Oahu Attractions

Oahu Attractions MapThe island of Oahu is the most visited island in the state of Hawaii. Most people who plan a Hawaii vacation stay in or around Waikiki, which is a neighborhood of Honolulu. Oahu attractions range from natural sights like waterfalls, rainforests and beaches, to man-made attractions, such as museums, shows, historic buildings and temples.

Oahu sightseeing is fun for people of all ages and interests since there is something for everyone. Below is a list of some of the best things to do on Oahu.

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Ala Wai Canal
It may be hard to believe, but where Waikiki now stands, there used to be swampland, with waterlogged fish, duck ponds and rice paddies. In the mid-1920s, the land was drained and the Ala Wai Canal was built.
Aloha Tower
The Aloha Tower located at Honolulu Harbor on Oahu serves as a welcoming landmark for both cruise and container ships. It is one of the most popular landmarks in all of Hawaii.
Art on the Zoo Fence
For more than 50 years, artists have been displaying their works on the east fence of the Honolulu Zoo. Here, one can freely view amazing art work and meet Hawaiiís artists in person.
Byodo-in Temple
Located in the Valley of the Temples and backed by the 2,000-ft (610 m) Koolau Mountain Range, the Byodo-In Temple features a gigantic statue of Buddha. It is the largest wooden Buddha made in the last 900 years.

Chinamanís Hat
Mokoli'i Island, also known as Chinamanís Hat because of its shape, is a popular spot for taking pictures on Oahuís windward coast. The small island is located at the north end of Kaneohe Bay.
Mostly described as one of Oahu's most exciting and mysterious neighborhoods, Honoluluís Chinatown showcases a unique and colorful part of local history that makes it an interesting stop on anyoneís itinerary.
Diamond Head
Diamond Head is one of the most famous landmarks on Oahu. It has once been an active volcano, but hasnít spewed any ashes for more than 150,000 years. The extinct crater and lookout point are a popular hiking destination.
Dillingham Airfield
Dillingham Airfield, located on Oahu’s north shore, is a public as well as a military use airport. It is primarily used for sky diving and gliding tours. Military night operations for night vision device training also take place here.
Dole Pineapple Plantation
Take a walk in a tropical garden and see how a variety of tropical fruits grow, ride on a train through pineapple fields, find your way out of a huge maze and learn all about Hawaii's pineapple-growing history.
Duke Kahanamoku Statue
A popular statue in Waikiki and one of the most photographed spots is the Duke Kahanamoku Statue. Duke (1890-1968) is perhaps the most remembered and respected Hawaiian surfer Ė a true Hawaiian hero and waterman.
Goat Island (Mokuauia Island)
Contrary to its name, there are no goats on Goat Island, only nesting seabirds. The island is a seabird sanctuary and is close enough to the beach that it is possible to swim right over during low tide if the ocean is calm.
Halona Blowhole
The Halona Blowhole is an underwater lava tube. The water from the ocean enters the tube with each wave and as the tube becomes narrower, the pressure in it increases and the water shoots up into the air.
Hawaii Convention Center
With more than 60% of the building open to the sky, the Hawaii Convention Center gives a similar vibe to Hawaii's culture, free and welcoming. The contrast between high beams and open space is reminiscent of palm trees, waves and Polynesian sailing canoes.
Hawaii State Capitol
The Hawaii State Capitol opened on March 15, 1969. Unlike other state capitols that are modeled after the U.S. Capitol, the Hawaii State Capitol's architectural features symbolize various natural aspects of Hawaii.
Hawaii State Library
The Hawaii State Library serves as the seat of the Hawaii State Public Library System, which is the only statewide library system and one of the largest in the United States. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Hawaii Theatre
Built in 1922 as a vaudeville and movie theatre, the Hawaii Theatre now stands as Honolulu's primary arts centre, showcasing the finest in local and international cinema, theatre and live music.
Heeia State Park
He'eia State Park has a nice view of Kane'ohe Bay, Coconut Island, the Mokapu Peninsula, He'eia Boat Harbor and He'eia Fishpond, an ancient Hawaiian fishpond that remains largely intact.
Helemano Plantation
Helemano provides an environment for developmentally disabled people by offering training and employment opportunities. Visitors to the plantation can visit the gift shop, Country Inn Restaurant, bake shop and farm.
Honolulu Hale
Honolulu Hale is the official seat of government of the city and county site of the chambers of the Mayor of Honolulu and the Honolulu City Council. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Honolulu Harbor
First used as a port over 200 years ago, the Honolulu Harbor has grown from a small 12th century landing point for the first North American and European visitors to Hawaii into an expansive harbor and gateway to the metropolis of Honolulu.
Honolulu Zoo
The Honolulu Zoo is home to hundreds of animals from around the world. Not only is it the largest zoo within a 2,300-mile (3,700 km) radius, but it is also the only zoo in the U.S. that had its origins in a grant given by a king.
Iolani Palace
The Iolani Palace was built as a seat of government by the “Merry Monarch” King David Kalakaua, Hawaii’s final king. Not only is it an architectural masterpiece, but it had electricity and telephones four years before the White House did.
Kahuku Farms
Kahuku Farms is located just north of Kahuku on Oahu's North Shore. They offer a variety of foods that are grown right there on the farm, as well as farm tours.
Ka Iwi State Scenic Shoreline
One of Hawaii's beautiful state parks, the Ka Iwi State Scenic Shoreline features stunning views of the Makapu'u Lighthouse, Koko Head and Oahu's southeastern shoreline.
Kaneohe Sandbar
The only one of its kind in all of Hawaii, the Kaneohe Sandbar is located around fifteen minutes from Heeia Pier if you do the journey in a small sail or motorboat or kayak. It attracts plenty of bathers and sailors alike.
Kapiolani Park
Kapiolani Park was given to the people of Hawaii from King Kalakaua in 1887. He named the 130 acres of land after his beloved wife, Queen Kapiolani. There are picnic sites, 100-year-old trees, tennis courts, soccer fields and a jogger's course.
Kawaiahao Church
Kawaiahao Church was the first Christian church in Hawaii, built between 1836 and1842. It features a New England style architecture. For its construction, about 14,000 slabs of coral rock were digged out by hand from offshore reefs.
King Kamehameha Statue
King Kamehameha the Great was one of the most beloved of Hawaii’s heroes. He conquered the Hawaiian Islands, unified them and established the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1810. His statue stands proudly in downtown Honolulu.
Koko Head Crater
Koko Crater is one of the most popular landmarks on Oahu's south shore. Even from a distance one can see the steep hiking trail that leads to the peak. The 1,048 stairs make for a good workout.
Kualoa Ranch
At Kualoa Ranch, visitors can take part in a variety of activities, such as horseback rides, ATV & movie tours, a jungle expedition, a Hawaiian fishpond tour, hula lessons and a snorkeling excursion with a picnic on a "secret" island.
Kuilima Point
Kuilima Point is the rocky outcropping located in front of the Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu's North Shore, between Kuilima Cove and Turtle Bay. It is a popular spot for sunset watching.
Lanai Lookout
Lanai Lookout is located on Oahu's southeast shore right on Kalanianaole Highway. It has a small parking lot carved into the sea cliff. On a clear day you can see three neighbor islands from here.
Lanikai Pillbox Trail
This is a nice hike up the Ka'iwa Ridge in Lanikai. After a short climb you're rewarded with spectacular views of Lanikai Beach, Kailua, Waimanalo and the two Mokulua Islands.
Makapuu Lookout
This is a very scenic lookout point that is located on Oahu's southeastern tip. From here one can enjoy gorgeous views of the turquoise ocean, sea cliffs, Makapu'u Beach Park and Rabbit Island.
Makua Valley
More than 40 endangered species of flora and fauna can be found in Makua Valley, and the area is also sacred to many Native Hawaiians because it has a number of wahi pana (sacred places), cultural and archaeological sites.
Mokulua Islands
The Mokuluas are twin islands located offshore at Lanikai Beach on Oahu’s windward coast. Both islands are seabird sanctuaries protected by the state of Hawaii, but the beach on North Mokulua is open to the public during the day.
North Shore Soap Factory
Located on Oahu’s north shore at the historic Waialua Sugar Mill, the North Shore Soap Factory produces their soaps right here. All are hand-made and they only use natural ingredients.
Nuuanu Pali Lookout
The Nu'uanu Pali Lookout is located on a 1,186-foot (362 m) high mountain pass perched before 3,000-foot (915 m) peaks. From up here you’ll enjoy a nice bird’s eye view of Oahu's windward coast.
Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor is a significant historical location. It was here where the Japanese attacked the U.S. Pacific fleet on December 7, 1941, which led the United States to enter World War II. Today, Pearl Harbor is the most-visited destination on Oahu.
Polynesian Cultural Center
In a nutshell, the Polynesian Cultural Center is a 42-acre (170,000 m²) open-air park, a living museum, which showcases eight Polynesian island nations and cultures in eight traditional villages.
Punchbowl National Cemetery
The Punchbowl National Cemetery was built in 1948 to serve as a resting place for soldiers of the American Armed Forces who lost their lives during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
Puu Ualakaa State Park
Pu'u Ualaka'a State Park is located at Tantalus, an extinct cinder cone. From up here one can enjoy breathtaking views of the Honolulu and Waikiki skyline, all the way from Diamond Head to Pearl Harbor.
Rabbit Island
Rabbit Island, also known as Manana Island, is located off the southeast shore of Oahu, just northwest of Makapuu Point. It is a volcanic tuff cone island and used to be the location of a rabbit-raising farm.
Restaurant Row
Located near downtown Honolulu, Restaurant Row is a business as well as a restaurant and entertainment complex. With dozens of restaurants and various shops, Restaurant Row is popular mainly among local residents.
Royal Mausoleum
Ever wondered where Hawaii's royal families are buried? This is the final resting place of King Kamehameha II through King Kamehameha V, King Kalakaua and Queen Liliuokalani.
Sea Life Park
Located on Oahu’s southeastern tip by Makapuu Point, Sea Life Park is Hawaii’s premier marine attraction. Here you can enjoy up-close views of dolphins, sea lions, manta rays, penguins, stingrays and many other marine animals.
Stairway of Heaven
The hike up the Stairway to Heaven, also known as Haiku Stairs, is one of the most popular of Oahu's "forbidden" trails. But even though the trail is closed today, some avid hikers still trespass because of the view that awaits from the top.
This extinct cinder cone is one of the most popular scenic lookout points in Honolulu, featuring panoramic views of Diamond Head and Waikiki in the east to downtown Honolulu and Pearl Harbor in the west.
Tropical Farms
At Tropical Farms on Oahu’s windward coast you can get many delicious and uniquely Hawaiian goodies that simply aren't available in Waikiki, plus you can tour the farm and learn about Hawaiian culture, fruits and plants.
Waikiki Aquarium
The Waikiki Aquarium is the third oldest aquarium in the United States. Enjoy up-close views of reef sharks, colorful jellyfish, eels, living corals and other ocean creatures of Hawaii and the South Pacific.
Waikiki Shell
The Waikiki Shell, an outdoor amphitheater, is located in Kapiolani Park at the east end of Waikiki. Live theatrical, entertainment and musical events take place here year-round.
Waimea Valley
This park on Oahu's North Shore is a beautiful 1,800-acre visitor attraction that is also a sanctuary for rare birds and plants endemic to Hawaii. It boasts more than 5,000 plant species.
War Memorial Natatorium
The War Memorial Natatorium was completed in 1927 as a memorial to the 102 soldiers from Hawaii who were killed in World War I. The memorial’s centerpiece is the 20-foot (6 m) tall entrance arch.
Wet 'n' Wild Hawaii
One wouldn’t think Hawaii, with its hundreds of islands scattered over 1,500 miles (2,400 km) of water, would ever need a water park. But it’s got one! Wet 'n' Wild Hawaii encompasses 25 acres of water rides.