The trip out is a great photo opportunity with views of Waikiki and Diamond Head. Then the dive down to a depth of 100 feet for an exciting underwater adventure. Every dive is unique, as your expert narrator will explain. This is an excellent Hawaii adventure vacation idea.
#2: Waikiki Beach is possibly the most famous beach in the world. Movies feature it and movie stars frequent it.
Waikiki Beach is known for surfing but you don’t have to be an expert here.
You will find gentle waves that are great for beginners. Lessons are available locally.
The trainers can quickly get you standing on the board and surfing the smaller waves. You can also enjoy the surf with a boogie board or ride it in an outrigger canoe.
#3: Take an interpretive walking tour of Honolulu. There are a variety of guides and the tour is different depending on the guide.
Local flavor is added by the guides who dress in costume. These presentations are educational and fun. Learn about local spots that are important to the history of Oahu and Hawaii while getting a good view of the city.
Oahu Vacation Ideas #4: View Oahu from the sky on a helicopter tour with Makani Kai Helicopters. Enjoy a bird’s eye view of Keehi Lagoon, Honolulu Harbor, downtown Honolulu, the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Ala Moana Beach Park, Magic Island, the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor, Waikiki Beach and Pearl Harbor.
#5: Stop in at Foster Botanical Garden in downtown Honolulu. This 14-acre garden is the oldest of the five Honolulu Botanical Gardens with some of the trees dating back to the 1850’s. Relax amidst this grand display of tropical plants.
You will find a collection of Old and New World orchid species … herb garden, spices, dyes, poisons and beverage plants … primitive plants from around the world and more.
#6: The Honolulu Zoo is a great family vacation idea. You will find over 1,000 mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles. There’s a petting zoo, Reptile House, African Savanna. The zoo is designed to resemble the natural habitat of the animals so they can wander freely giving the visitor the feeling of actually being in the jungle.
Oahu Vacation Ideas #7: If you want to find an out-of-the-way spot, try the little town of Maili on the western coast of Oahu. There is not much here including tourists but then, that’s the idea. It does have a very nice beach with fantastic tropical sunsets.
The park is well maintained and great for the family. You can get in some relaxing swimming, snorkeling, boogieboarding or surfing without the crowds you find elsewhere.
#8: Valley of the Temples - For a little tranquility head to the Byodo-In Temple in the Valley of the Temples, considered one of Hawaii’s most treasured secrets. This is a Buddhist temple which is modeled in the style of the ancient Byodo-In Temple found in Uji, Japan.
The Landscaping is Japanese with lush green gardens and dotted with serene koi ponds. Byodo-In Temple has a nine-foot Lotus Buddha. With the tall mountain cliffs as a backdrop this is the perfect place to find a little peace and harmony.
#9: Wild Side Specialty Tours is based in Honolulu, Hawaii. They specialize in "wild" whale, dolphin, and turtle encounters by sailing in their natural habitats. It's your own personalized, eco-sensitive marine surfari in a 42’ sailing catamaran.
Enjoy and learn with some of the most highly skilled professionals in the business. This is a vacation adventure you will be talking about for a long time.
Oahu Vacation Ideas #10: While in Oahu, take a drive up into the Koolau Mountain Range to the Nuuanu Pali Lookout. This popular vacation spot provides a 1,000 foot high panoramic view over the beautiful island of Oahu. The Nuuanu Pali Lookout has local historical significance. In 1795 the islands of Hawaii were united after King Kamehameha and his warriors won a bloody battle on these same steep, forest covered cliffs. The lookout is accessible by car but you can also get there by hiking.
Oahu Vacation Ideas #11: Diamond Head is a great Oahu family vacation ideas and the world’s most famous volcanic crater. You can’t visit Oahu without hiking to the top of Hawaii’s most famous mountain. The trail is fairly easy and can be accomplished by everyone in the family. It’s 1 1/2 miles to the rim including two sets of stairs. One has 99 steps and the other has 76 steps.
Bring a flashlight because you will pass through a 225-foot long unlit tunnel. The hike is well worth it as you will be rewarded with spectacular panoramic views of the island and ocean around you. Iolani Palace is the only official state residence of royalty in the United States. Built in 1882, it the official residence of the Hawaiian Kingdom's last two monarchs.
Restored in the 1970’s it is now a National Historic Landmark in downtown Honolulu, Hawaii. Stop in and take a tour to learn about Hawaiian heritage and history. On Fridays you can enjoy free concerts by The Royal Hawaiian Band. Ala Moana Beach Park is a great Oahu family vacation spot. Have a picnic. Or make use of the jogging and biking paths in the 100 acre park.
Next door is Waikiki Beach where you can spend the day swimming and boogieboarding. Then relax in the park and enjoy the picnic areas and take in a famous Hawaii sunset. About 1/4 mile from the Ala Moana Shopping center is the Kewalo Basin Harbor - one of Hawaii's great vacation spots for para-sailing, snorkeling and SCUBA diving.
Waimea Falls Park in north Oahu, is an 1,800 acre historic nature park. Native Hawaiian dancers perform recreations of life on the island 300 years ago. Cliff divers show off acrobatic skills at the park’s 45-foot tall waterfall. Below the falls you can swim or wade. Take off on a self-guided nature hike. The kid’s can let loose in the play area at Jungle Trek.
Back in southeast Oahu the family can enjoy the marine park Sea Life Park. It’s home to dolphins, sea lions, penguins and even a cross between a whale and a dolphin called a wholphin. The kid’s will love the 300,000 gallon Hawaiian Reef Tank, home to more than 2,000 marine species native to Hawaii’s waters …like reef fish, sharks, eels, turtles. The Hawaii Ocean Theater has an educational and fun show featuring penguins, sea lions and dolphins. Hanauma Bay State Underwater Park may be the highlight of your Oahu vacation. It is a popular Oahu family vacation ideas for it’s excellent swimming and snorkeling. This is due to the coral reefs that create a warm water shelter for the exotic native fish to thrive.
Snorkeling here will unveil this colorful aquatic world in all its beauty. The water is clear and the fish are tame so even if you choose not to snorkel you can still see the fish from the shore. The family will also enjoy the hiking trails and picnic areas. Bishop Museum, in downtown Honolulu, features excellent exhibits of natural and cultural Hawaii. Learn about the stars at the Jhamandas Watumull Planetarium. The Maritime Center has exhibits on the history of surfing and canoe racing, along with a rare Humpback Whale skeleton.