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How to Spend 1 Day on Oahu

How to Spend 1 Day on Oahu

With one day on Oahu, you might want to spend all your time on the beach and in the water. But if the history, culture, and natural attractions in and around Honolulu also appeal, there are several ways to explore—and still have some time for fun in the Hawaiian sun. Here are our favorite options for one day in Oahu.

 

Morning: Explore

During the cooler morning hours, head up to the top of Diamond Head crater on a guided tour for prime views of Waikiki and the Pacific from this state monument on Oahu’s southern tip. Alternatively, join a leisurely bike tour of Honolulu that includes stops in Chinatown and at Aloha Tower. Both are morning tours, allowing you to enjoy the rest of the day how you wish. If you’re set on visiting Pearl Harbor as quickly as possible during your one day, take a half-day tour that starts at the monument.

 

Afternoon: Beach Time

After lunch, when you’re ready to relax and cool off, Oahu’s white sands and blue waters beckon. Waikiki and other island beaches offer a variety of water activities that will keep you and the family entertained. Fly high above the ocean on a parasailing ride, try out a submarine scooter, experience a water-powered jetpack, or take a snorkeling catamaran cruise to look for Hawaiian marine life. If you’d rather skip the beach, book a ticket on the Waikiki hop-on hop-off trolley to do some sightseeing at your own pace with easy transportation.

 

Night: Set Sail

Take advantage of the idyllic tropical island setting on a dinner cruise. You’ll have a prime location to watch the sunset, sip a beverage on the boat deck, and enjoy a unique perspective on Oahu: from the water. Alternatively, for something specifically Hawaiian, opt for a luau experience, where you can watch the sunset from the beach; dine on local fare like kalua pig, poi, and pineapple slaw; and enjoy Polynesian-style cultural performances by hula and fire-knife dancers. Convenient pickup and drop-off in Waikiki make it easy to attend a luau.

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7 Tours and Activities

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Turtle Canyon Catamaran Snorkel Cruise

Turtle Canyon Catamaran Snorkel Cruise

star-4.5
1099
Snorkel with green sea turtles in Oahu's Turtle Canyon on this 2- to 3-hour tour departing from Waikiki. Board a power catamaran and sail along the shore of Oahu towards the island's best place to spot the resident turtles. Turtle sightings are guaranteed; if a turtle is not sighted, you will be given a free second cruise. After snorkeling, enjoy lunch (if option selected ) and two provided drinks while you keep your eyes peeled for passing marine life like dolphins and migrating whales.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$96.75
From
$96.75

Oahu Submarine Scooter Adventure
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Oahu Submarine Scooter Adventure

star-4.5
960
Ride a personal, self-propelled, electric underwater scooter through Oahu's underwater world. During this 2-hour tour, cruise past Diamond Head Crater through Maunalua Bay on a power catamaran, then dive under the surface on your scooter to see green sea turtles, schools of tropical fish and other native marine life. No experience is necessary for this guided tour; all equipment is provided.
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  • 2 hours
From
$130.89
From
$130.89

Salute to Pearl Harbor

Salute to Pearl Harbor

star-4.5
1555
While visiting Honolulu, take a half-day tour of Pearl Harbor that details the history of World War II in Hawaii. Visit the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument and Battleship Row with a guide who shares informative commentary about Oahu during the war in the Pacific.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$46.07
From
$46.07

Waikiki Trolley Hop-On Hop-Off Tour of Honolulu

Waikiki Trolley Hop-On Hop-Off Tour of Honolulu

star-4.5
588
Discover Honolulu with a 1, 4 or 7days hop-on hop-off tour and see all the top attractions at your own pace. Step aboard a double-decker bus or open-air trolley to pass the capital city’s best restaurants and shops, historic sites and renowned scenery. Choose from multiple routes, marveling at Diamond Head on the Blue Line or explore Chinatown on the Red Line. Upgrade to include all of the lines on your ticket.
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  • 1 to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$25.00
From
$25.00

1-Hour Guided Hawaiian Parasailing in Waikiki

1-Hour Guided Hawaiian Parasailing in Waikiki

star-4.5
545
Fly over the sparkling waters of Oahu on 1-hour parasailing adventure in Waikiki. Hop aboard your 12-person boat, soaring up into the skies with one or two other people for 10 minutes. Then, spend the rest of your hour gliding across the ocean, keeping your eyes peeled for dolphins, tropical fish and sea turtles. This small-group tour includes hotel pickup and drop-off for up to 12 travelers, and offers both morning and afternoon departures.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$87.99
From
$87.99

Three Star Deluxe Sunset Dinner & Show

Three Star Deluxe Sunset Dinner & Show

star-4.5
352
Watch the Hawaiian sunset while enjoying a delicious dinner and live entertainment during this cruise from Oahu. As the sun sinks towards the horizon, watch its vibrant colors reflected on Diamond Head and enjoy a welcome "champagne" toast plus two additional premium beverages of choice. Dine on seafood and steak, then enjoy live entertainment including jazz and new '60 Years of Aloha' Hawaiian cultural show.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$151.00
From
$151.00

Historical Honolulu Bike Tour

Historical Honolulu Bike Tour

star-5
36
Explore Honolulu on a half-day bike tour that provides an insider's look at the vibrant city's history, beaches, and sights. See street art in Kaka'ako park, taste fresh Hawaiian fruits in Chinatown, go up the Aloha Tower for the views, and discover the monuments around the Hawaii State Capitol, including the royal Iolani Palace. Your informative guide provides a bike and helmet, fascinating commentary throughout the leisurely tour.
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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$112.00
From
$112.00