Oahu Sights and Attractions

In addition to its natural beauty, Oahu is a rewarding visitor destination full of cultural and historical sights and attractions. Beyond the crystal-blue waters, white sand beaches and majestic mountains, discover the diversity of this Island experience and the variety of famous landmarks and attractions.


  • Honolulu Zoo
    Lions, rhinos, giraffes and other African species are just a few of the featured animals in the "African Savannah" on a 10-acre preserve. The Honolulu Zoo offers after-dark "Zoo By Moonlight" tours and Wednesday night concerts during the summer months.

    On the corner of Kapahulu Avenue and Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki
    Telephone: (808) 971-7171
    Web site: www.honoluluzoo.org

  • Sea Life Park
    View Hawaii's colorful marine life in an incredible ocean display. It's an outstanding example of an educational entertainment center, featuring dolphins, seals, sea lions, sea turtles and penguins.

  • Waikiki Aquarium
    Explore the aquatic life of the tropical Pacific! The Waikiki Aquarium offers interactive exhibits and features a Hawaiian reef tank and a touch tank for children. This aquarium features more than 420 species of aquatic animals and plants to explore.

    2777 Kalakaua Ave.
    Telephone: (808) 923-9741
    Web site: www.waquarium.org

Cultural Sights

  • Byodo-In Temple
    The Byodo-In Temple showcases a replica of a 900-year-old Japanese temple, a detailed architectural treasure, situated against the backdrop of the majestic Ko'olau mountains. Here in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park, you can enjoy beautiful Japanese gardens, tranquil koi ponds, flowing streams and a garden gazebo. Built in 1968, the Temple was created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii. It is located on Oahu's Windward coast in Kaneohe.

    Telephone: (808) 239-5570

  • Chinatown
    As the first Chinese immigrants started arriving in Oahu in 1852, they began moving into urban Honolulu and established a community in the area that is now known as Chinatown. This section of downtown Honolulu offers art galleries, open-air markets, upscale Pacific Rim restaurants and traditional noodle shops, giving Chinatown its own distinct flair.

    For a historical walking tour of Chinatown, contact the Chinese Chamber of Commerce

    Telephone: (808) 533-3181

  • Polynesian Cultural Center
    Welcoming over one million visitors annually, this 42-acre park features Polynesian village settings from ancient Hawaii, Samoa, the Marquesas, Tahiti, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand. Demonstrations of their daily lives and indigenous crafts are featured. Traditional and modern dance from each part of Polynesia is featured in a spectacular evening show. The Polynesian Cultural Center is located in Laie on Oahu's North Shore.

    55-370 Kamehameha Highway
    Laie, HI 96762

Historical Landmarks

  • Aloha Tower
    Located along the waterfront in downtown Honolulu, the Aloha Tower is one of Honolulu's most recognized landmarks. The Tower was built in 1926 and was the tallest building in Hawaii until the mid-50s. Today, the Tower still serves as an active control tower for the bustling Honolulu Harbor.

    Telephone: (808) 566-2337

  • Arizona Memorial/Pearl Harbor
    The U.S.S. Arizona Memorial Visitor Center chronicles the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. On that day, more than 2,400 Americans lost their lives in the harbor. Today, the 184-foot Arizona Memorial spans the hull of the sunken ship. The Visitor Center shuttles visitors by boat to the Memorial.

  • Battleship Missouri Memorial
    While visiting Pearl Harbor, you can also tour the Battleship Missouri Memorial, the home of the most celebrated battleship built by the U.S. Navy. Stroll the 53,000-square-foot teak deck and relive history on the Surrender Deck, where World War II came to a close.

  • Iolani Palace
    Completed in 1882, Iolani Palace is the only Royal Palace in the United States and was restored several years ago. It was the residence of King David Kalakaua and Queen Liliuokalani. Today it welcomes guests to tour the grand residence of Hawaiian royalty. Iolani Palace is located in Honolulu.

    At South King and Richards Streets
    (808) 538-1471 - for tour information
    (808) 522-0832 - for reservations

  • King Kamehameha Statue
    Across the street from Iolani Palace stands a replica of the original Kamehameha Statue.

  • National Memorial Cemetary of the Pacific
    The National Memorial Cemetary of the Pacific at Punchbowl, which is located in an extinct volcano crater, is the resting place for more than 30,000 American servicemen (and their families) from World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

    Telephone: (808) 532-3720

Scenic / Hikes

  • Diamond Head Crater & Scenic Lookout
    Explore one of Hawaii's most distinctive natural landmarks. Just minutes from central Waikiki is the Diamond Head Crater & Lookout offering views of Molokai and Lanai on a clear day. Hike to the summit, which is 763 feet high, and enjoy one of the most breathtaking views of Waikiki.

  • Dole® Plantation & Maze
    On your way to the North Shore, stop for a refreshing Dole Whip® at the Dole Plantation. Still a working part of the Dole empire, the Plantation is a tribute to the role that the pineapple plantations played in the development of the Islands. The Pineapple Garden Maze, with 1.7 miles of manicured paths is a spectacular environmental puzzle recognized as the World's Largest Maze in the 1998 Guinness Book of Records. Telephone: (808) 621-8408

  • Manoa Falls
    If you enjoy hiking, the hike to Manoa Falls takes you through a rainforest trail and rewards you at the end of the trail with a beautiful waterfall and a quiet pool at the bottom. Swimming in the pool is discouraged. This is a great spot for a peaceful picnic lunch under the shade of the rainforest trees.

  • Nu'uanu Pali Lookout
    The Nu'uanu Pali Lookout offers one of the most breathtaking panoramic views of the sheer cliffs of the Ko'olau mountains and the Windward coast of Oahu. Set 3,000 feet above the coastline, this spot is where Kamehameha won the struggle that united the Islands under one rule in 1795.

  • Waimea Valley Adventure Park
    Visit this 1,800-acre park in a picturesque valley above Waimea Bay. There are 6,000 plant species in the park including plants from other regions. Stroll through the gardens and enjoy Waimea Falls. Guided tours explain the lifestyle of native Hawaiians who inhabited the valley centuries ago.

    Telephone: (808) 638-8511


On Oahu, many visitors choose to explore the islands via TheBus, the City & County of Honolulu's award-winning bus system. TheBus was twice named "America's Best Transit System". As a result, Reader's Digest named TheBus to its "America's 100 Best" list, which spotlighted people, places, inventions and ideas that make "the nation worth celebrating."

TheBus provides regularly-scheduled fixed-route service along 93 routes that serve all areas of Oahu. There are approximately 4,200 bus stops on the island. With a fleet of 525 buses, the City and County of Honolulu's award-winning system provides bus service within reasonable walking distance. Riders may pay one-way fares or purchase monthly bus passes. Persons over 65 can ride at a discounted rate. For fare and schedule information, visit TheBus's website.

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