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First-Timer's Guide to Oahu

First-Timer's Guide to Oahu

Though it isn’t the largest of the Hawaiian Islands, tropical Oahu is the most populated and receives the most visitors. Navigating its urban culture, waterfall-backed valleys, and long stretches of white sand takes some planning—here are some tips for your first Oahu visit.

Check out Waikiki—then go beyond.

Most visitors’ introduction to Oahu is through the famed, hotel-lined stretch of Waikiki Beach. The beach is a must-see starting point with plenty to do—shopping, dining, surfing, swimming, and more. Once you’ve gotten your fill, take in the rest of Oahu by venturing to points further afield. Full-daycircle island tourscircumnavigate the island and are an excellent way to take in highlights such as Honolulu’sChinatown,Kaneohe Bay, the surfing mecca ofthe North Shore, theHanauma Baysnorkeling hot spot, the Dole Plantation, hidden waterfalls, and scenic overlooks along theKoolau Mountain Range.

See cultural sites, museums, monuments, and more.

Head out on a guidedPearl Harbor tourto learn about Hawaii’s World War II involvement, and check out sites like the authoritativeBishop Museumand theme park-esquePolynesian Cultural Centerwith its authentic North Shore luau. In Honolulu proper, landmarks likeIolani Palaceand theMission House Museumdelve into Oahu-centric history and Hawaiian culture. Once you’ve hit the top spots, follow your interests—you can hike, bike, Segway, and fly around some of the island’s most notable sites during fun food tours, art tours, and photography tours.

Get outside and into the water.

Oahu is ultimately known as a beach destination. Sun-worshippers will be thrilled to note that the island has enough white sandy stretches to spend each day of a 2-week vacation in a different place. To explore new spots and find your favorite, take a dedicatedbeach tour. And to get out on the water, choose fromsnorkeling,fishing,whale-watching, andsailingtours, or try your hand atsurfing,kayaking, orstand-up paddleboardingwith a lesson on the beach.

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Free Cancellation:Get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance on most experiences.See Details

7 Tours and Activities | All Oahu Tours

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Pearl Harbor Arizona, Missouri and City Tour

Pearl Harbor Arizona, Missouri and City Tour

star-4.5
1270
Explore the sites of Pearl Harbor and downtown Honolulu on this tour from Waikiki. YYou'll board the USS Missouri, visit the USS Arizona Memorial and the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center to learn about the rich history of WWII. Plus, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Honolulu to see attractions such as the King Kamehameha Statue and the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl Cemetery).
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$113.09
From
$113.09
Taking safety measures

Ultimate Circle Island Adventure with Waimea Waterfall

Ultimate Circle Island Adventure with Waimea Waterfall

star-5
542
An exciting journey of discovery to the beautiful Amelia Earhart Lookout Point on the outside slopes of Diamond Head Crater, the famous Halona Blowhole, “From Here to Eternity” beach, Makapu’u Point (drive-by), visit Valley of the Temples, colorful Byodo-in Temple, scenic Chinaman’s Hat and Malaekahana Bay. Includes a delicious lunch at the famous Fumi’s Shrimp Stand on the North Shore where you'll be served your choice of nine sautéed shrimp plates. *Chicken, Cheeseburger and Veggie options are also available! World famous Sunset Beach and Waimea Valley, the Arboretum and Waterfall are next, followed by the Dole Pineapple Plantation. Throughout your journey of discovery around the island of Oahu your nature guide will provide a fascinating narration about Hawaii's bird and plant species, geology, history and culture. Tour includes admission fees to all visited locations, includes the lunch, and each party also receives a 152-page Gift Book "Guide to Nature on Oahu" as a souvenir.
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  • 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$135.08
From
$135.08

Oahu Shark Dive

Oahu Shark Dive

star-4.5
1097
Set out from Oahu’s scenic North Shore to the depths of the big blue Pacific, where you have the chance to observe wild sharks from inside an underwater shark cage. Thanks to your professional, experienced crew, the Oahu shark dive is completely safe as they know the predators’ behavior, and the underwater cage provides proven safety against all different species of sharks. Whether you’re in the cage with sharks right in front of you or watching from up in the boat, Oahu shark diving is a Hawaii activity you’ll definitely never forget.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$109.26
From
$109.26
Taking safety measures

Oahu Grand Circle Island Day Tour

Oahu Grand Circle Island Day Tour

star-4.5
763
Circle the Island of Oahu by coach, enjoying ocean views, rugged mountains, and fascinating history during this full-day tour. Check out Diamond Head, Nu’uanu Pali lookout, the Halona Blowhole, Waimea Valley and Oahu’s beautiful North Shore. Soak up Hawaiian history and culture with a stop at the Dole Plantation and the serene, Japanese-style Byodo-In Temple. This Oahu circle island tour also includes entrance fees at the temple and round-trip hotel transport.
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  • 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$124.61
From
$124.61
Taking safety measures

Waianae Coast Snorkel Cruise with Dolphin and Seasonal Whale Watching from Oahu
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Waianae Coast Snorkel Cruise with Dolphin and Seasonal Whale Watching from Oahu

star-5
374
Snorkel and swim with spinner dolphins off the west shore of Oahu during this full-day excursion. Sail up the Waianae Coast, then hop in the water to commune with green sea turtles, schools of tropical fish and dolphins. From January to March, you may get an up-close look at the migrating humpback whales. All necessary snorkel gear, lunch after the cruise and round-trip hotel transportation from Waikiki hotels are provided.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$150.80
From
$150.80
Taking safety measures

Open-Door Helicopter Tour over Oahu
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Open-Door Helicopter Tour over Oahu

star-5
395
Fly aboard an open-door helicopter over Oahu for unobstructed views of the island on this tour. Feel the high-flying wind in your hair and, with your camera out and ready to snap stunning photos, listen as your pilot narrates your flight over sights like Pearl Harbor, Honolulu Harbor, Hanauma Bay and the Halona Blowhole. This excursion includes a DVD of the flight and round-trip transportation from selected hotels.
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  • 50 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$311.75
From
$311.75
Taking safety measures

Surf HNL: Ala Moana Surf Lessons with Round-trip Transport
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Surf HNL: Ala Moana Surf Lessons with Round-trip Transport

star-4.5
31
There are few things more iconic to the Oahu experience than catching and riding a wave, and with this surfing lesson at Ala Moana Beach, you can learn to 'hang 10' with a professional instructor while paddling out in the sun. This beach is just minutes from Waikiki, and options range from private lessons to those in a very small group, with lessons available in morning or midday — whatever works best with your schedule.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$109.00
From
$109.00
Taking safety measures