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The Ultimate List of Unique Things to Do in Oahu

The best things to do in Oahu are within reach of Turtle Bay. These Oahu activities are why you need to leave time for roaming on your next trip.

Grab a smoothie at the photogenic Sunrise Shack

4.5 miles

What started on a small plumeria farm on the North Shore has become one of the best secret things to do in Oahu. Located across the street from Sunset Beach, this vibrant food stand offers smoothies, coffee, and other snacks to brighten up your day. Be sure to check out their merchandise so you can sport the Sunrise Shack around the world.


Discover the Waimea Valley and Waimea Falls

8 miles

Waimea Valley operates as a non-profit, preserving the lands and heritage that the area was founded on. The Valley offers a leisurely one-mile hike through the immaculate botanical gardens and ultimately leads to Waimea Falls, an accessible, swim-friendly (and jaw-dropping) island waterfall - refreshing on a hot Hawaiian day. 

Cool down with shave ice at Matsumoto’s

12 miles

No trip to the island is complete without a cup of Hawaiian shave ice, and no one does it better than Matsumoto’s. Delight in one of the many tropical flavors offered at the family-owned hot spot, or opt for your own unique combination. Islander’s pro tip: top with condensed milk for an extra sweet touch!

Stop by Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck

13.5 miles

Some of the island’s freshest, tastiest shrimp is served from Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck. Around since 1993, this shrimp truck has developed a loyal fan base, attracting foodies from near and far to enjoy the perfectly simple menu. Don’t just take our word for it; Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck has been featured in Buzzfeed, Saveur Magazine, and more. 

Take a Trip to the Dole Plantation

21 miles

What began as a fruit stand in 1950 is now one of the island’s most popular tourist attractions: the Dole Plantation’s Pineapple Experience. Take a ride on the Express Train Tour or visit the Pineapple Garden Maze, as seen in the 2008 Guinness Book of World Records for World’s Largest Maze. And make sure to grab some locally grown pineapple before you head out.

Explore the Byodo-in Temple

27 miles

The Byodo-In Temple was established on June 7, 1968, to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii and is a smaller-scale replica of the nearly 1,000-year-old Byodo-in Temple in Uji, Japan. Translating to “Temple of Equality,” Byodo-in was crafted entirely without nails and houses an 18-foot gold leaf-covered Buddha. Guests are encouraged to light incense and offer a prayer in the temple.

Visit the Pearl Harbor Memorial

35 miles

An impactful, historical retreat from the beach, the Pearl Harbor Memorial takes visitors back through 80+ years of American history. While there, check out the USS Arizona Memorial, too, which will provide you unobstructed views of the remnants of the vessel that sank on December 7, 1941. 

Hike to the Lanikai Pillboxes

36 miles

The Ehukai Pillbox Hike is a moderate mile and a half hike that is filled with Hawaii’s rich military history and two World War II pillboxes. For those unfamiliar, a pillbox is a small, fortified guard-post normally equipped with weapons to defend a position. We recommend starting your hike early in the morning to beat the crowds, or taking the late afternoon excursion to catch one of the best sunset views on Oahu.

Stroll the Makapu’u Lookout

42 miles

Another great hike for all skill levels is the Makapu’u Lookout. Located on the Windward Coast, this hike is just over two miles, relatively flat, and leads travelers to a beautiful lighthouse. Upon arriving at Makapu'u Lighthouse, glance out towards the water for the chance to spot a humpback whale. 

Hike the Koko Head Stairs

53 miles

Experienced hikers and exercise enthusiasts, Koko Head Stairs is the excursion for you. The 1,200+ foot hike offers sky-high views of the highland as you’re climbing an abandoned railroad trail. While the path may seem short in distance, this one is not for the faint of heart. A water bottle and trekking shoes are highly encouraged. 

Experience the best Oahu activities for yourself

Did you know some of the best Oahu activities are right here at Turtle Bay? Learn more about our Only at Turtle Bay experiences, from the Jamie O’Brien Surf Experience to multi-island helicopter expeditions. If you’re looking for the most unique things to do in Oahu, you’ll find them – only at Turtle Bay.