50 Things to Do on Oahu from Honolulu to the North Shore: Unmissable Experiences


Embark on a tropical adventure that will leave your Instagram feed bursting with envy-inducing snapshots and your heart full of unforgettable memories.

From the vibrant pulse of Honolulu’s city life to the laid-back surf vibes of the North Shore, Oahu’s variety of experiences awaits. Whether you’re craving adrenaline-pumping activities, serene moments of bliss, or delicious local cuisine, this list has got you covered.

Ready to uncover the top 50 things to do on your road trip from Honolulu to the North Shore that will transform your Hawaiian holiday into the trip of a lifetime? Let’s dive in!

1. Stroll through the Honolulu Zoo

On your visit to Oahu, take the time to explore the Honolulu Zoo. This picturesque sanctuary is home to diverse species, organized into three fascinating ecological zones: Tropical Rainforests, Pacific Islands, and African Savanna.

Honolulu Zoo

You’ll discover over 160 bird species, 64 reptile species, and 38 mammal species in this 42-acre facility. Friendly and accessible, the zoo offers a delightful experience for all ages. With so much to see and do, the Honolulu Zoo is a must-visit spot on your Oahu adventure.

2. Visit the Bishop Museum

Explore the wonders of Hawaiian history and culture at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, a standout destination on Oahu. As the state’s premier museum, it showcases a vast collection of Polynesian artifacts and a vivid exploration of Hawaii’s natural environment.

Hawaiian Hall, Bishop Museum, Kalihi, Honolulu, HI” by w_lemay is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

The planetarium is a highlight, offering an immersive view of the Pacific skies. Ideal for both families and history enthusiasts, the Bishop Museum adds a layer of rich cultural insight to your Oahu journey.

3. Tour the Iolani Palace

When exploring Oahu, be sure to include a visit to the Iolani Palace in your itinerary. As the only official royal palace in the United States, it holds fascinating stories of Hawaii’s royal past. You’ll be captivated by the beautiful architecture and rich history that lives within its walls.

Lolani Palace
‘Iolani Palace, Honolulu, Hawai‘i” by Free Photos by Studio Elepaio is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

Choose between a guided tour with a palace docent or a self-led audio tour to experience the wonders of the Iolani Palace. Allocate around 60-90 minutes for either tour, and then enjoy a self-guided exploration of the basement gallery exhibits. It’s an excellent way to immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture and history during your Oahu adventure.

4. Picnic at Moanalua Gardens

Nestled in the heart of Honolulu, Moanalua Gardens offers a tranquil escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Famous for its majestic Monkeypod trees and the picturesque Koi ponds, this park is a perfect spot for picnics and leisurely strolls.

Moanalua Gardens
File:King Kamehameha V Summer Cottage at Moanalua Gardens – panoramio.jpg” by Eric Tessmer is licensed under CC BY 3.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

History enthusiasts will appreciate the Hawaiian cultural significance, including the famous Kamehameha V cottage. Whether you’re looking to unwind in nature or delve into local history, Moanalua Gardens is a must-visit on your Honolulu-North Shore itinerary.

5. Snorkel at the Shark’s Cove

Discover the underwater wonders at Shark’s Cove, nestled on Oahu’s North Shore. This snorkeling hotspot is teeming with vibrant marine life in its clear, blue waters, from turtles to colorful fish.

Snorkling at Shark's Cove
Hawaii / North Shore: Snorkeling at Shark’s Cove” by eliduke is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

Ideal for snorkeling in the summer, the cove offers calm conditions and a chance to explore its tide pools and lava tubes. It’s a must-visit for ocean enthusiasts and those looking to dip into Hawaii’s rich aquatic ecosystem.

6. Shark Cage Diving

Dive into the deep blue and experience the thrill of shark cage diving!

Embark from Haleiwa Boat Harbor and journey 3 miles offshore to witness Galapagos and sandbar sharks in their natural environment. Don’t worry, a floating cage separates you and your new finned friends, ensuring safety for everyone. Depending on your luck, you might also encounter dolphins, Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles, and even magnificent Humpback Whales (between November and May).

What’s left for you to do is take the plunge and add shark cage diving to your Oahu itinerary!

7. Helena’s Hawaiian Food

You can’t miss the chance to visit Helena’s Hawaiian Food while exploring Oahu; it’s a delightful spot that has served authentic island flavors since 1946. Grab a seat, and delight your taste buds with their mouthwatering laulau, a traditional dish featuring steamed taro leaves filled with pork and wrapped in ti leaves.

Helena's Hawaiian Food
Helena’s Hawaiian Foods” by emleung is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

As you feast on their delicious menu, you’ll also appreciate Helena’s comfortable atmosphere, where you can savor every bite of island-inspired dishes like pipikaula (dried beef) and poi (taro root paste). After a scrumptious meal at Helena’s, you will feel recharged and ready to continue your journey from Honolulu to the North Shore.

8. Açai bowls at Haleiwa Bowls

When you’re exploring the North Shore, make sure to stop by Haleiwa Bowls for an unforgettable açai bowl experience. This quaint spot is famous for its delicious, fresh açai bowls topped with a variety of local fruits, honey, and granola.

It’s the perfect refreshing treat after a day of surfing or exploring the beautiful beaches nearby. Plus, their friendly, laid-back vibe perfectly captures the essence of island life.

9. Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck

A visit to one of Oahu’s favorite shrimp trucks, Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, is both a treat to your taste buds and an iconic Hawaiian adventure.

Imagine savoring mouthwatering shrimp dishes served from a whimsical truck along Kamehameha Highway. Isn’t that a true touch of Hawaiian charm?

What sets Giovanni’s apart are its delectable flavors. Sink your teeth into their Original Shrimp Scampi, a crowd favorite! Or why not indulge in their other specialties, such as Garlic Dog Plate or Lemon Wedge? So don’t miss the opportunity to make your North Shore experience appetizing.

10. Matsumoto Shave Ice

While exploring Oahu from Honolulu to the North Shore, you can’t miss the chance to taste the legendary Matsumoto Shave Ice in Haleiwa. The vibrant, frosty treat will have your taste buds singing with joy.

You’ll find yourself surrounded by fellow shave ice enthusiasts eager to savor a wide variety of flavors. The delightful creations top might include:

  • Fresh fruit
  • Mochi
  • Li Hing Mui powder

Pro tip: Don’t let the long lines deter you. The wait is worth it, and it’s all part of the authentic experience.

11. Ted’s Bakery

Another visit you’ll definitely want to make is the Ted’s Bakery at Sunset Beach. This delightful spot offers a variety of pies, cakes, and plate lunches that are sure to satisfy your taste buds.

As you indulge in their delightful menu, don’t forget to try their famous Portuguese Sausage or the delicious Hawaiian BBQ Chicken. For dessert, get a slice of their coconut cake that everyone raves about.

You’ll surely appreciate the friendly atmosphere, scrumptious treats, and island vibes!

12. Waikiki Beach

Oh, Waikiki Beach, where the sand feels like a soft cushion beneath your feet and the sun glistens on the warm ocean waves. This lively beach is perfect for a day of surfing or just lounging under the swaying palm trees.

Waikiki Beach

You will find an array of delightful shops and restaurants nearby, ready to satisfy your hunger or quench your thirst. With a little luck, you might even catch a glimpse of turtles swimming through the crystal-clear waters!

13. Haleʻiwa Beach Park

Experience the laid-back vibe of Oahu’s North Shore with a visit to Haleʻiwa Beach Park, a favorite spot for both locals and visitors. Here, you can enjoy activities like fishing, scuba diving, and surfing, or simply relax on the sandy shores.

Haleiwa Beach

The park is well-equipped with amenities, including parking, picnic tables, restrooms, and showers, making it a convenient destination for a day of seaside fun. Don’t miss out on the nearby historic town of Haleʻiwa, where you can grab a bite at popular spots like Joe’s Seafood.

14. Kaiaka Bay Beach Park

Another beach park to add to your Honolulu-North Shore adventure is the serene beauty of Kaiaka Bay Beach Park, a spacious haven perfect for a family picnic or a solo retreat. Located on Oahu’s North Shore, this 53-acre park offers ample grassy areas for relaxation and water activities.

Kaiaka Bay Beach Park
Kaiaka Bay@Waialua, Hawaii” by sigmama is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

Enjoy fishing, picnicking, and breathtaking sunset views, or take a short drive to explore the vibrant city of Honolulu. Whether you’re looking to catch some waves or simply unwind, Kaiaka Bay Beach Park is a must-visit spot.

15. Sunset Beach

Are you looking for a picturesque spot on Oahu? Sunset Beach is the place for you! Located on the island’s North Shore, this lovely two-mile stretch is every beach lover’s dream come true. With golden sand and stunning views, it caters to both relaxation and adventure seekers.

Sunset Beach
North Shore Walk – Sunset Beach” by jdnx is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

From surfing on the renowned waves to simply soaking up the sun, there are countless ways to enjoy your time at Sunset Beach. During the wintertime, you can marvel at the 30-foot waves that transform this location into a paradise for surfers.

16. Grab a smoothie at Sunrise Shack

Fuel up for your Oahu adventures with a nutritious and Instagram-worthy treat from The Sunrise Shack. This cheerful yellow shack is your go-to for organic bulletproof coffee and an array of smoothie bowls that are as tasty as they are photogenic.

Conveniently located in both Honolulu and the North Shore, it’s the perfect spot to grab a quick, healthy bite before hitting the island’s many attractions. Don’t miss out on their tropical smoothies for a refreshing taste of island life!

17. Waimea Bay

Next to your list of stunning destinations on Oahu is Waimea Bay. Located on the North Shore, it boasts breathtaking beauty and crystal-clear turquoise waters.

Waimea Bay

During winter, big-wave surfing is the main attraction, as waves can reach up to 40 feet. Imagine watching world-class surfers riding these colossal waves! In contrast, summer offers calmer waters, perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.

Don’t miss out on the nearby Waimea Valley with its lush botanical gardens, waterfalls, and hiking trails.

18. Aliʻi Beach Park

Nestled in the quaint town of Haleiwa, Aliʻi Beach Park is a must-visit spot for beach lovers and surf enthusiasts. With its expansive golden sands and a protected bay area, it’s perfect for swimming and catching some waves.

The park also boasts amenities like picnic tables, lifeguards, and showers, making it ideal for a full day of seaside relaxation. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot some sea turtles basking on the shore.

19. Ali’i Agriculture Farms

At Ali’i Agricultural Farms, visitors enjoy a rewarding fishing experience with bamboo poles in ponds stocked with tilapia, catfish, and grass carp. For a reasonable fee, guests can fish for hours, with options for catch and release or purchasing the fish.

The farm also offers services to clean and cook the catch on-site, adding a tasty and convenient aspect to the adventure. The facility includes amenities like parking, a covered cabana, and a welcoming atmosphere, making it an ideal family outing.

20. Wahiawā Botanical Garden

Wahiawā Botanical Garden in central O’ahu is a serene spot offering a lush, cool retreat with native Hawaiian flora. Visitors can enjoy free admission to explore 27 acres of vibrant plants and towering trees, including the striking rainbow eucalyptus.

Wahiawa Botanical Garden
Wahiawa Botanical Garden” by sodai gomi is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

The garden features an accessible upper terrace for leisurely walks and a more adventurous lower ravine area, perfect for picnics and nature observation. With tranquil trails, playgrounds for children, and resting benches, it’s an ideal family-friendly destination for experiencing Oahu’s natural beauty.

21. Go kayaking at Kawela Bay

Embark on a serene kayaking adventure at Kawela Bay, where the calm waters offer a perfect setting for paddlers of all levels. Glide over vibrant coral reefs and come face-to-face with the bay’s resident sea turtles, known as Honu in Hawaiian.

Shaka Kayak Tours provides guided excursions to several picturesque locations, ensuring a memorable experience. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful morning paddle or a sunset journey, kayaking in Kawela Bay is a must-do on your Honolulu-North Shore adventure.

22. Try Horseback Riding at Turtle Bay

Saddle up for a leisurely trot or a spirited canter with a horseback riding adventure at Turtle Bay Resort! Whether you’re an experienced rider or looking for a unique date idea, the resort offers private one-hour trail rides along scenic paths and beachfront.

For a shorter excursion, opt for the 45-minute or 75-minute rides that will still capture the breathtaking beauty of the coastline. It’s a great way to experience the natural splendor of Oahu’s North Shore.

23. Hike the Ehukai Pillbox trail

Take in the stunning views of Oahu’s North Shore by tackling the Ehukai Pillbox trail. This 2.3-mile loop is a moderately challenging hike that rewards adventurers with sweeping panoramas of the iconic Banzai Pipeline and Sunset Beach.

Starting next to Pupakea Elementary School, the trail ascends through narrow trees and rewards hikers with historic military bunkers at the summit. Don’t miss the chance to watch humpback whales during their migration season from this unique vantage point.

24. Leilehua Golf Course

If you’re looking to tee off in your journey along Honolulu to North Shore, Leilehua Golf Course is a fantastic pick. Set up in 1945, this 18-holer has a mix of challenging plays and stunning views that keep things interesting for all skill levels.

It’s not just about the game; the course’s vibe is super welcoming, and the amenities, from club rentals to a handy driving range, have got you covered. And when it’s time to take a break, there’s a restaurant and a snack bar on-site to refuel and relax.

25. Try Ray’s Kiawe Broiled Chicken

If you find yourself on Oahu’s North Shore, a stop at Ray’s Kiawe Broiled Chicken in Haleiwa is a must for food lovers.

This simple outdoor setup is renowned for its mouth-watering huli huli chicken, marinated in a mix of pineapple juice, soy sauce, and a blend of sweet and savory spices, then broiled over kiawe wood for that perfect smoky flavor. It’s a casual, no-frills experience that focuses on delivering succulent chicken with a side of aloha spirit.

26. Take Surf Lesson on the North Shore

For an unforgettable adventure, take surfing lessons on Oahu’s famed North Shore. Renowned for its world-class waves, this stretch along the Kamehameha Highway is dotted with excellent surf schools like North Shore Surf Girls and Sunset Suzy’s Surf School, offering lessons for all skill levels.


Whether you’re a beginner or looking to polish your skills, these friendly, expert instructors will ensure a safe and exhilarating experience. Catching a wave here isn’t just a sport, it’s a way to connect with Hawaii’s vibrant surf culture.

27. Check out the Honolulu Museum of Art

Discover the vibrant arts scene at the Honolulu Museum of Art, where a diverse collection awaits, from traditional Hawaiian art to contemporary masterpieces. Engage with the local culture through current exhibitions like “Lauren Hana Chai: The Five Senses” and look forward to upcoming showcases such as “Kapulani Landgraf: ʻAuʻa.” With its ever-changing displays and special events, the museum offers a fresh experience with each visit.

Honolulu Museum of Art
File:Honolulu Museum of Art – entrance veranda.JPG” by Wmpearl is marked with CC0 1.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

28. Stop by the iconic Rainbow Bridge

While journeying along the North Shore, don’t miss the chance to visit Haleiwa’s Rainbow Bridge. This historic double-arched concrete landmark frames the Anahulu River beautifully and is a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or a photo op that captures the essence of Haleiwa’s relaxed vibe. Standing since 1921, it’s a silent witness to the island’s storied past.

Rainbow Bridge
“Kamehameha Highway Bridge Oahu Hawaii Haleiwa North Shore” by Anthony Quintano, is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

29. Go Paddleboarding in the Anahulu River

Glide along the Anahulu River on a stand-up paddleboard and keep your eyes peeled for the Hawaiian green sea turtles, locally known as “honu.”

This paddleboarding spot on Oahu’s North Shore is perfect for all skill levels and offers a peaceful way to connect with nature. As you navigate the gentle currents, you might also catch glimpses of colorful fish beneath the surface. Don’t forget to rent your gear from one of the nearby shops to make the most of this delightful experience.

30. Buy souvenirs at Rainbow Bridge Gift Shop

While you’re at it, make sure to stop by the Rainbow Bridge Gift Shop, conveniently located near the iconic Rainbow Bridge that spans Anahulu River. This family-owned store offers a wide array of island crafts and locally made products that are perfect for gifts or mementos of your Hawaiian adventure.

Visitors often praise the shop for its friendly atmosphere and competitive prices, making it a must-visit for anyone looking to bring a piece of Hawaii back home.

31. Haleiwa Art Gallery

While exploring Oahu’s beautiful North Shore, don’t miss the chance to visit Haleiwa Art Gallery. As you wander through this charming gallery, you’ll admire a wide variety of creative pieces showcasing the town’s vibrant art scene.

In Haleiwa, you’ll discover a rich mix of colorful paintings, impressive photographs, and imaginative sculptures. Let your inner artist rejoice in this friendly, welcoming space.

So, immerse yourself in the artistic side of this delightful town and take home memories that will last a lifetime.

32. Try stand-up paddleboarding in Haleiwa

If you’re looking for a fun and exciting way to enjoy the beautiful waters of Oahu, stand-up paddleboarding in Haleiwa is a must-try! This charming North Shore town offers calm waters and picturesque scenery, perfect for paddlers of all skill levels.

You’ll find a number of companies in Haleiwa offering lessons and guided tours, so you can rest assured you’ll be in good hands as you glide atop the crystal-clear water, admiring the stunning coastline. Consider a sunset or twilight paddle experience for a truly unforgettable adventure.

33. Explore the historic Haleiwa Town

When in Oahu, you can’t miss the opportunity to explore Haleiwa Town, a charming, historic destination on the North Shore. As you stroll through the cute town, you’ll discover a variety of awesome activities to enjoy.

Haleiwa Town

“Kamehameha Highway Bridge Oahu Hawaii Haleiwa North Shore”
 by Anthony Quintano, is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

Check out Haleiwa’s vibrant art scene by visiting its numerous galleries showcasing talented local artists. With a wide range of artwork, from traditional Hawaiian to contemporary pieces, you’ll appreciate the diverse art on display.

Aside from art, immerse yourself in the town’s charm by visiting local surf shops, beaches, and boutiques all contributing to the friendly and laid-back atmosphere.

34. Visit the Dole Plantation in Wahiawa

Make your trip more delightful by visiting the Dole Plantation in Wahiawa. Hop on the Pineapple Express Train Tour, and experience amazing views of the plantation. Your family will enjoy various fun activities, such as the Plantation Garden Tour and the Pineapple Garden Maze.

Dole Plantation
Dole planatation” by kanu101 is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

Throughout the tour, you’ll learn about Hawaii’s rich pineapple history and agricultural practices. Don’t miss this friendly and educational opportunity that adds a whimsical touch to your Oahu adventure.

35. Green World Coffee Farms in Wahiawa

On your journey from Honolulu to the North Shore, make sure to stop by the Green World Coffee Farms in Wahiawa. You’ll be delighted by the free tours offered daily from 9 am to 5 pm, giving you an insight into the coffee-making process.

With over 3,000 arabica trees, the farm sources green beans from various Hawaiian islands to serve you the freshest coffee. Don’t forget, the farm stays open from 6 am to 6 pm on weekdays and till 7 pm on weekends, except on Thanksgiving and Christmas. So, treat yourself to a memorable coffee experience.

36. Take a yoga class by the beach

Why not combine relaxation and fitness by taking a yoga class by the beach? Imagine feeling the gentle ocean breeze as you flow through mindful poses, with the sound of waves creating the perfect soothing soundtrack.

Beach Sunset Yoga Hawaii in Waikiki offers highly-rated morning, sunset, and even jungle yoga hikes. They specialize in connecting you with raw nature, making your practice both beneficial and memorable. For a more North Shore experience, check out the Moaina Retreat near V-land Beach.

37. Watch a sunset at Laniakea Beach

If you’re looking for a memorable Oahu experience, catch a sunset at Laniakea Beach. This enchanting spot, also known as Turtle Beach, is home to Hawaiian green turtles that bask on its sandy shores during the day.

The beach is part of the 7-Mile Miracle, a stretch of North Shore coastline famous for its big surfing waves in winter. Don’t forget to pack a blanket, some snacks, and your camera to capture this picture-perfect scene.

As the sun dips below the horizon, you will surely be captivated by the rich colors and serene atmosphere of Laniakea Beach.

38. Waialua Estate Coffee and Chocolate

Savor the local flavors at Waialua Estate Coffee and Chocolate on Oahu’s North Shore, where visitors rave about the rich, aromatic coffee and the smooth, luxurious chocolate. As you tour the grounds, you’ll get an insider’s view of the bean-to-bar process, a favorite aspect mentioned in reviews.

Fans of the estate often highlight the friendly staff and the educational experience, making it a must-visit for anyone interested in the journey from crop to cup.

39. Enjoy a Mai Tai at a beachfront bar in Waikiki

As you stroll along the beautiful sandy beaches of Waikiki, why not stop by a beachfront bar to enjoy a refreshing Mai Tai? This iconic Hawaiian cocktail is always a popular choice for visitors and locals alike, so unwind and soak in the breathtaking views of the ocean as you take a sip.

Known for its rich history and exquisite taste, the Mai Tai has become a symbol of island spirit. At the Mai Tai Bar in Honolulu, you’ll find yourself surrounded by alluring scenery, making it the perfect spot to relish in this delightful concoction.

40. Enjoy a poke bowl at Aji Limo Truck

Indulge in the fusion flavors of a poke bowl at Aji Limo Truck on Oahu’s North Shore, where Peruvian meets Japanese cuisine. Savor the fresh, local catch, highlighted in their signature dishes, against the backdrop of Hawaii’s stunning landscapes. This food truck is a must-visit for a casual lunch, offering a delightful taste of the island’s multicultural offerings.

41. Walk through Waimea Valley and swim at Waimea Falls

When you’re exploring Oahu from Honolulu to the North Shore, one delightful stop should be the Waimea Valley. This lush, green paradise will enthrall you with its picturesque landscape and historical structures. As you take a leisurely ¾-mile hike to Waimea Falls, remember to embrace the captivating beauty of the botanical gardens that you’ll pass through.

Waimea falls

Your journey culminates with the opportunity to take a refreshing swim at the base of the 45-foot tall Waimea Falls. Don’t forget to take part in activities like picnicking and attending a luau while visiting this lovely destination.

42. Attend a hula performance in Waikiki

While exploring Oahu, don’t miss the chance to experience the beauty of Hawaiian culture by attending a hula performance in Waikiki. This traditional dance form showcases the grace and storytelling power of movement.

Hula Performance in Waikiki
Kuhio Beach Hula Show – Joan ‘Aunty Pudgie’ Young and Puamelia” by Jun Seita is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

You can enjoy free hula shows offered at venues like Ala Moana Center or the Kūhiō Beach Hula Show on Kalākaua Avenue. For a more extravagant night, consider attending the popular Rock-A-Hula Luau & Show with its stunning music and dance performances.

So step into the rhythm, and let the hula magic carry you away!

43. Enjoy a sunset BBQ on the beach

Oahu offers some spectacular places to watch the sunset, and what better way to enjoy it than a beach BBQ? Pack your favorite foods and head to your pick of stunning locations like Sunset Beach on the North Shore or Ala Moana Beach Park near Honolulu.

BBQ at Sunset Beach
BBQ at Sunset Beach” by DoNotLick is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

With the sky painted in a kaleidoscope of colors, you can savor the delicious aroma of your BBQ as the sun dips beneath the horizon. For a truly local experience, consider joining a pre-arranged Sunset Beach BBQ tour to meet new friends and share unforgettable memories.

44. Watch the surfers at Banzai Pipeline

When you visit Oahu, make sure to experience the excitement of the famous Banzai Pipeline. Often called Pipeline, this spot has some of the most thrilling and awe-inspiring waves!

Banzai Pipeline
Escaping the jaws of a Banzai Pipeline wave” by Fosterand sons is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

As you marvel at the massive waves and skilled surfers, feel the positive energy and adrenaline rush that comes with it. Remember, to best enjoy this spectacle, go to Sunset Park where you can immerse yourself in this breathtaking experience.

45. Participate in a lei-making workshop

Joining a lei-making workshop is an exciting way to immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture. The Department of Parks and Recreation offers 27 free lei making workshops across the island from February to April, perfect for travelers of all skill levels.

For a more intimate experience, consider attending a Haku Lei Workshop on Oahu and learn about Hawaiian flowers from a local haku lei making expert. Beyond in-person workshops, you can even join an online lei-making class that ships fresh materials right to your doorstep. So, get ready to have some creative fun during your Oahu adventure!

46. Visit Pearl Harbor National Memorial

You’ll definitely have a memorable trip exploring the rich history at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, with its array of poignant attractions.

Pearl Harbor National Memorial
Aloha: Pearl Harbor, USS Missouri, National Memorial Cemetary” by LimpingFrog Productions is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

Some of the top things to do here include visiting the USS Arizona Memorial, touring the Battleship Missouri, exploring the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, and immersing yourself in the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum. To make the most out of your time at the memorial, consider planning your visit around events like Remembrance Day on December 7th.

Don’t forget to arrive early to beat the crowds and have plenty of time to enjoy everything Pearl Harbor has to offer.

47. Visit Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau State Historic Site

For a glimpse into Hawaii’s past, head to the Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau State Historic Site on Oahu’s North Shore. This expansive heiau, or temple, offers a serene setting and stunning views over Waimea Bay. It’s a place steeped in cultural significance, and the largest of its kind on the island. A visit here is a journey back in time and a chance to reflect amidst the beauty of Hawaii’s landscape.

Puu o Mahuka Heiau State Historic Park
Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau State Monument, Hawaii, North Shore, Hawaii (21)” by Ken Lund is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. Photo may have been modified, cropped, or resized from original.

48. Learn about local marine life at the Waikiki Aquarium

As the second oldest aquarium in the U.S., Waikiki Aquarium is the perfect place to get acquainted with Hawaii’s vibrant marine life. You’ll see more than 3,500 aquatic life forms from 490 species on exhibit, including rare and colorful species exclusively found around the Hawaiian Islands.

Be sure to check out the Hawaiian Monk Seal Habitat, where you can get up close and personal with one of the world’s only two surviving monk seals – an important symbol of Hawaiian culture. Not only will you be amazed by the stunning live corals at the “Living Reef” exhibit, but you’ll also have the chance to learn fascinating facts about marine life found across the Pacific Ocean.

49. Explore ancient Hawaiian sites along the coastline

Be enchanted by Oahu’s storied past by wandering along Oahu’s captivating coastline. One notable site is the Waimea Valley, home to the largest heiau (ancient Hawaiian temple) on the island, possibly built as early as the 1600s.

Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park

During your jaunt, don’t miss the chance to visit Dole Plantation—a lush tropical paradise where you can learn about Hawaii’s fruit cultivation. Hop on the Pineapple Express Train and wander through gorgeous botanical gardens in a playful and friendly atmosphere.

50. Have some Coffee at Coffee Gallery

When you’re exploring the North Shore, make sure to swing by Coffee Gallery for a caffeine boost. This beloved coffee shop in Haleiwa is a favorite for its artisan Hawaiian coffees and homemade treats.

Patrons rave about the cozy atmosphere and the quality of the coffee, making it a must-visit for both coffee aficionados and casual sippers alike. It’s the perfect spot to recharge before continuing your island adventures.

50 Things to Do from Honolulu to the North Shore: A Recap

From surfing, cultural explorations, and shopping, we’ve explored the diverse activities you can do from Honolulu’s energy to the North Shore’s tranquility.

Kick off in Waikiki Beach with surfing lessons, then visit the Pearl Harbor National Memorial. Enjoy artisan ice cream and vintage shopping en route to the North Shore. There, try paddleboarding, explore beaches, and visit historical sites like the historic Haleiwa Town. Savor local cuisine from shrimp trucks and experience a traditional luau.

End with a reminder to pack your bags and sunscreen for an unforgettable adventure in Oahu’s stunning landscapes, ensuring a trip filled with lasting memories.

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