Oahu,  Windward Coast

10 Best Things to Do in East Oahu

East Oahu is one of the most beautiful sides of the island. It is filled with the most fun and adventurous things to do. If you’re looking for beautiful beaches, thrilling hikes, or to just experience the beauty of Oahu – this is the absolute best place to be. Let’s get into the Best Things to Do in East Oahu!

Header photo shot by @selcouth_vagary


Best Things to Do in East Oahu


1. Watch a sunrise at Lanikai beach

Watch a sunrise at Lanikai Beach - Best Things to Do in East Oahu
Lanikai beach 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. You cannot miss it when visiting the east side of Oahu. Click here to learn about Venture The Islands picks for the 15 Best Beaches on Oahu.


 2. Hike Stairway to Heaven for sunrise

Hike the Stairway to heaven aka Haiku Stairs - Best Things to Do in East Oahu
Hiking the Stairway to Heaven for sunrise was one of the most rewarding, yet the scariest experience of my life. Starting off the hike by sneaking past a guard before dawn and hiking in the pitch black to be greeted by a long staircase of nearly 4,000 steps. With both unsteady and slippery railings and steps, you get a feeling of unease. At some points, the stairs go completely vertical and you’re left gripping on for dear life as the strong wind blows from all directions. Reaching the very top takes lots of perseverance as there are checkpoints along the way that makes you question continuing. As the sun rose, the sky cleared up and left us with the most beautiful glow and sunrise we’ve ever seen. It’s no question why so few have the courage to take on this hike.

Click here for our in-depth article on the Stairway to Heaven


3. See the Halona blowhole and visit Cockroach cove

The unknown Cockroach Cove - Best Things to Do in East Oahu

Cockroach Cove is right beside Hālona Blowhole and typically a 30-minute drive away from Waikiki Beach. This isn’t the best beach to relax at because the waves can be quite unpredictable, but more so a nice beach to visit quickly after visiting Hālona Blowhole. Within the Cockroach Cove is also a nice little cave to check out. Seeing the Hālona Blowhole and visiting Cockroach cove was also included in our 26 Best Things to do on Oahu, which you can check out here.


4. Hike the Tom-tom trail for sunrise

Hike the tom-tom trail for sunrise - Best Things to Do in East Oahu
If you’re looking to a beautiful perspective of the East coast of the island – then you’re looking at the right place. The Tom-Tom trail starts off with a nice incline and continues that for roughly 15-20 minutes until it starts to ease out more. You can stop at any point because there is no definite end to this hike. Click here for more hikes on Oahu


5. Jump at china walls

Jump at China Walls - Best Things to Do in East Oahu
Visit China walls with friends and let loose! It’s the perfect place for those adrenaline junkies.

Note: This photo is actually shot at spitting caves – which is little ways from China walls. Spitting caves is much more dangerous but we would recommend visiting to watch people jump it!


6. Visit Waimanalo Beach Park

The beautiful and relaxing Waimanalo Beach Park - Best Things to Do in East Oahu
Waimanalo Beach Park is a great alternative to Lanikai Beach if parking is full. Being only typically 20 minutes away from Lanikai, and right next to Hālona Blowhole and Cockroach Cove, make’s this beach very practical if you’re trying to visit as much of Oahu as possible. Click here to check out the 15 Best Beaches on Oahu.


7. Hike and snorkel at Hanauma Bay

Hike the Hanauma Bay Rim Trail - Best Things to Do in East Oahu
The Hanauma Bay Rim Trail is a 3.6-mile loop trail located at the Hanauma Bay Nature Reserve Park. We would rate the difficulty of this hike moderate. It’s absolutely beautiful during sunrise. Click here to see more hikes on Oahu. After hiking the Hanauma Bay Rim Trail – we recommend snorkeling at Hanauma Bay to cool off. Snorkeling at the beautiful Hanauma Bay is something you absolutely cannot miss out on.


8. Visit the Makapu’u Tidepools

Visit the Makapu'u Tide Pools - Best Things to Do in East Oahu
Accessible by hiking up the Makapu’u Lighthouse and then scaling down the mountain – the Makapu’u tidepools are absolutely beautiful and is a nice treat after hiking. Click here for our full guide on how to find the Makapu’u Tidepools


9. Kayak out to the Mokes

Kayak out to the mokes - Best Things to Do in East Oahu
The Mokes (Official name: Mokuleia Islands) are two small islands located off the coast of Lanikai Beach. The bigger island, Moko Nui, is the popular island to Kayak to.


10. Endure the Kokohead Crater Hike

Hike Kokohead Crater - Best Things to Do in East Oahu

The Kokohead Crater hike consists of 1,048 steps and is a 1.8 mile out and back trail. If you’re looking to push yourself – this is the hike to go with. Click here to read about the best hikes on Oahu.


Thank you for reading the 10 Best Things to Do in East Oahu!

Click here to read our previous post: Honolulu: 10 Best Things to Do