With the modern, happenin’ capital city of Honolulu and all the island beauty Hawaii is known for, Oahu strikes a balance of fun between traditional and contemporary. From Hawaii’s most exciting nightlife scene to some of the state’s biggest beaches, Oahu captures the best of all worlds.
By day you can surf, swim, snorkel, or dive into any watersport imaginable. Hike, bike, ride on horseback or if Hawaiian history strikes your fancy, tour a coffee plantation or a Pearl Harbor monument. After a romantic sunset dinner you can dance all night under the lights and lasers of a disco, relax at a hip cocktail lounge, or experience the native thrills of a luau show.
Of course, you can also just sit back on your lanai and snuggle under the stars! Oahu activities are some of the most diverse on any of the other islands, so your honeymoon can be part relaxation, part recreation, and all romance. Choose the activities that are perfect for you and your other half, and you’ve got the formula for the perfect Hawaiian romantic getaway. If you don’t book beforehand, just ask your hotel or resort to help you get in on the island’s most romantic fun. This list is far from all-inclusive, but includes some of our top recommendations for Oahu activities to get you started!
Hiking & Riding.
-LEAHI (DIAMOND HEAD) CRATER MONUMENT, Honolulu.
Just minutes from Waikiki, Leahi, or ‘Diamond Head’ crater monument, is a great hike with a special reward: incredible views of Honolulu and the gorgeous southern shore of Oahu from the top. This is a unique hike that includes man-made staircases, tunnels, and even decommissioned military bunkers. You’ll need sturdy hiking shoes or boots and a flashlight for this unique honeymoon adventure. On Saturdays, a farmer’s market across from the park entrance is a great place to load up on fresh local goods for a picnic. On other days local cafes are open for a post-hike meal.
The western side of the island, called the “Leeward Coast,” is home to Kaena Point. Hike in from the south or the north and be inspired by an area known as a sacred spot to native Hawaiians, who believe this was a point where souls go to reunite with their ancestors. When you see the beauty of these trails, you’ll understand why! This hike is beautiful but long and pretty tough, so make sure you’re fit enough and prepared with all the right gear.
-MANOA FALLS, Honolulu. Just a short drive from Waikiki, this hike takes you through Oahu’s rich green rainforests and native gardens to a sparkling 150-foot waterfall known as Manoa Falls. The hike isn’t too long, showcases Oahu’s natural beauty and even takes you through regions used in scenes for the film Jurassic Park. You’ll have a blast, and you can enjoy it without worrying about being eaten by a T-Rex!
-HAPPY TRAILS HAWAII HORSEBACK RIDING, Haleiwa. Saddle up and get ready to see the beauty of Hawaii from the backs of some of Earth’s most majestic creatures. Expert guides take you across Oahu’s north shore. Sure, you may share the trail with families, but seeing the island on horseback is still a blast. Contact Happy Trails Hawaii by phone at 1-808-638-7433 or check them out here.
Find more Oahu hiking trails, tips and safety information here.
-WAIMEA BAY, Haleiwa.
Known amongst surfers for its monstrous winter waves and amongst travelers for the calmer summer snorkeling waters, Waimea Bay offers something special year-round. Go in the winter to relax on the sand and watch local dudes catch some seriously gnarly waves, or go in the summer and take advantage of the calmer surf for snorkeling and swimming. The beach has great facilities that are open year-round so no matter when you go, plenty of fun awaits!
-TURTLE BAY (KAWELA BAY), North Shore. Not only is the water here peaceful, protected from the near-semicircle of land that surrounds it, but it also might be Oahu’s most secluded beach. The tranquil water is perfect for snorkeling, where you can see the sea turtles that hang out here. But the biggest draw for honeymooners is the privacy, making Turtle Bay perfect for an intimate beach day where it’s just you, your sweetheart and the beauty of Hawaii all around you.
-LANIKAI BEACH, Kailua. Once ranked the best beach in the entire world by Conde Nast Traveler, Lanikai Beach is all kinds of beautiful. Near Kailua on the Windward (southeast) coast, not only is the water here calm and the sand perfect-soft, but two nearby islands can be reached easily by kayak. Paddle over and have a truly romantic experience where you’ll feel like you’ve got Hawaii all to your sweet, sweet selves.
Shows & Luaus.
Your honeymoon in Oahu just isn’t complete without the experience of a luau. Most hotels have their own luau nights, and even if you’re not staying at the hotel you can still hit up the party. Check out a couple of Oahu’s best below:
-FIA FIA POLYNESIAN SHOW. Held every Tuesday at the Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club and every Thursday at the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa, FIA FIA is one of the best cultural shows on any of the islands! This dinner-feast is both educational and spectacular, combining music and dancing with comedy and a huge traditional dinner. It’s a blast from beginning to end.
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-CHIEF’S LUAU AT SEA LIFE PARK, Waimanalo. This show is set before an incredible ocean vista and brings you up close with Polynesian culture. It’s both funny and informative, and is heavy on the audience participation for a dose of extra fun. Go early and explore Sea Life Park before the show!
Cultural & Historic Sites.
Hawaii’s rich culture and history is truly unique in America, so on your Oahu honeymoon you definitely want to check out some of the island’s cultural and historic gems. Not only are they interesting, but they can be beautiful as well! Whether it’s a tour of the Pearl Harbor Monument or a peaceful walk through the breathtaking beauty of a ‘non-practicing’ Japanese Zen Buddhist temple, Oahu is a lot more than just pretty beaches and Honolulu nightlife. Get the full experience and round out your honeymoon with a visit to some of Oahu’s incredible cultural gems.
Every island in Hawaii is a watersports heaven, and Oahu is no different. Whether you’d rather snorkel at your own pace, take a guided kayak trip or dive deeper with a Scuba or Snuba diving excursion, the ocean is your ‘oyster’! Oahu hotels know the best local tour operators, so you can always check with them or do your own research and pre-book. Either way, you can be exploring bright reefs, blue lagoons, dolphin coves and tasty waves in no time!