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Off the Beaten Path: Activities on Oahu's Leeward Side

Posted in: Culture & History, Environment, Food & Drink, Things to Do


By Richard Melendez, Digital Editor

With most of O‘ahu’s tourist accommodations centralized in and around Waikīkī, it’s easy to forget that there’s a whole island out there to explore. Yes, the North Shore rightfully gets a lot of attention, as do some other areas outside the urban core, but the west side of O‘ahu—also called the Leeward side—often gets overlooked by tourists and yes, even locals.

So what is there to do on O‘ahu’s west side? Glad you asked! While there’s plenty to say about their snorkeling adventures, dining, shopping, and even their water park, we wanted to offer some picks that may seem outside the norm, befitting a locale that’s off the beaten path.

Go on a fishing charter! Honolulu has plenty of fishing options available, but fishing charters on the west side have one distinct advantage: They’re closer to the prime fishing spots. While your charter that departs from Honolulu Harbor is still making its way to deep ocean waters, a charter from Wai‘anae would have already arrived, giving you a head start on your day. Less travel time means more time to fish and do the things you love.

Live Bait Sport Fishing has full and half day charters to choose from. Let “the guys” have some time for themselves, or take the whole family for a day on the ocean. The level of experience and knowledge of Live Bait’s captains and crew all but ensures that you’ll have a good day of fishing.

Take a tour of a dairy farm! Naked Cow Dairy is the only dairy farm on O‘ahu, and they strive to maintain a natural way of doing things. That means no hormones or antibiotics so that only the best product is used in their artisan dairy goods, like cheese, butter, yogurt, and, of course, milk.

They provide tours of their operation so you can learn about their process, interact with their cows and other farm animals, and participate in butter and cheese tasting. They even offer classes so you can try your hand at making your own cheese!

Take a ride on a historic train! Once upon a time, trains were a big deal in Hawai‘i. They were a crucial part of the sugar industry, and thus, Hawai‘i’s history as it developed and transitioned from an independent kingdom to a U.S. territory and then the 50th state. The Hawaiian Railway Society keeps the legacy of trains alive with their narrated 90-minute train rides. Learn about the role of these iron horses as you ride from the Ewa plains to Ko‘olina and back, learning about the past, present and future of Leeward O‘ahu.

Go on a fishing charter! (photo courtesy Live Bait Sport Fishing)

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