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Top Attractions in Oahu

Tourists like to visit Oahu because it is full of amazing things and points of interest to explore. Oahu has something for everyone. Nearly anywhere you go here, Oahu offers something fascinating from the gorgeous Hanauma Bay to a well-known Iolani Palace to the once battle-scarred Pearl Harbor. Visit the Honolulu Zoo at Kapiolani Park with the children or hike up to Waimea Falls, or attend an Evening Luau.

Top places in Oahu are popular for a reason. If many people want to see a particular place, it’s worth asking why. If you’re going to Oahu for the first time, let us familiarize you with the list of the top attractions in Oahu. Look at these top places in Oahu, so you can better understand what to expect. When you are on Oahu, what you need to do first:

Visit Pearl Harbor

Numerous pearls were collected from the depths of Pearl Harbor, that's why it has such name. Today Pearl Harbor isn't only a naval base but also a National Historic Landmark that includes the USS Arizona, USS Oklahoma, and USS Utah, Ford Island and Battleship Row.

At the Visitor Center in Pearl Harbor, you can learn more about the harbor's military and natural history, especially about the tragic attack in 1941. At the Pacific Aviation Museum that is located on Ford Island, you can find historic photographs and videos, see various WWII aircraft in two hangars, also experience how to be a pilot in flight simulators.

Every day a large number of people visit Pearl Harbor, but you can find out that it does a good job managing its flow. Some of the main attractions are ticketed by time, so you can visit these places without rubbing shoulder to shoulder with other people.

Enjoy the Waikiki Beach

The Waikiki Beach is the main reason why tourists come to Hawaii; they want to spend time on the tropical beach. On Oahu, you will have an easy access to the beach from just about any hotels in the area. Waikiki is famous for its aqua blue waters at the gorgeous beaches, five-star resorts, different entertainment, shopping, and restaurants. You can learn how to surf in some great surf schools of Waikiki. Also, Waikiki is one of the favorite spots for tourists to watch a Hawaiian sunset.

Explore Diamond Head

Diamond Head is the most famous of natural landmarks in Hawaii and once it was the main part of the island's coastal defense. Leahi (Diamond Head) is located east of Waikiki. If you want to see amazing views, you need to get to the center of the crater, climbing up to the 760-foot summit. Here you can find bunkers, the Fire Control Station and a giant lighthouse that was built in 1917. The amazing panoramic view of the shoreline below is the reason why you need to get there. The road around Diamond Head winds around the crater by the ocean. When you enter through the tunnel, you will feel like a world away from the people.

Discover Honolulu Zoo

You can get the Honolulu Zoo walkable from much of Waikiki. It is close to Queen Kapiolani Park. Here you can see elephants, monkeys, turtles, giraffes, parrots, lions, kookaburras, rhinos, and other animals especially numerous endangered species such as nene, the komodo dragon, black rhino and Sumatran tiger. The Animal Health Center offers quality medical care for the animals.

Snorkeling in Hanauma Bay

Another unique natural landmark you can find on Oahu is Hanauma Bay. The crater of an ancient volcano formed this amazing bay. It is a popular destination for snorkeling. Here you can enjoy the reef and its many inhabitants. This snorkeling bay is protected and regulated by the State. If you want to enjoy snorkeling here, you must pay an entry-fee and watch an educational video how not to harm the reef and ecosystem.

Learn Hawaiian culture and history at the Polynesian Cultural Center

You have a chance to experience Samoa, Tonga, Fiji or Tahiti at the Polynesian Cultural Center. It is a living cultural museum on Oahu. It offers to enjoy the unique culture of a different Polynesian island visiting six villages. Using various programming such as dances, music, clothes, food and more, the Polynesian Cultural Center demonstrates the individual and collective cultures. Also, you will have an opportunity to fish with Tahitian gear, canoe through a Tonga village, or watch a unique Maori warrior dance.

Stroll up to Waimea Falls

Waimea Falls is Oahu’s only lifeguarded waterfall that is located in Waimea Valley. You can easily get there without hiking through brush and getting a little muddy. If you dream of swimming in a big, natural pool below a cascade, it is your chance. However, remember the presence of the lifeguards and the lifejacket is important for your life.

Head to the Honolulu Museum of Art

At the Honolulu Museum of Art, you can enjoy local art, where international exhibits and cultural works from Hawaiian artists are presented. In addition, the museum demonstrates European and American art, such as sculpture and decorative arts. We recommend you to take workshop at the museum that is managed by a local teacher.

Shop at the Ala Moana Center

If you love shopping, the Ala Moana Center is what you need. It is a popular open-air shopping center that includes 4 levels. Here you can find about 400 stores that offer different products such as clothing, food, souvenirs and even specialty products. Also, the Center has a wide range of fresh flowers, local honey, artisan goods or baked goods. You will easily spend your day here.