the top 10 things to do or see in Oahu.

Pali Lookout

This is probably one of the best views on the island. Most beautiful views of the east side of the island.

Pearl Harbor

The reason that we added Pearl Harbor to the list is not that it is like a tourist thing to do, but just because of how amazing it is there. But more specifically, you want to do the Arizona Memorial. That is where you actually get to see the ship that is sunk underwater, and then there is another memorial where you get to go on the actual ship, The USS Missouri, and that ship is kind of staged where it was back then in the time when Pearl Harbor was attacked. In different areas of the ship, they have different time periods. So, you can see what they used for computer systems and technology in the era; it shows the 60s, 70s, and 80s. They kind of show the progression of how technology has improved. It is fantastic to see if you are a history buff or someone who appreciates our men and women in service.  It is a great way to show your respect by giving a day of your time.

Kailua Beach

Kailua Beach is easily one of our favorite beaches here on the island. It is definitely one of the most beautiful.

It’s a very popular beach, so make sure you come early to get a parking spot, or you’ll have to park on the street any time of the day. Honestly, it is really good for snorkeling because every time we went, we saw a turtle, and there are also restrooms and showers that you can always use to refresh yourself up after the long day at the beach. They also have plenty of areas of shade. The accessibility, the bathrooms, and showers are what make Kailua and Waimanalo our favorite beaches in Hawaii.

Waimanalo Beach

What makes this beach so amazing is not only that the water is beautiful, but you have the beautiful cliffside jetting out into the ocean. Which I think is top tier and, of course, shade. Do keep in mind though this is a local beach. The beach is very large, though, so you have plenty of room to spread out. It does have bathrooms as well. At sunset, it is gorgeous. We went on one of our last days in Oahu, and it was just a blue hue all around all you could see, and it was probably one of the most pretty sights we’ve seen on Oahu.

Kamehameha Hwy Scenic Drive

If you start off on north shore and drive all the way down to the east side to Kaneohe, it’s probably the best drive on the entire island. It’s about a 45 to 50-minute drive the entire way. You see the beautiful blue water on one side and the mountains on the other side. It is just gorgeous. We’ve been on two different islands, driven across the big island and Oahu. This is by far the prettiest trek we’ve done.

Germaine’s Luau

After four months of living in Hawaii, one of the last things that we did was Germaine’s luau. We have to say that was an incredible way to end our journey and our time there in Hawaii. You are just treated so well; I guess they treat you with such respect and treat you like a family. I think they’re one of the only ones who do the fire dancers. They are the only ones that traditionally do the pork.

Waimea Valley

You get this beautiful paved hike. It shows you all of traditional Hawaii houses their way, they cook food, they talk about their culture, and you keep going on this pathway. You come across all these beautiful flowers and plants or signs that tell you what the flowers and plants are these beautiful long Hawaiian trees. Then you come up, and you see this beautiful waterfall. Jumping in the waterfall, that’s just you have to do it. The water was very cold, but it was so worth the view. It’s a little swim the way to do it is probably do the waterfall first and hike back, then go to the beach and then you can cool off and just enjoy the rest of your afternoon on the beach.

Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens

I think this is probably the best view of the mountains themselves. You’re right up close to the mountains. It’s free entry. You go into the gardens and see all these plants that can grow on the volcanic soil. So they’re able to grow so much there, and each little section is a different country or a different area around the world. They have camping there, and they have walking trails. There’s so much to do. There’s even a big lake. You just have to go to smell the different flowers and plants, and you can park, or you can drive the long trail. you can stop wherever you want to stop and get out and just sit there for 10 minutes and just smell all the beautiful aromas of flowers of plants enjoy the beautiful scenery

Lanikai Pillbox Hike

 I have to say, though, it’s a moderate hike, and I would even rate it may be closer to hard just because of how little shade there is. You have to scramble up rocks at the very beginning of the hike. In the very middle of the hike are the steepest and more difficult parts. You actually have to hold on the ropes to kind of get up to the very s it’s very steep terrain; there were some families there that couldn’t finish the trail with kids they had to turn back. I definitely wouldn’t recommend it for older adults and wear your proper footwear. Still, it’s so worth the views you get of Lanikai Beach and Kailua. The views are pretty awesome, and then behind you, the mountains and you can see there’s a golf course too that’s like right by the um the hike where it starts, oh and you’ve heard golfer like you’re just going to enjoy that because it’s such a beautiful golf course.

Sharks Cove

Shark’s Cove was easily our favorite place that we’ve snorkeled and scuba-dived. I think one time when we scuba-dived there, it was the prettiest scuba dive we’ve ever done; I was crying in my mask because it was so beautiful. There’s a spot for beginner-friendly and kid-friendly. There’s also a spot for freedivers and stuff and you can also swim out like 200 yards for advanced freedivers and scuba divers. It gets very, very crowded, though. There is a lot of parking, but just keep in mind you may have to park on the road and walk a little bit with your gear on. Parking is free, but it’s definitely worth it, and there are restrooms and showers no lifeguard, but it’s honestly beautiful.

We hope everyone watching this video got something positive from it, and you learned something new that maybe you didn’t know about Hawaii. If you have any suggestions for things that we talked about or want to comment on, let us know in the section below. And as always, we want to thank you so much for watching this video, and we will see you guys on the next big adventure.

About Oahu:

On the island of Oahu, Hawaii’s timeless beauty blends with the modern luxuries of today. Swim in the warm waters of the world-famous Waikiki one moment, then enjoy the dramatic mountain views of the Nuuanu Pali Lookout another. Watch the surfers on the legendary North Shore by day, then dance the night away in vibrant nightlife spots around Honolulu. Get a taste of local flavors in Kapahulu one night, then dine at a Five Diamond Hawaii Regional Cuisine restaurant the next. From indulging in urban comforts to escaping to natural wonders, Oahu’s Town and Country experiences are unrivaled. With so much to see and do, you’re never far away from just what you’re looking for on Oahu. Visit the Heart of Hawaii and find the island paradise you’ve been searching for. In this fabulous area, you will enjoy snorkeling, sailing, scuba diving, whale watching, fishing, luaus, parasailing, jet-skiing, and plenty of nighttime entertainment! There are many golf clubs on the island as well, making Oahu a golfer’s paradise!

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