Oahu, Hawaii | View from Diamond Head Crater

Instagram Worthy Things to Do and Eat in Oahu, Hawaii

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Oahu, Hawaii | View from Diamond Head Crater
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Although Oahu, Hawaii, is known to be the most touristy and populated island, it’s by far one of my favorite places to visit! The fact that I can go on a heart-thumping hike and then cool down/relax on some of the PRETTIEST beaches just 10-minutes down the road, is my kind of vacation! Whether you are into history, beaching, hiking, surfing, devouring YUMMY Hawaiian food, and/or exploring, Oahu should be your next destination!! If you haven’t been, I hope this list of my favorite Instagram worthy things to do and eat in Oahu, Hawaii inspires you!!!

Let’s break down the island into four parts for this blog post…
South, East, North, and Central.
** Disclaimer: I did not get the chance to explore the western coast (known as the Leeward Coast) due to road damage during one of my trips. But I hear that it’s the quieter side of the island.

I’m personally a fan of the eastern coast and the north shore. With that being said, I HIGHLY suggest staying at an Airbnb and get out of the city! You will enjoy your stay 100000% more, especially when you find out there is a tire swing over the water, just across the street from you! Doesn’t this sound Instagram worthy? Speaking of which, read all about the “Instagram worthy” things to do and eat in Oahu, Hawaii, below and ENJOY!!!

THE SOUTHERN COAST

The southern part is basically where the majority of the population lives in Hawaii because of the major cities, Waikiki and Honolulu. If you enjoy the city life, this is the place to be! Besides the hustle and bustle of the typical skyscrapers, fancy restaurants, and shops, there are places I HIGHLY recommend checking out!! This part of the island will satisfy any type of adventurer. Whether you are a history buff, a hiker, beacher, foodie, or maybe you enjoy a little touristy entertainment, there is something for everyone! Check out some of my personal favorites spots along the southern coast!!

Things to Do and Eat

Pearl Harbor — You cannot visit Hawaii and NOT visit Pearl Harbor (says the person who isn’t a history fan)

Sign up for a Luau at the Hilton Resort — Because every tourist does this at least once! HA!

The Hilton Resort also puts together a FREE fireworks show every Friday night

Koko Head hike — A StairMaster on steroids

Diamond Head Crater hike — very easy, close to Honolulu, and very popular

Leonard’s Bakery — Known for the Malasadas but watch out for long lines

Poke on Da Run — A hole in the wall restuarant known for their fabulous poke bowls

Disney Resort — Go for the Mai Tais and the beach

Honolulu Zoo — A great outdoor activity to do in the city

CENTRAL ISLAND

The central part of the island is not super touristy. And for good reasons, because it’s known for the military ground, residential towns, and fields of pineapples and other vegetation! What makes this area so unique is there are only two ways to get there. North and South. If you’re driving from the eastern shore, you have a make a loop around. Even though the island isn’t that big, the drive time can add up. Especially since there are limited options to get to and from a particular area of the island. But if you need to make a trip from Honolulu to the North Shore, fortunately, this one road straight through the island helps cut time. If you find yourself driving through, be sure to check out these recommendations!

Things to Do and Eat

Dole Plantation — do the “World’s Largest Maze” and enjoy the pineapple ice cream!

Surfers Coffee Bar — Known for the acai bowls and coffee!! To this day, it’s still one of my favorites!!

THE EASTERN COAST

My FAVORITE part of the island!!! The eastern part is very low-key and my kind of spot to hang out on vacation. Many gorgeous hikes, ranches, and the clearest blue water! It’s also where I advise staying during your vacation. You can stay at a cute Hawaiian Airbnb and find the cutest hidden gems. But that’s not the best part as you’ll see below… Check out these recommendations!!! It’s all Instagram worthy!

Things to Do and Eat

Kualoa Ranch (movie tours, horseback riding, ziplining, ATVing, and more!) — Jurassic Park, Lost, and Pearl Harbor were filmed here! AND Kualoa Ranch even hosts weddings! In fact, I photographed a wedding at Kualoa Ranch back in 2016!

Drive the scenic east coast road along the water (so pretty)!!

Lanikai Beach — My favoriteeeee beach but don’t go over the weekend because of crowds and limited parking

Bellows Beach

Olomana Trail — Also known as the Three Peaks hike. It’s dangerous and challenging!

Lanikai Pillboxes hike (easy)

Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha (Shaved ice!!)

THE NORTHERN COAST

The North Shore is known for the cute coastal towns, snorkeling, and food trucks. But it’s mostly known for the biggest waves, especially during the winter season. In fact, while I was visiting Hawaii in 2016 during the “Eddie Aikau Big Wave Contest,” the surfers said there were 60-foot waves!! That’s hard to imagine how that is safe… But maybe I should just ask my surfing brother-in-law, Andrew!

Things to Do and Eat

Explore the North Shore and the small town!

SURF or Watch surfers

Snorkeling

Take your photo in front of the famous painted angel wings at Anahulu and while you’re there, why not have their shaved ice!

Try Haupia Pie at Ted’s Bakery

Giovanni’s shrimp truck — Known for everything shrimp and yummy! Honos Shrimp Truck is delicious as well!

Be sure to save this list for your next visit!! And I hope you enjoyed reading through these Instagram worthy things to do and eat in Oahu, Hawaii!

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EXTRA TIPS!!!

** If you want to feel hip, the locals call Honolulu the “town”

** The North Shore has great beaches too but it is known for surfing and snorkeling. The east side is much calmer! So if you’re looking for a peaceful and relaxing time in the water, go to the eastern coast!

** Plan to be out all day long! Pack your hiking gear, bathing suit, an outfit to go around the island, and snacks.

Book for the Trip

The Guestbook (Madrona Island Series 1)

The Guestbook (Madrona Island Series 1)

Stephanie Schloe

I’m a wedding and lifestyle photographer based in Florida and Virginia. Whether I’m in the mountains or at the beach, my soul feels right at home in the raw beauty of nature. I am genuinely excited to share these adventures with you! Favorite Destination: Railay Beach, Thailand

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