Honolulu and Oahu Feature

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Oahu's Best Outdoor Adventures

Oahu's Best Outdoor Adventures

In a place surrounded by the ocean, water sports abound. Surfing. Snorkeling. Scuba diving. Hawaii has it all—and more. But that's just the sea. Interior mountains and valleys offer a never-ending stream of other outdoor adventures. Here are our picks for the best water and land adventures.

Take in the View atop Diamond Head

You won’t get off the beaten path on this hike, but the well-worn route to the top of Hawaii’s most famous crater will get your heart racing, especially when you reach the steep stairs near the top. The views are worth the climb—on clear days you’ll gaze over Honolulu, Waikiki, and the Pacific Ocean. Bring water, as this trail is hot and sunny.

Dive and Snorkel at Shark's Cove

Some of the best things in life require a wait. That's the case with Shark's Cove—you have to wait for summer until it's safe to enter the water and swim with an amazing array of marine life, thanks to the large boulders and coral heads dotting the seafloor and forming small caves and ledges. This is both a spectacular shore dive and snorkeling destination in one—perfect for the diver–snorkeler couple.

Bike the Aiea Loop Trail

This 4.5-mile, single-track loop trail offers some of the most fun mountain biking in central Oahu. Although it's listed as an intermediate trail, some sections are a bit technical, with steep drop-offs. We recommend it for the weekend warrior who has a bit more experience. Caution: do not attempt in wet weather.

Golf at Luana Hills Country Club

Carved out of the middle of a tropical rain forest, this peaceful setting offers an antidote to the hustle and bustle of Waikiki. Bring your A game and a full bag, because club selection is key here. You'll want to hit every fairway.

Learn to Surf at Waikiki Beach

You've heard the age-old saying that goes, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do"? Well, when in Hawaii, surf. Surfing was once reserved for alii (royalty), but today it knows no class barrier. And there is no better place to learn than Waikiki, with its long and gentle rolling swells.

Hike to Kaena Point

For a raw and rugged look at Oahu's coastline, head to hot, dry Kaena Point. The 5-mile round-trip hike—you can also bike it—ends at the westernmost tip of the island, known in Hawaiian culture as the jumping-off point for souls departing this world for the next. Today, Laysan albatrosses nest here.

Watch Monster Waves at Waimea Bay

This is the beach that makes Hawaii famous every winter when monster waves and the world's best surfers roll in. Show up to watch, not partake. If the rest of us want to get in the water here, we have to wait until summer when the safe onshore break is great for novice bodysurfers.

Updated: 2014-05-20

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