Discover Oahu attractions through a variety of famous museums, landmarks, parks and Oahu’s best beaches. In addition to it’s natural beauty, Oahu is a rewarding visitor destination full of cultural and historic sights and Oahu tourist attractions. Choosing which attractions to see is no easy task. There are way more sights to see that you can possibly see in one trip. The best way to get to see the most attractions at a great price is with the Oahu Go card. Click on the Oahu Go Card to find out more. I will briefly cover some of the best Oahu attractions starting with attractions in Waikiki:
1) QUEEN KAPIOLANI PARK
Queen Kapiolani Park is a beautiful park right in Waikiki. This park offers an array of Waikiki attractions and activities. There is an exercise course, walking paths, exceptional trees including 100 year old banyan trees, picnic areas, entertainment, the Honolulu Zoo and The Waikiki Aquarium. This is a perfect park to spend some quality time relaxing.
2) HONOLULU ZOO
The Honolulu Zoo, located in Kapiolani park has a lot of animals to see including: Lions, rhinos, giraffes and other African species in the African Savannah, There are four other areas of the park highlighting animals from each area including native Hawaiian species. The zoo has a night time program called “zoo by moonlight”.
3) WAIKIKI AQUARIUM
The Waikiki Aquarium is also located in the area of Kapiolani Park. The Waikiki Aquarium offers interactive exhibits and features a Hawaiian reef tank and a touch tank for children. The Waikiki features more than 420 species of aquatic animals and plants to explore. all of these Oahu attractions located in this area are a great way to spend the day.
4) DAMIEN MUSEUM
The Damien Museum offers exhibits where you can learn about the life of Father Damien and his work with patients suffering from Hansen’s Disease
5) ATLANTIS SUBMARINES
Enjoy the adventure of a lifetime! Discover Oahu’s undersea world aboard a high-tech submarine. Atlantis Submarines allow you to explore artificial reefs full of bright tropical fish and a wreck of a small coastal freighter, as well as an old passenger plane. This is a convenient adventure in Waikiki at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
6) DIAMOND HEAD CRATER AND SCENIC LOOKOUT
Explore one of Oahu’s most distinctive natural landmarks. Within walking distance is Diamond Head Crater and Lookout. Not only will you see Waikiki like never before, you can also see whales in the winter months and Molokai and Lanai on a clear day. Hiking to the summit is an adventure and the view from the top is breathtaking.
7) MANOA FALLS
If you enjoy hiking, the hike to Manoa Falls takes you through a rainforest trail and a bamboo forest. When you reach the end of the trail you will be rewarded with a beautiful waterfall and quiet pool at the bottom. Swimming is discouraged. This is a great spot for a picnic lunch in a Hawaiian Rainforest.
Waikiki is located right outside of Honolulu, in fact it is part of Honolulu. You can take the city bus to see the many Honolulu tourist attractions, which include:
As the first Chinese immigrants started arriving in Oahu in 1852, they began moving into urban Honolulu and established a community in the area that is now known as Chinatown. This section of downtown Honolulu offers art galleries, open-air-markets, upscale Pacific Rim restaurants and traditional noodle shops, giving Chinatown it’s own unique flare. This is one of the nice historic Oahu attractions. You can contact the Chinese Chamber of Commerce for historic walking tours.
Chinese Chamber of Commerce Phone: (808) 533-3181
9) ALOHA TOWER
The Aloha Tower is located on the waterfront in downtown Honolulu. This is one of Honolulu’s most recognized landmarks. The tower was built in 1926 and was the tallest building in Hawaii until the mid 1950’s. The Tower still serves as an active control tower for the bustling Honolulu Harbor and it is now also a fantastic marketplace.
10) IOLANI PALACE
Completed in 1882, The Iolani Palace is the only Royal Palace in the United States and was restored several years ago. Visitors can now visit the Royal residence of King David Kalakaua and Queen Liliuokalani. Located at S. King and Richards street in Honolulu. Phone: (808) 538-1471.
11) KING KAMEHAMEHA STATUE
The King Kamehameha Statue is located right across the street Iolani Palace. This is a replica of the original Kamehameha Statue. It stands in front of the State Capitol building.
12) BISHOP MUSEUM
The Bishop Museum is recognized as the pre-eminent museum of the Pacific. The Museum features the world’s foremost collection of Polynesian cultural and historical artifacts. This is a must see cultural experience for those interested in Hawaiiana and Polynesian history. The galleries display and interpret artifacts and customs from Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia and describe Hawaiian culture and history in detail. A daily planetarium show explains how ancient Polynesians navigated by the stars. The Bishop Museum is located at 1525 Bernice St., Honolulu. Phone: (808) 847-3511
13) HONOLULU ACADEMY OF ARTS
The Honolulu Academy Of Arts is Hawaii’s oldes and largest art museum. The museum features an impressive collection of Asian, European, Pacific, American and African art displayed in over 30 galleries, surrounded by 6 garden courtyards.
Honolulu Academy Of Arts
900 S. Beretania St.
Phone: (808) 532-8701
14) THE CONTEMPORARY MUSEUM
The Contemprary Museum features modern art displayed in seven galleries and a peaceful garden setting. Located in Makiki Heights, The museum displays rotating works of art by both international and local contemporary artists.
The Contemporary Museum
2411 Makiki Heights Drive
Phone: (808) 526-0232
15) HAWAII MARITIME CENTER
This museum celebrates the rich maritime history of Hawaii and chronicles the arrivals of whalers, traders, missionaries, plantation workers and other visitors to Hawaii. Here, you will find ocean vessel history ranging from ancient Polynesian sailin canoes to a waterfront display of a square rigger named the Falls of Clyde.
Hawaii Maritime Center
Honolulu Harbor, Pier 7
Phone: (808) 536-6373
16) FOSTER BOTANICAL GARDENS
Foster Botanical Gardens is conveniently located near downtown Honolulu. You will enjoy the guided tour of the 13.5 acre Foster Botanical Gardens where you will gain a new appreciation of Hawaii’s lush foliage. Walk among thousands of rare plants both native and foreign.
Foster Botanical Gardens
50 N. Vineyard Blvd.
Phone: (808) 522-7065
Beside Honolulu tourist attractions and attractions in Waikiki, there are plenty of other Oahu attractions on the windward and leeward sides of the island. There are also great Oahu attractions on the north shore and Central Oahu. Besides the beautiful coastline and spectacular beaches, these areas offer the following Oahu attractions:
17) SEA LIFE PARK
Sea Life Park has an incredible display of Hawaii’s colorful marine life. It is an outstanding example of an educational entertainment center, featuring dolphins, seals, sea lions, sea turtles and penguins.
Phone: (808) 259-2500
18) BYODO-IN TEMPLE
The Byodo-In Temple showcases a replica of a 900 year old Japanese temple. This is an exact replica set against the Ko’olau mountain range. Here in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park, you can enjoy beautiful Japanese gardens, tranquil koi ponds, flowing streams and a garden gazebo.
Phone: (808) 239-5570
19) POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER
The Polynesian Cultural Center welcomes over one million visitors each year. This 42 acre park features Polynesian village settings from ancient Hawaii, Samoa, The Marquesas, Tahiti, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand. This is one of the best ways to enjoy Polynesian cultures. There is a fantastic luau and one of the best Hula shows on the island at the night time show. Don’t miss this one it is probably the best of all Oahu attractions on the island.
The Polynesian Cultural Center
55-370 Kamehemeha Highway
Laie, Hi. 96762
Phone: (808) 293-3333
20) ARIZONA MEMORIAL / PEARL HARBOR
The USS Arizona Memorial chronicles the events of the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. On that day more than 2400 Americans lost their lives in the harbor. Today, the 184 foot Arizona Memorial spans the hull of the sunken ship. This is a must see Oahu attraction for any American. You will see the names of all of the Americans lost on this ship engraved in the Memorial’s marble wall.
Phone: (808) 422-2771
21) BATTLESHIP MISSOURI MEMORIAL
While visiting Pearl Harbor, you can also tour the USS Missouri Memorial, the home of the most celebrated battleship built by the U.S. Navy. Walk along the 53,000 square foot teak deck and relive history on the Surrender Deck, where World War II came to an end.
Phone: (808) 973-2494
22) USS BOWFIN SUBMARINE MUSEUM AND PARK
The USS Bowfin Submarine is a real World War II submarine with an incredible history. Discover what life must have been like for the 80 man crew that manned this historic submarine in World War II. Visit the Bowfin along with the Missouri and the Arizona Memorial and you will see three Historic Oahu attractions in one day.
The USS Bowfin Submarine Museum
Located at Pearl Harbor
23) NATIONAL MEMORIAL CEMETARY OF THE PACIFIC
The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl, which is located in an extinct volcanic crater, is the resting place for more than 30,000 American servicemen and their families from World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
Phone: (808) 532-3720
24) DOLE PLANTATION AND MAZE
On your way to the North Shore, stop for a refreshing Dole Whip at the Dole Pineapple Plantation. Still a working part of the Dole empire, the Plantation is a tribute to the role that the pineapple plantations played in the development of the islands. The Pineapple Garden Maze, with 1.7 miles of manicured paths is a spectacular environmental puzzle. This is recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Largest Maze.
Phone: (808) 621-8408
25) NU’UANU PALI LOOKOUT
The Pali lookout offer one of the most breathtaking panoramic views of the sheer cliffs of the Ko’olau mountains and the windward coast of Oahu. The lookout is 3,000 feet above the coastline and is the spot where King Kamehameha won the struggle that united the Islands under one rule in 1795. The view makes this a must see on your way to other great Oahu attractions.
26) WAIMEA VALLEY ADVENTURE PARK
The Waimea Valley Adventure Park is an 1800 acre park in a picturesque valley above Waimea Bay. There are 6,000 plant species in the park including plants from other regions. Stroll through the gardens and enjoy the Waimea falls. The Audubon society took control of this beautiful and park and it is now a sanctuary for thousand of Oahu’s beautiful birds. Finally, a nice Oahu attraction that preserves the natural beauty and wildlife.
Phone: (808) 638-8511
27) SENATOR FONG’S PLANTATION
Situated at the foot of the Majestic Ko’olau mountains in the town of Kahalu’u, you can tour Senator Fong's Plantation and it’s 725 acres of lush gardens, all in the comfort of an open air tram. Learn about the plants, trees and exotic tropical flora that are unique to Hawaii. The tour also includes history of the land and Hawaiian culture.
Senator Fong’s Plantation
47285 Pulama Rd.
Phone: (808) 239-6775
28) LYON ARBORETUM
The Lyon Arboretum is located in the scenic Manoa Valley. This 194 acre garden features over 5,000 plant species and vast scenic hiking trails. You may choose to take a brief walk by path that takes approximately 20 minutes, or a guided tour that focuses on individual species of plants. This tour lasts approximately three hours. The hiking trails make this a great oahu attraction.
3860 Manoa Road
Phone: (808) 988-0456
29) HOOMALUHIA BOTANICAL GARDENS
Hoomaluhial Botanical Garden is a 400 acre nature conservancy featuring plants, flowers and trees, both native and introduced to Hawaii. This garden offers cleared hiking trails that showcase the scenic beauty of the Ko’olau mountains and the Pacific Ocean. There is a guided nature walk on weekends.
Hoomaluhia Botanical Gardens
45680 Luluku Road
Phone: (808) 233-7323
30) WAHIAWA BOTANICAL GARDEN
Located between the Wai’anae and Ko’olau mountain ranges in central O’ahu, the Wahiawa Botanical Garden Is a 27 acre garden and forested ravine that dates back to the 1920’s. This is the place where plants that thrive in cooler, shady, humid environment of a tropical rainforest thrive. You will see Hawaiian palms, aroid garden, tree ferns and many native plants. This is one of the many realaxing Oahu attractions.
I hope that the 30 Oahu attractions that I have listed give you some great ideas. Feel free to copy this page for your personal use for your trip to Oahu.
Copyright 2007 Discover-Oahu.com
Oahu Attractions Related Pages