Things to Do

The 13 most popular water activities on Oahu Hawaii

People enjoying their surf day on Oahu, Hawaii
Source : pexels

Most popular water activities on Oahu Hawaii are 1) Parasailing 2) kayaking 3) Jet Ski riding 4) Turtle Watching 5) Surfing 6) Stand Up Paddling and many more.

Oahu Island is the home to the state capital Honolulu which has a list of distinctive activities for people of all ages, for example, Surfing, water scooter rides, eating Hawaiian food, and Dolphin watching.

As Hawaii is famous for its water activities, you may want to pursue doing the same things you do on other beaches, but Oahu Island has much more to offer than just surfing, snorkelling and hiking around the trails

In the same way, your stay on the Island also determines what you feel like doing on Oahu during your vacation. For example, things you do in Oahu aren’t going to be the same as what you’d do in Miami.

Hence, we have prepared a list of unconventional things to do by yourself or with your fellow vacationers on Oahu Hawaii.

1. Top Oahu Parasailing Adventure From Waikiki Beach

Oahu Parasailing Adventure From Waikiki Beach
Source : facebook

There is nothing like the thrill of parasailing! As you fly around the sky watch breathtaking scenes and a spectrum of colour over gorgeous water.

Parasailing is a very interesting sport, a dangerous one but a very adventurous activity. The fun is doubled if you are the one who wishes to fly.

These spectacular flights, fly at an approximate altitude of 400 feet above the waters and last about five to six minutes.

During the flight, it is suggested to wear comfortable clothing, sunglasses and biodegradable sunscreen or sunblock; preferably a swimsuit and towel if you want to get dipped, which is optional.

Regarding the perfect time to fly, the wind & waves are calmer in the late afternoon,  but if you want great pictures and a picturesque view, the morning time from 9 am and 2 pm is perfect.

2. North Shore Clear Bottom Kayak and Canoe

Just another couple canoeing in the jungle of Oahu
Source : facebook

Clear Bottom Kayak and Canoe are some of the things to do on the water on Oahu Island. You can rent a kayak or a Canoe and paddle your way through the crystal-clear water to experience the calmness of the Ocean.

Where is the safest place to kayak in Oahu?

Kaneohe Bay is considered one of the safest places to kayak in Oahu. As the water in the bay is calm and protected by a barrier reef, which blocks off much of the ocean current.

Meanwhile, you will also encounter a plethora of sea creatures on your kayaking journey due to the barrier reef's proximity to the bay.

3. Jet Ski Ride Watersports Adventure at Maunalua Bay

Jet Ski Ride Watersports Adventure at Maunalua Bay
Source : activeoahu

Jet Ski rides are among the popular water activities in Hawaii. Its attractive turquoise water and warm weather make the ride more fun than any other place in the world.

Plus if you are wondering what makes the jest ski ride fun, then the answer is pure adrenaline. If you and your partner are an adrenaline junkies, you will fall in love doing an easy activity full of adrenaline while catching the sun and waves. 

On the other hand, you will have the chance to do this activity in multiple areas and enjoy the different waves and colours of the ocean. Although, you can take a jet ski ride anywhere in Hawaii the calmness of the Waikiki coastline and Honolulu make it an ideal area for riding Jet Skis.

4. Sail Around The Sea & Watch Turtles With Your Family

Hawaii is known for its beach, lush greenery and exciting wildlife. So, if you're planning a trip to Oahu, do make plans to watch turtles this year with your family.

One of the best times of the year, Summer is the great time to see green turtles swim across the ocean as they love sunbathing just like we humans do!

Watch Turtles With Your Family in Oahu , Hawaii
Source : instagram

There are hundreds of beaches on Oahu Island, out of which, Fort DeRussy Beach in Waikiki is one of the most reliable spots watching turtles. There, you can swim with the sea turtles and watch their habitat and watch them swimming from the shore.

Besides, Fort DeRussy Beach, the best place to see turtles in Oahu are

  • Laniakea Beach
  • Electric Beach
  • Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
  • Makua Beach
  • Haleiwa Beach
  • Waikiki Beach

5. Surfing, Windsurfing & Kitesurfing

Wind surfing in Oahu
Source : pexels

Oahu water activities, Surfing, Windsurfing & Kitesurfing literally started in Hawaii. Legendary surfer, Olympic swimmer and Waikīkī native Duke Kahanamoku introduced the sport to the world in the early 20th century.

The home of modern surfing culture, swimmers and surfers flock to this shore all day for entertainment. Learn how to surf at Waikiki, which has some top-rated surfing schools and soak yourself in the pleasure of surfing around Oahu Island.

As Oahu is the primary location for surfing as it has beaches with different ranges of waves, from shallow waters and smaller waves to giant waves..

But if you are a surfing enthusiast, Haleiwa's Ali'i Beach is for you. It is excellent for experienced folks with its giant waves. If you are surfing around the beach, there’s a good chance you will see sea turtles swimming beside you.

6. Stand Up Paddle (SUP)

paddle boarding is a common water sport in Oahu, Hawaii
Source : pexels

Oahu is the third-largest Hawaiian island with pristine turquoise waters, soft sand beaches, and an incredible watersports vibe. It is one of the prime locations for water-related activities such as paddle boarding.

If you are in Oahu and looking for a day of paddle boarding, there are hundreds of companies out there to help you with the lessons and needed gear to start your paddle ride.

Are you wondering how to balance yourself on a paddleboard? If your answer is yes, we've got you covered,

  • Firstly, position your feet so they are parallel, about hip-width distance apart, and centred between the edges of the board
  • Secondly, slightly bend your knees, keep your toes pointed and your back straight
  • Thirdly, maintain your shoulders and head steady and upright
  • Fourthly, shift your weight by moving your hips
  • Lastly, your gaze should be level at the horizon
  • Avoid staring at your feet

Here is the list of beaches famous for paddle boarding

  • Diamond Head Beach Park
  • Ala Moana Beach Park
  • Kewalo Basin
  • Lanikai Beach to Mokulua Islands
  • Mokoli'i Island

7. Snorkeling & Scuba Diving

Experience the variety of colorful fishes in the ocean while snorkelling or scuba diving
Source : facebook

People love snorkelling and scuba diving to watch the diversity of aquatic animals like turtles and colourful fishes. It is one of the top Honolulu water activities.

Not only do you get to swim along the turtles, but you also get to experience their habitat, and witness the colourful life of marine animals. So what are you waiting for, book a snorkel tour or go scuba diving with your peers to soak up the beauty of underwater land.

If you are experienced, you can go to the beach by yourself if you have all the snorkel gear, if not there are different adventure companies to book a day from.

8. Nocturnal Adventures Hawaii

Nocturnal Adventures Hawaii is a brand new startup that comprises unique water sports. Their sea activities include nighttime outdoor activities that are both educational as well as entertaining.

As a newbie, their focus is to specialize in unique and memorable outdoor experiences for people of all ages and skill levels.

Nighttime boating to watch the fireworks, evening snorkelling, surfing, and beach workouts are some of the kinds of stuff you can do in Oahu with Nocturnal Adventures.

9. Watch Real Life Mermaid At Mermaid Republic

Swim with real life Mermaid at Mermaid Republic
Source : pexels

Swimming with the mermaids at the Mermaid Republic is among the famous water activities in Hawaii. Their mermaid snorkel & photo shoot starts at $79.

This tour is fun for all ages and combines the childhood dream experience to be a mermaid and swim around the sea with little fish and aquatic life. Grab the opportunity to re-live your childhood and book a ticket from Mermaid Republic's official website or Tripadvisor before you miss out.

You can swim with the mermaids and shoot with them or you can become one and enjoy your day.

Mermaid Snorkel Tour & Photo Shoot

  • Adults and children age 5 and up can enrol
  • All tours are semi-private
  • Free videos and pictures included
  • All tours are in the ocean on a reef
  • Guaranteed to see aquatic life and fish

10. Moana’s Sunset Cocktail Sail Along Oahu's Waikiki Coast

 Sunset Cocktail Sail Along Oahu's Waikiki Coast
Source : tripadvisor

There is nothing better than watching a sunset from Oahu’s magnificent Waikiki Sunset Cruise, an unmatched experience that is accompanied by indescribable views and an unlimited flow of premium drinks and music.

As you sail along the iconic Gold Coast, you will experience the colour change in the setting sun from orange, purple and pink, to a sudden golden hue. Waikiki cityscape has no shortage of amazing Oahu views you’ll spot from the luxurious Catamaran or boat of your choice.

What if you feel thirsty or hungry during the cruise?? Regarding the dinner option, there are menus from two delicious local restaurants to choose your meal from. But the icing on the cake is the complimentary first round of cocktails!

Yes, you heard it right. Now, sip on the cocktail of your choice from their premium onboard bar and enjoy your sunset dinner on Oahu's Waikiki Coast with Moana's Sail.

11. Ohau Submarine Scooter Adventure

Ohau Submarine Scooter Adventure
Source : facebook

Uncover the majestic marine life of Oahu while riding your underwater electric scooter during a day voyage from Honolulu which is a perfect family activity for nature lovers.

How to get an electric scooter for yourself? Well, the answer is simple. All you have to do is set out on Maunalua Bay and board a power catamaran that passes Diamond Head Crater on the way to your dive spot.

You do not need prior experience to ride this self-propelled underwater scooter that allows you to observe marine animals like sea turtles, tropical fishes, dolphins and many more.

12. Dolphin Watching And Ocean Lunch

Dolphin Watching And Ocean Lunch at West Shore Oahu
Source : facebook

Discover an unforgettable encounter with dolphins in their natural Hawaii habitat on Oahu's west shore. You can take a cruise or boat along the west coast of Oahu, and watch the smooth skin flipper dolphins in the glass-like ocean waters.

All you have to do is book a boat/cruise after reaching the West Shore and your fun begins!!

If you are a marine lover, you can participate in a traditional Hawaiian ceremony and snorkel with tropical fish and sea turtles. But if you are worried about your safety, there are trained guides, lifesavers, and free divers for any emergency.


  • Watch dolphins from the comfort of a boat 
  • Take part in water activities like stand-up paddling, kayaking, and snorkelling
  • Enjoy the onboard entertainment such as the Hula dance and traditional "E Ho Mai" ceremony
  • Snorkel in pristine waters with sea life such as turtles, fish, and more

Includes: Snorkel gear

Lunch Bentos: Choose between Shoyu Chicken, Hawaiian Style Snapper, or Vegetable Tofu Stir-fry (All bentos are served with rice and corn and are gluten-free)

13. Oahu Shark Drive On The North Shore

Shark drive with cage on the north shore
Source : facebook

North Shore shark diving no Cage is famous among the group of thrill seekers. While diving in the ocean you can get very close to these animals and get a unique adrenaline rush experience.

If you are an adrenaline junkie, spending about 30 minutes with the sharks will be the best time of your life.

For safety reasons, it is advised to swim inside a cage for your protection, However, even if you are not in the cage you do not have to worry about being attacked as each group has a team of guides and safety divers.

But if you are not comfortable, it is never too late to ask for a cage before you dive in.