Oahu is America’s very own tropical paradise, replete with sweeping sea vistas, lush forests, and peaceful beaches. So how best to see Oahu for adults? Traveling as a couple, or with a group of friends? There are plenty of Oahu attractions to enjoy that will appeal to you, from art and culture to nature and beyond. If you’re looking for things to do in Oahu for adults, check out our list of the top activities that couples and groups of friends will enjoy, including...
- Polynesian Cultural Center + Alii Luau
- Sunset Dinner Sail
- Oahu Hidden Gems & Snorkeling with Turtles
- Semi-Private Surf Lesson
- Pearl Harbor Historic Sites
- Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay
- Diamond Head Hiking
- And more!
Polynesian Cultural Center + Alii Luau
If you’re curious about the history of Hawaii (and why wouldn’t you be?) then a visit to the Polynesian Cultural Center is in order. This comprehensive, immersive experience is like a living museum, where locals teach you about their history and culture. You'll explore territory across six different historic cultures rendered in exquisitely crafted villages -- Aotearoa, Hawaii, Tahiti, Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga -- and get to see the representatives of each culture showcase their heritage. Stay in the evening for an authentic luau, plus a breathtaking dance and musical performance that will truly move you. Don’t forget about the sumptuous meal that comes along with it!
Sunset Dinner Sail
For those of you in search of a romantic option that’s something pretty special, a sunset dinner sail aboard the signature Makani Catamaran is your best bet. Enjoy a leisurely two-hour cruise that’s timed to coincide with a gorgeous ocean sunset, accompanied by a delicious island-style dinner. Throw in a free drink and you’re set for a fun and romantic evening. Of course, there's nothing to say that friends can't relish a sunset cruise, too! Enjoy the cooling sea breezes and savor those tropical beverages.
Getting In: Oahu Dinner Cruise Sunset Dinner Sail admission is available as a premium attraction option with the 3-, 5-, and 7-Day Go Oahu passes.
All of Oahu in One Day Tour
Really get to know the island with this nuanced and comprehensive tour. It can be almost impossible to escort yourself around the entire island in a weekend, let alone one single day, so allow this expert tour company to pick out the highlights for you. This 120-mile bus tour will take you all throughout the island, from East Oahu to Honolulu to the North Shore. Don’t forget that camera (and some snacks – the tour is 8 hours long).
Getting In: All of Oahu in One Day Tour admission is included with the Go Oahu pass.
Oahu Hidden Gems & Snorkeling with Turtles
To embark on a journey that we know will forever change the way you see Hawaii, try out an Oahu Hidden Gems tour. You’ll see a great combination of some of the major sites (like Diamond Head and the Halona Blowhole) and some local digs (like the North Shore shrimp trucks). Then, couple that with a chance to snorkel with some awesome sea turtles, and you’ve got one amazing day planned for you and your friends.
Getting In: Oahu Hidden Gems and Snorkeling with Turtles admission is available as a premium attraction option with the 3-, 5-, and 7-Day Go Oahu passes.
Semi-Private Surf Lesson
Another great activity idea for you and your partner is a surf lesson. Get personalized attention from your expert instructor during this two hour session, after which you’ll be able head out into the ocean waters on your own. It’s a great activity for those who have never tried surfing before, as they begin at a very basic level. Fun for honeymoons or bucket lists!
Getting In: Semi-private Oahu Surf Lesson admission is available as a premium attraction option with the 3-, 5-, and 7-Day Go Oahu passes.
Makani Catamaran Sail
You simply can’t leave Oahu without spending a little time on the water. If you’re in the market for a fun excursion that showcases the best in sightseeing alongside some water-borne fun, hop aboard the Makani Catamaran. This two-hour cruise will showcase the best in ocean views and marine life, so you should keep an eye out for turtles, dolphins, sea birds, and even whales in particular seasons!
Getting In: Makani Catamaran Sail admission is included with the Go Oahu pass.
Pearl Harbor Historic Sites
History buffs will want to make time to visit the famed Pearl Harbor Historic Sites, which serve as a memorial to that fateful day, those who lost their lives, and the war’s legacy. The USS Bowfin Submarine, aka, “The Pearl Harbor Avenger” sank 44 enemy ships during her time in the battle. The Battleship Missouri, or “Mighty Mo,” was the last battleship ever built and served as the site of many historic moments, including the Surrender Deck, where WWII officially ended. Finally, the USS Arizona Memorial is a poignant reminder of those who lost their lives in the December 7 attack. It’s also recently been voted #5 Landmark in the US in a TripAdvisor poll, so it’s definitely worth checking out!
Another must-do activity in Oahu is snorkeling. There are many gorgeous places to seek out vibrant ocean life beneath the waves, but one of our favorites is the lush Hanauma Bay. Snorkel there for some truly special experiences. Or, if you’re sticking around Waikiki, rent some snorkel gear and explore some of the island’s most popular waters. You’ll get the keep the gear for a long time, too, so you won’t feel rushed.
Outdoorsy friends and couples will also relish the chance to hike around this gorgeous island paradise. Two of the most popular options are Diamond Head and Makapu’u Point, both of which provide excellent views and great exercise. Diamond Head was named by early European explorers who thought the calcite crystals were diamonds. It's especially popular with photographers for that reason. Makapu’u Point features a delightful historic lighthouse, with a unique hyper-radiant lens that’s definitely worth a look in.
Nature Spots & Gardens
Now that you’ve spent some time inside, spend a little time on the wild side of Oahu nature. Get away from the beaches and into the heart of the island, where you’ll see gorgeous waterfalls, lush tropical trees and flowers, and unbelievably beautiful wildlife. Waimea Valley has it all (see the picture above if you don't believe us), and the Lyon Arboretum focuses on native flora.
Hawaii isn’t all outdoors! Some of the most amazing things to do in Oahu for adults can actually be found in the halls of museums. Whether you’re into Hawaii history, global art, or even local artisans, you’ll find a museum to suit your fancy here. The Honolulu Museum of Art is modest in size, but big on cultural payoff, with expertly curated exhibits and displays that showcase their invaluable treasures. Iolani Palace is especially cool if you want to see the home of the last two Hawaiian monarchs, and the Queen Emma Summer Palace is also good for those interested in the Hawaiian monarchy.
What’s a vacation without a little shopping? Hop aboard a shuttle to the Waikele Outlet Mall for some top-notch classic vacation fun. Grab some new shoes to show off as you club it up in Waikiki or a new bathing suit to lounge on the beach. The shuttle takes the hassle of out of dealing with Oahu traffic, too, so it’s a win-win.
Getting In: Waikele Outlet Mall Shuttle admission is included with the Go Oahu pass.
Save on Admission to Popular Adult Attractions
Regular admission to a number of these attractions is included on the Go Oahu pass. Choose as you go from dozens of Oahu activities and save on combined admission vs paying at the gate. See all available passes and Oahu based attractions – Learn more.