9 things to do when visiting Oahu, Hawaii

Pearl Harbor, the North Shore, free Hula shows, blow holes, pristine snorkeling locations, giant sea turtles, pineapple fields, and fabulous sunsets – Oahu might well be the perfect vacation destination.

Oahu is a great destination for a beach escape vacation, but it offers much more besides its great beaches, the scent of plumeria, and its warm tropical sunshine. The Hawaiian island of Oahu is just plain fun.


Here are 9 things to do when visiting Oahu, Hawaii:

  1. Take an evening stroll down Kalakaua Avenue; it parallels Waikiki Beach. Catch the sunset and then take in the free hula show near the police station. After that do some window shopping and visit the International Marketplace. Eat something yummy in the food court; you’ll walk it off.
  1. Rent a car. Drive up Highway 2 and visit the Dole Plantation. Take a ride on the Plantation Express train just for a giggle. Continue driving up to the North Shore.
  1. Pick a spot anywhere along the North Shore; pull on your bathing suit, and play in the ocean. Rent some snorkel gear and bob around with Parrotfish, Butterflyfish, and Moorish Idols; and, with a little luck, the massive endangered green sea turtles. Near Waimea Bay, it’s normal to encounter several of the inquisitive beasts. It is illegal to interfere with these animals, but they don’t know the law and they tend to press in around swimmers.
  1. Stop at one of the shrimp vans and have a plate of the best garlic shrimp you will ever eat. These unlikely looking feast mobiles are all over the North and East Shores. Don’t be put off by their run-down looks; the food is terrific. Look for a van called Giovanni’s Shrimp, and sign it like thousands of others have already done.


  1. Visit the Halona Blow Hole on the South shore. It’s the location used for the famous love scene in the movie “From Here to Eternity.” Let the wind ruffle your hair as you watch the swimmers and the turtles far below in the cove.
  1. Spend a half day at the Polynesian Cultural Center. No car needed as there are plenty of buses to get you there. Stay longer and take in their authentic luau.
  1. Visit Dog the Bounty Hunter’s office in downtown Honolulu. The staff is friendly and very used to visitors.
  1. Jump onboard a free Hilo Hattie shuttle and take a ride to one of Hawaii’s most famous sale outlets. Yeah, sure, you’ll spend a few dollars, but the open-air trolley ride is very pleasant. And you’ll get a free shell necklace.
  2.  Eat lunch at Sam Choy’s on Nimitz Highway near Hilo Hattie.