Oahu Culture & history

Our most recommended Oahu, Hawaii Culture & history

Honolulu: Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona, and City Tour

1. Honolulu: Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona, and City Tour

Spend the day visiting the most important historical sites and landmarks of Honolulu, Hawaii. Visit Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona Memorial, Iolani Palace, Kawaiahao Church, the Hawaii State Capitol, Honolulu City Hall, and more. Begin your tour with a visit to Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Enjoy the exhibits, galleries, and displays before boarding a Navy boat shuttle for a tour of the harbor along “Battleship Row.” Step off the boat to explore the USS Arizona Memorial, then continue to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl Crater. See the historical landmark against a backdrop of rolling hills and lush foliage. Wrap up your experience with a narrated tour of downtown Honolulu. Spot the impressive state buildings and learn about the Iolani Palace, the official residence of Hawaii’s last reigning monarch and the only royal palace in the United States. Make your way to the Hawaii State Capitol grounds. See the Eternal Flame, Korean and Vietnam War Memorials, Liberty Bell, the majestic statue of King Kamehameha, and Kawaiahao Church.

Honolulu: Pearl Harbor Tour with Arizona Memorial

2. Honolulu: Pearl Harbor Tour with Arizona Memorial

Hear fascinating stories on this tour of Pearl Harbor and downtown Honolulu. Witness the key sites and memorials to the 1941 attack, and experience the island's wartime history. Begin this tour with pickup in Waikiki. Travel first to Pearl Harbor and ride the navy launch to the USS Arizona Memorial. Visit the sombre monument above a sunken battleship from the day of the attack. Explore the memorials to the many groups who lost their lives, and pause to reflect at the wall of remembrance. Return to your waiting van for a historic tour of downtown Honolulu. Your expert guide will explain what it was like to live on the island during wartime. See sights including Iolani Palace, the State Capitol, King Kamehameha Statue and Aloha Tower as you learn about the fascinating history of this historic place.

Honolulu: USS Arizona Memorial & Battleship Missouri Visit

3. Honolulu: USS Arizona Memorial & Battleship Missouri Visit

Visit Pearl Harbor and discover what really happened on that fateful day in 1941. Benefit from guaranteed access to the USS Arizona Memorial and board the Battleship Missouri on Ford Island. Start with a convenient pickup from Waikiki and travel in the comfort of an air-conditioned vehicle to reach Pearl Harbor. Once there, your guide will escort you into the Pearl Harbor Visitor's Center and give you specific instructions on how to make the best of your visit. Explore the visitor center and the accompanying “Road to War” and “Attack” exhibit galleries that display pictures and recovered items from the events which transpired at Pearl Harbor and WWII. Then, watch a short film explaining the fateful day and its significance. Followed by a boat ride to the USS Arizona Memorial, the final resting place of the ship's 1,177 crewmen. Take a short break for lunch and grab some refreshments from the snack shop or food truck, then set out to discover the USS Battleship Missouri. Visit the battleship lovingly known as "Mighty Mo". After fighting in the last year of the war with Japan, Mighty Mo served as the location where Japan would sign the official surrender documents. It also offers a glimpse into what life at sea was like aboard a battleship. On the way back to Waikiki, enjoy a quick drive through the city to check out the National Cemetery of the Pacific and Historic Honolulu City.

Honolulu: Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona, Might Mo, and City Tour

4. Honolulu: Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona, Might Mo, and City Tour

Experience the legacy of Pearl Harbor with a guided tour in Honolulu. Enter Pearl Harbor to explore the Battleship Missouri and listen to an audio-guided tour of the USS Arizona Memorial. Pass by iconic sites in Honolulu including the King Kamehameha Statue and City Hall. Be picked up from a select number of locations in Honolulu and spend the day exploring a part of US history in Honolulu. See Pearl Harbor, the USS Arizona, Battleship Missouri, and Honolulu. Arrive at Pearl Harbor and be transported back in time with an audio guide tour of the USS Arizona Memorial. See footage and memorabilia from the attack on Pearl Harbor as you admire the final resting place of the sunken ship. See Mighty Mo, the Battleship Missouri, up close, and walk the decks while you listen to its storied history from your guide. Visit the Battleship Missouri, also known as Mighty Mo, and walk the decks of the battleship. Learn about the history of the ship and its role in ending WWII. From Pearl Harbor, head to Honolulu. Pass Hawaii icons like the King Kamehameha Statue, the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific Punchbowl, the Hawaii State Capitol, City Hall, and Kawaiahao Church.

From Hawaii: Historical Dinner Cruise Tour to Kealakekua Bay

5. From Hawaii: Historical Dinner Cruise Tour to Kealakekua Bay

Step aboard and step back in time. Hop aboard a sunset dinner cruise in Kona for an enchanting Hawaiian history lesson from the experts. This family adventure departs from the Kailua Pier and is narrated by a local historian tour guide, who will reveal secrets, tell stories, and share legends related to the numerous landmarks along the 12 miles of magnificent Kona coastline. Unwind while you admire Captain Cook’s Monument at Historical Kealakekua Bay (only accessible by boat or hiking) with a complimentary cocktail from a fully stocked, premium bar. Begin your delicious dinner starting with an appetizer of Mauna Loa Big Island Macadamia Nuts (Vegan/GF). Then, enjoy a salad starter of Kealaola Farm mixed salad greens, Waimea grape tomatoes, Japanese cucumber, and red onion (Vegan/GF), served with house-made Maui Onion vinaigrette dressing (Vegan/GF). For your main course, choose the Thai coconut curry with Hamakua sweet potatoes, Hawaiian breadfruit, carrots, and bell peppers (Vegan/GF). Or, opt for steamed jasmine rice (Vegan/GF) with Kiawe mango barbecue pork short ribs served with papaya salsa (GF) and island-baked coconut dinner rolls served with butter (Vegetarian). Your dessert is a cheesecake with a local Lilikoi glaze (Vegetarian). Keep an eye out for dolphins, turtles, manta rays, and seasonal humpback whales throughout the evening. Enjoy live music from some of the Big Island's best entertainers performing slack-key Hawaiian Style music. Catch the sunset on the water and make sure to look for the famous Green Flash, a fleeting glimmer of intense emerald light that appears on the horizon just after sunset. Other highlights include the Ahu’ena Heiau, the Holua Slide, and the famous Kuamo’o Battlefield, just to name a few.

Oahu: Official USS Arizona Memorial Narrated Audio Tour

6. Oahu: Official USS Arizona Memorial Narrated Audio Tour

Experience the powerful sensations of the largest visitor destination in Hawaii on a fully-narrated audio tour to the USS Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Follow in the footsteps of the millions of people who come to see for themselves where World War II began for the United States on December 7, 1941. Approved by the National Park Service, the USS Arizona Memorial Narrated Tour is an award-winning, 2.5-hour audio tour that will take you through 2 world-class museums at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, including the amazing "Attack" and "Road to War" chronicling events leading up to the attack on Oahu and its aftermath. Imagine you have your own Park Ranger to guide you as you look at dramatic photographs, personal memorabilia and much more.   Listen to an informative commentary (available in English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Korean and Mandarin) as you journey through the facility. It will translate the National Park Services' 23-minute movie documentary into your chosen language. 

Oahu: Multi-Stop Island Highlights Tour

7. Oahu: Multi-Stop Island Highlights Tour

Spend the day exploring Oahu’s most scenic sights, unique culture, and rich history. Travel from Diamond Head Crater along the southern coast to the famous surfing beaches of the North Shore. Get a complete overview of all the scenic points from your tour driver. Some of the featured sites include (an asterisk denotes a stop): • Diamond Head: A volcanic tuff cone considered one of Hawaii’s most recognized landmarks • Kahala Estates: A mansion-lined spot known as Hawaii’s Gold Coast • Hālona Blowhole Lookout*: A lookout featuring a volcanic lava tube that propels water up to the sky • Waimānalo Town: A town known for its local flavor and numerous plant nurseries • Nu‘uanu Pali Lookout*: A lookout that offers panoramic views of the coastline to the sheer mountains veiled by the clouds • Byodo-In Temple*: A temple that commemorates the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii • Chinaman’s Hat: The basalt islet in Kaneohe Bay that’s shaped curiously like a hat. According to Hawaiian mythology, the island is formed from the remains of a giant lizard or dragon’s tail tossed into the ocean • Kualoa Ranch*: A private nature reserve owned by eighth-generation descendants of Dr. Gerritt P. Judd. On 4,000 acres, it is one of the most sacred places on the island with a goal to protect and enhance the natural beauty of the land • Laie Hawaii Temple: A temple featuring lush tropical gardens of Hawaiian foliage and flowers, cascading water features, and more • North Shore: A surfing mecca that attracts surfers from around the world for the massive winter waves and the seven miles of picturesque beaches • Dole Plantation*: A pineapple plantation offering many pineapple varieties and an opportunity to try the dole whip

Oahu: Full-Day Island Sightseeing Day Trip by Bus

8. Oahu: Full-Day Island Sightseeing Day Trip by Bus

Uncover Oahu’s majestic grandeur on a full-day day trip. Ride in a spacious and air-conditioned bus and be captivated by the unique beauty and the dramatic history that is found behind every corner. Take an unforgettable journey through the history of the island. Be picked up from the comfort of your accommodation. History comes alive before your eyes as you weave your way up the Koʻolau Mountains to the Nuʻuanu Pali Lookout where King Kamehameha I battled to unite the Hawaiian Islands.  Shortly after, gaze at the beautiful Byodo-In Temple, a replica of the Byodo-in Temple in Japan, built to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants in Hawaii.  Cruise along 7 miles of world-famous surfing beaches on Oahu’s north shore and sample the local flavors along the way. Waimea Valley and its waterfalls await you, discover this beautiful place steeped with history, spirituality and island traditions.  Follow your guide through the botanical gardens of this vast and tranquil setting. Learn how deeply embedded tradition is in today’s Hawaiian culture. Stop at the historic Dole Plantation surrounded by rows of pineapples and fields of sugarcane. Hear about how this plant became a symbol of Hawaii before returning to your accommodation. 

Oahu: Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona, and City Highlights Tour

9. Oahu: Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona, and City Highlights Tour

Visit the Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, and Honolulu's historic district. This tour will transport you to the morning of December 7, 1941, giving you insight into the moment that thrust America into World War II. Start with pickup from your hotel and travel by bus to the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites Visitor Center. Afterward, browse through the historic artifacts on display. Ride the Navy launch across Pearl Harbor to board the Arizona Memorial, which marks the resting place of soldiers killed in the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Your journey continues with a visit to the Punchbowl National Cemetery of the Pacific. You will also drive through the Courts of the Missing, a memorial that commemorates those missing in action from World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The conclusion of your tour provides an overview of Honolulu's historic district. You will visit `Iolani Palace, the only royal palace on American soil, Kawaiahao Church, the State Library and Archives, the statue of King Kamehameha, Honolulu Hale, and the Mission Houses Museum. This amazing Oahu tour to Pearl Harbor is an exciting and dynamic immersion into World War II history. See important landmarks and memorials, as well as other historically significant sites on land and sea excursion.

Honolulu: Pearl Harbor and Honolulu City Tour

10. Honolulu: Pearl Harbor and Honolulu City Tour

This tour offers the complete Pearl Harbor Visitor Center experience and also includes a historic Honolulu tour. On the tour visit Chinatown, ’Iolani Palace, Washington Place, and the State Capitol Building. Make a stop for a photo opportunity at the popular statue of King Kamehameha, the king of the Hawaiian Islands. Afterward, the tour continues to the National Cemetery of the Pacific in Punchbowl Crater. Your tour guide will share special insider knowledge about living in Hawaii and Hawaiian history, along the way.

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What people are saying about Oahu

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,135 reviews

Very humbling experience and to hear first hand from those stationed at the base, civilians of the attack. Eerie to see USS Arizona under the water. Ranger gave a great historical talk. Remember to be respectful when you visit the final resting place of those who gave their lives.

Our driver and guide Cousin Koko was amazing. He gave a terrific commentary as he drove safely. He gave clear instructions on where we were going and what time to be where. Pearl Harbour is so much more than you expect. We will have to go back to finish all the exhibits.

Tour bus driver was very entertaining for the Presentation and history of the island. Definitely would recommend Roberts especially cruise line guests.

Koko our guide was great. He told us about Hawaiian culture, language, and history. He was very knowledgeable and entertaining. Highly recommend.

Wes was awesome. Such a funny, great dude. And a great tour guide. Mahalo!