The island of Oahu is home to the bustling capital city, Honolulu, and is the most populated of the Hawaiian Islands. This island has a wide variety of attractions including the historic Pearl Harbor Memorial and the iconic Waikki beach. We recommend spending about 2 days before heading to another, less populated and less touristy island. We went to Kauai and were glad we spent the majority of our time on that island. Here is our quick guide on Oahu, Hawaii.
FYI: This post was written based on a trip taken in mid-August
What to do in Oahu
Polynesian Cultural Center
If you only do one thing on Oahu, do this. The best description of the Polynesian Cultural Center is that it is the Epcot for the Polynesian Islands. Here you can explore the culture of the different Polynesian islands through traditional music, crafts, dances and food. We were not expecting to like this place as much as we did, especially considering it was raining when we went. We spent a full afternoon here and felt that was the appropriate amount of time, though it can easily be a full day event.
Visiting this national memorial is a very humbling experience. Our favorite part of the experience at Pearl Harbor was being able to meet and connect with a veteran who survived the Pearl Harbor attack.
If you love Pineapples, you will love visiting the Dole Plantation. We enjoyed sampling many different pineapple flavored things here. There are also several different tours you can take here including a Plantation Garden Tour, Pineapple Garden Maze and The Pineapple Express Train. We did not have time for any of these tours but we think the Plantation Garden Tour would be worth your time.
What/Where to Eat on Oahu
This small Hawaiian chain restaurant named for the olympian and father of modern surfing, Duke Kahanamoku, is located right on Waikiki beach. Here, we enjoyed the most delicious fruit smoothies, seafood and hula pie (decadent dessert).
Where to Stay in Oahu
Near Waikiki Beach
We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach. The rooms here were extravagant and the views of the ocean and island were unbeatable. A bit of a splurge but we thought it was worth the price for the balcony views.
Tip: We were only in Oahu one full day before we continued onto Kauai (see Kauai, Hawaii Quick Guide). If you want to spend several days on Oahu, you may want to split your stay between the south and north side of the island.
For more information on visiting Hawaii, please see:
- Maui, Hawaii Quick Guide
- Haleakala National Park Quick Guide
- Big Island, Hawaii Quick Guide
- 5 Stops on the Road to Hana
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Quick Guide
We hope this post helps you plan your trip to Oahu, Hawaii. Anything else you’d add to our guide on visiting Oahu, Hawaii? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions. Please leave us a comment!
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