A trip to paradise isn’t complete without these thrilling things to do in Oahu
Oahu is a can’t-miss island destination, home to Hawaii’s capital, Honolulu, and boasting some of best adventure spots in the country. It’s a scenic destination packed with all sorts of activities that attract thousands of visitors during peak tourist season. The sunken USS Arizona along with tons of other Pearl Harbor sites make this a prime location for history buffs. Yet when it comes to nature adventurers, there is no end to the things to do in Oahu.
Check out these 5 awesome things to do in Oahu that will motivate even the biggest homebody to go outside!
1. Trekking Up Chinaman’s Hat
Chinaman’s Hat is an easily recognizable, cone-shaped island near the Kualoa Ranch and can be accessed by kayak. It’s just about 1/3 mile off shore, and in low tide you may be able to ditch the kayaks and wade through shallow water. With a 360 view from the top of the islet, you can see the surrounding Kualoa mountains.
It takes about 15-20 minutes to climb to the peak of Chinaman’s Hat after reaching shore. We recommend bringing a pair of hiking shoes, because it’s a bit of a steep climb. Those kayaking flip-flips may not be ideal.
Due to its out-of-the-way nature, the island isn’t a super trendy tourist pick (yet). With that said, you can take in a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean and Kualoa Regional Park all for yourself. If you’re looking for things to do in Oahu off the beaten path, then this hidden gem is a winner. For the ultra athletic, why not try swimming over?
2. Oahu Island From the Sky
Trying to avoid the dense tourist swarms on land? Getting to know the island by sky may be the way to go. Apart from a few copter mates, a skilled pilot, and distant seagulls, you can’t be bothered by a soul.
The Oahu Island Adventure tour lets eager adventurers take in the remote paradise island from the skies. Experience stunning aerial views of the region and catch a glimpse of Oahu’s North Shore. See local landmarks like Pearl Harbor, Lē‘ahi (Diamond Head), Kaliuwa‘a (Sacred Falls) and more from overhead.
In just one hour, you’ll experience beautiful island scenery from the comfort of an impressive MD500 helicopter. It’s a fully narrated tour, which means you’ll learn everything you need to know about Oahu. The best part: You won’t have to lift a finger and will have tons of energy left to take on these other awesome things to do in Oahu.
3. Kayaking to the Mokes
These twin islands are located about a mile off shore. It takes approximately an hour or two to reach the Mokes by kayak, depending on weather and current conditions. It may sound daunting, but the journey is absolutely worth it. The whole trip is an escape into Oahu’s natural beauty, and the island shows you a different side of itself every time you visit. The Mokes are protected bird sanctuaries, but visitors are free to land on the North island to get a slice of this small oasis.
There are a few great cliff-jumping spots around the back side of the island, or you can take a dip in a tide pool. The Queen’s Bath is roughly the size of a swimming pool and is a great place to cool off after the long kayak journey across the water.
Before grabbing a kayak and diving straight into the water, be sure to monitor the weather conditions. In choppier conditions, it’s best to trust a kayaking guide to lead and give pointers.
4. The Crouching Lion Hike
The Crouching Lion hike is a unique feature of Oahu that provides amazing views, steep descents, and gorgeous natural surroundings. It’s on the northeast side of the island and is a welcomed getaway for many travelers. Accessible to people of most athletic levels, this hike is a great option for the whole family.
Want to learn more about the island? Opt for a guided hiking tour to learn more about the local culture and history while you’re here.
5. Sunset at Koko Crater Arch
In need of a good leg workout? Your calves will be thanking you after a trek up this steep arch.
Koko Crater Arch is an impressive rock formation that formed on the edge of a cliff. You can walk on top of it, underneath it, and around it to get a better view. Because of the unbelievable view of the horizon from here, sunset is the best time to visit. It’s the perfect backdrop for lasting memories.
If you’re tackling this hike around twilight, don’t forget to take flashlights or headlamps along with you!
Need more ideas of what to do while you’re in Hawaii? Our last-minute helicopter deals will keep you entertained (and help you save money) during your entire stay.
For insights on lava flow conditions, check in before you plan a journey.