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5 Fun Things to Do in O'ahu

Updated: Apr 27

O'ahu also called "The Gathering Place, is Hawaii's third largest island. This Pacific paradise is renowned for its beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, and welcoming spirit. I recently went to O'ahu and in this post, I'll share some fun things we did during our trip.

Hilton Waikiki Beach

1. Hike Diamond Head (Honolulu)

Diamond Head is an iconic volcanic tuff cone located on the island of O'ahu in Hawaii. Known for its distinctive shape and breathtaking views, Diamond Head is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring O'ahu. Here's a guide to help you make the most of your visit:

Hours: The Diamond Head State Monument is generally open every day of the week, including holidays, from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM (last entry is at 4:00 p.m. However, it's advisable to check for any updates or changes to the schedule before your visit.

Entrance Fee: The entrance fee ($10 per vehicle and $5 per person) must be paid in advance for non-residents and can be purchased up to 30 days in advance. Fees may vary, so it's recommended to check the official website or contact the monument for the most up-to-date information.

Hiking Trail: The Diamond Head hiking trail is approximately 1.6 miles (2.6 km) round trip. The trail is a combination of paved paths, stairs, and a tunnel. It's a moderately challenging hike with some steep sections, including a steep staircase towards the end. The hike provides stunning panoramic views of the island and the Pacific Ocean.

  • Best Time to Hike: Early morning or late afternoon is often recommended to avoid the heat of the day. Sunrise hikes are particularly popular for the spectacular views and cooler temperatures.

What to Bring:

  • Comfortable Footwear: Wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes suitable for hiking.

  • Sun Protection: Bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.

  • Water: Stay hydrated by bringing an adequate amount of water, especially on warm days.

  • Camera: Don't forget to capture the breathtaking views along the way.

Diamond Head

2. Road Trip Around the Island

We decided to splurge and rent a convertible for a road trip around the island! It was an unforgettable experience! The first day we hit the road and ventured along the west side of the island. The west side is a lot more residential and although there were nice beaches to stop at along the way, my favorite part of our road trip was the east side of the island and the north shore.

Places to check out off HWY 72 (east side of the island):

  1. Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail

  2. Sea Life Park Hawaii

  3. Kiona Beach Park

  4. Mano Chocolate and Wine Bar

The North Shore is a beautiful place on the island! It allows visitors to slow down and truly embrace the island lifestyle. This area is a popular place to get seafood and you will find several shrimp trucks. You can also find shops selling fresh smoothies!

A road along the ocean - East side of the island

3. Support Local Businesses at the Kapiolani Community College (KCC) Farmers Market (Honolulu)

At KCC you can expect to find a wide variety of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, as well as locally made products such as honey, jams, baked goods, and unique crafts. It's a great place to experience the flavors of Hawaii and support local farmers and artisans.

Location: 4303 Diamond Head Rd, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA

Hours: Every Saturday, from 7:30 AM to 11:00 AM, but it's advisable to check for any updates or changes to the schedule.

KCC Farmers Market

4. Attend a Luau

A Luau is a traditional Hawaiian feast or party that often involves a buffet-style meal, music, hula dancing, and other Polynesian entertainment. The word "luau" itself is derived from the Hawaiian name for the young taro leaves that are a traditional part of the feast. We booked the Ka Moana Luau. It was a great experience and a great opportunity to learn more about Polynesian culture.

5. Indulge in Local Chocolate at MĀNOA

MĀNOA has been creating decadent and unique chocolate since 2010. They offer flavors like caramel, hibiscus, and hazelnut infused in the Kona chocolate bar. The KAHALUʻU bar infused with blueberry, roasted peanut, and banana will excite your taste buds.

The tasting room is open for complimentary chocolate tastings every day from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and all ages are welcome! We enjoyed the tasting and ended up purchasing some chocolate to take home.

O'ahu is a beautiful island with amazing beaches, delicious food, and activities that the entire family can enjoy. I hope this post was helpful and provided some fun ideas to help you plan your trip!


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