Aloha! In the summer of 2018, Leah and I went to Hawaii together. It was one of (or THE) best trip that both of us have ever been on. One of the islands that we spent the most time at was Oahu, a beautiful island that is home to the capital, Honolulu. Oahu is such an incredible place to visit, from the scenery to the culture to the laid back lifestyle, it will make the perfect vacation spot for anyone. Here are the top 10 things you NEED to do in Oahu that you WON’T want to miss!
Have you ever heard of getting leid? Probably. A lei is most often thought of as a necklace of flowers, but it can be any series of objects strung together! You cannot miss out on the wonderful opportunity to get leid just after you’ve arrived from your long flight to Hawaii. Immediately after I had disembarked, the flight attendants put this wonderful wreath of flowers around my head. Not to mention, they smelled incredible!
The beauty of the leis, especially handmade ones, truly brings out your Hawaiian state of mind. Personally, it felt like my brain flipped a switch and went into Hawaii mode. I was so overjoyed and excited to continue my trip. Although this may look like such a small critique of your trip, I promise it goes a long way. You may have to pay a bit extra, but it is 100% worth it and a great way to begin your travels in Oahu!
Formed from a series of volcanic eruption called Honolulu Volcanic Series, Diamond Head Crater is an incredible sight to witness! You have the choice of taking it easy and simply viewing this crater directly from the inside, or if you’re feeling adventurous you can climb up flights of stairs and embrace the beautiful view of Honolulu as well. I recommend the adventurous route if you’re able to. It’s mind-blowing to think that the world naturally created this state national park. A crater is not a landscape that you see every day, so I highly suggest that you go check it out while you’re in Oahu. I’m not going to spoil anything that you’ll potentially learn while you’re there, as you’ll appreciate it more by experiencing it yourself. What a better way to spend your day living life at one of the world’s most beautiful scenery!
Hiking. Such a great way to connect yourself directly to the earth. An incredible way to really encounter the natural life of Hawaii at it’s finest. Again, it’s not an everyday occurrence that you get to witness the places that make Hawaii what it honestly is; especially the places that aren’t industrialized. There are plenty of different hiking trails that are accessible, so I suggest taking a few hours out of your day to go! Take a walk down some dirt paths and look around at the wildlife. Use your curiosity to the fullest, because you will come across some pretty extraordinary animals, plants, scenery, insects, and more!
When I went hiking, I grew so appreciative of life itself by taking everything in at once. It’s a lot of fun choosing which paths you want to go down while anticipating the wonderful views. I feel like nobody really ever thinks to go on a hike because their mind is set on seeing the popular attractions. In my opinion, it’s much more rewarding to go phone-free and walk through some of the most beautiful wildlife. You will not be disappointed!
Ziplining is a remarkably enjoyable way to spend time with your friends and family while vacationing at Oahu. All of the views are fantastic, and the feeling of soaring through the air is spectacular. From my personal experience, it’s very thrilling to glide right over, or right through, the treetops and wildlife of this island. Hopefully, you’re not too afraid of heights because you’re in for a real treat! My ziplining experience was so extraordinary that I would do it all over again if I could. I promise you that a lot of great memories will come from this adventure. Not to mention it’s is an amazing chance to take in all of the beauty of Oahu from a completely different perspective. A variety of ages can participate in this activity as well!
Just to make this clear, you do not need any kind of permit or gear in order to do this; it’s completely free! All you need is a bathing suit, and be prepared to get wet! When I traveled to Hawaii, I jumped off a huge rock multiple times into the water. I had a blast, and I loved the adrenaline. It was pretty wild watching other people do flips and cool tricks as well. Not to mention, if you’re not a fan of jumping off of a rock, you can relax on a beautiful Hawaiian beach! Whether or not you’re considering doing this, which I highly recommend you should, make sure to do your research beforehand. Also, how much fun is it to say that you’ve gotten the chance to go cliff jumping? You can finally cross it off of your bucket list!
If I had all the time in the world, I would go on and on about how much it’s worth going to a luau. You NEED to experience one at least once in your lifetime, especially in Hawaii. Luaus are simply such beautiful and happy places to be. Everyone is happy and stress-free… now that’s what I call paradise. You’ll have the time of your life! I would say that one of the most favorite nights of my life was spent at the luau I went to during my vacation in Oahu. I reached by true happiness at that luau. Not to mention, it’s so much fun dressing up and feeling confident for when you go. Again, I highly suggest that you go to a luau while you’re there.
A food truck is something so little that goes such a long way. Honestly, my favorite meal ever came from a food truck in Oahu. I had shrimp and rice, but it tasted so fresh and healthy! That meal made me feel so good and refreshed. I would eat it every day for the rest of my life if I could. Besides, I feel like nobody ever thinks to go eat at a food truck. On your vacation to Oahu, try to squeeze in some time to enjoy a freshly cooked meal from a food truck!
One of the most devastating events occurred at Pearl Harbor. The attack of this harbor during World War II affected the entire nation, whether it was completely crushing the families that were affected or becoming more united as a whole. You must check out this national memorial, as it is so fascinating to witness. While you’re there, you learn so much on the history of World War II and how dreadful the war truly was. You even get to tour a battleship!
I have to admit a lot of us take our safe homes for granted. Pearl Harbor was a huge eye-opener for me, and it gave me a great deal of respect and sympathy for the people who lived through it. You don’t really understand the concept of the attack as well unless you’ve visited Pearl Harbor in person. I promise you that it’s completely worth spending a day here. I learned so many things, and I’m forever grateful for the people who risked their lives for our nation.
You’ve probably seen the “Dole” sticker on many of the fruits and vegetables that you buy from your local grocery store. Dole is the largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world! I bet you that most of what you buy comes straight from the Dole plantation in Oahu. If you go, you have the chance of touring the farm and learning some pretty neat facts about Hawaiian life in the early twentieth century. It was pretty impressive to see where most of what I eat comes from. I would visit this plantation if I were you. I mean, if you’re in Oahu you mine as well go!
Ahhhhh. Just reading this word makes my heart smile. So many happy memories come out of this one word. Surfing was a last minute decision on my trip and I’m beyond glad that I had the chance to experience it. I cannot stress it enough that this was the most exhilarating day of my entire life. Everything is just so perfect about it: gazing at the coast of Honolulu, the sun absorbing into your skin, a chance of surfing over a sea turtle (like me) and trying a new hobby.
Out of anything on this list, surfing would be my highest recommendation. Even if you’ve never tried it before, like me, I promise you that you’ll get the hang of it and be so grateful that you at least tried it. Surfing had never even crossed my mind, which is crazy! The most popular surfing spot on the island is Waikiki beach, though. I cannot wait to go surfing again someday.
Hawaii is a beautiful place and it’s a blessing to travel there. A word of advice is to appreciate the little things: rainbows, wild chickens, the locals, the weather, music, and so much more! Oahu is my favorite island out of them all. If you haven’t been there before, you’re going to love it! All of the activities on this list I experienced while I was in Oahu, so you’re receiving a first-hand opinion on it all. Just go live your best life, and I wish you everything wonderful on your trip!
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