Oahu and Big Island Tourist Attractions
Both rich in culture and history, Oahu and the Big Island each offer an exciting Hawaiʻi itinerary. Besides the sparkling beaches, turquoise waters, steep mountains, and lush forests, both islands offer unique experiences that cater to different tastes.
Whether you want to hike alongside a volcano, indulge in local cuisine, or snorkel beneath the waves, adventure awaits you on the islands.
The easiest way to get around both Oahu and the Big Island is by car, and GoVibe has your ideal vehicle without the hassle of airport rental car companies. We give you freedom and flexibility to explore at your own pace.
Here are some of our favorite things to do on Oahu and the Big Island to experience the best of Hawaiʻi.
In addition to the city of Honolulu with its vibrant nightlife and exciting daytime activities, Oahu features many world-renowned tourist attractions.
You’ll find many low-cost and family-friendly activities on Oahu. From hiking around the gigantic Diamond Head Crater to spending all day lounging at the beach, there’s something for everyone on this bustling Hawaiian island.
Located in the heart of the Manoa Valley on Oahu, this popular tourist attraction offers a magnificent view that’s easily accessible from the city center. The short trail leading to this 150-foot waterfall is well-maintained and suitable for all skill levels. It’s about 1.6 miles roundtrip surrounded by a flourishing forest canopy. You can be in and out in about an hour. Get there early for the best parking in the lower neighborhood.
Glimmering white sands, crystal-clear surf, and 24/7 energy—there’s no wonder why Waikiki Beach is a vacationer’s paradise. Whether you want to swim, snorkel, surf, or simply sunbathe, Waikiki Beach is the perfect leisure spot. It’s walkable from many beachfront hotels or a short drive from a resort along the coast.
Diamond Head Crater
Diamond Head Crater is one of the most impressive natural formations on Oahu and a popular tourist attraction. It’s a gigantic remnant of an ancient volcanic eruption, and the panoramic view of Honolulu after your hike to the top will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your trip.
There are few spots as deeply entrenched in history as Pearl Harbor. This solemn WWII memorial is an ever-present reminder of the bravery and sacrifice of our armed forces, and it is a must-visit if you’re on Oahu. Entry is free, but reserve your spot early for a guided tour.
Hanauma Bay is a stretch of protected beach and marine life conservation area. It’s hands-down one of the best snorkeling experiences on Oahu. This tourist attraction is a spellbinding spot surrounded by rich greenery and a vibrant reef with thousands of tropical fish.
Nestled within the Valley of Temples Memorial Park, this scaled-down replica of Japan’s 950-year-old Byodo-In Temple is an architectural marvel. The place is known for its serene atmosphere where you can meditate, pray, or simply have a moment of stillness and contemplative quiet.
North Shore Hiking
The North Shore of Oahu is less crowded than some of the tourist attractions in Honolulu, and it’s especially great for hiking. You’ll find some big-wave beaches, gardens, and surf towns to get an authentic experience of the island’s culture.
Polynesian Cultural Center
The Polynesian Cultural Center is the most beloved cultural exhibition in all of Hawaiʻi. What makes it unique is its hallmark live exhibition ‘Islands of Polynesia’, which brings together the cultures of six island nations in an interactive experience. Stay for dinner and a phenomenal show.
There are just as many interesting things to do on the Big Island as there are on Oahu, but what makes this island a unique tourist attraction is its active volcanoes. See the lava flows and iconic black sand beaches.
The island is also enormous, which makes it a more desirable option for those looking to enjoy the beauty and adventures of Hawaiʻi in a more secluded and laid-back fashion. If you’re visiting the Big Island, here are a few spots definitely worth the drive.
Onekahakaha Beach Park
Onekahakaha Beach Park is a family-friendly park overlooking Hilo Bay that’s perfect for a morning swim and picnic. You can also snorkel in the tide pools. If you’re vigilant, you’ll even spot Hawaiʻi’s majestic green sea turtles relaxing in the shallows.
Punaluu Black Sand Beach
Black sand beaches are unique tourist attractions on the Big Island that can’t be found on Oahu, and Punaluu Black Sand Beach happens to be the most famous one. Hiking, snorkeling, swimming, and green sea turtle watching are some of the most popular things to do on this Big Island beach.
Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park
If you’re visiting the Big Island, it’s most likely because of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Exploring the steam vents and lava tubes while witnessing the eruption of an active volcano will undoubtedly be a highlight of your trip.
Touring a coffee plantation is one of the more unique things to do on the Big Island. Experience first-hand why Kona coffee is a world-renowned specialty. Most of the plantations offer 30-minute tours of their farms and production processes—and, of course, you can sample the brew. It’s a rich educational experience that will complete your stay on the island.
Reserve Your Ride
Public transit is slow, and relying on ride-shares and taxis will quickly break your budget. If you want to hit all of these Oahu and Big Island tourist attractions, you’ll need your own vehicle. GoVibe makes it easy to book your Hawaiʻi rental car.
We’re a locally owned and operated company with rates up to 25% less than the national airport chains. Plus, we’ll never make you take a shuttle to find us or wait in a long line at the counter. We pick you up the moment you arrive at the airport.
Book now with free cancellation until 24 hours before your rental date. If you have any questions or special requests, contact us. We enjoy every moment in Hawaiʻi, and we wish the same for you!