Outdoors On O‘ahu
Active Adventures In The Heart Of Hawai‘i
The Ultimate Playground
With sublime surroundings and perfect year round weather, O‘ahu is a paradise for action vacation enthusiasts. The island combines high energy beach, country, and city experiences all infused with a dose of Hawaiian heritage. Perfect sandy beaches edged with aqua waters, verdant mountains and hidden valleys, and the outdoor action of Honolulu and Waikīkī all add up to fun in the sun.
Sand and Sea
With 125 beaches, few destinations rival O‘ahu for sand and sea adventures. Just step out of your hotel on to Waikīkī Beach where excellent outfitters will introduce you to a variety of ocean pursuits in the warm turquoise surf. Surfing, stand up paddle, and outrigger canoe paddling are all available from the experienced watermen of Waikiki Beach Services (waikikibeachservices.com). Ready for some sailing excitement? Waikiki Rigger Catamaran’s (waikikibeachsailing.com) High Speed Trade Wind Sailing adventure is one-and-a-half hours of pure exhilaration as O‘ahu’s fastest sailing catamaran glides through the waters off Waikīkī providing vistas of the famous hotel lined shoreline and dramatic Diamond Head.
Discover O‘ahu’s waters in other unique ways. Wild Side Specialty Tours (sailhawaii.com) on the island’s Leeward Coast are renowned for intimate ocean adventures. An experienced crew of marine biology experts takes just a few passengers on a variety of excursions including year round whale watching, swimming with dolphins, and snorkeling with turtles.
While the North Shore’s epic winter waves are truly for expert and experienced surfers, the calm summer surf is perfect for beginners. Hans Hedemann Surf School (hhsurf.com) has a North Shore location at Turtle Bay Resort and private, semi-private, and group surf lessons along with stand up paddle instruction.
O‘ahu’s Windward Coast is another incredible spot for water activities, especially Kailua, renowned for two dreamy beaches – Kailua and Lanikai. Twogood Kayaks Hawai‘i (twogoodkayaks.com) has private guided kayak tours, group tours, or kayak rentals. Many opt for the guided outing to the Mokulua Islands which are wondrous sea bird sanctuaries. Expert guides share their knowledge of the area’s natural history as you paddle through the pristine aqua waters and catch glimpses of tropical fish and sea green turtles.
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve—Hawai‘i’s first Marine Life Conservation District— on the Windward Coast is a spectacular cove with a gorgeous white sand beach and incredible marine life. Once a favorite fishing spot for Hawaiian royalty, the bay is actually an extinct volcanic crater now frequented by spotted eagle rays, turtles, and more than 450 species of tropical fish. Hanauma Bay Dive Tours (hanaumabaydivetours.com) has exciting snorkeling and scuba diving experiences at this pristine bay.
Mountains and Valleys
Mountain and valley adventures await across O‘ahu. Kualoa (kualoa. com), a 4,000-acre working cattle ranch on the northeast coast stretches from the mountains to the sea, offering a variety of outdoor, active, and cultural adventures. The Hakipu’u Hike is a narrated guided tour into Hakipu’u Valley to learn about Kualoa’s history and cultural significance. You’ll go through forest and pastures and over a stream to a cultural restoration site with taro patches and native plants and enjoy stunning views of Kane‘ohe Bay as your guide shares fascinating information and legends.
If you love to cycle, Bike Hawaii (bikehawaii.com) has several outings. Their 100% Dirt Mountain Biking adventure explores Kualoa’s lush Ka‘a‘awa Valley amidst majestic Ko‘olau Mountain cliffs. The Valley is a popular television and movie location so you may see sites for everything from the new Hawaii 5-0 to Lost and 50 First Dates. Bike Hawaii’s Downhill Biking Adventure and Volcanic Rainforest Hike is a great combo offering tropical landscapes and amazing panoramas. The adventure starts with a two-and-half-mile hike up Kalāwahine Trail and then features an easy five-mile coast down a paved road through Pu‘u ‘Ōhi‘a rainforest.
O‘ahu Nature Tours (oahunaturetours.com) is known for guided hikes across the island. Their Diamond Head trek reveals fascinating facts about volcanic creation, Hawaiian history, European discovery, cattle ranching, and military use of this extinct volcanic crater. At the 763-foot high summit, fabulous ocean and island vistas unfold before you. The company also offers magical hikes through rainforests to waterfalls. You can also experience O‘ahu’s wild beauty on Sierra Club (hi.sierraclub.org/oahu/index.htm) hikes and service-oriented outings. For example, the Sunday July 8 hike will take you on the shortest route to the Ko‘olau Mountains summit with stops to enjoy views of Moloka‘i and Maui and summit views from Waimānalo to Mokoli‘i Island. On July 14, the Mānoa Falls Trail project is an opportunity to help improve one of the island’s busiest hiking trails.