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Top 3 Things to Do on Oahu With Toddlers

Discover the best things to do on Oahu with toddlers

Hawaii is a dream destination for many people who love to travel, and for good reason. The landscape of the islands of Hawaii are like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Lucious jungle mountains, crystal clear ocean waters, and black sand beaches are all common aspects of Hawaii. Oahu is one of the islands frequented by visitors because it features some of the most popular beaches, including Lanikai and Kailua beach. You can also experience the city life of Waikiki while visiting Oahu. However, traveling with little ones can limit the type of activities you can do. Not to worry, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite things to do on Oahu with toddlers to ensure you and your kids have the best time.

As you begin planning your trip to Hawaii, be sure to request a complimentary copy of our Vacation Guide. Inside, you’ll discover local recommendations on all the best aspects of the Hawaiian islands. Find out where to dine, shop, and explore. 

Request the Guide!

Our Favorite Things to Do on Oahu With Toddlers 

Swim with Dolphins

The unique ecosystem of the Hawaiian islands means that there is an abundance of beautiful and unusual marine life. If you’re visiting any of the islands, you should definitely plan to experience some of the islands’ water habitat. If you’re traveling with young ones, there are few better ways to help them discover the island’s sea life then by swimming with dolphins. One of the most popular places for this is at Dolphin Quest. You can choose from a variety of experiences to get exactly what you’re looking for. The Wee Family, Fins, and Fun package is designed for children between the ages of zero and four. This experience allows your child to stay outside the water while still petting and interacting with dolphins. You can also opt for a number of other packages designed for all ages. These experiences allow you and your family to get into the water together and have a more close-up encounter with these beautiful animals.

Attend a Luau

An important part of Hawaiian culture, the luau is a wonderful way to spend an evening on Oahu with the family. You’ll discover a number of luau venues across the island including Tao Luau. During the luau, you’ll dine on slow-roasted pork and traditional coconut pudding before settling around the fire to learn more about the island’s unique culture. This is one of the best things to do on Oahu with toddlers as they’ll get to enjoy the outdoors and Polynesian culture.

Visit Hanauma State Park

One of the most beautiful state parks on the island, Hanauma is an excellent place for visitors of all ages. Of course, there are some hiking trails for older, more advanced hikers, but there are plenty of easy loops as well. You can bring your little ones along to splash around in the shallow, crystal clear waters of the park’s beach. 

Experience the Vacation of a Lifetime with Private Homes Hawaii Rentals Place in Paradise vacation rental

When you’re headed to the islands of Hawaii, you’ll want a beautiful and comfortable places to stay each night. Private Home Hawaii has everything you need with properties on both Oahu and the Big Island. After you’ve spent the day exploring all the best things to do on Oahu with toddlers, you can come back to the Place in Paradise 90/TVU-0248 property. This two-story house has five bedrooms and five and a half bathrooms. It also features a gorgeous outdoor patio where you can enjoy breakfast as you gaze out at the bay. From here, you’ll have easy access to all the best restaurants and activities the island has to offer.

So, what are you waiting for? Browse our catalog of available properties and book your Hawaiian getaway today!

 

Revel in a Sense of Serenity at the Byodo-In Temple on Oahu

Byodo-in Buddhist Temple at the Koolau mountains in the Valley of the Temples in Oahu, Hawaii

beautiful black sand beach on the big island of hawaii aerial view. text reads exploring hawaii access our vacation guideNestled at the foot of the Ko’olau Mountains, the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park draws people year-round. The non-practicing Buddhist Byodo-In Temple on Oahu captivates visitors and locals alike with its serene atmosphere. It’s the perfect place to meditate, relax, and revel in the natural beauty of the surroundings. Continue reading to learn more about the temple. Then, check out our complimentary Vacation Guide for more attractions to add to your list of things to do and see on the island!

All About the Byodo-In Temple on Oahu

History & Significance

Built in 1968, the Byodo-In Temple serves as a replica of the over 950-year old Byodo-In Temple in Uji, Japan, which also happens to be a United Nations World Heritage site! The construction of the Oahu replica commemorated the 100th anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to arrive in Hawaii. Visitors from around the world spend time admiring the beauty and tranquil aura at this unique attraction.

How to Spend Your Day

If you include a visit to the temple in your Oahu itinerary, be sure to check out the following highlights of the temple:

The Amida Buddha

Admire the golden Buddha, named Amida, located within the temple. The famous Japanese sculptor, Masuzo Inui carved this marvelous figure. Be sure to take your shoes off before entering the Hoo-do, or Phoenix Hall, because it is considered a place of worship!

Bon-sho (Sacred Bell)

The Bon-sho, Sacred Bell, was cast with a mixture of bronze and tin in Osaka, Japan. The tone of the bell is said to cleanse the mind of evil and temptation and resounds with a message of deep calm and peace.

The Meditation Pavilion

Spend time pondering your visit, admiring the beautiful scenery, or thinking about the next Oahu excursion on your to-do list beneath the Meditation Pavilion. You can find it on a hill behind the temple.

The Wildlife

Koi make their home in the ponds throughout the property. Guests can purchase fish food from the gift shop to feed the fish! Additionally, visitors can expect to see peacocks, black swans, turtles, frogs, and other animals on the temple grounds.

The Tea House Gift Shop

What used to be a traditional Japanese tea house is now a gift shop that sells miniature temple bells, Buddha statues, local artists’ works, and more!

Events & More

Be sure to check the temple’s events calendar! They often host concerts, classes, workshops, and more throughout the year.

Hours & Admission

Hours: 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. The last entrance to the grounds is at 4:45 p.m.

Admission: General Admission: $5, Seniors: $4, Children: $2

They offer group rates as well!

Stay in a Private Homes Hawaii Vacation Rental

Private Homes Hawaii Niuki Property ocean views The Byodo-In Temple on Oahu is just one of the many exciting things to do and see on the island. Make the most of your dream vacation by staying in a Private Homes Hawaii vacation rental! Revel in the luxury of an oceanfront home with sweeping views of the Pacific in our Niuki home, situated in Honolulu. Whether you’re enjoying the salty air on the lanai or admiring the lulling waves from inside, this home sets the scene for an unforgettable tropical getaway!  

Start planning your vacation today!

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Here’s Why You Need to Visit the 8 Best Oahu Breweries

a colorful flight of beer found at one of the best oahu breweries

Imagine yourself on a tropical island. How would you like to spend your time? Maybe you’d like to take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding ocean, mingle with the local crowd to learn about the best places to visit, and sample some of the tastiest craft brews produced in Hawaii. When you visit one of the best Oahu breweries, you can experience all of the above! Order a flight of beer to sample the flavors of Hawaii and chat with some of the people who live on the island to get awesome input on some of their favorite beaches and outdoor adventures.

If you’re planning a trip to Oahu anytime soon, you should consult our handy Vacation Guide. Between touring all the best Oahu breweries, you’ll have so much to see and do. Guests use our planner to find:

  • The best restaurants on the island
  • Everyone’s favorite hiking trails and nature tours
  • Exciting attractions, festivals, and events
  • Adventurous outdoor and watersport activities

8 Oahu Breweries You Have to Check Out

  1. Lanikai Brewing Company

Don’t miss the opportunity to check out the Lanikai Brewing Company tasting room! Swing by in the afternoon for a few brews at this quaint location in Kailua. You won’t regret it.  

  1. Waikiki Brewing Company

In Hawaii, nobody does it better than the locals. If you’re in the mood for a unique Oahu beer tasting, visit the Waikiki Brewing Company and treat your taste buds to an Aloha Spirit Blonde Ale, a Black Strap Molasses Porter, or an Ala Moana Amber!

  1. Grace in Growlers

Get your hands on some tasty bubbly beverages at Grace in Growlers. Buy beer by the ounce and pour it yourself at Hawaii’s first and only self-serve craft beer tasting room located in Kailua.

  1. Kona Brewing Co.

Celebrate the spirit of “Aloha” with your friends and a chilled glass of beer in hand at Kona Brewing Co.’s Oahu location at the Koko Marina. Taste the flavors of Hawaii and admire the island’s breathtaking beauty. If green-living is important to you, you’ll be glad to know that this company values Mother Earth and brews their beer sustainably by using solar energy, and on-site gardens.

  1. Beer Lab HI

From triple IPAs and mild ambers to sour ales and imperial stouts, the rotating menu at the Beer Lab in Honolulu keeps you on your toes. Experiment with different tastes and revel in the hoppy aromas that fill the air.

  1. Honolulu BeerWorks

Support a local, beer-loving community at a friendly, neighborhood brewpub. Honolulu Beerworks makes the perfect location for laughing about fond memories and creating new ones, all while enjoying delicious, craft beers. Order the perfect bite to eat to accompany your drink and make the most out of your experience!

  1. Aloha Beer Company

Aloha Beer Company is a locally-owned and operated brewery that proudly serves tasty ales and lagers to their guests in Honolulu. Relax on the brew deck, feel the saltwater breeze, and sample the tasty craft beers this brewery has to offer.

  1. The Brewseum

For a unique experience, swing by the Brewseum which serves as a brewpub and a museum. Peruse Hawaiian WWII memorabilia while sipping on a pint of beer. Climb the stairs up to the second level and step into a 1940’s-style speakeasy. After, watch the sunset in the distance while overlooking the island on the lanai.

Uber Home to Your Private Homes of Hawaii Vacation Rental

After a long evening drinking tasty craft beers, chatting with friends, and making memories amid a gorgeous Hawaiian backdrop at one of the aforementioned Oahu breweries, call an uber back to your Private Homes of Hawaii vacation rental. Our homes boast unparalleled comfort, breathtaking views of the surrounding ocean, and convenient access to all there is to see and do on the island.

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Whether you’re touring all the breweries in Oahu, exploring the surrounding waterfalls and beaches, or celebrating Hawaiian culture at an annual Oahu event, you’ll be happy to return to our gorgeous Palione Papalani (Heavenly Sand Dune) property. Discover this oasis of a home for yourself and have the vacation of a lifetime. Book your stay today!

Everything You Need to Know About Diamond Head in Hawaii

Gorgeous view of Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach, and Honolulu Shoreline at sunset

Many people know that Hawaii boasts diverse landscapes and gorgeous scenery. The islands manage to surprise locals and visitors alike with their lush jungles, ethereal beaches, impressive waterfalls, snowy mountaintops, expansive craters, and majestic volcanoes. Diamond Head embodies Hawaii’s natural appeal in a single hike. This state park on Oahu allows visitors to soak in the distinct topography of lava-rock formations and tropical foliage. You don’t want to miss an opportunity to visit one of the most unique destinations in the world.

Visiting Diamond Head, Hawaii deserves a top spot on your bucket list. Explore all that Oahu has to offer. From hiking and biking adventures to fine dining and sightseeing, the fun never stops. Download our free vacation guide that local experts created to help smooth out your itinerary. Within, you can find the best recommendations that travelers swear by. You deserve to experience the vacation you’ve always dreamed of.

All About Diamond Head, Hawaii

Geologists categorize Diamond Head as a volcanic tuff cone, which means they are characterized by their deep-seated magma reservoir and high rims above the crater floor. Locals call the volcano Lēʻahi, in reference to the ahi, or tuna, because the ridgeline resembles the shape of a tuna’s dorsal fin. The close proximity to Honolulu resorts, hotels, and vacation homes makes it a favorite excursion on Oahu. Visitors and locals both harbor respect and awe for this Natural National Monument.

What to Expect From the Hike

What makes Diamond Head the hiker heaven that it is? There’s something to be said about climbing up to the top of a 300,000-year-old volcanic crater. While the hike length isn’t very long, the hiking difficulty can be challenging to some because of the steep ascent. Bring water to ensure you stay hydrated! Also, be aware that the trail often passes through areas of jagged rock. Comfortable shoes make all the difference in the world. Near the end, visitors face 99 steps before they reach the very top of the monument.

At the top, the Diamond Head rewards you with breathtaking, panoramic views of the island. Look out over the vibrant streets of Honolulu, the cerulean blue Pacific, and the fluffy white clouds colliding with the horizon. Experienced athletes and casual climbers both agree that this hike rewards every step you take with unparalleled views. Expect the hike time to reach two hours, roundtrip.

Where to Go After the Hike

Every Oahu itinerary should include hiking to the top of Diamond Head, Hawaii. It makes the perfect morning activity before diving into more outdoor adventures or dining experiences for the rest of the day. Reward yourself with a relaxing afternoon on Waikiki Beach or head back to your Private Homes of Hawaii vacation rental to get ready for an exciting Oahu event!

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Stay in our gorgeous Hale Pohaku property located on the oasis that is Oahu. Our beachfront home captures the essence of Hawaii through tasteful decor and sophisticated design. Step onto the white, sandy beach for a leisurely stroll after a long day of fun. The island is beckoning. Book your stay today!

The Best Oahu Itinerary for a 5-Day Vacation

Make a visit to Haunama Bay part of your 5-day Oahu Itinerary

For such a small island, Oahu boasts endless adventure. Experience the meaning of “Aloha” while basking in the sun’s rays and surrounded by crystal blue Pacific waters. Planning the perfect trip to your dream destination can be overwhelming. We’ve designed the perfect 5-day Oahu itinerary that allows you to enjoy the best the island has to offer. Between volcanic exploration and deep-sea snorkeling, enjoy sweeping views. Life is too short not to follow your dreams. It’s time to take that leap!

Our 5-day Oahu itinerary serves as a great starting place when planning your trip. For more details and suggestions, download our complimentary vacation guide!

Your Go-To 5-Day Oahu Itinerary

Day 1: Hike Diamond Head Trail and Explore Honolulu

Waikiki turtle near diamond head craterWith so many things to do in Oahu, be sure to fuel up with a hearty breakfast. Hikers from around the globe gather on the island to experience Diamond Head, one of the most beautiful natural wonders the planet has to offer. Sweeping, panoramic views span the blue horizon and the colorful city below.

Stop through Honolulu for a light and refreshing lunch at Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha. While in the city, check a few things off your list. Visit the Pearl Harbor and WWII Monument or visit the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Before heading back to your Private Homes of Hawaii vacation rental, have dinner in the city and try a tasty poke bowl.

Day 2: Kayak, Snorkel, and Catch the Sunset

Make kayaking and snorkeling your next big Oahu excursions. Take a tour that requires paddling through the waves in a kayak. The Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve welcomes you to explore coral reefs and diverse marine wildlife. Expect to see sea turtles, colorful fish, and a vibrant underwater ecosystem. After a few hours of snorkeling, grab a quick bite at a nearby cafe.

Spend a few hours lounging on the beach and then head west towards to Kaena Point. The sunsets from the most western point of the island inspire and make for an amazing photo op. You’ll remember this moment for the rest of your life. Vibrant reds and pinks paint the sky above lava shorelines and tidepools. After the sun sets and the moon rises, indulge in a little Honolulu nightlife. Make reservations ahead of time at a Japanese restaurant like Nanzan Giro Giro or an Asian-Hawaiian fusion establishment like Alan Wong’s Restaurant for a taste of Hawaii’s fine-dining scene.

Day 3: Chase Waterfalls and Indulge in Authentic Cuisines

Manoa Falls on OahuNo Hawaii vacation is complete without discovering the best waterfall hikes on Oahu. Hike through lush Hawaiian jungles and encounter towering trees and rushing waterfalls. For large groups and families, consider hiking the Maunawili Falls trail or check out the popular Manoa Falls. If you’re up to the challenge of a more strenuous hike, the Lulumahu Falls appeal to your adventurous side. Explore bamboo forests and come face-to-face with a 50-ft waterfall.

After exerting so much energy in the hot sun, take the time to unwind a little. Dine in luxury, sip fine wine, and soak in gorgeous ocean views. Choose between some of the best restaurants on Oahu. From Vietnamese noodles dishes and vegan pho to Japanese-Peruvian cuisine and authentic Hawaiian food, the dining options leave nothing to be desired.

Day 4: Relax, Meditate, and Soak Up the Sun

Your body needs some tender love and care as you near the end of your vacation. Start your day with a relaxing massage or facial at a highly-acclaimed spa. Once you’re feeling renewed, embark on a journey to the Byodo-In Temple in the Sacred Valley of the Temples. Admire the beauty and surround yourself with a sense of calm in this meditative setting.

Absorb the healing qualities of the salty ocean and humid air. Allow yourself plenty of time to kick back on one of Oahu’s best beaches. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to visit the most popular beach in the world. Waikiki once served as a playground for Hawaiian royalty and, thanks to Duke Kahanamoku, became the birthplace of modern surfing. Listen to the sound of the tide roaring in, feel the sun’s warmth on your skin, take a surfing lesson, and savor each moment you have left on the island.

Day 5: Celebrate Hawaiian Culture

Dive into Hawaiian culture by attending an Oahu annual event. Enjoy an exciting hula show, explore local artwork, or take part in some of the major food festivals. You can also visit the Honolulu Art Museum or the Polynesian Cultural Center to learn even more about Hawaii.

Wrap up your vacation by spending your last evening in nature. Check out Sunset Beach, Haleiwa Beach Park or Waimea Bay and appreciate the natural beauty of the island. By this point, you may already have a return trip in mind.

Make One of Our Vacation Homes Your Hawaii Home

Niuiki Hawaii Kai Private Homes Vacation RentalOur 5-day Oahu itinerary leaves room for flexibility and adaptation depending on your lifestyle preferences. However you choose to spend your time on the island, be sure to spend your nights in a high-quality home. Our vacation rentals boast comfort, quality, and stunning tropical views.

Our Niuiki property provides a soothing environment to rest your head between big adventures. Located halfway between Kahala and Hawaii Kai, this location is ideal for those who wish to see all Oahu has to offer.

10 Exciting Oahu Excursions You Need to Experience

See a beautiful sunrise over Hanauma Bay on an Oahu Excursion

Have you ever noticed that the most strenuous hikes can yield the most rewarding views? Maybe it’s because not as many people are willing to make the trek. Perhaps it’s the satisfaction of achieving your goal. The promise of exciting excursions on Oahu attracts adventurers and nature lovers from around the world. From otherworldly crater hikes and kayaking expeditions to daring zip line tours and underwater journeys, the possibilities on this small island are endless. Whether you’re looking for the perfect day tour for you and the kids or an all-inclusive, private tour of diverse Hawaiian landscapes, you’ll find the perfect fit.

Planning out your entire trip can be overwhelming. Before getting too stressed out, be sure to download our free vacation guide! You’ll find the best recommendations for Oahu excursions, cultural events, dining options, and more. Our local experts meticulously crafted this planner for travelers to rely on throughout the duration of their stay. What are you waiting for? Embark on your adventure today!

The 10 Best Oahu Excursions

1. Oahu Grand Circle Day TourByodo-in Buddhist Temple at the Koolau mountains in the Valley of the Temples in Oahu, Hawaii

The Oahu Grand Circle Island Day Tour takes you to must-see attractions around the island in just one day. You’ll see the Byodo-In Temple, the Dole Plantation, and the world-famous surf spot, Waimea Bay.

2. Oahu Atlantis Submarine Adventure

Looking for the perfect kid-friendly experience that doesn’t require getting wet? The Oahu Atlantis Submarine Adventure takes you to the depths of the ocean. Delight in panoramic views from under the sea featuring vibrant fish, coral reefs, and even sea turtles.

3. Diamond Head Crater Adventure

For an intimate encounter with one of nature’s geological wonders, book a tour with Diamond Head Crater Adventure. You’ll spend three hours climbing one of Hawaii’s most famous volcanoes with valuable commentary provided by a local hiking expert. Once you reach the summit, you’ll have spectacular views of Waikiki Beach, one of the best beaches on Oahu.

4. Ultimate Pearl Harbor Circle Island Tour

History buffs love the Ultimate Pearl Harbor Circle Island Tour. Your guide will share information about Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial. You’ll also see other main attractions on the island such as North Shore beaches, the Hukilau Marketplace, and Halona Blowhole.

5. Oahu Shark DiveHammerhead shark near Oahu

Are you an adrenaline junkie? If so, it’s time to cross shark diving off your bucket list! The Oahu Shark Dive with North Shore Shark Adventures allows you to come face-to-face with these majestic sea creatures from the safety of a professional-tier cage.

6. Kualoa Ranch Zipline Tour

The Kualoa Ranch Zipline Tour is a 2.5-hour excursion that allows you to zoom through treetop canopies. Get a birds-eye view of Oahu’s breathtaking landscapes while you fly through the air. You’ll also learn about native plants and wildlife from your adventure guides.

7. Hanauma Bay Snorkeling Adventure Half-Day Tour

Dive into an underwater expedition with the Hanauma Bay Snorkeling Adventure Half-Day Tour. Explore coral reefs and encounter colorful schools of fish in the Bay’s crystal-clear waters.

8. Kaneohe Bay Kayak and Snorkeling Tourcolorful coral reef with sea turtle and fish in Oahu

Venture away from Oahu towards Coconut Island on the Kaneohe Bay Kayak and Snorkeling Tour. Paddle yourself out to the barrier reef near Kaneohe Bay. Snorkel with marine wildlife such as sea turtles, manta rays, and fish. You’ll learn about Hawaii’s ecosystems and ancient cultural sites!

9. Ultimate Circle Island Adventure with Waimea Waterfall

For an all-inclusive trip around Oahu, join the small group Ultimate Circle Island Adventure with Waimea Waterfall tour. Spend an entire day snapping photos of the island’s most stunning natural attractions. The enchanting waterfalls and magical landscapes will leave you breathless.

10. North Shore and Circle Island Tour

The North Shore and Circle Island Tour is a seven-hour guided excursion that leads you around Oahu’s northern shores. Discover the fabled Valley of the Temples and observe native birds and foliage. You’ll even have a chance to spot sea turtles on Turtle Beach!  

The Best Places to Stay

kailua house ocean breeze private homes of hawaii rental There’s no shortage of things to do on Oahu! From adventurous escapades to relaxing in the sun, the island is calling you to embark on the vacation of your dreams. Browse our list of vacation rentals and find the perfect home away from home where you can rest between Oahu excursions.

Our Ocean Breeze home in Kailua is ideal for small families or couples looking to spend their Oahu vacation tucked away in a private oasis. Wake up to a gorgeous beach sunrise and fall asleep to the sound of the ocean waves breaking just steps away from the house. After one night, you’ll never want to leave.

Our Favorite Things to Do on Oahu with Kids

Learn about some of our favorite things to do on Oahu for kids!

Bringing the little ones with you on a vacation can be both exciting and little stressful. Thankfully, Hawaii is an incredibly kid-friendly place with tons of activities for the little adventurers! We’ve compiled a list of our top recommendations for things to do on Oahu with kids organized from least to most expansive. We’re happy to help make your family vacation planning easier!

If you’re looking for more ways to cut down on your trip planning time, request a copy of our complimentary Vacation Guide. Inside, you’ll find our favorite restaurants, activities, including things to do on Oahu with kids, and so much more.

Five of the Best Things to Do on Oahu with Kids

Our list of great kid-friendly activities is arranged with free and cheap suggestions at the top and more expensive recommendations at the end. We’ve included current prices with each activity, but be sure to double check before booking an excursion as prices and availability are always subject to change.

1. Visit the Beach

If you’re in Hawaii, you should definitely visit some of the gorgeous beaches on Oahu! Our sandy shores are known around the world as being the best, and there’s a good reason for it. Whether you’re interested in trying a new water sport or you’re just looking to lounge on the sand, there are plenty of beaches to suit your needs.

Cost: Depending on the beach and parking, typically very cheap or even free.

2. Experience the Dole Plantation

One of the top tourist destinations on the Islands, the Dole Plantation is a must-see excursion for kids! Weave through a pineapple garden maze or take an express train around the grounds and learn about how the plantation runs. At the end of your tour, be sure to get a large cup of Dole Whip to cool off!

Cost: For a combo ticket to ride the train, do the maze and visit the garden. Adults are $22 and kids ages four through 12 are $18. Kids under 4 are free.

3. Learn to Snorkel at Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay State Park is one of the top snorkeling spots in the world! See the tropical fish and turtles up close and personal. Here, you can experience some of the most beautiful coral, beaches and water around. First-time visitors are required to watch a brief nine-minute video introducing them to the preservation and explaining how to properly experience the environment without harming it in the process. This activity is perfect for people of all ages.

Cost: For round-trip transportation from Waikiki and snorkel equipment rental, it’s $25 a person. This does not include the $7.50 park fee. You can also drive and take a short bus from the parking lot to the beach. However, the parking lot often fills up before 7:30 a.m., so plan to be there early.

4. Visit Sea Life Park Aquarium

Dolphins, sharks, sea lions, and other marine creatures call the Sea Life Park Aquarium home. A visit to this attraction is an exciting way to see these incredible animals up close Watch amazing shows, visit the touch pool area, and learn about the sea and its native inhabitants. If it happens to rain while you’re in Hawaii or if you’re looking for a place to cool off, a visit to the Sea Life Park Aquarium is a must-do with kids of all ages.

Cost: For general admission, adults are $39.99 and kids ages three through 12 are $24.99. Kids under three are free. The aquarium also offers pricing that includes personalized animal encounters—find out more on their website.

5. Discover the Magic at Aulani Ka Wa’a Luau

Half Disney show, half authentic Hawaiian luau, the Aulani Ka Wa’a Luau is an experience your family will remember for years. Be sure to get there right when the gates open to experience all the activities that take place before the show, like learning the art of lei-making. During the show, kids are invited to dance with the performers. Plan on spending about three to four hours at this event, which is weather permitting and only held on certain days.

Cost: Adults are $129, kids between three and nine are $79. Kids under three are free. For VIP seating, adults are $169 and kids are $109.

Hawaii with Kids is Best at Your Home Away from Home

No hotel room can compete with a spacious vacation rental when it comes to bringing kids with you! At Private Homes Hawaii, we have an entire catalog of homes in Oahu for you to select from, all with our world-class concierge service and near many of these excellent things to do on Oahu with kids.

Our oceanfront Kailua home is a four-bedroom property with three and a half bathrooms, making it a spacious place to stay on your Hawaiian vacation with the family. Let the kids enjoy the quiet cul-de-sac and play on the grassy lawn. You can relax in the comfortable media room or on the back patio, which offers beautiful ocean views. The best perk about this property? It’s only two miles from Kailua Beach, one of the best beaches around!


Browse our complete catalog of beautiful properties on the island of Oahu and start planning your vacation today! We can’t wait to help you and your family have the trip of a lifetime.

The Top Five Best Beaches on Oahu for You to Visit

Learn about some of the best beaches on Oahu!

When most people think of Hawaii, the first thing that comes to mind is the beach! All of our islands are known for having gorgeous shorelines with miles of sand for exploring and the perfect waves for swimming and surfing. But Oahu’s coast, in particular, stands out. Whether you’re planning a family vacation or a couple’s retreat, find out our recommendations for the best beaches on Oahu.

To learn more about Oahu and everything we have to offer, be sure to access our Vacation Guide! It contains our top recommendations for fantastic places to eat, great activities, and top places you must see, like our top five best beaches on Oahu!

The Best Beaches on Oahu

When you arrive on Oahu, you may think you have found paradise, and you’re not wrong! Between the friendly people, the laid-back atmosphere, and the breathtaking natural beauty, you’ll discover there is an almost endless list of ways to enjoy the outdoors. Whether you’re sunning, building sand castles, taking a dip, or hanging 10, you’ll want to experience everything the best beaches on Oahu have to offer! Just keep in mind, the waves are calmer in the summer and can get really big in the winter, so plan your trip accordingly and always be cautious when out in the water.

1. Sunset Beach

Located on the North Shore of Oahu, Sunset Beach is world famous for perfect waves and postcard-worthy sunsets. Many professional surfers live on Sunset Beach, which hosts surfing competitions year-round. During the summer, the water is calmer and ideal for swimming or snorkeling. In the winter, however, the waves can be huge and conditions are not suitable for swimmers. You’ll still want to stake out a spot in the sand and watch the big-wave surfers put their skills to the test.

2. Haleiwa Beach Park

The North Shore is known for its big waves and surf contests, but Haleiwa Beach Park is a tucked away beach perfect for the whole family. With lots of parking, picnic areas, basketball courts, and volleyball, there’s so much to do. The crystal-clear water makes this a prime location for swimming and snorkeling. Plus, due to natural barriers that keep the waves from getting too big, this beach has been hailed as one of the best for beginner surfers.

3. Waikiki Beach

No list of the top beaches on Oahu is complete without mentioning what is probably the most famous beach in the world. Waikiki Beach stretches two miles and hosts over four million visitors a year. The turquoise waters are great for swimming, snorkeling, and surfing, and the white sand is perfect for relaxing. Waikiki Beach was once the playground for Hawaiian royalty and, thanks to Duke Kahanamoku, is known as the birthplace of modern surfing.

4. ‘Ehukai Beach Park

‘Ehukai Beach Park is a great beach in the summertime for swimming and relaxing on the sand. It’s home to what’s known as the Banzai Pipeline. Like most beaches on the North Shore, winter brings huge waves that are so mesmerizing, you can sit and watch them break for hours.

5. Waimea Bay

Renowned amongst surfers for its gigantic waves, Waimea Bay is another world famous beach on the North Shore of Oahu. In the summer, the waves aren’t quite as high, so it can be a great place for swimming or snorkeling. In the winter, swimming is basically impossible, but the waves are fantastic for experienced surfers.

Surf Contests on Oahu

When winter brings heavy surf, professional surfers and thousands of fans hit the beaches in search of big-wave glory. A few of the largest contests include the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing in November and December at Waimea Bay, Haleiwa Beach, and Ehukai Beach. The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau is another big contest held between December and February. This event only takes place when and if the waves can be measured at 20 feet or more! Even if you miss one of these big events, you’re bound to find a contest happening no matter when you visit.

Your Home Away from Home for a Beach Getaway

Private Homes Hawaii is the best option for your Oahu beach getaway. We have fantastic properties with our world-class concierge service. Our beachfront and resort villas are perfectly suited to your Oahu vacation, whether it’s a romantic Hawaii getaway or a surf trip with friends. Plus, all of our locations offer easy access to the best beaches on Oahu.

Our three-bedroom, three-bathroom Mokulua Aina property located on the Lanikai loop is perfect for a family vacation. Relax in the large yard with a gorgeous private pool, grill, and lounge chairs. If you’re thinking of bringing some extended family or friends along, you can take advantage of the on-site one bedroom cottage.

Browse the complete catalog of our available Oahu properties to start planning your Hawaii vacation today!

Why You Need to Go Kayaking on Oahu

Discover the best spots for kayaking on Oahu!

The islands of Hawai’i are one of the best places in the world to participate in a range of water activities. While the Aloha State is known as a surfing mecca, there are tons of other sports to partake in during your visit. A favorite water activity for locals and visitors alike is kayaking on Oahu. You can explore the crystal clear sea and witness the natural beauty of the island of Oahu.

To help cut your planning time in half, you should request a complimentary copy of our Vacation Guide! Inside, you’ll discover fantastic suggestions on the best restaurants, and sites to visit as well as other outdoor activities like kayaking on Oahu. Using this unique local insight, you’re sure to have a unique travel experience.

Top 3 Places to Go Kayaking on Oahu

Kailua Beach

Connected to the popular Lanikai Beach, Kailua Beach is another white sand locale with bright blue ocean water. Because Kailua is sheltered from rough currents and waves by a reef, this is an excellent place to go kayaking on Oahu. You can choose to rent kayaks and venture out on your own or sign up for a guided tour.

Kailua Beach Kayaking Adventures offers a two-hour guided excursion, which includes snorkeling, lunch, and transportation. During this tour, you’ll glide past sea turtle feeding grounds with the gorgeous Ko’olau Mountain Range surrounding you.

The North Shore

While most people venture to this area of the island for the surfing conditions, kayaking the North Shore on Oahu is another popular activity. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to explore by yourself, the company Beach Time will deliver kayaks to a number of places along the north shore. Those looking to go river kayaking on Oahu should follow the one-mile route from the Anahulu River to Haleiwa Beach Park. This river is known as one of the best areas to spot sea turtles, so be sure to check the waters as you paddle!

Kaneohe Bay

The waters of Kaneohe Bay are calm and beautiful with dozens of sea creatures living in the reefs. Anyone planning to kayak in Kaneohe Bay should definitely bring snorkeling gear to witness the colorful fish and marine life. Then, be sure to stop at the sandbar known as The Sunken Island. This unique feature, also dubbed the Disappearing Island, is only accessible during low tide but is one of the bay’s most popular attractions, so check the tide charts before heading out.

Enjoy a Stay with Private Homes Hawaii

Private Homes Hawaii has several properties near popular spots for kayaking on Oahu. Large groups or multiple families traveling together will love staying in this Kehaulani rental near Lanikai. With four bedrooms and four bathrooms, this home can accommodate up to ten people. From the back lanai, enjoy stunning views of the Mokulua Islands while grilling up a delicious meal.


Browse our complete catalog of other available properties and start planning your getaway today! We can’t wait to make your trip a memorable one.

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Restaurants on Oahu

Get a taste of authentic Hawaiian cuisine at some of the best restaurants on Oahu!

While everyone loves exploring the outdoors when staying on Oahu, the food scene is almost as unique as the landscape. Whether you’re looking for traditional Hawaiian dishes or something else, Oahu’s culinary scene has food options from across the world. To help you decide where to dine, we compiled a guide to some of the best restaurants on Oahu.

As you plan your trip to Oahu, be sure to request a complimentary copy of our Vacation Guide. It’s the perfect tool to help you plan a stellar getaway. Packed with local insight, this guide will give you more details on the best restaurants on Oahu as well as recommendations for activities and attractions.

Top 3 Best Restaurants on Oahu

The Pig and the Lady

Located in the center of downtown Honolulu, The Pig and the Lady serves up Vietnamese-inspired dishes. From the dinner menu, choose from a number of noodle dishes, grilled meats, or seafood plates.

Order several small dishes, including steak tartare and Konbu cured Hawaiian kanpachi, to share with the table or opt for your own dish. Soup lovers will need an order of the duck pho, and anyone with an affinity for noodles should try the Hawaiian shrimp scampi & squid ink farfalle.

For more Vietnamese options, head to the spin-off restaurant Piggy Smalls, only a few minutes’ drive from The Pig and the Lady. Here, diners can enjoy chicken and vegan pho in addition to a variety of banh mi sandwiches.

Helena’s Hawaiian Food

This unassuming eatery is home to some of the most authentic Hawaiian food on the island. The a la carte menu offers poke, Kalua pig, traditional laulau, tripe stew, and more. You can also choose from set menus, which include different combinations of proteins like lomi salmon and pipikaula short ribs served over poi. If you’ve never tried Hawaiian food before, this restaurant with a James Beard Regional Classic Award is the best place to give it a try.

Nobu

Chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa is famous for his Japanese-Peruvian cuisine and his string of fine dining restaurants throughout the world. Though this isn’t a locally-owned establishment, Nobu’s food is highly renowned and worth tasting. The Honolulu location has been a staple in the food scene for the last 10 years, offering unique and artful dishes.

Select individual plates from the dinner menu such as Yellowtail jalapeno, Monkfish pate, and beef tobanyaki. Or, opt for one of the four tasting menus to experience multiple courses of Chef Matsuhisa’s delectable cuisine. Considered one of the best restaurants on Oahu, Nobu provides more than just good food, it’s truly an experience.

Come Home to a Vacation Rental from Private Homes Hawaii

While exploring some of the best restaurants on Oahu, you’ll need a comfortable place to stay on the island. Private Homes Hawaii offers outstanding accommodations in each of our tasteful properties.

The Hale Mokulua home in Lanikai is large enough to host up to 14 guests with a main house, large loft, and separate cottage. Lounge by the newly added swimming pool or walk just a few steps to the gorgeous Lanikai Beach. This gated property also has high ceilings, a modern kitchen, a covered outdoor lanai, and high-speed internet access.

Browse a complete catalog of our Oahu properties today and start planning your Hawaiian getaway!