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Top Things To Do In Oahu: Take A Trip Through History

a bridge over a body of water

Looking for things to do in Oahu? We’ve generated a list of top activities to do and sights to see while you’re in Oahu. Take a look and book your plane ticket!

Top Things To Do In Oahu

Ride In An Authentic WWII Warbird Plane

Experience the history of Pearl Harbor from an authentic World War II airplane. Pearl Harbor Warbirds offers the best Hawaii 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 Hawaii, but only one warbird airplane flight. Located in Honolulu, Hawaii, Pearl Harbor Warbirds provides a personal historical experience making it one of the best things to do in Oahu.

See Pearl Harbor & USS Arizona Memorial

The USS Arizona Memorial offers visitors a somber, historic trip through history to December 7, 1941.

The memorial site is constructed right over the sunken wreckage of the USS Arizona, the final resting place for many of the 1,177 crewmen killed on December 7, 1941 when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. The memorial comprises part of World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.

The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center also includes two museums that narrate the attack on Pearl Harbor and WWII. Outdoor exhibits on the visitor center grounds continue the story.

Visit Diamond Head State Monument

The one-of-a-kind profile of Diamond Head (Lē‘ahi) sits prominently near the eastern side of Waikiki’s coastline. It’s one of Hawaii’s most recognized landmarks — known for its famous hiking trail, stunning coastal views and military history. Diamond Head State Monument encompasses more than 475 acres, including the interior and outer slopes of the crater.

The crater formed about 300,000 years ago during an eruption that sent ash and fine particles into the air. As these materials settled, they stuck together into a rock called tuff, forming the crater. Most of the vegetation and birds were introduced in the late 1800s to the early 1900s.

You can also ride in a helicopter to get a better view of Diamond Head Crater. (But be sure to purchase a discounted tour to save money.)

Walk Through The Iolani Palace

The Iolani Palace marks the official residence of Hawaii’s monarchy. It represents a place of opulence, innovation and political intrigue that tells visitors of a time when King Kalakaua and his sister and successor, Queen Liliuokalani, walked its halls.

Today, you can enjoy one of the most spectacular living restorations in the Pacific, as well as immerse yourself in Hawaii’s royal heritage. E komo mai! Welcome!

Do A Shark Dive

Are you brave and adventurous? If so, then this may be one of the top things to do in Oahu during your vacation. North Shore Shark Adventures is the place to be, adrenaline junkies. Set out from Oahu’s North Shore to the depths of the Pacific, where you’ll get to observe wild sharks from inside an underwater cage. Thanks to your professional, experienced crew, the Oahu shark dive is totally safe. They know the predators’ behavior, and the underwater cage also provides proven safety against all different species of sharks. Whether you’re in the cage with sharks swimming in front of you or watching from the boat, this is an activity you’ll never forget.

Check Out The Ko Olina Lagoons

Ko Olina contains 642 acres featuring a string of four stunning lagoons connected by over 1.5 miles of seaside pathways. Public parking in designated areas is available from sunrise to sunset on a first-come first-serve basis. There are no lifeguards on duty, so guests swim at their own risk. (Be wary of strong ocean currents.)

What are some of your favorite things to do in Oahu? Let us know!