From its historic Chinatown and a crater that was turned into a cemetery to the legendary Waikiki Beach and the iconic Pearl Harbor, Oahu is a place with a little bit of everything. The island is part of the Hawaii island chain in Central Pacific, and home to Honolulu, the impressive Hanauma Bay with its turtle preserve, as well as watersports opportunities galore. Oahu can be whatever you want it to be, from a romantic honeymoon location to a solo traveler’s place to reconnect with nature, and so on. Read on as we explore the best things to do alone in Oahu, Hawaii.
1. Take a walk down history lane at the Iolani Palace
One of the best ways for travelers to immerse themselves into the history of Hawaii and the national identity is by visiting its historic landmarks, and one that’s unmissable is the Iolani Palace, the only official royal palace in the United States. Visitors can opt for a guided tour, or if they want to take their time and explore it at their own rhythm, there’s always the option of a self-guided tour. Some of the palace collections on display include historic furniture, a collection of Royal Orders, but also military accessories and clothing.
Address: 364 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96813
Website: Iolani Palace
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9am - 4pm (closed on Sun)
Price: 20 USD
2. Catch cultural programs at Royal Hawaiian Center
The Royal Hawaiian Center is a shopping mall in Honolulu with over 110 stores, selling anything from fine jewelry and gifts to luxury and classic timepieces. The Royal Hawaiian Center is not just a shopping venue though, but it’s also an excellent destination for dining and entertainment. There are 30 dining spots on site, so options are plentiful. What makes this place unique though, is the complimentary entertainment, including music, hula, cultural classes, and Hawaiian traditions. If you’re traveling solo, this can be a great way to meet new people, become friends with locals, and dig a little deeper into their culture.
Royal Hawaiian Center
Address: 2201 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
Website: Royal Hawaiian Center
Opening hours: 10am - 10pm (daily)
Kailua Beach is the second most beautiful of the Oahu beaches, right after the Lanikai Beach. A real spectacle to the eyes, Kailua Beach is home to soft, white-powder sand and the most turquoise water you’ll ever see. The water is usually calm, making it an excellent location for swimming, but the small waves sometimes turn it into an ideal spot for water sports like kayaking and kite surfing.
Kailua Beach Self-Guided Kayak Adventure to the Mokulua Islands
Number of Reviews 0
If you’re traveling solo and you’re looking for the best way to start exploring the best parts of Oahu, a Grand Circle Island tour might be a great choice. You will get to see lots of sights in one day, and get an idea of what Oahu has to offer, so you know what part of the island you want to come and revisit, and what you want to focus the rest of your vacation on. Whether it’s the majestic forested mountains, the blue waters, the Dole Pineapple Plantation, or a sea turtle’s natural habitat, it’s all worth the visit.
Oahu Grand Circle Island Day Tour
Number of Reviews 705
5. Hike to Makapuu Point Lighthouse
Located on the eastern point of Oahu, the Makapuu Point Lighthouse is a moderately easy hike away, with scenic views of the Windward Coast and sights of the island of Molokai in the distance, but all very much worth the effort. The lighthouse was built in the early 1900s, and today it sits on a cliff overlooking the Makapuu Beach. The trail leading to the lighthouse has been recently repaved, making it even easier to get there.
Makapuu Point Lighthouse
Address: Makapuu Lighthouse Rd, Honolulu, HI 96825, USA
Website: Makapuu Point Lighthouse
6. Get a massage at LaaKea Spa
Visit our website to book one of our amazing packages. The Sea of La'akea package offers a body scrub, Swedish massage,...Posted by La'akea Spa Hawaii, LLC on Friday, 30 March 2018
After a full day exploring the fascinating land of Oahu and taking in its magnificent sights, what better way to relax than with a spa massage that will rejuvenate not only your body but your mind and spirit too. The Laakea Spa offers a variety of massage services for either singles or couples and of different durations. Guests can opt for the Laakea Four-Hands Massage, which is an amazing experience with lots of benefits for circulation, a Lomi Lomi Massage that is part of a holistic healing tradition, a Swedish Massage, a Sports Massage, or the Laakea Massage that lets you select your favorite aromatherapy scent for a blissful experience.
Address: 2169, Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach, Kalia Rd #129 5403, Honolulu, HI 96815
Website: LaaKea Spa
Opening hours: 10am - 6pm (daily)
Price: 75 USD onwards
Formed within a volcanic cone, the Hanauma Bay has been declared a protected marine life conservation area, as it hosts a pristine marine ecosystem with a wide variety of reefs and fish living in the waters here. Travelers come here for the best snorkeling experience on the island. The snorkeling gear can be rented on site, so all you need to bring is your bathing suit and good skin protection. Guests should keep in mind that the place can get crowded, as it is a one-of-a-kind location in Oahu, but its beauty makes up for it.
Hanauma Bay Snorkeling Adventure Half-Day Tour
Number of Reviews 397
Whether you’re a history buff or not, visiting the five historic sites of Pearl Harbor about 30 minutes from Waikiki is a must. The events that occurred here on December 7, 1941, definitely changed the course of history and had a big impact on creating the world as we know it. Visiting these places can be a powerful experience, as you get to listen to first-hand stories from survivors, walk through an airplane hangar,
Passport to Pearl Harbor
Number of Reviews 1
9. Go shopping at Ala Moana
Sprinkled with palm trees and green spaces, Ala Moana Center is home to over 350 stores and restaurants, offering its visitors an island-worthy shopping experience. Travelers can find lots of souvenirs and Hawaiian clothes here, but also some of the usual go-to brands like Abercrombie & Fitch, Apple, and Bloomingdale’s. The dining options range from casual snacks to fine dining, as their list includes full-service restaurants, grocery stores, and quick service restaurants.
Address: 1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814
Website: Ala Moana
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9:30am - 9pm; Sun: 10am - 7pm
If you’re a scuba diving newbie but would like to explore everything Oahu and the Hawaiian waters have to offer, you can join a beginner’s scuba diving tour. Throughout the three hours and a half, you’ll learn the basics of this water sport from a qualified instructor. The warm and calm Hawaiian waters are among the best places to learn how to scuba dive. By the end of the tour, participants will try two boat dives in shallow waters, in two different scuba diving sites. The tour requires no previous experience, and participants will be provided with all gear necessary.
Beginner Scuba Dive with Turtles
Number of Reviews 2
Oahu, a natural paradise worth exploring by yourself
If you love traveling solo, Oahu should definitely be on your list. From snorkeling at Hanauma Bay and diving with sea turtles to taking in the history at Pearl Harbor and shopping at Ala Moana, Oahu offers its visitors a unique and diverse experience, with something for everyone. Check out our list of the best things to do alone in Oahu, Hawaii, and get inspired.
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.