So you’ve booked your Oahu vacation. Now the next step is deciding what Oahu attractions to visit while you’re there.
Now we all know that a romantic vacation requires time for spontaneity, but planning a few vacation activities before you leave can help you avoid disappointment on the trip. There’s nothing worse than arriving at an Oahu attraction and finding it closed, or finding that the admission costs will blow your carefully planned vacation budget.
This historic site is the top Oahu attraction. The United States was forever changed by the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Visitors from around the world come to the naval base to pay tribute to the nearly 2,000 people who lost their lives there.
Pearl Harbor is a free Oahu attraction. Tickets to visit the USS Arizona memorial are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Try to arrive at the site early and expect to wait up to an hour to see the memorial, which remains a top visitor attraction in Honolulu.
While visiting Pearl Harbor, you can also watch a 20-minute film about the attack. The visitors center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, but the last tour leaves at 3 p.m., so plan to arrive at this attraction no later than early afternoon.
The North Shore of Oahu
One place to definitely include in your romantic Hawaii vacation plans is the North Shore of Oahu. A day at this world-renowned beach can include all the classic activities, like swimming, sunbathing and having a leisurely picnic.
But surfing is the real draw at this Oahu attraction. Many travel websites claim that the North Shore of Oahu is home to some of the best surfing conditions in the world. Even if you’d never set foot on a surfboard, you can spend the day watching the experienced surfers who flock to the beaches.
You might even catch a glimpse of some professional surfers riding the North Shore of Oahu’s waves.
Oahu attractions – Photo from Hawaii Visitors Bureau.
Diamond Head State Monument
The Diamond Head State Monument is one of Hawaii’s most well-known landmarks. You’ve probably seen it’s large round crater on postcards or Oahu attraction brochures.Hawaii’s Division of State Parks says this crater was formed by a single volcanic eruption about 300,000 years ago.
If you take the 2-hour hike to the Diamond Head summit, you’ll be treated to one of the most gorgeous sites in romantic Hawaii, with sweeping views of the coastline. If you visit in the winter, you might even see a humpback whale or two passing by.
But be aware that this hike isn’t for everyone. The hiking trail can be steep and uneven, and includes a climb up nearly 200 stairs.
Diamond Head State Monument is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. There is an entrance fee of $5 per car or $1 per person.
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
The Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is an extremely popular Oahu attraction for snorkeling. It is known as the perfect destination for snorkeling. Here you’ll find sparkling clear water and be treated to romantic views of the coral reefs and brightly colored tropical fish.
The Hanauma Bay preserve is run by the city of Honolulu. It is open daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., except Tuesdays. Admission is $5 per car or $1 per visitor. Children under 13 are free. Plan to arrive early because when the parking lot fills up, visitors will be turned away.
You can rent snorkeling equipment such as masks, fins and snorkels, at the beach.
The Iolani Palace
What’s more romantic than feeling like a prince or princess? Then a visit to Iolani Palace should be on your list of Oahu attractions in romantic Hawaii. The Palace is the only official royal residence in the United States.
The Iolani Palace is in downtown Honolulu. You can tour this Oahu attraction Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Guided tours are available in the mornings, for a fee of $20 each. You can also choose an audio tour or a self-guided tour for a lower price.
Go Oahu Card by Smart Destinations works as an all-inclusive ticket to over 30 sights, activities and attractions including The Grand Circle Island Tour, Sea Life Park, the Makani Catamaran, Pearl Harbor tour, Hanauma Bay snorkeling and much more. Visit as many attractions as you want on each day and choose exactly how much time you need—from 1 to 7 days. Go Oahu Card can save you as much as 55% compared to buying separate admission tickets and includes a free full-color guide book as well as discounts for local shopping and dining. Plus, 3, 5 or 7-day card holders receive one free bonus attraction: Germaine’s Luau, the Polynesian Cultural Center, surf lessons on Waikiki Beach or a one-day car rental.
If you’re interested in learning more about the history and culture of Hawaii, then Iolani Palace is a must-see on your romantic vacation here.
The Iolani Palace is located in Honolulu. When visiting the Iolani Palace, there is so much for you to do and see. Depending on the day of your visit, you can shop the Palace shop, listen to band concerts, or take a guided tour.
The Iolani Palace, the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, the North Shore of Oahu, Pearl Harbor, and the Diamond Head State Monument are just a few of the many great Oahu attractions you might plan to visit on your romantic Hawaii vacation.
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