Top 10 Things to do in Oahu

Even if you have only a few days.
These places will give you a small
taste of what Oahu has to offer

#1 Hanauma Bay

Save Location   Shuttle $25 RT
Open 6am-7pm, $7.50 admission, and $2.25 for tram down & up.
Get full Snorkel gear for as low as $9/WEEK at Snorkel Bobs Located here
There are Big beautiful fish in water thats only 2 to 5 feet deep.  Its like a fish petting zoo, (but you cant touch the fish).   The #1 reason you will not be able to get in if you have a car is parking.  Go early or take a shuttle, the parking lot gets full early and they will turn you away.  Click here to see a work-a-round if there is no parking.  Wednesday afternoon is a bad time to go because it is closed on Tuesday, and when there are alot a people they stir up the sand, which makes the water murky.  You can rent snorkeling equipment and rent lockers down at the beach. They take credit except $1 parking.

#2 Lanikai Beach

One of the most beautiful beaches in the world (Obamas beach). Nice warm water 77 to 82 degrees* just like the rest of the island.  This beach is a little more private then Kailua beach and less wavy because of the moku’s (the 2 islands off in a distance).  The Town of Kailua is another great beach town with alot to do check it out Here.  

#3 Waikiki

There is an entire tab devoted to this beach town under “Waikiki” because there is so much to do in such a small area.  Lots of great food, Free Hawaiian shows, Farmers Markets, beach activities, and tons of shops all with in walking distance.  If you are looking for alot of action, Waikiki is where you want to stay.  And it has a very active nightlife.  If you haven’t already, click on “Waikiki” on the top menu.

#4 Laniakea (TurtleBeach

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Get full Snorkel gear for as low as $9/WEEK at Snorkel Bobs Located here
Yes its cool to see turtles on the beach, BUT it is much better to get in the water with them.  You find them by looking for their heads to come up for air.  Then look for the moving rocks.  They are ALWAYS out there you just have to find them.  There are turtle conservationists on site to answer any questions about best times to see them.  Again no swimming required here, standing in about waist deep you will see them swim by.  Remember NOT to touch or hassle them because that is against the law.  

#5 Polynesian Cultural Center

Save Location   Shuttle $25 RT
Open 11:45-9pm, Closed Sunday, Admission $94.95.  GoOahuCard ($82) Free
The PCC is an all day event because there is so much to see and do.  It is by far the best Hawaiian show on the island.  They have the best fire show on the island, and offer a luau package (+$55) with the whole pig and dinner show.  There is a boat parade at 2:30 that you do not want to miss, it only happens once a day so make sure to see it.  Also there are free canoe rides near the back of the park. PCC offers RT shuttles from Waikiki, call to purchase. The Entertainment book ($20) has an ONLINE version that has buy one get one.

#6 Laniakea Beach (Sharks Cove)

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Get full Snorkel gear for as low as $9/WEEK at Snorkel Bobs Located here
AKA Pupukea Beach, another get place to see fish and with no tides and shallow enough in most places to stand up in.  Less known then Hanauma Bay you will see alot of the same fish here but not as many.  I did see a huge seal here last time.  Make SURE you bring some swimming shoes, because of the coral and sea enchants .  Also many get confused to where the shallow snorkeling area is, its to the left of the bathrooms where the sandy beach is.

#7 Mermaid Caves

AKA Zablan Beach or Forac Beach Park. One of the cooler beaches in Oahu a fairly large lava rock formation over a sandy beach area.  If possible go during low tide so you can discover more of the caves. This is on the west side of the island (less touristy), so be respectful of the natives.

#8 SwapMeet @ Aloha Bowl

Save Location   Shuttle $18 RT   $1 Parking per Person
Hours:   Sunday 6:30am-3pm  And Wednesday, Saturday 8am-3pm.
Great for getting things to take back to your loved ones.  They have beach towels, Hawaiian shoes, and crazy deals on tee shirts, and great food.  They start packing up around 1pm on the weekend.  Parking is a dollar a person, they have ATMs because most merchants take cash only.  Download a 
schedule of Waikiki area farmers markets which have great food too and free shows HERE.

#9 Kualoa Ranch Tour & Zipline

Save Location   Shuttle $15 RT
Open 7am-5pm the tours start at $45.95.
This ranch has a great island movie tour, every time I watch a movie that was filmed here its kind of cool to know I was there. Groupon ($42.50) offers a tour for a discount.  A few recent movies filmed here are Jumanji, Jurassic World, Kong: Skull Island, and Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates.  Visit the website to see all the activities they have because Kualoa Ranch has ziplines, catamaran rides, tours on four wheelers, raptors, ebikes, and Horses.

#10 Kaena Point (Seal Beach)

Save Location  Seal Beach
Nice long trail, about 4 miles RT, right up to the edge of the ocean.  This is a very relaxing trail, you have the winds going, and the waves crashing against the rocks.  There is a bird sanctuary at the end of the trail filled with large birds nesting.  And along the trail, you may see some seals on the rocks.  At the end of the trail, you can see the seals in this main area and off to the side.  Make sure you take the West side trail, NOT the north shore way (very boring).

Honorable Mention Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor is FREE.  This was in my Top 10 but now due to structural damage the memorial is closed indefinitely.  They still take boats out to the Memorial you are just not allow to board it anymore.  Check the website for further details.
And keep in mind you can download all the places mentioned on this page and on this site here, like a Vacation Checklist.