9 Best Things to Do in the East Side of Oahu, Hawaii

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Planning a trip to Hawaii and something more unique than Waikiki? Exploring the things to do in the east side of Oahu is an excellent option.

The options are so diverse that it's easy to get overwhelmed. But that's what separates the casual tourist from the true adventurer.

Finding those hidden gems on East Oahu isn't just about ticking off items on a checklist – it’s about immersing yourself in an authentic Hawaiian experience.

From stunning beaches to outdoor adventures and more – discovering things to do on the east side of Oahu, is your ticket to creating unforgettable memories in Hawaii’s paradise.

Find out our 9 best things to do in the east side of Oahu!


9 Best things to do in the East Side of Oahu

The Windward side of Oahu, sometimes referred to as the East Side, is a paradise for those seeking breathtaking scenery and vibrant local culture.

This part of the Hawaiian Islands offers an assortment of unique experiences that make it a must-visit destination when vacationing in Hawaii.

You can't discuss this region without bringing up its stunning beaches. With their turquoise waters and soft sand.

These beautiful beaches are perfect spots for relaxation or water sports. Lanikai Beach, Waimanalo Bay, Kailua Beach Park - they're all popular attractions on this side.

Want to know more? Here are all the best things to do in East Oahu.


Kayak to the Mokes

One of the best things to do on the East Side of Oahu is kayaking to the Mokes. If you're looking for some adventure, this is definitely a must-try!

Don't worry if you don't have any kayaking experience because there are guided tours available for first-timers.

You will paddle through turquoise waters, surrounded by stunning views of the coastline and lush green mountains.

As you reach the Mokes, you can explore the two islands, snorkel in the crystal clear water, or simply relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

This is an unforgettable experience that you shouldn't miss when visiting Oahu's East Side!


Kayaking to the Mokes on Oahu's East Side is an exciting and unforgettable experience that offers stunning views and crystal-clear waters for exploring.


Experience in Kailua Beach Park

Kailua Beach Park is an absolute must see, being one of the best beaches in Oahu.

Located on the eastern coast of the island, this beach paradise boasts stunning views of turquoise waters and white sand, as well as a wide array of enjoyable activities. 

Whether you're a water sports enthusiast looking to tackle the waves on a surfboard or prefer a more laidback day at the beach building sandcastles and soaking up the sun, Kailua Beach Park has got you covered.

Additionally, the park is situated near an array of delightful restaurants and shops, so you can cap off your day by indulging in some delicious local fare and shopping for keepsakes to remind you of your unforgettable East Side adventure. 


Kailua Beach Park is the perfect place for a fun and relaxing day, with its stunning turquoise waters, white sand, and plenty of activities to enjoy along with nearby restaurants and shops.


Visit Makapu'u Beach

When it comes to exploring the East Side of Oahu, one of the must-visit places is Makapu'u Beach.

With its crystal-clear waters, pristine sand, and gentle waves, this beach is the perfect spot to kick back, relax, and soak up some sun.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can also explore some of the nearby hiking trails, like the Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail or the Ka'Iwi State Scenic Shoreline.

Whether you're looking for a peaceful day of lounging on the sand or an adrenaline-fueled adventure, Makapu'u Beach has something to make your trip one for the books.


Makapu'u Beach is the perfect spot for an easy-going beach day or a thrilling adventure, offering something for everybody with its crystal-clear waters, pristine sand, gentle waves, and nearby trails.


Hike in Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail

Another of the best things to do on the East Side of Oahu is hiking to the Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail.

It's an easy hike in Oahu that offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding mountains.

The trail is well-maintained and includes paved paths and lookout points along the way. As you hike, keep your eyes peeled for whales during the winter months and seabirds throughout the year. 

When you reach the top, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the coastline and the iconic Makapu'u Lighthouse. It's a picturesque spot for a photo op and a peaceful moment to take in the beauty of the island. 


The Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail is an easy, rewarding hike that offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, mountains, and the iconic Makapu'u Lighthouse.


Sign Up For An Adventure in Kualoa Ranch  

A visit to Kualoa Ranch, located against Ko'olau Mountains, is another must-do while visiting Hawaii.

It is known as "Hawaii's Jurassic Park", due to being used as filming location for numerous popular movies because its unique landscape stands out even among other famous locations across Hawaiian Islands.

In addition, if you want more than ground level view can offer consider taking a helicopter tour around this iconic site which gives opportunity appreciate fully how beautifully wild untamed much remains despite their popularity tourists worldwide.

No matter what kind adventures prefer whether they involve coastal trails exploring by air plenty options available when planning next trip East.


A visit to Kualoa Ranch offers plenty of adventurous opportunities from exploring its unique landscape to taking a helicopter tour, making it an unforgettable destination for visitors to Hawaii.


Hike Up Koko Crater Railway Trail

We always recommend taking the Koko Crater Railway Trail when coming to Oahu.

And while this hike is not for the faint of heart, the reward at the end is totally worth it.

The trail takes you up 1,048 steep steps made from railroad ties to the top of Koko Crater, providing amazing panoramic views of the east side of Oahu. 

It's a great way to get some exercise while enjoying the Hawaiian scenery. The best time to tackle the hike is early morning to avoid the heat of the day, but don't worry, the trail is doable for all ages and fitness levels. 


Koko Crater provides an accessible and rewarding hike that offers beautiful views of Oahu and is suitable for all ages and fitness levels.


Capture Stunning Views at Nu‘uanu Pali

Ending your exploration of the east side of Oahu, you'll find yourself captivated by one of Hawaii's most popular attractions - Nu'uanu Pali Lookout.

This spot is a testament to the island's beautiful scenery and rich history. The lookout offers breathtaking views over Ko'olau mountains and Windward Coastline that are simply unparalleled.

Gazing out across this stunning view, you'll love taking photos of the landscape around and the views over Honolulu!


Nu'uanu Pali Lookout offers a breathtaking view of the Ko'olau mountains and Windward Coastline that will make you feel as if you're on top of the world.


Snorkel at Hanauma Bay

When it comes to exploring the East Side of Oahu, one activity stands out above the rest: snorkeling at Hanauma Bay.

Imagine gliding through crystal-clear waters surrounded by vibrant coral formations and colorful fish of all shapes and sizes.

Whether you're a seasoned snorkeler or a first-timer, Hanauma Bay is the perfect spot to dive into the underwater world and experience a sense of wonder and tranquility like no other.

With convenient facilities, including restrooms, showers, and a visitor center, Hanauma Bay has what you need for a comfortable and unforgettable snorkeling adventure.


Hanauma Bay is the perfect spot to explore the underwater world, offering crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral formations, and colorful fish for a comfortable and unforgettable snorkeling adventure.


Hike the Crouching Lion

The scenery of the Crouching Lion trail is absolutely breathtaking, with colorful flora and fauna all around you.

You'll feel like you're on top of the world once you reach the summit, with expansive views of the ocean and surrounding mountains.

It's an easy hike that's perfect for families or anyone looking to get some exercise while enjoying the beauty of Hawaii.

Make sure to bring water, sunscreen, and a camera to capture the stunning scenery. Plus, it's a great way to create some unforgettable memories with loved ones.

Don't miss out on this amazing opportunity to hike one of the best trails on the east side of Oahu.


The Crouching Lion trail is an easy and family-friendly hike that offers breathtaking views and unforgettable memories.



All in all, the East Side of Oahu provides countless opportunities for adventure and exploration!

From snorkeling and kayaking to hiking along the breathtaking trails, it's easy to fall in love with all that this area has to offer.

And when you're done exploring for the day, be sure to relax and take in the spectacular views.

So whether you're looking for a few hours or a few days of fun and relaxation, the East Side of Oahu is definitely a great place to visit. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is East Honolulu known for?

East Honolulu is renowned for its stunning beaches, outdoor adventures, and vibrant local culture. It's a paradise for beach lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

What is the east side of Oahu called?

The east side of Oahu is often called Windward Oahu due to prevailing trade winds that blow from the northeast.

Is the east side of Oahu windy?

Yes, it can be pretty windy on the east side of Oahu. The area gets its name "Windward" because it faces northeastern trade winds.

Is Kaneohe on the east side?

Kaneohe lies on the eastern coast or windward side of Oahu Island in Hawaii. It's known for its lush landscapes and bay views, and you simply can't miss it when visiting Oahu.

Which side of Oahu has the best beaches?

The East side of Oahu has the best beaches, notably Waimanalo Beach and Kailua Beach, 2 of the nicest places you can visit for relaxing or working on your tan.

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