Fun Things to do in Hawaii, Oahu

50 Things to do In Oahu, Hawaii!

There is so much to see and do in Oahu, Hawaii! This list comes from the visitor’s bureau and is printed in a binder at our Kailua Vacation Rental. Although it’s hard to narrow down the fun to just 50 things, we tried to narrow it down to the do-not-miss favorites. We also incorporated many inexpensive or free activities you can enjoy as a couple or with the whole family during your stay.

  1. Stop in at the lei stands that line Maunakea Street in Honolulu’s Chinatown and see first hand how the intricate leis are created.
  2. Explore the history of Waikiki on a historical tour of the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort. You will see old pictures and collectibles linking the lobby of Waikiki’s oldest hotel, dating back to 1901.
  3. Learn about Princess Kailuani, Hawaii’s last and most beloved Princess, on the Princess Kailuani historical tour at Sheraton Princess Kailuani hotel.
  4. Experience the tranquility of the Valley of the Temples and watch the peacocks show off their colors.
  5. Take a scenic drive over the Pali Highway stopping at the historic site with panoramic views at the Nuuanu Pali Lookout.
  6. Visit the ancient fishponds in Heeia and Kahaluu on the windward side.
  7. Walk through the Mission Houses Museum to see how the first missionaries lived when they first came to Hawaii. Free printing demonstrations are offered on Wednesdays at noon.
  8. Visit Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial, a monument built to honor the men who died on the USS Arizona the day before World War II began.
  9. Experience the fun and excitement of the Aloha Festivals’ Downtown and Waikiki Hoolaulea celebration each fall.
  10. Learn about the history of pineapples in Hawaii through the multimedia “James Dole Story” at Dole Cannery Square.
  11. Find inner peace at the Byodo-In Temple, which houses a 900-foot Lotus Buddha. Be sure to ring the Peace Bell before entering the temple for happiness and longevity.
  12. Take a ukulele or hula lesson at the Royal Hawaiian Center.
  13. Snorkel among the brightly colored reef fish of Hanauma Bay and look for Hawaii’s state fish, Humuhumunukunukuapua also known as a Reef Triggerfish.
  14. Tour the Waikiki Aquarium and discover the marine life of the Hawaiian waters and the South Pacific.
  15. Keep your eyes open for humpback whales off Makapuu on Oahu’s South Shore of Kaena Point on the northwest side of the island from November through April.
  16. Boogie board at the locals favorite spot in Waikiki called “The Wall” or at Waimanalo Beach on the windward side of the island.
  17. Hike to Manoa Falls beneath the canopy of the tropical rainforest.
  18. Count the waterfalls along Hwy 3 after a beautiful refreshing rain.
  19. Hike to the top of Mt. Leahi (Diamond Head), Hawaii’s most famous landmark.
  20. Take a family stroll along the Maunawili Trail (in the footsteps of the Obama’s) off the Pali Highway. Drop a car off in Waimanalo which is where the trail ends. Keep an eye out for the endurance runners that use this trail for training!
  21. Drive to the windward side of the island to the charming towns of Kailua and Lanikai to discover why the soft, white sand of these beaches make them two of the world’s best beaches over and over again.
  22. Swim alongside the honu (turtle) in front of the Sheraton Waikiki, at Turtle Bay Resort or at many of Oahu’s 125 beaches.
  23. Wear reef shoes and in low tide walk to Goat Island in Laie to explore the tide pools teeming with life.
  24. Build sandcastles for a fun family competition or watch student designers compete in the University of Hawaii at Manoa School of Architecture’s annual sandcastle building contest in February.
  25. Explore the USS Bowfin, a World War II submarine and imagine what life would have been like on board in such cramped quarters for a crew of 80 men.
  26. See the daredevil hang gliders make their way off Makaouu Point
  27. Keep your eyes and ears open for Hawaii’s colorful birds in Kapiolani Park, Moanalua Gardens and other parks throughout Oahu.
  28. Catch a ride on an outrigger canoe with the Waikiki Beach Boys.
  29. Find the four Wizard Stones on Waikiki Beach and learn about the legend behind them.
  30. Listen to the Royal Hawaiian Band at Iolani Palace on Fridays from 12-1 p.m. (book ahead) and at Kapiolani Park on Sundays from 2-3 p.m.
  31. Feel the sea spray from the blast of the Halona Blowhole, just around the bend from Sandy Beach.
  32. Watch the windsurfers at Kailua Beach.
  33. Enjoy a romantic sunset with a loved one from high atop Tantalus as Honolulu city lights begin to twinkle in the dark.
  34. Fly a kite or eat a plate lunch at Kapiolani Park in Waikiki, then stroll through the park and see all the activities from soccer games to craft fairs.
  35. Stop by Ala Moana Center’s Centerstage, the hub for more than 500 performances annually including hula, rock, choral music and street dancing.
  36. Close your eyes and relax to the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra during its pre-season concerts around the island.
  37. Enjoy the colorful parades that float down the streets of downtown Honolulu and Waikiki during the Aloha Festivals, King Kamehameha Celebration, Honolulu Festival and Chinese New Years Celebrations.
  38. Meet Hawaii’s local fishermen at the early morning Honolulu Fish Auction at Pier 38, where the fresh catch is displayed and auctioned off to island chefs and merchants daily at 5 a.m.
  39. Drive the North Shore for Matsumoto’s famous shave ice, a juicy Kua Aina hamburger and garlic shrimp from a roadside food truck.
  40. Enjoy locally-grown produce and meat, fragrant flowers and tasty treats at the Kapiolani Community College Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings.
  41. Sit in on a Sunday service conducted in the Hawaiian language at Kawaiaha’o Church.
  42. View the work of local artisans at the Art on the Zoo Fence along the fence of the Honolulu Zoo.
  43. Learn more about Hawaii’s melting pot of cultures at any of the Chinese, Okinawan, Japanese, Filipino, Portuguese and Korean festivals held throughout the year.
  44. Spend a day at the Children’s Discovery Center in Kakaako.
  45. Visit Ward Warehouse for free hula lessons on Tuesdays, country line dance classes on Thursday and live Hawaiian music every first Sunday of the month. While there, check out Ward Centers’ great locally-owned boutiques for special and affordable Hawaiian souvenirs.
  46. Dedicate and float a paper lantern for a special cause or in memory of a loved one at the Lantern Floating Hawaii Ceremony, held every May at Ala Moana Beach Park.
  47. Browse booths at the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet for affordable made-in-Hawaii souvenirs on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 6 a.m to 3 p.m.
  48. Watch films being made and produced by Asian, Pacific Islander and Hawaiian filmmakers at the Hawaii International Film Festival in October.
  49. Watch the fireworks explode into the sky on Friday evenings in remembrance and celebration of King Kalakaua’s Jubilee at Hilton Hawaiian Village.
  50. Enjoy “Sunset on the Beach” as Kapahulu Pier is transformed into an outdoor movie theater with live entertainment, food booths and free blockbuster movies shown on a 30-foot screen.

Surf rental shop on Waikiki beach

Hula Show with Hula Dancers

Trigger Fish

Traditional hula music at a restaurant in Honolulu, Things to do in Oahu.

Northern Beach, Oahu

East Coast Oahu, mountains

Sunset on Oahu is an inexpensive thing to do in Oahu

Things to Do In Oahu - Visit the US Bowfin Submarine