The Best Oahu & Pearl Harbor Things To Do
Are you looking to travel to Hawaii soon? Depending on how long you plan to stay, you need to make a plan to check off all your vacation bucket list items. What can you realistically experience on a trip while taking days to enjoy doing nothing at the beach? Many first-time visitors greatly benefit from taking tours early in their vacation so they have time to go back and explore places on their own. Small-group tour guides take the time to learn about you and help direct you to some of the places best suited for you and your schedule.
There are a lot of things to do in Oahu and for most people, vacations are simply not long enough to experience it all so we have curated a list to help you hit some of all the areas that interest you. If you are not on Oahu, then taking an inter-island tour from Maui, Big Island or Kauai is definitely recommended.
USS Arizona Memorial
This is one of the most popular locations to visit on the island. Visiting the Arizona Memorial is a personal event and allows time for quiet reflection at a place of hallowed ground. A visit to this place along with the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center with itʻs museums, theatre, and outdoor exhibits is included in every Pearl Harbor tour ticket. The wait to go out to Arizona sometimes is many hours, but with a guide, you will get in at the best times. No waiting in line!
Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum
Something that is not spoken about much is the mariners who were proud members of the “Silent Service“. The USS Bowfin & Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum at the northern end of the park is an often overlooked area. The submarines never had those proud, awe-inspiring images as their battleship or aircraft counterparts did. That was not their style. Their tactics required them to stealthy so they could cripple enemy trade and transportation of goods.
Go inside this submarine on a Complete Pearl Harbor Experience and wander through the museum that contains a lot of very cool artifacts. Just outside the museum is the sobering reminder of how dangerous being in those subs was. The survival rate was known to be pretty low which shows how brave these men were.
Dole Pineapple Plantation
One of the most popular things to do in Oahu is to try some tasty treats. Hawaii is known for itʻs sun, beaches, waves, and pineapples! One of the most popular stops on many tours is a quick snack break at the Dole Pineapple Plantation.
Take a moment to explore the gardens, the shop, and sample all the tasty treats too. For those who are on our Circle Island Tour, this is a great place to use the restroom as well.
Check out the history of the pineapple in Hawaii and what Dole did. It is quite interesting.
Polynesian Cultural Center
People visit Hawaii for itʻs culture and there is nowhere better on Oahu to immerse yourself in all the Polynesian cultures at once then at the center. This is a great experience to see the demonstrations, watch the shows, interact with people from Tahiti, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, and New Zealand as well as Hawaiians. Play games, try the food, listen to stories and so much more. This is a great experience to have with a local tour guide!
Pearl Harbor with Polynesian Cultural Center Tour provides a wonderful lunch and makes stops at the most popular attractions on Oahu with a visit to the North Shore too! Itʻs a full day and a great introduction to Hawaii.
USS Battleship Missouri
The USS Battleship Missouri is a museum ship that has seen a lot of action over itʻs lifetime. It was on her deck, Japan officially surrendered to the United States in World War II. This massive battleship now stands guard over Arizona, where the first blows against the United States Navy took place during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
This is one of the most popular areas in all of Pearl Harbor. This massive ship is open for exploration among itʻs many decks. Go into rooms, see how the sailors lived and so much more. This ship is huge! We suggest taking the Battleship Tour, itʻs a great 1/2 day experience.
North Shore Beaches & Towns
We understand. Some of the things we want to do every day revolve around the beach and the beautiful ocean. No place that is more noticeable than on the North Shore of Oahu. The beaches are gorgeous, the waves look big and fun for those out in them, the towns are quaint and inviting. You will really feel the aloha.
The best way to experience the home-town feeling is to go with a local expert whoʻs home is the North Shore. Our small group circle island tour is a great introduction to the best of Oahu… and you will make a new friend.
Historic Honolulu, Diamond Head & Punchbowl Crater
No tour or time on Oahu is complete without visiting some of the historic sites around Honolulu. Every tour provided by Pearl Harbor tour includes a drive through Punchbowl National Cemetary along with a stop in historic downtown Honolulu. See the Hawaii Supreme Court building, (in popular culture as the Hawaii 5-0 Headquarters), with the iconic King Kamehameha statue looking out across to the Ioʻlani Palace, set among the trees on King Street.
Punchbowl Crater has incredible murals and tells the history of the US involvement in wars in the Pacific. The views of the city from just outside the rim make this a favorite destination for many exploring on their own.