First-Timer’s Ultimate Guide to Oahu Part 3: Shop & Do

First-timer's Ultimate Guide to Oahu Part 3: Shop & Do | Here & Air

First-Timer’s Ultimate Guide to Oahu Part 3: Shop & Do

This is the final of the First-timer’s Ultimate Guide to Oahu Series. This post will go over shopping and attractions. I’ve included a map at the end that combines the locations from all three series. Let me know if there’s anything I could add to this list!



1. Aloha Stadium Swapmeet
Buy your souvenirs here! (Lihing sour patch and sourbelts mMmm)

Aloha Stadium Honolulu Hawaii

2. Ala Moana Shopping Center

Cheap to high end stores.

3. Waikiki Beach Walk
A mix of low to high end shops, mostly high end.



1. Take an ATV tour at Kualoa Ranch
Fun and exciting way to see the beautiful ranch and the numerous film locations.
Kualoa Ranch ATV Tour Honolulu Hawaii Kualoa Ranch ATV Tour Honolulu Hawaii Journey 2 the Mysterious Island Kualoa Ranch Honolulu Hawaii Kualoa Ranch ATV Tour Honolulu Hawaii


2. Parasail
We did the one with X-treme Parasail. You get a peaceful and amazing view of the island from above.
X-treme Parasail Honolulu Hawaii X-treme Parasail Honolulu Hawaii 800_IMG_0248 800_IMG_0244


3. Polynesian Cultural Center
One of the best luaus on the island. $80 for general admission + luau buffet dinner package or $50 for general admission without luau. There’s plenty of entertainment here: IMAX, canoe pageants, and exploring the different villages (watch them climb a coconut tree!).

_MG_7505First-timer's Ultimate Guide to Oahu Polynesian Cultural CenterFirst-timer's Ultimate Guide to Oahu Polynesian Cultural CenterFirst-timer's Ultimate Guide to Oahu Polynesian Cultural Center Luau


5. Rent a moped
Easy transportation. It’s how we got around the majority of the time. Such a memorable experience…just don’t make the mistake of getting on the highway like we did…

Nico's Pier 38 Mopeds Honolulu Hawaii Nico's Pier 38 Honolulu Hawaii Mopeds


6. Snorkel at Hanauma Bay
As mentioned above, it’s free if you have your own snorkel gear and come before it opens.

Snorkerling Hanauma Bay Honolulu Hawaii


7. Cliff dive at Waimea Bay
I was too afraid the first time because we got there when the sun had gone down and everyone had already left. When I came back to Hawaii the second time, I was finally able to cross cliff diving off my bucket list. I am left with permanent bruises on my leg, I’m quite proud of them.

First-Timer's Ultimate Guide to Oahu Waimea Beach Cliff Dive


8. Do a scavenger hunt inside the maze at Dole Plantation
This was so much fun! Treat yourself to a pineapple dole whip float afterwards! Also, did you know red pineapples exist?First-timer's Ultimate Guide to Oahu Dole Plantation Red Pineapple_MG_7922 Dole Plantation Honolulu Hawaii


9. Visit the Byodo-In Temple
For a second I felt like I was in Japan. Pretty magical.

Byodo-In Temple Honolulu Hawaii Byodo-In Temple Honolulu Hawaii


10. Have a picnic at the China Man’s Hat (Mokoli’i)
Cool place for photos and picnics.

China Man Hat Honolulu Hawaii
11. Pali Lookout (Nu’Uanu Pali)

It can get extremely windy at this lookout, but you get gorgeous views of the mountains. Apparently, this is where King Kamehameha had his final battle.

Pali Lookout Honolulu Hawaii North Shore ATV Tour Honolulu Hawaii


12. Go hiking
Hawaii is filled with scenic trails. Here’s a few popular ones:
– Diamond Head Hike
– Manoa Falls
– Koko Head Trail
– Lanikai Pillbox Hike
– Top of Tantalus

Diamond Head Hike Honolulu Hawaii Diamond Head Hike Honolulu Hawaii _MG_8154-2


13. Infinity pool at the Sheraton Hotel
Even if you’re not staying here, take a dip at their infinity pool and grab a drink at their bar (Edge of Waikiki) while you’re at it.

First-timer's Ultimate Guide to Oahu Infinity PoolFirst-timer's Ultimate Guide to Oahu Sheraton Waikiki Infinity Pool


14. Maita’i Catamaran Sail
Cool experience. You see the city from the other side of the ocean. They usually have Groupon deals.

First-timer's Ultimate Guide to Oahu Maita'i Catamaran SailFirst-timer's Ultimate Guide to Oahu Maita'i Catamaran Sail
15. USS Arizona Memorial

Free, but make sure to get there early.

There are a million more things to do in Oahu. These are just the most popular things for your first time. If you have a favorite must-do not listed above, let me know! I seriously want to go back to Hawaii now after writing this out. I might just book my next plane ticket there. 😉

Check out Part 1 (the best beaches) & Part 2 (where to eat) here!


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