5 Amazing Things to Do on Your Oahu Summer Vacation
Check Out These Fun Activities and Must-See Attractions on Your Oahu Summer Vacation
Visiting Oahu this summer and trying to figure out your vacation itinerary? The good news is that you’ll find no shortage of activities and attractions on this island. The bad news – as we’re sure you’ve seen – is that narrowing down what to do and see can be a little daunting.
Not to worry! We at Marina Hawaii Vacations have served Oahu visitors for years, and we know a thing or two about making the most of summers on our island home. Read on below to see our top recommendations of things to do during summer on Oahu.
Staying in our of our luxury rentals at Waikiki this summer? Contact your reservationist for even more fun trip-planning ideas.
1) Explore Waikiki
Waikiki may be most famous for its beach, but there’s far more to this enchanting Honolulu neighborhood than just a pretty stretch of coastline. From family-friendly attractions like the Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Aquarium to the many exciting shopping and dining experiences spread throughout the neighborhood, Waikiki is a place that’s great for spending a full day wandering around.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with spending a full beach day (or two) just at Waikiki Beach. Ideal for surfers and sand-loungers alike, you’ll quickly see why this Honolulu south shore beach is such a draw. Be sure to stick around until the evening to catch a breathtaking Waikiki sunset and find live music performances around the area.
2) Spend a Day at Kualoa Ranch
The shooting location for Jurassic Park and other Hollywood blockbusters, the landscape at Kualoa Ranch is the epitome of jaw-dropping scenery. Ancient Hawaiians considered Kualoa as one of Oahu’s most sacred spots, and the area was a residence and sanctuary for Hawaiian Kings.
Today, there are many ways to explore Kualoa and learn the area’s many facets of history. Book anything from an ATV and horseback tour to an adrenaline-filled zipline course. Film-buffs can also sign up for tours specifically aimed around movie history in the area, with the chance to visit several sets and shooting locations.
Head to the Kualoa Ranch tours page to see all available excursions for your Oahu summer vacation.
3) Sail and Snorkel at Turtle Canyon
Just a little offshore from Waikiki Beach is Turtle Canyon, a sea-turtle cleaning station and exquisite snorkeling spot. The waters here are crystal clear and generally calm, making it ideal for snorkelers of all experience levels. Plus, as the name would suggest, there are always plenty of sea turtles here and often other marine life to see.
While you can’t swim from the beach to Turtle Canyon, there are plenty of snorkel tour outfitters you can use to take you out there. One such outfitter is Living Ocean Tours, which offers great two-hour excursions. Hop aboard their 50-ft vessel, sail out to Turtle Canyon for your snorkeling adventure, and then enjoy complimentary snacks and beverages on the ride back to Waikiki.
Learn more about this Turtle Canyon excursion on the Living Ocean Tours website.
NOTE: Please be considerate and do not touch or harass any marine life during your visit. Sea turtles and many other local species are protected under federal law. Keep a respectful distance and just enjoy sharing space with these majestic creatures.
4) Explore Waimea Valley and the North Shore
Make sure you take a day or two to explore the North Shore of Oahu during your summer vacation. Here you can escape the business of Honolulu to revel in more of Oahu’s spectacular scenery as well as some smaller surf towns like Haleʻiwa.
If we had to pick just one area to check out at the North Shore, it would have to be Waimea Valley and Waimea Bay. Starting with the latter, Waimea Bay Beach Park is one of the best places to swim and snorkel from shore during summer. Although this spot sees incredible waves of up to 30-ft high in winter, summer conditions are calm, clear, and relaxing.
Inland from the bay is the gorgeous Waimea Valley, and within the valley is a hiking trail to the heavenly Waimea Falls. The 45-ft waterfall lies at the end of an easy 1.9-mile out-and-back trail, and you can even swim at the base of the falls depending on conditions. In addition to the area’s natural scenery, you can enjoy a botanical garden and several cultural sites within Waimea Valley.
Please note that there is an entrance fee to access the trail, garden and cultural sites at Waimea Valley. Visit the Waimea Valley website to see entrance fees and learn more about the valley.
5) Hike at Diamond Head State Monument
Diamond Head Crater is perhaps Hawaii’s most recognizable landmark, and we’d be remiss not to include it on our summer vacation list. The crater was formed around 300,000 years ago by a massive volcanic explosion. Today, the volcano is extinct (phew), and the crater lies within the over 475 acres of Diamond Head State Monument.
The quintessential thing to do at Diamond Head Crater is to hike the out-and-back summit trail. From the summit, you’ll be treated to some of the most incredible panoramic views in all of Hawaii. The best conditions for both views and comfort during summer will be in the morning. Hiking early in the morning often also means smaller crowds on the trail.
Since Diamond Head is the most popular attraction on Oahu, visitors must pay an entrance fee and make a reservation to enter the state monument. Click here to learn more about entrance requirements and to make your reservation.
So, if you’re planning a summer vacation to Oahu, these are the five places and activities you must have on your itinerary. For more Oahu summer travel inspiration, check out our blog feed and explore page.
Be sure that you have the best accommodation on your Oahu trip by booking a Waikiki vacation rental with us at Marina Hawaii Vacations. Check out all our vacation rentals here, and browse our Current Promotions page to find great deals happening now!