Updated: Jul 16
Many first time visitors to Hawaii select O'ahu as their destination of choice, where the beating heart of city life meets tranquil tropical beauty.
When you think of O'ahu, many activities and and cultural experiences come to mind like surfing, hula lessons, ukuleles, exploring ancient ruins and traditional luaus. While these experiences are obvious choices for a first time visit to O'ahu, this island which is nicknamed "The Gathering Place" for its dense population, has so much more to offer guests.
I've compiled a list of the Top 8 Family Activities unique to the island of O'ahu.
#1: WAIKIKI BEACH
Spend your day at this famous beach, browse through the boutiques, enjoy farm-to-table cuisine and partake in the exhilarating nightlife.
#2: PEARL HARBOR
Immerse yourself in a significant piece of U.S. history by visiting this National Historic Landmark.
#3: NORTH SHORE
Witness the waves that attract world-class surfers from around the globe and grab a bite to eat at one of the local shrimp trucks.
#4: POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER
Visit authentic villages and mingle with natives from six Pacific cultures as they share their music, dance and traditions.
#5: DIAMOND HEAD
Hike up this extinct volcanic mountain for a panoramic view of O'ahu's natural beauty.
#6: DOLE PLANTATION
Enjoy all things pineapple while you get lost in their pineapple maze and ride the “Pineapple Express” for a tour of the plantation. Don't forget to try the Dole Whip!
#7: WAIMEA VALLEY
Explore this 1,800 acre rainforest and botanical garden and take a dip in a majestic waterfall.
#8: 'IOLANI PALACE
Explore the U.S.'s only royal palace and learn about its unique history where kings and queens lived.
Tips for the Hawaiian Royal Treatment
Give your family the royal treatment with a stay at Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa positioned on the beautiful beaches of Ko Olina on the leeward coast of O‘ahu. This family friendly resort sits on 21 oceanfront acres, nestled between verdant mountains and serene ocean waters. Here, you'll be removed from the crowds of Waikiki, yet close enough to enjoy the wonders of the island.
You can stay in one of the resort's standard accommodations or upgrade to a family-style villa with all the amenities of home including a full-kitchen, washer/dryer and private bedrooms. Plus, this resort features a variety of activities perfect for everyone in the family!
Lissa Ryan is a Senior Travel Advisor with Kingdom Destinations specializing in luxurious family vacations. Lissa helps busy parents who want to create travel memories with their families through luxury travel experiences, but are too busy or overwhelmed with all the effort and research that is required to plan that perfect vacation.