There are so many incredible things to do on Oahu and it can make it hard to choose what to do – so we made this article to focus on the 3 things that you absolutely have to do when visiting Oahu.
Let’s get into the 3 things!
1. Visit at least one waterfall
The most popular waterfall in Oahu is Manoa Falls, but most don’t know that there are plenty of other incredible waterfalls – and most that are much better! We listed some below to help you choose:
Manoa Falls: The hike to the Manoa falls is one to remember. It is one of the most interesting forest-type of atmospheres on the island that makes it so different from all other hikes on the island. The waterfall tends to be quite small whenever I hike to the falls, so I would recommend visiting Manoa falls after heavy rainfall.
Lulumahu Falls: An incredible waterfall trail located just off the Pali Highway. We include how to reach the parking lot and how to hike it here. As you approach the waterfall, you will get anxious to see it due to the roar of the falls. It’s one of the best feelings in the world visiting Luluamhu Falls and standing underneath it after a hot day (the water is extremely cold!). Keep in mind, though, that the trail is located on private property.
Waimano Falls: This is an awesome spot for cliff jumping – with a jump of approximately 20 feet. A short, yet rewarding hike. If you’re looking to have fun with friends and let loose, Waimano Falls is a perfect choice.
2. Watch the sunset/sunrise from a beautiful viewpoint
Need help choosing the best spots? We have you covered – we listed our favorites below:
Ehukai Pillboxes: A short hike up to two bunkers with awesome views of the North Shore of Oahu.
Waikiki Beach: Very popular with tourists and locals alike. Not a bad choice for a stellar sunset!
Tantalus Lookout: Grab a blanket, bring snacks and head up to Tantalus Lookout for sunset. Populated with a decent amount of tourists – but it’s never a bad choice!
Lanikai Beach: An awesome and relaxing choice to watch the sunrise. The Lanikai Pillboxes are currently closed to be worked on – so Lanikai Beach is the perfect place alternative.
Makua Cave: A quick 30-minute hike up to a hidden cave on the West side of Oahu. It’s one of my favorite sunset hike locations, and often there are no people here!
Looking for more to do on Oahu? Read our article on the 45 Best Things to Do on Oahu.
3. Relax at some of the best beaches in the world
I mean, that’s why you came to Hawaii – right?
We have an article on the 15 Best Beaches on Oahu, but we also included some of our all-time favorites below!
Waimea Bay Beach Park: One of the most lively beaches on the islands. Popular cliff jumping spot during summer months and gets very crowded with thrill seekers. Snorkeling is awesome here during summer months as well. During winter months, waves get hectic and are only recommended for professional surfers.
Waikiki Beach: The perfect place to go for the sunset. The only downside to Waikiki Beach is that it can get pretty crowded at times. Every Friday night at 7:45 pm, the Hilton lights up the city with the most beautiful fireworks show that you absolutely cannot miss. If you’re in the area and have some time – you must see it!
Ko’olina Lagoons: If you’re looking for the ultimate place to lay down and relax on the west side of Oahu – the Ko’olina Lagoons are the place to be. It can get pretty crowded on the weekends, so we recommend coming earlier in the day.
Lanikai beach: This place just feels perfect – when you get there you’ll know what I mean. From the perfectly soft sand, cool water, and overall vibes make Lanikai beach such a great place to relax. If you’re visiting the east side of Oahu, it is an absolute must to visit. It’s a beautiful beach to also walk on as the sun starts to rise.
Thank you for reading our article on the 3 things you have to do when visiting Oahu!
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