With so many sights and attractions located on the island of Oahu, your tropical vacation can really be done right when you spend at least a week exploring this stunning destination. Bring along the family and create special memories together participating in some of these family things to add to your Oahu 1 week itinerary!
With so many beaches to choose from on the island of Oahu, you’re sure to find several that fit the needs and interests of your family. For families traveling with younger children or those who prefer the relaxing aspect of hitting the beach, the Ko Olina beach lagoons provide a tranquil oceanfront experience. With rock barriers that protect against larger ocean waves, here you’ll find calm, clear water perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and stand-up paddle boarding. The beaches of Waikiki are good for those who want to play in the waves, take a surf lesson, or try their hand at boogie boarding. Oahu’s North Shore beaches are known around the world for surfing. Surf schools dot the northern coast, where there are plenty of options for learning how to ride the waves. During winter months, the huge swells that hit the North Shore are best left for the pros, but spectators gather along beaches such as Sunset Beach to people watch as experienced surfers take to the waves.
While there’s plenty of fun to be had along the sandy shorelines of Oahu, don’t miss what lies just beneath the water’s surface. Snorkeling is a fun beach activity that will get the whole family engaged, from small children to grandparents. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is an excellent spot for the whole family to snorkel. Entry into the water is easy from the sandy shoreline, and the sandy ocean floor soon gives way to coral reef, so there is no need to venture too far from shore to experience the variety of Oahu’s marine life.
Leave the calorie counting behind during your Oahu getaway, because there are plenty of good eats and cold treats for the whole family to enjoy. Shave ice is a popular treat on a hot beach day in Oahu, and you’ll find a wealth of shops offering tropical flavors such as guava, pineapple, coconut cream, passionfruit, li hing mui, and lychee. When it comes to dining, you’ll find everything from casual food truck fare to upscale meals along the oceanfront. Perhaps one of the best options for dining is to pick up takeout from some of the best Oahu restaurants and bring it down to the beach to be enjoyed with your toes in the sand! Paia Fish Market is a great place to get fresh seafood, and families appreciate their budget friendly kids’ menu where everything is $6.
While many families soak up as much beach time as possible while on the island, some of Oahu’s family-friendly Ko Olina things to do can also be great additions to the Oahu 1 week itinerary. Boat excursions that include snorkeling and dolphin or whale (in season) sightings are entertaining for the whole family. Other adventure activities such as zip lining, horseback riding, and off-road excursions cater well to families traveling with older children.
Marine life is a big draw of the ocean in Oahu, but it’s not always easy to enjoy up close encounters with species such as dolphins in their natural habitat. For families who want to make sure they get some dolphin time in during their stay on Oahu, Dolphin Quest provides a truly memorable experience. Within their 26,000 square foot lagoon, participants can enter into the water alongside the dolphins to swim and interact with these friendly creatures. A Family Swim Program is available for parents who want to experience this together alongside their children.
The beauty of the outdoors goes far beyond Oahu’s waterfront. Spend some time away from the beach exploring the island’s soaring mountains, lush waterfalls, and beautiful backcountry! For active families, family-friendly Oahu hikes such as Diamond Head or Manoa Falls are memorable excursions. A hike up the Diamond Head Crater provides stunning views over the Honolulu and Waikiki skyline.
More outdoor adventures await at destinations such as Kualoa Ranch, where families can enjoy off-roading, mountain biking, ziplining, horseback riding, and more. Set on 4,000 acres of land, the excursions at Kualoa Ranch take visitors through undeveloped land, rich with stunning views from mountain ridges to lush valleys to the ever-blue ocean. As the filming site of Jurassic World, visitors truly experience a lush jungle world once setting foot onto the Kualoa Ranch! Throughout your adventures, learn more about Hawaiian traditions and native flora and fauna.