Are you going to be visiting Oahu in 2016? Lucky you! Here are 16 things to do in Oahu in 2016 that can keep you entertained and relaxed while on the island…
1. Best Pearl Harbor Tour
If you’re planning on visiting Pearl Harbor In 2016 for the 75th anniversary since the infamous WWII attack, Pearl Harbor Warbirds offers the best Pearl Harbor tours available. Be immersed in the details of the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor and soar above the important sites that played a part in the “Day of Infamy.” Relive history as you retrace the steps of the Army and Navy airmen in the days following the bombing. Fly on some of the same routes the Japanese attackers used into the airfields at Wheeler, Kāne‘ohe and Bellows. There are many air tours in Hawai‘i, but only one warbird airplane flight. Located in Honolulu, Hawai‘i Pearl Harbor Warbirds provides a personal historical experience making it one of the best O‘ahu attractions.
Learn more about the Admiral’s Warbird Adventure.
2. Arizona Memorial
If going up in an authentic WWII airplane isn’t your thing, visiting the Arizona Memorial is certainly a way to see Pearl Harbor up close. Although there aren’t usually any specific events, spending a day and touring the memorial is a worthy way to honor America. Get prepared for your visit by reading Pearl Harbor Sightseeing – 5 Ways To Reach Secret Spots. Or, learn more about 3 guided Pearl Harbor tours from Waikiki.
3. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
One of Oahu’s most popular snorkeling destinations, visiting Hanauma Bay and snorkeling in the reef you can see turtles and fish in clear, shallow water. Enjoyed a day beach sitting and snorkeling at one of the most beautiful spots on Oahu. The walk to and from the beach showcases the Nature Preserve well. Plan to spend at least a day here soaking up the sun and enjoying nature.
4. Diamond Head Hike
The unique profile of Diamond Head (Lē‘ahi) sits prominently near the eastern edge of Waikiki’s coastline. Hawaii’s most recognized landmark is known for its historic hiking trail, stunning coastal views, and military history. Diamond Head State Monument encompasses over 475 acres, including the interior and outer slopes of the crater.
This broad, saucer-shaped crater was formed about 300,000 years ago during a single, explosive eruption that sent ash and fine particles in the air. As these materials settled, they cemented together into a rock called tuff, creating the crater, and which is visible from the trail in the park.
Take a hike on the trail to the summit of Lē‘ahi. The 0.8 mile hike from trailhead to the summit is steep and strenuous, gaining 560 feet as it ascends from the crater floor. The walk is a glimpse into the geological and military history of Diamond Head.
For more information, visit http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/oahu/diamond-head-state-monument/
5. Go To The Beach
A good beach day is a must when you’re looking for things to do in Oahu in October. Makaha Beach (featured above) is one of the local surfing spots, but there are also several other beaches – including Kailua Beach Park, Waimanalo Bay Beach Park, Waikiki Beach and Sunset Beach.
6. Molokai Hoe
On October 12, 1952, three Koa outrigger canoes launched through the surf at Kawakiu Bay on Moloka‘i’s west side. Powered by six paddlers, each of the canoes was bound for Oʻahu across 38+ miles of open ocean in the Ka‘iwi Channel. Eight hours and 55 minutes later, the Moloka‘i canoe, Kukui O Lanikaula landed on the beach at Waikiki in front of the Moana Hotel. Thus began the world’s most prestigious outrigger canoe race, the Moloka‘i Hoe.
In 2016 the event will be in its 66th year. The Molokai Hoe is one of the longest running annual team sporting events in Hawaii. The race starts at Hale o Lono beach on Molokai and goes through the Kaiwi Channel, ending at Duke Kahanamoku Beach in Waikiki.
The Molokai Hoe perpetuates one of Hawaii’s and Polynesia’s most important and historic cultural traditions, while honoring outrigger canoe paddlers around the world. Raceday is in October.
Learn more and watch the race live at http://www.molokaihoe.com/index.html
7. National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl)
Visit the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as Punchbowl. This peaceful and somber site is a must visit when in Oahu. On Memorial Day, Boy Scouts place a lei on each grave. If you can time your visit for 8:30 a.m. on Memorial Day you can catch the 62nd annual Mayor’s Memorial Day Ceremony. In addition to the impressive memorial, you’ll also find an tremendous view of Honolulu.
8. Lei Day (May 1 Kapiolani Park)
“May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii Nei.” This popular phrase in the islands prevents anyone from forgetting this special day – which is a holiday dedicated to the beautiful Hawaiian tradition of making and wearing lei. Since the first Lei Day on May 1, 1928, Hawaii has continued the annual celebration.
Oahu hosts the state’s largest May Day event. No matter what day of the week May 1 falls on, the Lei Day Celebration takes place at Queen Kapiolani Park in Waikiki. The event features live music, a lei contest exhibit, hula performances, demonstrations, craft and food vendors, and more. This event is free and open to the public.
9. Whale + Dolphin Watching
The warm shallow waters surrounding the main Hawaiian Islands are a favorite destination for humpback whales. Scientists estimate that two-thirds of the entire North Pacific humpback whale population returns to Hawaii to breed, calve and nurse their young. They race over 3,000 miles from the Gulf of Alaska to Hawaii in less than two months, then stay for a lengthy vacation, frolicking off our shores and entertaining spectators from December through May.
10. King Kamehameha Floral Parade
The 100th Annual King Kamehameha Floral Parade will takes place in June of 2016 and honors the reign of King Kamehameha – the man responsible for uniting the Hawaiian Islands under his rule in 1795. This colorful celebration features brightly decorated floats, energetic marching bands and traditional pau riders who represent a Hawaiian royal court on horseback. The parade starts at the corner of King and Richards Streets and end at Kapiolani Park in Waikiki. A Ho`olaule`a will follow – more details can be found at http://ags.hawaii.gov/kamehameha/
11. Go fishing for Ono
The best time to go fishing for Ono is in June and July. Board a charter boat, get a captain and crew and head out for a full day of fishing on warm Hawaiian waters. Ono is some of the most flavorful fish available on the islands, and if you catch one, most crews will filet the fish for you right there on the boat. Book your Oahu fishing charter with Blue Nun, Whipsaw, or Rukus.
12. Enjoy Hawaiian Shaved Ice
No summertime visit to Oahu is complete without an afternoon shave ice. You can pick up a tasty treat just about anywhere on the island, but we’d recommend trying Waiola Shave Ice. With thousands of flavor combination possibilities and three locations in the heart of Honolulu, venture out and find your own favorite!
13. Go on a deep dive
The best experiences in Hawaii are often in the water. See coral reefs, sea urchins, sea turtles, fishes, octopus and sharks on a laid back, catered dive with Oahu Diving.
Read their reviews at http://www.yelp.com/biz/oahu-diving-honolulu
14. 34th Annual Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival
Slack key guitar originated in Hawaii in the 19th century with Hawaiian paniolo (cowboys), and continues to gain popularity. Within the last few years, slack key collection albums have won Grammy awards in the Best Hawaiian Music category. The Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival, founded in 1982, celebrates the cultural importance of, perpetuates and preserves the unique acoustic guitar art form of “Ki ho‘alu,” which means “loosen the key.” The festival features performances by well-known slack key musicians.
Learn more at http://www.slackkeyfestival.com/
15. University of Hawaii Football
Kick off the college football season by supporting the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Football as they play against the Colorado Buffaloes on 9/3 at 7 p.m. at the Aloha Stadium. Tickets by calling (808) 944-2697 M-F from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed on holidays) or purchased on day of event at Aloha Stadium Box Office. If you’re not around for the 3rd, the Rainbow Warriors will be playing UC Davis on 9/17 at home at 6pm – one week after traveling to Columbus to take on Ohio State University.
The show in 2015 featured the U.S. Navy’s premier flight demonstration team, the Blue Angels, along with many other professional performers. The air show also offered static displays of vintage and modern aircraft, food booths and a carnival midway for the kids featuring rides, games and more. The open house aspect of the air show provided the community a first-hand look at Marine Corps capabilities while showcasing our proud heritage and agile future.
The event is open to the public with free admission and free parking. Learn more at www.kaneohebayairshow.com.
Pearl Harbor Warbirds offers the best Hawai‘i flight adventure tours available. Be immersed in the details of the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor and soar above the important sites that played a part in the “Day of Infamy.” Relive history as you retrace the steps of the Army and Navy airmen in the days following the bombing. Fly on some of the same routes the Japanese attackers used into the airfields at Wheeler, Kāne‘ohe and Bellows. There are many air tours in Hawai‘i, but only one warbird airplane flight. Located in Honolulu, Hawai‘i Pearl Harbor Warbirds provides a personal historical experience making it one of the best O‘ahu attractions.
Experience an immersive two hour adventure that allows you to relive history as a Naval Aviator and fly Pearl Harbor like it was on December 10th, 1941. Learn more about the Admiral’s Warbird Adventure.