9 Best Non-Touristy Things To Do In Oahu, Hawaii - Updated 2022

non touristy things to do in oahu

Oahu is home to some of the major cities in Hawaii as well as Honolulu, which is the state’s capital. The island boasts prominent places to explore, including Punchbowl Crater, the historic Chinatown, Pearl Harbor National Memorial, and more. It also has a fantastic nightlife scene with lots of excellent dining options. There are amazing accommodations as well, including Vrbo and Airbnb vacation rentals. Apart from exciting tourist attractions, the island comprises a whole lot of things to experience. If you are especially interested in exploring the tradition and heritage of Hawaii, there’s plenty to check out in Oahu. Keep reading to learn about the best non-touristy things to do in Oahu, Hawaii.

1. Savor fun-filled activities at Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach Hawaii,
Source: Photo by Flickr user Steve Bozak used under CC BY 2.0

Waikiki Beach is the premier surfing site in Oahu that made its debut in 1955. Aside from having the best surf spots, this exciting destination also features a myriad of enjoyable recreational activities for individuals of all ages. The location also welcomes novice surfers with its provided surf lessons offered by the licensed Waikiki Beachboys. Indulge in outrigger canoe rides, unwind with the beach umbrella sets, or sail in the 37-passenger catamaran as you admire eye-catching views of the Honolulu skyline and Diamond Head. You can also hold group events with fun things to do for your squad.

Waikiki Beach

Address: Kalakaua Avenuue, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815

2. Explore Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon

An empty Duke Kahanamoku lagoon.
Source: Photo by Flickr user Daniel Ramirez used under CC BY 2.0

Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon is a fantastic 2-hectare (5-acre) man-made wading pool named after Duke Paoa Kahanamoku who is an Olympic swimming champion and Ambassador of Aloha. The lagoon boasts a fantastic water circulation system and an award-winning beach with swaying palm trees sitting adjacent to the lagoon. The location is ideal to have enjoyable moments with family, lounging on a beach chair, or soaking in the sparkling clean lagoon.

Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon

Address: 2005 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815-1917

3. Have a taste of the traditional poke dish

Healthy Hawaiian Poke Dish
Source: Photo by Flickr user Marco Verch Profe... used under CC BY 2.0

Poke is a century-old Hawaiian native cuisine that is popularly served during small and significant events on the island. This healthy food was formerly comprised of seaweed, sea salt, and slices of fish. However, the dish has evolved over the years to include other ingredients such as cucumber and salmon to produce the now internationally enjoyed poke dish.

If you have tried this dish from different locations around the country, then be sure to try it out while you’re in Hawaii to compare!

4. Get a refreshing drink at Lanikai Juice

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

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Posted by Lanikai Juice Hawaii on Saturday, May 23, 2020

Lanikai Juice is an iconic establishment based in Oahu offering fresh and healthy beverages and cuisines. When you feel weary exploring this island, the best way to replenish your lost energy is to walk into this restaurant and savor their healthy and fresh juices. Their offerings are made from local and organic ingredients rich in antioxidants. Lanikai Juice branches are spread out across western and central Oahu. The company helps the community promote healthy habits. Don’t miss out on the tasty cold-pressed juices, mouthwatering smoothies, and freshly squeezed juices offered in this cozy location.

Lanikai Juice

Address: 4346 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA

Website: Lanikai Juice

Opening hours: 7am - 7pm (daily)

5. Sign up for a paddle-board yoga session (from USD 51.0)

At Magic Island in Ala Moana Beach Park, you can join a 75-minute yoga class while afloat the tropical waters of Hawaii. Get first-hand knowledge of specific yoga poses, including reclining, kneeling, and seating, from an experienced instructor while on a floating board. Regardless of your skill level, you will find the lesson educating and fascinating. You can meditate using the Corpse Pose or lying position while being supported by the sea waves. Challenge your skill level by trying some standing poses or any other pose of your choice.

Paddleboard Yoga Class in Honolulu

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

68 reviews

6. Hike up Kulana'ahane Trail

Haiku Stairs
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Hawai Foto used under CC BY-SA 3.0

If you’ve always wondered about Stairway to Heaven but you don’t want to do anything too risky - or illegal? There’s an alternative route you can take that’s just as thrilling. This trail is meant for more experienced hikers, and it takes about 4 hours to complete: 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) on the Kamanaui Valley Road Trail before you reach the trail heading up to Haiku Valley. Do note that even though this trail is better than the unstable path on Stairway to Heaven, you’ll still need to be careful because there’s no railing at the peak.

Kulana'ahane Trail

Address: 1849 Ala Aolani St, Honolulu, HI 96819, United States

Opening hours: 7am - 7pm (daily)

7. Ride an underwater electric scooter (from USD 166.0)

Are you in love with the marine world and wish to explore it? This unique tour will let you explore Oahu’s underwater scene. The tour lasts for about two hours and begins at Keahole Street, Honolulu, where you will meet your fellow adventurers and guide. You will then voyage on a cozy Catamaran where you will see scenic views of the Koolau Mountain range, Diamond Head, Maunalua Bay, and the Koko Crater before finally arriving at the coast of Oahu.

Before you dive underwater, you will be guided on how to operate the self-propelled electric scooter. Explore schools of green sea turtles, living coral reefs, tropical fishes, and more. Drinks and snacks onboard provide ample refreshment after an exciting tour.

Oahu Submarine Scooter Adventure

Duration: 2 hours

1436 reviews

8. Go parasailing (from USD 93.0)

This fantastic, one-hour tour takes you over prominent locations on the island, including the Hawaii Kai Coastline, Koko Head, and the Ko'olau Mountain Range of the Maunaloa Bay. Choose either the standard ride and soar 152 m (500 ft) above water or the extreme ride and soar 213 m (700 ft) high. Indulge in this unique and enjoyable tour regardless of your experience in parasailing. After, you can purchase digital copies of the photos and videos of your tandem flight.

Maunalua Bay Higher Flyer Parasailing Adventure

Duration: 1 hour

208 reviews

9. Take a romantic couple's massage (from USD 400.0)

Add spice to your romantic getaway in Oahu by enjoying a 90-minute Aloha Romance package. Select the intensity and style of your massage while you savor the lavender-scented aromatherapy experience. From hot stones and hot towels to special foot treatments, you’ll definitely feel rejuvenated after your session. Enjoy tasty refreshments and unique chocolates to complement this pampering experience.

90 Minute Couples Aloha Massage

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Don’t miss the fun and excitement in Oahu

You already know about the myriad of touristy things to do in Oahu, but there are several non-touristy things to experience, too. Don’t miss the fun and pleasure in store for you on this island by including these exciting escapades on your itinerary during your visit. To make the most of your vacation, try a little window shopping at the nearby stores if you’re not sure what to buy. Also, check out the best Vrbo vacation rentals near Sunset Beach for more accommodation options.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Ibrahim is a passionate writer with a keen interest in traveling. He not only travels to discover the world but also himself. And when it comes to writing, Ibrahim loves to keep it simple with a...Read more

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