What to Do Beyond the Beach in Oahu

Sponsored by Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

Oahu is a beach lover’s paradise, but if you’ve hand your fill of the waves for a day or simply need a little sunburn break, this vibrant island filled with history, nature and sports will keep the entire family busy.

Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa is nestled in the vibrant Ko Olina community and just a short distance from Honolulu, Waikiki and Kailua—havens for world-class sightseeing and cultural activities.

Pacific Aviation Museum

Pearl Harbor’s Pacific Aviation Museum seeks to memorialize the hard work and sacrifice not only of those who lost their lives on that fateful day in 1941, but also throughout World War II and in years since. The museum is home to a wide array of aircraft, including the Aeronca Model 65TC, Curtiss P-40EWarhawk, and Douglas SBD Dauntless.

In addition to checking out the museum’s extensive aircraft collection, be sure to take the Aviator’s Tour, which will grant you an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at operations within the Hangar 79 Restoration Shop.

Polynesian Cultural Center

For another taste of local culture — and adventure — check out the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) in Laie. The attraction is unique in that it is both a theme park and a museum, bringing to life six Pacific cultures. Originally opened in hopes of providing financial support for BYU-Hawaii students, PCC has since transformed into one of Hawaii’s top non-beach tourist attractions.

Bishop Museum

Also known as the Hawaiʻi State Museum of Natural and Cultural History, the Bishop Museum houses over 24,000 items of historical and cultural significance. The museum is perhaps best known for its Realms of Hawaiian Hall, which delves into various facets of Hawaiian culture.

The Science Adventure Center is just as intriguing, as it offers a fascinating take on the latest research in oceanography and volcanology.  You can also opt for a behind the scenes tour to see secure collections and special cultural pieces with a private guide.

Aloha Stadium

Hawaii may lack pro sports teams, but college athletics are a big deal on the island of Oahu. If you visit during football season, be sure to snag a ticket for a Rainbow Warriors home game at Aloha Stadium. The largest outdoor arena in the state, Aloha Stadium also regularly hosts major musical acts, including Janet Jackson, U2, and Ziggy Marley.

Turtle Bay Arnold Palmer Golf Course

Few golf courses are more scenic than the Arnold Palmer course at Turtle Bay, a world-class course highlighted as one of the top 100 golf courses in the United States. Although the course is part of the Turtle Bay resort, there are no interruptions from resort amenities.

Arnold Palmer loved the location so much, he tied the knot there in 2005. The course offers enough challenges to be worthy of the Arnold Palmer title, but it is also a hit among golfing novices.

Koko Crater Botanical Garden

Observe the true diversity of Hawaiian plant life at the Koko Crater Botanical Garden, which aims to preserve and protect a variety of rare and endangered species — including both native Hawaiian plants and plants from Madagascar.

The garden is located within a huge crater, which would be worth visiting even without the stunning plant life. After you check out the botanical garden, feel free to hit up the 1.8 mile trail or the 1048 steps of the crater’s staircase, which lead to one of the most beautiful views in all of Hawaii.

Hawaii Theater

A historic Vaudeville venue located in Honolulu, the Hawaii Theater is included on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to musicals and dramatic plays, the venue hosts a variety of other events, including scholarship pageants, comedy shows, and even ukulele festivals.

From history museums to golf courses and everything in between, Oahu is chock full of entertaining and educational activities. Ditch the beach for a day and delve into the unique culture of Oahu.

You’ll return home with a better understanding of life on Hawaii’s most exciting island, as well as countless stories from your once-in-a-lifetime adventures.

It’s time to explore more together! Find a certified Family Travel Specialist to help you plan your vacation.

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