When it comes to Hawaiian getaways, most visitors flock to the island of Oahu as it is home to the major city of Honolulu. The weather on this island remains temperate all year long, so there isn’t an off-season. You can find gorgeous Oahu vacation rentals along the beach or in the heart of downtown Honolulu. Book a stay at a vacation rental in Oahu today. Soak up the sun on the beach and explore the great outdoors. Here are just a few family-friendly highlights in Oahu.
1. Kualoa Ranch
Kualoa Ranch sits on the windward side of the islands. This working cattle ranch covers more than 4,000 acres, and you might recognize it as the filming location for Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, and Skull Island. While visiting the ranch, you and the kids can enjoy a horseback riding tour of the area or hop onto ATVs and zoom around the back trails. Your brave family members can take advantage of the zip lines to enjoy stunning views while flying through the air.
2. USS Arizona Memorial
On December 7, 1941, the world changed for many Americans when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu. Many of the sailors were asleep on this Sunday morning, and many of the ships began sinking without hesitation. The USS Arizona Memorial sits above the wreckage of the USS Arizona. During the trip to this memorial, you and your kids will learn more about that fateful day and the courage of the men who lived and died during the surprise attack.
3. Dole Plantation
Ever wonder where all the pineapple comes from that goes into those Dole cans? This is your chance to find out. While visiting the Dole Plantation, hop on the train for a 20-minute tour of the fields. The train features an audio guide to the history of the plantation and interesting facts about growing pineapples. Your kids will love the chance to get lost in the gigantic pineapple maze and see who finds their way to the middle first. Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop and pick up some fresh pineapple to enjoy back at your vacation rental.
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4. Hike Diamond Head
Along the eastern edge of the island’s coast sits the Diamond Head National Park. This area was once the cone of a volcano. Formed about 300,000 years ago, this saucer-shaped crater helped to shape one of Hawaii’s main islands. Put on your hiking boots and pack some bottled water back at your vacation rental. Then, head out for your hike to the top of this landmark, where you and your family will find stunning views of the ocean and island below. The hike is less than a mile, but you gain almost 600 feet in altitude.
5. Sea Life Park
Believe it or not, Hawaii is home to some penguins, and at the Sea Life Park, you and your family can watch them eating and interacting with the handlers. Bring your bathing suit and hop in the dedicated space to have an experience with the dolphins in the park. If you don’t want to swim with the dolphins, you can enjoy a show where they perform tricks that will delight everyone in your family.
6. Iolani Palace
On a rainy afternoon, take your kids to the Iolani Palace to learn more about Hawaii’s culture and history before the European settlers arrived. This was once the home of Hawaiian kings and queens. Take a guided tour to enjoy everything this palace has to offer and learn more about the spirit of Hawaii. Be sure to view the throne room and look at some of the most important historical paperwork created about the islands throughout the centuries.
7. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
Pack your snorkel gear at your vacation rental, and take the short drive to the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. This area offers white sandy beaches and calm waters that make it the perfect spot for snorkeling. Located on the southeast side of the island, this preserve is home to more than 400 underwater species. Keep an eye out for the large turtles that swim through these waters. Enjoy a picnic on the beach, and spend the rest of the day relaxing by the water with your family.
8. Waikiki Aquarium
Enjoy an indoor and outdoor experience at the Waikiki Aquarium. This aquarium offers a variety of exhibits that explore aquatic life in the oceans and lakes around the Hawaiian Islands. There’s an exhibit dedicated to living coral, so your kids can learn more about this delicate ecosystem and the current efforts being made to keep it healthy and growing. Outdoors, there’s a habitat for the monk seals, where you and the kids can watch them at play. Check the schedule before driving over to see if there are any special events planned that day.
9. Honolulu Zoo
Located in the city, the Honolulu Zoo welcomes visitors from all over the world to see its collection of animals. This zoo is the only one in the United States to be established by a monarch. On Wednesday, they host a music show with local artists who entertain the crowds. More than 1,200 animals call this park home.
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