Oahu has pretty much everything going on. There’s city life here, amazing beaches, stunning nature, surf spots, mouthwatering eateries, as well as culture and history to explore, too. This most visited (and most populous) of all of Hawaii’s islands is a great place to visit especially with your significant, but where do you start?
That’s where this guide to the best things to do in Oahu for couples comes into play. We’ve curated this list to give you a well-rounded look into all that is awesome about the island, from sampling traditional Hawaiian food to watching master surfers at work on the North Shore.
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- If you haven't, you really should because it could save you hundreds on your next rental car.
Here's what we're covering:
- The Best Things To Do in Oahu For Couples
- 1. Hike Diamond Head
- 2. Learn about history and culture at Bishop Museum
- 3. Go straight to the source on a coffee farm
- 4. Experience a traditional luau
- 5. Dive with sharks
- 6. Hang out at Hanauma Bay
- 7. See the surfers on the North Shore
- 8. Treat yourselves to a couple's massage
- 9. Spend a day exploring Waikiki
- 10. Get a bird’s eye view of Oahu
- 11. Learn all about poi
- 12. Go whale watching
- 13. Watch the Hilton Hawaiian Village fireworks
The Best Things To Do in Oahu For Couples
No matter what you like doing, Oahu has something for love birds. Exploring the great outdoors, swimming with sharks, or just lazing around on the sand and soaking up some sun – it’s all here. Read on and be inspired!
1. Hike Diamond Head
Diamond Head is the icon of Oahu – a landmark that can be seen for miles around. This impressive piece of natural scenery is the crater of a former volcano that has truly shaped the landscape, and it’s all just quite literally a stone’s throw from Waikiki, Honolulu, and is a prime spot for hiking. A hike here is easily one of the best things to do in Oahu. Easily!
While you may think a hike around a volcanic crater would be hard going, that’s not necessarily the case with Diamond Head. In fact, many of the hikes are moderate and doable for those with a good level of fitness.
Although you can hike it easily yourself, thanks to its well-maintained trails, opting to hike Diamond Head with a guide offers up a much more insightful experience. A guide will be able to tell you not just about the geological significance of this volcanic landscape, but also its cultural meanings and place in the history of Hawaii.
This is a great couple's activity because of the sense of achievement you'll get when you reach the top, the memories, and of course, all of the photos you'll take.
Back at the parking lot, there's sometimes a shave ice truck that is stationed there you can stay refreshed.
2. Learn about history and culture at Bishop Museum
The Bishop Museum is the largest museum in Hawaii for both Polynesian culture and natural history. Located in Honolulu, the museum was founded in 1889 and holds a wide collection (try 25 million) specimens of natural history within its walls.
One of the coolest things to see at the Bishop Museum is the totally complete sperm whale skeleton. The collection of cultural artifacts here also pack quite a wow factor, with royal capes and other heirlooms from Hawaii’s former royal family. It’s an Oahu must-do.
3. Go straight to the source on a coffee farm
Kona over on Hawaii’s Big Island may be more famous for its coffee beans, but coffee fans will be pleased to know that coffee is also grown on Oahu, so those who like a good cup of joe should definitely hit up the only coffee farm on Oahu, Green World Coffee Farm.
Situated across seven acres of land in Wahiawa, in the North Shore area, the farm boasts more than 3,000 Arabica coffee trees in an operation that’s been going strong since 2013. Visiting here offers the chance to explore the farm, sample their fresh brews, and even buy beans for yourself to take home. All of their coffee is roasted at the farm itself, daily.
Other local produce is also on sale at Green World Coffee Farm, as well as merchandise. So, if you’re looking for gifts to take home, it’s great. Even if you just want a quick to-go cup from their onsite espresso bar, swinging by this coffee heaven is still one of the best things to do in Oahu for couples. It sure beats Starbucks (even if you love the green mermaid).
PLANS TO HEAD TO BIG ISLAND AFTER?
You can visit an actual Kona coffee plantation while you're there. Find out more about Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation and other top activities in Kona below.
4. Experience a traditional luau
If it's your first time to Oahu, you have to go to the Polynesian Cultural Center on the North Shore. As the island's top attraction, this is an experiential attraction that celebrates Hawaiian culture, history, and heritage.
You can spend a good chunk of the day here as both of you get a chance to roam the island villages that feature the six Pacific Polynesia cultures and canoe rides before feasting at the buffet and being entertained by authentic song, dance and celebration.
Recently added is also the Hā Breath of Life Show a large-scale show performed by over 100 performers, featuring Polynesian dance, music, and fire knives that takes it up another level.
To save money, you might want to consider getting the Go City Oahu Pass which includes the Polynesian Cultural Center albeit only the general admission ticket and not the luau or show. You can also book directly online at the Polynesian Cultural Center to save 5%.
5. Dive with sharks
Unique things to do in Oahu don’t get more unique (or more scary) than diving with actual sharks. For the adventurous honeymooners or couples, this one's for you.
If you’ve got the guts, you can get up close and personal with these amazing creatures at the North Shore of the island – it's an awesome experience!
This starts out with a boat ride from the shore, where you’ll reach a specific, suitably shark-infested point. The boat stops and you step right off it and into the cage. You don’t particularly need to be a strong swimmer, as the cage sits partly out of the water. This isn’t diving per se – you’ll have a snorkel mask – but it’s incredible all the same.
If you or your partner are too afraid, don’t worry: you can still see the sharks from the boat itself, and you may even get the chance to spot whale sharks and dolphins, too.
6. Hang out at Hanauma Bay
If you’re a big beach fan and you’re on the lookout for the best things to do in Oahu, you won’t want to miss out on a visit to Hanauma Bay. This sheltered slice of sand and glistening turquoise sea is situated in the southeast part of the island, and is understandably one of the most popular spots on the island.
Since it’s so popular, one of the best ways to enjoy this place is to head there early. We mean really early: it opens at 6:45. You should also note that it’s closed on Mondays and Tuesdays to give the wildlife a break.
Hanging out on the beach itself is all good, but owing to its sheltered nature, Hanauma Bay is a great spot for swimming and snorkeling. You could even book yourself on a snorkeling excursion and be taken on an educational trip around the reef, checking out all the best and brightest spots in the bay.
7. See the surfers on the North Shore
While one of the best things to do in Oahu is learning how to surf, a must if you’re here between November and mid-December is to witness the Triple Crown of Surfing. Here the masters will show you how it’s done from various North Shore locations.
This part of the coastline is known as the Seven Mile Miracle – home to famous breaks and surf spots – and stretches from Haleiwa Beach Park to Sunset Beach.
Learning how to surf is always a fun activity to do as a couple in Oahu especially if neither of you have surfing experience. It's always a surprise to find out who will be able to pick up the skills faster than the other. As beginners, you won't be surfing in the North Shore though. Waikiki Beach is much gentler luckily.
8. Treat yourselves to a couple's massage
The #1 rated spa on the island is Paradise Massages Waikiki & Spa. Located in Waikiki Shopping Plaza, they offer a full range of day spa services ranging from facials, massages, and body treatment.
For the best things to do in Oahu for couples, we recommend booking a couples massage or couples treatments which they have available for booking.
9. Spend a day exploring Waikiki
Waikiki is where it’s at when it comes to city living in Oahu. This most famous district of Honolulu is the place for sand, surf, and famous landmarks galore – and getting around can be done easily thanks to the Waikiki Trolley. There are five lines in total that connect up top spots of the area, including Sea Life Park, the Arts District, and even Diamond Head.
While you may think getting tickets as you go would be a pain, that can be totally alleviated by grabbing a hop-on hop-off trolley pass. These can be valid for anywhere between one day and seven days, meaning you’ll have this cool part of city and its top sights at your fingertips.
As a couple, Waikiki is always a great part of the island to explore to get your dose of retail therapy, world-class restaurants, rooftop bars, and fun attractions.
TOP THINGS TO DO IN WAKIKI
We have tons of ideas for the best things to do in Wakiki.
10. Get a bird’s eye view of Oahu
Perhaps you think you have to hike in order to get good views in Oahu. Well, not always. For one of the best things to do in Oahu – especially if you’re on a honeymoon or want to make your trip extra special – look to the skies. We’re talking a helicopter tour of the island.
Heading off on this incredible excursion allows you to see the skyline of Waikiki, the hulking magnificence of Diamond Head (extra cool from the sky), volcanic cliffs along the Windward Coast, and views of lush Ko’olau Mountains.
Thankfully, helicopter tours such as this come with an informative guide who’ll tell you what you’re looking at. This is one experience both of you won’t forget.
11. Learn all about poi
Poi is a classic Hawaiian dish made from taro. With its kind of sticky, mochi consistency, it might seem strange to some, but this traditional foodstuff has long been the staple of Hawaii’s food scene. To understand a little bit more about this food, and sample some downright delicious varieties of poi, swing by Waiahole Poi Factory for one of the best things to do in Hawaii.
The factory itself – with the motto “Nourished by the food and spirit of our ancestors” – is historic. Originally opening in 1905 as a full-time poi factory, in later years it became an art gallery, but was more recently refurbished to become what it is today. It’s now a place that shares Hawaiian culture through food and helps to support local agriculture. The onsite restaurant features hand-pounded poi to sample, as well as dishes that would usually be found in a traditional luau.
While a little bit different, food still is the way to the heart!
12. Go whale watching
The surrounding waters of Hawaii in general are home to an abundance of wildlife, and this island is no different. It’s no surprise, then, that one of the best things to do in Oahu is to head for the high seas and get a glimpse of marine mammals that pass through these waters.
An excursion from Waianae is one of the best ways to do it, since it’s pretty hard to get out there by yourself and do this sort of thing independently. Some tours will even offer the chance to don a snorkel and dive right in.
In short, it’s amazing and packed with wildlife. You’ll get to see dolphin pods playing as the boat slices through the waves, sea turtles cruising by and, in the right season, whale sharks appear just under the surface. Humpback whales can also be seen (December through May), topping off this most amazing Oahu experience.
13. Watch the Hilton Hawaiian Village fireworks
To round out this list for the best things to do in Oahu for couples is a classic experience that we also featured in our 2 day Honolulu itinerary. Every Friday, Hilton Hawaiian Village has a firework display to the tune of music that is played on speakers.
This is the perfect way to end off the day. You can watch the fireworks from a number of spots along Waikiki beach. For something romantic, set up a beach towel on Waikiki Beach with a few drinks and snacks.
Best part? It's completely free!
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