When it comes to classic vacation destinations, few places can compete with Hawaii. Many people grow up or spend their entire lives dreaming of a Hawaiian vacation. To these people, Hawaii is seen as one of the ultimate places to go to participate in a number of activities all in a warm and tropical location. The visual beauty of Hawaii is also another large reason that many people choose to head there for their much anticipated family vacations. The island of Oahu is a fabulous Hawaiian location to choose as a destination. A number of the areas and activities on the islands though are geared towards adults, both in the area of recreation as well as in the area of romance. Here is a look at five family friendly things to do on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.
Atlantis Submarine Tour
One of the best ways to get a look at all there is to enjoy underneath the surface of the water when on Oahu is to check out the Atlantis Submarine Tour. The tours include being ferried out to where the waiting submarines rest, boarding the submarine and undergoing the initial pressurization process, and then the actual dive and undersea tour. Among the many things seen out the portals during this submarine adventure are sunken ships, coral and man made reefs, and even the remains of a sunken commercial airliner. All that and also a great look at the undersea creatures that surround the island including fish, sea turtles, and even sharks.
USS Missouri Tour
The USS Missouri was built during World War II and went on to play an important role during the final days of the war. In fact, on board this ship was where the Empire of Japan surrendered to end the war. The ship went on to see action in the Korean War and the Persian Gulf War before being decommissioned for good in 1995. The ship was later donated to the USS Missouri Memorial Association and today is a museum ship in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The ship is currently docked just five hundred yards from the more famous USS Arizona Memorial. Actual military veterans who have seen action in the nation’s conflicts serve as the tour guides aboard the USS Missouri. This is a rare opportunity for visitors to get a chance to set foot on an actual United States naval destroyer. This attraction is popular with both those interested in history and those who are not.
One of the most popular stops for families with small children visiting Oahu is the Honolulu Zoo. The zoo features more than 1,200 animals, all separated into distinct habitats designed to give the appearance and feel of what their natural surroundings would be. The maze of paths through the zoo lead visitors past many animals including gazelle, lemur, monkey, rhino, cheetah, bats, tigers, orangutans, mongoose, snakes, horned frogs, iguanas, skinks, tortoises, and more. A trip to the Honolulu Zoo is a great way change of pace to the beaches and water that are also welcome attractions on the islands.
Sea Life Park
While one would think that with the ocean surrounding the island of Oahu that it is easy to just go for a swim and see a great deal of marine life, this is not always the case. The best place on the island to visit to be guaranteed a chance at seeing all of the marine life possible is Sea Life Park. The park offers a number of signature activities including the Dolphin Royal Swim, Dolphin Encounter, and Sea Lion Discovery. The park is not only home to regularly schedule marine life shows, but also wonderful opportunities to interact with animals like dolphins and sea lions on a one-on-one basis. Kids especially love a visit to Sea Life Park and it often turns out to be their favorite part of a Hawaiian vacation.
The Kualoa Ranch is located very near to the famous and historic Ka’a’awa Valley. The natural scenery here is gorgeous and there are a number of great photographic opportunities. This area of Oahu is only available to those that purchase a special permit and those that sign up for tours that are offered by the ranch itself. Visitors wishing to see some of the best and most naturally untouched land in Hawaii can tour the valley by bus, horseback, or ATV. The Kualoa Ranch is not the first stop on most people’s itineraries, but it is indeed one of the best places to take a family in Oahu.
While many of the attractions and activities found in Hawaii, and more specifically on the island of Oahu, are aimed at interesting and attracting adult travelers, there are also some great attractions with features that are geared right towards children. These types of attractions truly make the island of Oahu special because they provide a wonderful opportunity for the entire family to be entertained and still remain together. One of the best bonding experiences that can be had by a family is spending quality time together at family friendly attractions. The act of everyone enjoying their time together has a great way of bringing families closer. Oahu is loaded with family friendly attractions, a traveler to the island just needs to know where to look.
Renting a car for exploring the hidden beauty in different parts of Oahu is the feasible option. Especially, if you are looking to visit the remote lands for sight seeing, you definitely need to rent a car. You will find best of the sightseeing opportunities for few bucks or, even, free in many cases. Some of the famous sightseeing spots in Oahu are lanikai Beach, Heiau, Ualakaa State Park and, above all, Diamond Head crater.
If you have limited time on Oahu, one sight you just cannot miss to see is the Diamond Head Crater. With its crowning glory, the view from Diamond Head Crater is the most famous among the pacific. To reach the base of the crater, you have to go by car where you will be stunned to see the luxurious houses of the business men. Two spots on the way to the crater are the Diamond Head Lighthouse and Diamond Head Lookouts, where the sizzling experience of the panorama offered by these places is, just, unforgettable. The trail along the crater takes 30 minutes and is very easy to reach.
Those of you who are willing to explore the wild beauty of Oahu in a true way should do it by the seaplane. Having stunning views of beautiful North shore and Hanauma bay, you would be flying over the great Diamond Head Crater, and memorials of the Pearl Harbor incident. All this is available in a single package of one hour for 170$. The birds eye view of the Waikiki beach will add to the whole sizzling experience.
For watching the best view of sun rising in the morning, you can visit the Lanikai beach of Oahu. The specialty of this view is that the sun rises over the two remote islands just like a painting you used to draw in your school days. It looks as if the scenery of coloring book is brought into existence at this very place of Oahu. What adds to this unforgettable experience is the delightful voices of birds which go out in the morning in search of the food. Make sure you reach here as early as it is still dark in the morning and don’t forget to take your camera along with you to capture these moments.
Those of you who are fond of visiting ancient buildings, there is a special attraction in Oahu. The place is known as the Heiau. The site is the remains of the largest temple of Oahu called Puu O Mahuka Heiau. With its large area of nearly 5 acres, this temple has so much to offer for visitors interested in sight seeing as well as history. The stonework and pathways, those are left there, are considered to be depicting the best skill of the ancient architects. You can have snaps with the ancient plants those are still fighting for their survival. The temple bluff, nearly 300 feet high, is the place to have a bird’s eye view of the remote areas between Waimea Bay and Kaena Point.
Puu Ualakaa State Park is very famous for its majestic panoramic views of the sunset. The weather here is always clear and that is the reason why, potatoes were planted here way back a long time. Every evening at the Puu Ulakaa Park is a special occasion for the visitors to come and enjoy the view of Diamond Head with the sun setting down slowly. At night, this romantic place finds most of its visitors in the form of young love birds.
Yes, it is the place known as the “real Hawaii” where the expectations for visitors to have the completely different experience are very high. Without any doubt, in the kind and friendly atmosphere of the island, you can relax and find many attractions. Mai tais, Kayaking, and stunning views of Waianae Mountains are not the only attractions but sport fishing, local cuisines and the operating culture provide visitors so much to explore, for a true Oahu experience.
If you don’t plunge into water to see the world under Hawaii water, keep in mind, you are wasting your trip to Hawaiian Islands. Swimmers as well as non-swimmers, both have equal opportunities to plunge into water and explore the magical world of colorful fish.
The most famous snorkeling spot in Oahu is located in its eastern part. At the small beach of Hanauma Bay having golden sand, you can enjoy sunbathing and snorkeling in the shallow waters with the marine life. There is another dangerous spot for serious divers. It is called”the slot” which makes its way to the strong currents of Deep Ocean. Don’t get caught by sharks while you are swimming with the turtles.
One function that should never be missed is the Halau, a form of hula, which is performed at the Bishop Museum where the local Hawaiian dance show is arranged. Those of you who have previously visited Oahu cannot forget the Kodak Hula Show in which the members of the Hawaiian Glee Club used to dance in traditional skirts. Unfortunately, this show is not organized nowadays.
As you move towards the North shore, you can enjoy some of the most spectacular beaches. Especially, if you happen to visit this place in winters you will see it crowded with people who come here for watching the surfing done by the professionals. Out of more than 130 beaches, Waikiki beach is the name that comes in mind when talking of beaches in Oahu. Due to its popularity it is attracts many visitors. You can select other less crowded beaches but how can you miss the Longest-running beach party at the Waikiki beach.
Being on Oahu soil, it is the time you go out and meet the local folks to get familiarize with the local culture. You will have every opportunity to make new friends from different ethnic groups. Visit the Ala Wai Canal on weekend, find a good spot to sit and watch the locals playing one of the oldest local sports of Canoe Paddling. Go out and visit the Arizona Memorial of Pearl Harbor Tragedy. You can image yourself at the day when Pearl Harbor was bombed by Japanese warplanes on December 7, 1941. Don’t miss to have a hike with your family at the Diamond Head.