Hawaii’s most populous island is home to big-name attractions like Pearl Harbor, Waikiki, the Polynesian Cultural Center, Dole Pineapple Plantation and Diamond Head. Check out these sites on a shore excursion, or get out on the water with a submarine tour or surfing lesson.
If you want to explore Honolulu and the surrounding area on your own, rent a scooter to travel around in style.
How to get to Oahu
Ships dock in Honolulu, the state capital. You’ll pull in the harbor by the Aloha Tower Marketplace, where you can find cabs, rental car shuttles and the Waikiki Trolley Red Line.
One Day on Oahu
Before it gets too crowded, visit the sites of the Pearl Harbor complex, including the USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Missouri Memorial and the USS Bowfin submarine memorial. The Japanese attack, which killed more than 2,000 people on December 7, 1941, is remembered through film, museum exhibits, artifacts, aircraft and personal stories.
Pearl Harbor will take up most of the morning, so head to Waikiki next to relax. Honolulu’s famous stretch of sand is home to high-rise hotels, Diamond Head crater and landmarks like the statue of Duke Kahanamoku, father of surfing. Visit Diamond Head’s observation deck for views of the coast, and then find the perfect spot on one of the several beaches to people watch and work on your tan – try Fort DeRussy Beach for snorkeling or Kuhio Beach for a calm swimming spot.