Hawaii Island, Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu, and Kauai…so many islands, so little time! You have a limited amount of time, so how to decide which island is worth the visit, and where do you start planning? Oahu is the one of the most visited islands, for good reasons. There are TONS of things to do in Oahu: it offers unique encounters with nature, is the home of Hawaii’s most historic landmarks, and has amazing hiking routes. Here are the top 5 reasons why you should visit Oahu during your Hawaii trip!
1. Swim with the Wild Spinner Dolphins
Dolphins are wonderful creatures – and they are fragile, just like humans. It is best to interact with dolphins in their own habitat, and Honolulu is the perfect place for that: the waters are super clear and the dolphins are plenty. Hop aboard on the deck as the crew members honor nature at the E’ Hoi Mai Ceremony, and have an amazing Ono Taro Burger as you are getting close to the dolphins. You might even encounter bright fish and sea turtles along the way!
2. Home of Hawaii’s Royal History
Oahu is the only island where the royalty had an official state residence: the amazing Iolani Palace. This national historic landmark is in Downtown Honolulu, and it used to be the home of Hawaii’s monarchy. Make it to Oahu to make a peek into Hawaii’s royal past, and you will be amazed with the European architecture.
3. Hikes with stunning views
When it comes to hiking, Hawaii has lots of trails to offer. The Koko Head provides stunning views. Don’t get intimidated when you see the hill – people from all ages have climbed up that trail. Just make sure that you have water with you, and some comfy shoes, of course. If you are looking for a coastal trail, head to the Ka’ena Point Natural Area Reserve. Are you already a pro? Make it to the Olomana Trail, and nail down all three of the peaks. The views will be worth it!
4. Watch a torch lighting ceremony!
Hawaiian traditions are unique, preserved, and you can experience them in many places in Oahu. Make it to the Kuhio Beach Park in Waikiki, and you will see a free torch lighting ceremony and a hula show. You can see the show every Tuesday and Thursday around sunset, and have romance and fun at the same time!
5. Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial
If you didn’t know, Oahu is where Pearl Harbor is, and visiting the historic sites will take you on a time-travel journey through the 1940’s. Learn about World War 2 as you are visiting the USS Arizona Memorial and the Pearl Harbor historic centers. All of the national monuments are free to the public, and we recommend that you visit the two museums for some extra history. Or go on one of the Pearl Harbor tours for a more in-depth experience.
Hawaii is many people’s dream vacation, and it offers a lot more than amazingly clear beaches. Each island is uniquely beautiful in Hawaii, but Oahu is unique especially with its diversity of activities. If you have more than 5 days, do some island hopping, and hop on to Oahu! You won’t regret it.