The main tourist hub of the Hawaiian Islands, Oahu holds with it a unique range of entertaining attractions and lush landscapes to marvel. Although Honolulu home to plenty of fun and exciting spots to see, the city only scratches the surface. Escaping the buzz of Honolulu can provide the opportunity to uncover and explore the treasures that are outside the city and towards the North Shore of the island. For those visiting Hawaii, here are the top six attractions to check out on Oahu, that aren’t Waikiki Beach.
An entirely pineapple themed destination! Hawaii is a large producer of the sweet, tropical fruit, and The Dole Plantation is the perfect spot for enthusiasts to visit. The plantation is a 40-minute drive from Waikiki and is home to an exciting range of pineapple themes activities. Upon entry to the facility, travellers are gifted with sweeping views of pineapple fields as far as the eye can see. From here, guests can view pineapple cutting demonstrations, embark on a guided tour, check out the different species of pineapples (even pink pineapples), and wander through a large pineapple maze. Dole Whip is a must-have when you are visiting - a spectacularly delicious pineapple flavoured ice cream in a waffle cone. This treat is loved among locals and tourists, and although it is available to purchase back in Waikiki, it’s just not the same as the Dole Plantation Whip. Line-ups can be big at the Dole Plantation, but the wait is so worth it.
Originally formed as a result of an enormous volcanic eruption, today Hanauma Bay is a popular destination for both locals and tourists to snorkel. The bay is located upon the southeast coast of Oahu, approximately a 30-minute drive from Waikiki. The hidden, pristine beach is surrounded by lush greenery and is the perfect spot to escape the buzz of Honolulu. For travellers keen to snorkel, the nature preserve rents snorkel gear to visitors whilst providing guests with everything they need to know about treating the bay with respect. Explore the diverse and colourful underwater world of Hawaii up close at Hanauma Bay.
Nu‘uanu Pali Lookout
Admire the diverse, colourful landscape of Oahu, from over 100ft, at the Nu‘uanu Pali Lookout. Visitors are provided with sweeping views of the towering Koolau Range and Windward Coast. The lookout carries a heavy historical significance behind it, being the location where the first king of Hawaii, who originally took upon the task of uniting the Hawaiian Islands, claimed Oahu. The lookout is located conveniently close to Honolulu, being only a 20-minute drive from the city.
A familiar setting used as a backdrop in countless movies; film fanatics can appreciate the beauty and significance of the Kualoa Ranch. Over the years, movie hits such as Jumanji, Jurassic Park, and 50 First Dates were filmed on the ranch. Visitors can enjoy experiences such as ATV rides, horse riding, and backlot movie tours. Putting aside the star power of this location, the ranch is also home towering, flourished landscapes and valleys that are simply remarkable to witness. Anyone who visits can appreciate the unique scenery before them. Kualoa Ranch is approximately a 40-minute drive from Honolulu and is a must-see for travellers visiting Oahu, although try not to expect any dinosaurs.
Only a 3-minute drive from Kualoa Ranch, Tropical Farms is the perfect spot for visitors wanting to expand their palates and taste some of Oahu’s local treats. The Macadamia farm offers free samples to enjoy and purchase, such as Macadamia flavoured coffee, caramel glazed macadamias, and honey roasted macadamias. Mouth-watering, right?
Byodo- In Temple
Located at the base of the towering Koolau Range is the Byoda-In Temple, a traditional Japanese structure with the beautiful backdrop of Oahu’s lush landscape. Byodo-In was opened originally opened in 1968 to commemorate the migration of the Japanese to Hawaii. Upon entry, visitors typically head to the gigantic 5ft bell, to the left of the temple, and release its deep, echoing sound throughout the grounds with the swinging wooden log. Peacefully walk amongst the immaculate Japanese gardens, admire the peaceful koi ponds and marvel at the large 18ft Buddha statue, located in the centre of the temple.