So, you’re heading to Oahu? You must be looking for things to do and explore. What are the best Oahu bucket list ideas to experience while you’re there? You’re in luck—we have a list! Plus, you can see these from one of the most stunning angles—an aerial perspective!
You can easily see these gorgeous locations from a helicopter, and we have some deals for you so you’ll SAVE money while enjoying the jaw-dropping scenery!
Best Oahu Bucket List Ideas
One of the most popular Oahu bucket list ideas is a somber one—but Pearl Harbor is also a reminder to never forget the tragedy that took place there on December 7, 1941. You can pay a visit to the Pearl Harbor Memorial, and then book a last-minute flight on either the Ko Olina Resort tour or the Oahu Island Adventure. These fly you over the sights of Pearl Harbor. Then, you can catch a glimpse of the oil still resting atop the water from the USS Arizona.
- Visit the Battleship Missouri Museum
- Walk throughout the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum
- See restored planes at the Pacific Aviation Museum
Diamond Head State Monument offers incredible views overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Honolulu. The scenery is so lovely that it was used by the U.S. military as a post for preventing attacks on Honolulu. The hiking trail there takes you right to the edge of a 300,000 year old crater. Another great way to see it is from the inside of a helicopter. Tropical Helicopters offers DISCOUNTED tours, and both the Oahu Island Adventure and the Ko Olina Resort tours will take you over this landmark.
- Take photos of the stunning views
- Eat delicious food when you are done
- Cool off at the beach after a long hike
On the easternmost point of Oahu sits the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse, a shining beacon built in 1909 on a 600-foot sea cliff overlooking Makapu’u Beach — a stretch of sand known as one of Oahu’s best bodysurfing beaches — and family-friendly Sea Life Park.
Just 15 minutes past Hanauma Bay, you’ll find the big parking lot that leads to the two-mile, paved trail overlooking the lighthouse. For an even better view? Take a helicopter!
- See the stunning views overlooking Makapuu Beach, Koko Head, the windward coast, and Molokai and Lanai which are neighboring islands
- Look out for Makapuu Point, old military pillboxes, giant tide pools, a hidden blowhole, and the popular Makapuu lighthouse
- Check out the snorkeling at Hanauma Bay for some of the best views of the underwater reefs
Hanauma Bay was declared a protected marine life conservation area and underwater park in 1967. Formed within a volcanic cone, Hanauma Bay offers a pristine marine ecosystem after Honolulu laid out a plan in 1990 to restore the “curved bay.” This followed years of neglect and abuse from the millions of visitors who visit and love to snorkel Hanauma Bay. Part of this requires first-time visitors to watch a video before entering the park so they can learn about the marine life, preservation, conservation as well as safety rules regarding the park.
Hanauma Bay sees an average of 3,000 visitors per day, or around a million visitors each year. The majority are tourists, so if you want to get away from the beach bustle, fly over the gorgeous Hanauma Bay!
- Snorkel by yourself or you can book a tour
- Sunset cocktail cruise
Kaliuwa’a (Sacred Falls)
There’s a reason this is one of the best Oahu bucket list ideas to see from the air: you can’t even access it unless you fly over it! Sacred Falls State Park is located near Hau’ula on the North Shore of Oahu. The park encompasses Kaluanui gulch and the waterfalls at its end. The park was closed after a fatal rockfall on May 9, 1999 in the canyon where the waterfall is located, killing eight hikers.
A discounted Tropical Helicopters tour will open your eyes to the rare beauty of Sacred Falls—so book your flight now and SAVE!
- Fly near the waterfall and through the Kohala Valley’s
Known among locals as Chinaman’s Hat, Mokoli’i is a popular spot for taking pictures on Oahu’s coast. The small island is located at the north end of Kaneohe Bay, offshore of Kualoa Regional Beach Park. Called Chinaman’s Hat due to its cone shape, it looks like a peasant’s hat worn in rural China. Besides a few straggler palm trees and two little beaches, there isn’t much else here. But it’s a gorgeous place to fly over—and if you go, you can pocket some extra money on a Tropical Helicopters Ko Olina Resort tour!
- Swim to the island
Waikīkī is a beachfront neighborhood of Honolulu, on the south shore of Oahu. Waikiki is most famous for Waikīkī Beach, but this is just one of five beaches in the district. A great way to see this is on a Tropical Helicopters tour.
(Booking with Tropical Helicopters is your best bet on your next Hawaiian vacation. You’ll pay less but get the same quality of experience as any other helicopter tours in Oahu!)
- Undersea submarine adventure
- Waikiki aquarium
- Delicious food
Kāneʻohe Bay makes up the largest sheltered body of water in the main Hawaiian Islands. This reef-dominated area comprises a significant scenic and recreational feature along the southeast coast of Oahu.
There’s kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, catamaran cruises and more—but one popular way to see the bay’s beauty is from a helicopter!
- Catamaran Cruise
On the western tip of Oahu lies Ka’ena Point. This dramatic lava shoreline is said to be where souls of ancient Hawaiians would jump off into the spirit world and meet the souls of their ancestors. With scenic views of the Wai’anae coast to the south, Mokuleia to the north, and the vast Pacific, it’s not hard to see why this point was considered so sacred. Hiking offers one of the best ways to reach it, but if you’re itching to see the full scope of the coastline, take a helicopter. You’ll enjoy a discount and a breathtaking view if you book today!
- Do not go in the water. It is very dangerous
Ka’a’awa Valley is one of the most gorgeous locations in Oahu. It also receives mention in many ancient legends. Ka’a’awa Valley, also known as Kualoa Valley, was the residence of kings. In ancient Hawaii, newborns of Hawaiian chiefs were brought here and trained in ancient traditions, history and war. As fishermen passed this valley, they had to lower their sails. Dozens of movies have used this valley as a backdrop, too. The Ka’a’awa Valley is a true landmark on Oahu, making it one of the best Oahu bucket list ideas ever. Particularly when seen from a helicopter, you’ll never forget this view.
- Horseback riding
- Atv rides
- Bus tours
- Mountain biking
What are the top Oahu bucket list ideas in your opinion, or based on your past vacations to the Aloha State? Let us know!
Are you looking for Oahu bucket list ideas on your next tropical vacation? Use this guide to help you!
For more information about the helicopter tours Tropical Helicopters has to offer, contact us today and we can help you book the right one for you.