Welcome to the Gathering Place, Hawaiʻi’s home to two-thirds of the state’s population and the state capitol of Honolulu. When most people think of Oʻahu, they probably think of busy Waikīkī, massive North Shore swells, the lush Koʻolau mountain range and the bustling city scene. What they may not realize, however, is that Oʻahu is a diverse place with many unique neighborhoods and landscapes.
Consider heading west during your next trip to Oʻahu. You won’t believe the charming sights you’ll see on your drive there. The best part? Your destination is not one but many, for West Oʻahu is a major hub of family friendly festivities. Here are some of our favorites:
Dolphin Star invites ocean adventurers of all ages to enjoy a dolphin journey they’ll never forget! Boasting Oʻahu’s largest dolphin vessel complete with walk-around viewing decks, a shaded cabin and onboard grill, Dolphin Star offers visitors and residents alike the opportunity to spot these friendly ocean creatures in comfort and safety. With the protection of dolphins top-of-mind, Dolphin Star features eco-friendly motors with EPA compliant engines and a hybrid power generator. Dolphin Star departs daily from the Waianae Boat Harbor and offers three packages perfect for groups of all sizes and budgets!
Ko ʻOlina Lagoons
The Ko ʻOlina lagoons are comprised of four pristine man-made lagoons on the Leeward coast of Oʻahu: Kohola Lagoon, Honu Lagoon, Naiʻa Lagoon and Ulua Lagoon. This privately owned area features calm waters, verdant hills and designated picnic areas for large groups. Encompassing over 600 acres of soft sand and crystal clear waters, the lagoons are easily accessible to the public, though parking areas are limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. PC: HTA / Tor Johnson.
Helpful tip: Head out to Ko ʻOlina early to nab a good parking stall, then spend the day relaxing at one or more of the lagoons. You can frolic in the ocean, enjoy a picnic lunch and watch the breathtaking sunset along the Leeward coast.
Naked Cow Dairy Farm & Creamery
Since opening its doors in 2007, Naked Cow Dairy Farm & Creamery has remained committed to its mission of the natural production of milk, cheese and other dairy products. Strictly following the organic guidelines for the treatment of cows, this Waianae-based farm is all about bringing back the “small family dairy” of days passed. Naked Cow invites guests to tour the farm every Friday from 9:30-11:30 a.m. as they feed, interact with and learn about the animals and their products. You can even sample butter and cheese produced at the farm!
Naked Cow products are available for purchase at the farm. You can also find the dairy products at various stores, hotels and restaurants around Oʻahu including Alan Wongs, 53 By The Sea, Foodland, Down to Earth, Sheraton Waikiki and many more.
As one of Oʻahu’s top 10 most visited family attractions in the heart of Kapolei, Wet’n’Wild Hawaii features both tame attractions as well as riveting water rides to thrill even the boldest daredevils. With over 25 rides and attractions designated as “Chill,” “Moderate” or “Extreme,” Wet’n’Wild Hawaii is the perfect aquatic destination for adults and children of all ages. Float down the leisurely Kapolei Kooler, or satisfy your inner thrill-seeker with the Shaka, featuring a monstrous 36-foot drop at a 70-degree angle! We know you won’t run out of things to do at Hawaiʻi’s only water park. PC: Wet’n’Wild Hawaii.
As you can see, West Oʻahu is a vibrant destination filled with fun activities and attractions. Check out more of our favorite picks and make a day out of exploring the Leeward side!