What Are the Top Tourist Attractions in Oahu?

If you’re looking for a place to visit that offers something for everyone, look no further than Oahu. This beautiful island in the Hawaiian archipelago is home to some of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. From stunning beaches and lush rainforests to towering volcanoes and vibrant cities, Oahu has something to offer everyone who visits. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at some of the top tourist attractions on Oahu!

Waikiki Beach

Aerial view of Waikiki Beach and Honolulu

Waikiki Beach is among the main tourist attractions found in Oahu, Hawaii. It is located in Honolulu and is a renowned destination for both locals and visitors alike. The beach is located on the south shore of the island and is known for its clear turquoise waters and white sandy beaches. Visitors can enjoy the summer heat with various beach activities such as swimming, sunbathing, surfing, kayaking, and more. Waikiki Beach is also home to a number of hotels, restaurants, and shops, making it the perfect summer place to spend a day or two while on vacation.

Waikiki is home to eight distinct beaches, including:

  • Duke Kahanamoku Beach
  • Fort DeRussy Beach
  • Halekulani
  • Royal Hawaiian
  • Kūhiō Beach
  • Queen’s Beach
  • Kapiʻolani Beach
  • Kaimana

Diamond Head State Monument 

An image of Diamond Head Lighthouse in the background

Diamond Head is a famous volcanic tuff cone on the island of Oahu and is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Hawaii. The Diamond Head State Monument is located within the crater and offers visitors stunning views of Honolulu and Waikiki Beach. Visitors can hike to the summit of Diamond Head for an additional fee.

The fascinating tuff cone is a US National Natural Monument and a State Monument of Hawaii. It’s also an ideal spot for picnics, jogging, and photography.

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve 

An aerial view of Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay is a nature preserve on the southeast coast of Oahu. It is known for its clear turquoise waters and is a popular spot for snorkeling and diving. Visitors can also enjoy picnicking, swimming, and sunbathing on the beach.

The Hanauma Bay is considered a marine embayment that is formed into a crater that was created by a volcanic eruption. It’s been a popular tourist destination in Oahu and one of the top attractions in the state.

The popularity of Hanauma Bay led to overtourism concerns, which made the state create new laws and regulations to help protect the area.

Polynesian Cultural Center

Entrance to Polynesian Cultural Center

The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) is a living museum located on the north shore of Oahu. It’s one of the most iconic tourist attractions on the island and offers visitors a glimpse into the culture and traditions of Polynesia.

Visitors can learn a lot about the fascinating history and traditions of Hawaii, Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga, Fiji, and other Polynesian cultures through interactive exhibits and demonstrations. The PCC also offers a variety of shows and performances, including the popular “Ha Breath of Life” show.

The Polynesian Cultural Center is the ideal location to learn about Polynesia’s customs and traditions. It’s also a fantastic spot to spend a fun and memorable day with family and friends.

Interestingly, the PCC is also known for its social impact on the people living in Oahu. It’s also known as one of the largest employers of Native Hawaiians and provides educational opportunities for students from all over the world.

‘Iolani Palace

Vintage image of Iolani Palace in 1899

Iolani Palace is established as the former royal residence of the Hawaiian monarchy and is the only royal palace on US soil. It is located in downtown Honolulu and is a National Historic Landmark.

The palace was built in 1879 for King Kalakaua and Queen Kapiʻolani and served as the primary residence of the Hawaiian monarchy until the overthrow of the Kingdom in 1893.

Iolani Palace is open to the public for tours and features a museum that tells the story of the Hawaiian monarchy. The palace is also a known venue for events, concerts, and weddings.

USS Arizona Memorial

Aerial view of USS Arizona Memorial

If you’re looking to learn more about US history, the USS Arizona Memorial is a must-visit. The memorial is located at Pearl Harbor and commemorates the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II.

The memorial honors the more than 1000 men who lost their lives in the attack, as well as those who served in World War II. Visitors can take a boat tour to the memorial and learn about the history of the attack.

The USS Arizona Memorial is a somber reminder of the events of World War II and is a must-see for anyone interested in learning history.

Pearl Harbor

Satellite image of Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor is undeniably one of the most significant places in Hawaiian history. It is best known for the attack on Pearl Harbor, which led to the United States’ involvement in World War II.

Today, Pearl Harbor is home to several historical figures, including the USS Arizona Memorial; Visitors can take tours of all the sites and learn about the history of Pearl Harbor.

Pearl Harbor is a must-visit for anyone interested in history or wanting to learn more about the events of World War II.

Honolulu Museum of Art

The Honolulu Museum of Art is known as the largest and most prominent art museum in Hawaii and is home to a collection of over 55,000 works of art. The museum is located in downtown Honolulu and is a popular tourist destination.

The museum features various exhibitions and programs throughout the year, as well as a cafe and gift shop. The Honolulu Museum of Art is the ideal spot to spend an afternoon appreciating the world of art.

Aloha Tower

Aloha Tower at night

The Aloha Tower is the ideal place to get a panoramic view of Honolulu. The tower is located in downtown Honolulu and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city.

The Aloha Tower was built in 1926 and was once the tallest building in Hawaii. Today, it is open to the public for tours and features a restaurant and bar at the top.

The Aloha Tower is a must-see for anyone visiting Honolulu.

Final Thoughts

Oahu is indeed a great place to go if you’re planning to visit Hawaii. It is filled with several tourist attractions; you’ll never run out of things to do. From exploring the history of Pearl Harbor to admiring the artwork at the Honolulu Museum of Art, there’s something for everyone on Oahu.