We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Guide to Oahu Outdoors

Exclusively commissioned by TripAdvisor

95%
Found this guide helpful

Welcome to Oahu. Now get outside and make the most of your time on this island paradise!

Good for
  • Nature Lover
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Beach Goer

8 Places

3 City Tips

Print
Map

8 Places

Haleiwa Beach Park

Parks, Beaches

Kailua Beach Park

Beaches

Kukaniloko Birthing Stones

Geologic Formations, Historic Sites

Lanikai Beach

Beaches

Makapuu Lighthouse Trail

Hiking Trails, Historic Walking Areas

Manoa Falls

Waterfalls, Hiking Trails

Nuuanu Pali Lookout

Lookouts, Valleys

Sunset Beach Park

Beaches

Chris O's City Tips

  • There’s a reason why this far-flung archipelago of tropical islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is considered a surfer’s paradise: big waves! Swim with caution.
  • Staying in Honolulu? "TheBus" is an easy and affordable way to get around town and much of the island of Oahu, hitting some of the best beaches along the way.
  • A little "aloha spirit" goes a long way anywhere — especially in Hawaii.
  • Haleiwa Beach Park
    Parks, Beaches
    See more photos
    Chris O Says:

    Myriad outdoor activities are available year round in or near Haleiwa. This small town, famous for its big waves, is a great place to soak up the laid back atmosphere for which Hawaii is so widely known.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Beach Goer
    • Hidden Gems
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • A visit to Haleiwa offers an excellent opportunity to taste some "ono grinds" from a local food truck.
    • Assuming little or no traffic, Haleiwa is less than a 45 minute drive from Honolulu International Airport, and makes a smart alternative base to Waikiki and the big resorts.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 35 things to do in Haleiwa
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Surfing The North Shore 18/11/2018
    • Great Beach for snorkeling 06/11/2018
    • Haleiwa Beach Park
    Address:
    62-449 Kamehameha Highway
    Haleiwa, Oahu, HI 96712
  • Kailua Beach Park
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Chris O Says:

    At almost 5km long and with hardly any resorts or hotels with direct access, this sandy beach is ideal for sporty types and beach-goers seeking a bit of peace and quiet (without having to stray too far off the beaten path).

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Unlike so many Hawaiian beaches, Kailua is a located in a largely residential area. Keep in mind that your vacation is taking place in what many locals consider their backyard.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 16 things to do in Kailua
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great for parasailing 10/12/2018
    • Paradise on Oahu 08/12/2018
    • Kailua Beach Park
    Address:
    526 Kawailoa Road
    Kailua, Oahu, HI 96734
    Other:
  • Kukaniloko Birthing Stones
    Geologic Formations, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Chris O Says:

    This uncannily serene inland setting of spiritual and cultural significance is one of only two sites reserved by the ancient Hawaiians for the birth of royalty. A small grove of trees marks the spot where oddly shaped rocks were once used for labor and during subsequent ceremonies.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • History Buff
    • Hidden Gems
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Kukaniloko means "to anchor the cry from within."
    • Look for the site at the intersection of Kamehameha Highway (Highway 99) and Whitmore Avenue, on the north side of Wahiawa.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 10 things to do in Wahiawa
    • Serene and spiritual place! 23/09/2018
    • A Spiritual Place 14/08/2018
    • Kukaniloko Birthing Stones
    Address:
    Off Kamehameha Hwy.
    Wahiawa, Oahu, HI
    Other:
  • Lanikai Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Chris O Says:

    Not just one of Hawaii’s best beaches but often listed as one of the best on the planet, Lanikai is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. With an offshore reef keeping the tides calm, it’s also a smart choice for families with small children.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Early birds to Lanikai get to see a spectacular sunrise (and don’t have to worry as much about parking).
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 16 things to do in Kailua
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Perfection in beach 08/12/2018
    • Great beach with amazing views 02/12/2018
    • Lanikai Beach
  • Makapuu Lighthouse Trail
    Hiking Trails, Historic Walking Areas
    See more photos
    Chris O Says:

    This hike hugs the side of a gently-sloped oceanside hill, and leads up to a pretty little lighthouse with stunning views the whole way.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The trail is about 5km long and easy to walk.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #11 of 276 things to do in Honolulu
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Family hike... Easy! 11/12/2018
    • Awesome Hike to the Lighthouse and Overlook Areas 09/12/2018
    • Makapuu Lighthouse Trail
    Address:
    Near the Hawaii Kai Golf Course on Kalanianaole Highway
    Honolulu, Oahu, HI
  • Manoa Falls
    Waterfalls, Hiking Trails
    See more photos
    Chris O Says:

    Enjoy a relatively easy hike through the lush rainforest and be rewarded with views of Manoa Falls and its 46-meter vertical drop.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The trail to the falls is accessible from the road.
    • The trail has a gradual incline (on the way to the falls), and is about 2.5km long.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #25 of 276 things to do in Honolulu
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Manoa Falls walk 11/12/2018
    • Easy hike ! 11/12/2018
    • Manoa Falls
    Address:
    End of Manoa Road
    Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96822
    Phone:
    +1 877-415-0058
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Nuuanu Pali Lookout
    Lookouts, Valleys
    See more photos
    Chris O Says:

    Start your day with a drive up to this scenic lookout point for panoramic views of the Koolau cliffs and the lush windward side of Oahu.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Nuuanu Pali is high up on the windward side of Oahu. Be prepared for strong gusts!
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #46 of 500 things to do in Oahu
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful Valley Vista, crazy wind 06/12/2018
    • I saw Gilligan's Island 02/12/2018
    • Nuuanu Pali Lookout
    Phone:
    +1 859-327-2317
    Other:
  • Sunset Beach Park
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Chris O Says:

    Whether you’re among the adept who brave the giant waves or those more likely to consider surfing a spectator sport, you can’t help but be amazed by this epic destination on the famous North Shore of Oahu. And, oh yeah, as you might expect the sunset views from here are pretty spectacular too!

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Come in the winter to see the really big waves.
    • Please don’t attempt to surf here unless you're extremely experienced.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 35 things to do in Haleiwa
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Nice Beach 07/12/2018
    • Such a Beautiful Beach 06/12/2018
    • Sunset Beach Park
    Address:
    59-104 Kamehameha Hwy
    Haleiwa, Oahu, HI 96712-9728
    Other:
top
×
Was this guide helpful?
YesNo