12 Fun Activities on Oahu for Couples (#9 is a MUST!)

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Oahu Best Activities for Couples Hawaii

Inside: Looking for romantic things to do on Oahu? From sunset cruises and epic helicopter tours to culture and hidden gems, here are the top places to fall in love all over again on Oahu.

It’s safe to say that the Hawaiian Islands literally exude romance. Swaying palms, fiery sunsets, tropical drinks, white sand beaches…what more could you ask for in a romantic getaway?

And love is definitely in the air here on the island of Oahu. From dazzling Waikiki to the quiet beaches of the Windward side, it’s the perfect place to escape with the one you love for a little quality island time. 

Oahu’s unique blend of natural beauty and Hawaiian culture is the ideal backdrop for couples to unwind and reconnect. Whether you’re indulging in a sunset catamaran cruise or exploring the magic of Oahu’s underwater world, it’s all about creating memorable moments together in paradise. 

But you may be wondering…what are the best activities for couples on Oahu? Not to worry, I’ve got you covered. 

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to book through these links, I receive a small commission, which I will likely blow on mai tais, poke, and shave ice.  All of this internet voodoo takes place at no additional cost to you. 

Whether you’re visiting Oahu or you live here (like me) here are my top picks for romantic experiences around the island. 

Best things to do on Oahu for couples:

1. Sip a Sunset Mai Tai on Waikiki Beach🍹

OK, to be clear, you shouldn’t actually sip a Mai Tai ON Waikiki Beach (alcohol is technically illegal on the beach). But you can get pretty darn close at some of my favorite Waikiki Beach bars. 

Nothing says romance in Hawaii like clinking glasses with your sweetheart as the sun sets over Waikiki Beach. Sitting hand in hand as you watch the sun dip below the horizon, painting the sky in hues of pink and orange is pure Hawaiian magic.

Beachfront Mai Tais at Halekulani Waikiki Hawaii
Beachfront Mai Tais at Halekulani Waikiki

You can enjoy this romantic experience anywhere along the beach but there are a few extra special spots that are the best places for romance. 

House Without a Key at the Halekulani Resort gets my vote as the most romantic place to sip a sunset Mai Tai by the sea. The excellent nightly Hawaiian music and hula dancers also add to the ambiance.

My other Waikiki favorites for a great Mai Tai with a sunset view are Monkeypod Kitchen Waikiki (in the Outrigger Reef Resort) and Mai Tai Bar at The Royal Hawaiian.  

Read More: 5 Best Mai Tais in Waikiki (Do NOT Leave Hawaii Without Trying #3)

2. Take to the Skies with a Helicopter Tour over Oahu 🚁

Experience Oahu’s breathtaking beauty from above with a helicopter tour. From this unique vantage point, you’ll enjoy unparalleled views of the island’s dramatic landscapes, including hidden waterfalls, lush valleys, and Oahu’s stunning coastline.

A helicopter tour over Oahu gives a perspective of the island that is simply unattainable from the ground. From the comfort of the sky, you and your loved one will witness the sheer scale and majesty of Oahu’s natural wonders.

Soar over the razor-sharp ridges of the Ko’olau Mountains, watch surfers catch waves from above, and circle the massive Diamond Head Crater (you can’t truly appreciate its scale until you see it from above). 

Diamond Head from Above Oahu Hawaii
Diamond Head crater from above

Bonus: A helicopter tour is the only way to see secluded Sacred Falls due to the permanent closure of the trails that once led there. It’s the best way to absorb the island’s beauty in its entirety and a truly special and unforgettable romantic experience.

Take your love to new heights (see what I did there?) with this top-rated Open-Door Helicopter Tour over Oahu. This one is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

3. Learn to Surf with a Private Lesson for Two 🏄‍♂️

There’s something to be said for learning a fun new skill with the one you love. Surfing is king here in Waikiki and there’s simply no better place to learn. 

For centuries surfing has been part of the ancient Polynesian culture. But in the early 1900’s, an Olympic swimmer from Hawaii introduced the sport to the world. A 5-time Olympic medalist in swimming from 1912 to 1932, Duke Kahanamoku’s legacy is alive and well in Hawaii.

Duke Kahanamoku Statue Waikiki Hawaii
Honor Duke with a couples surfing lesson

On any given morning in Waikiki, you’ll find dozens of early-morning surfers looking to catch the perfect wave. Honor Duke and create a fun romantic memory by trying your hand at surfing while in Waikiki (you know you want to!).

Waikiki Beach is a fantastic spot to learn to surf, thanks to its gentle, long-rolling waves, shallow waters, and soft ocean bottom. The beach is home to numerous surf schools and instructors experienced in teaching beginners. 

A private surfing lesson for two is the perfect way for couples to try out this iconic Hawaiian experience. This is my pick for the best private surf lesson in Waikiki: Surfing – 1 on 1 Private Lessons – Waikiki, Oahu.

4. Take a Sunrise Hike on Oahu’s Windward Side 🌅

The best sunrise hikes are (of course) along Oahu’s eastern (Windward) shores. My favorite easy hikes for sunrise are Diamond Head and the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail

Important Note: For Diamond Head, you’ll need to make a reservation here.

I’m especially partial to the Diamond Head hike since my husband and I got engaged at the top of Diamond Head at sunrise. 

For a more challenging hike, the Lanikai Pillbox Hike is a real stunner any time of day but for sunrise, it’s truly magical. This is a moderate trail and it’s not for everyone but if you’re reasonably fit, the panoramic view of the Windward Coast at dawn is truly unforgettable.

Also, the Koko Head Trail Hike (which I lovingly refer to as the “Stairmaster to Heaven” hike) is a great workout with an even better payoff. But it is a serious workout. You’ll feel that one the next day.

Lanikai Pillbox Hike Oahu Hawaii
Epic views from the Lanikai Pillbox Hike

More great hikes: 5 Easy Oahu Hikes for Those Who Love Nature But Hate Hiking

5. Indulge in a Couple’s Massage at a Luxury Spa❤️ 

After that early morning hike, treat yourselves to a couple’s massage at one of Oahu’s decadent luxury spas. Relax and rejuvenate together in a serene setting, complete with soothing sounds and scents.

Westin Moana Surfrider Hotel Waikiki Hawaii
The Spa at the Westin Moana Surfrider is a great choice

When it comes to celebrating a special occasion (or just celebrating some time away together) a couples spa day is always at the top of my list. And Oahu’s got plenty of great options no matter where you’re staying on the island. 

The top spas for couples on the island of Oahu are:

Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko OlinaNaupaka Spa and Wellness Centre

The Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & SpaMoana Lani Spa

Turtle Bay ResortNalu Wellness Spa

6. Spend Some Quiet Time on the North Shore 🏖️

Take a scenic drive to Oahu’s North Shore, famous for its world-class surfing, empty beaches, and delicious food trucks. Stop at quaint towns like Haleiwa for shopping and dining. Later, watch the sunset on a secluded beach.

Exploring Oahu’s North Shore is like stepping into a different world. Here, the pace slows down, the waves break high, and the natural beauty of Hawaii is on full display.

Known for its towering waves and laid-back vibe, Oahu’s North Shore is also home to some of the most romantic and tranquil spots on the island. It’s an ideal day trip for couples seeking some quiet time together and the perfect escape from the crowds of Waikiki.

Sunset Beach North Shore Oahu Hawaii
Sunset Beach, North Shore Oahu

Highlights of a romantic day at the North Shore include:

Haleiwa Town – This historic surf town is brimming with local charm. Stroll through colorful boutiques, art galleries, and cozy cafés. Don’t miss a shave ice from Matsumoto’s, a local favorite.

Waimea Valley: A gentle hike through this lush botanical garden leads to tranquil Waimea Falls – one of the few waterfalls on Oahu where you can swim. Swimming together in the freshwater pool at the base of the falls is a fun and refreshingly romantic experience.

Swimming at Waimea Falls North Shore Oahu Hawaii
A romantic dip in Waimea Falls

Tip: If you love a good waterfall hike, Manoa Falls is another great one through a lush rainforest just outside Honolulu. 

Sunset Beach: For a more secluded spot, head to Sunset Beach. While famous for its surf, it’s also a wonderful place for a quiet beach day. In the late afternoon, find a cozy spot in the sand to watch one of the most breathtaking sunsets on the island. 

Laniakia Beach: This quiet beach just outside Haleiwa Town is famous for the Green Sea Turtles (honu) that frequently sun themselves on the shoreline. 

​Kahuku Food Trucks: Located near the North Shore, these food trucks offer a wide range of delicious options, showcasing the best of local and international flavors. Perhaps the most famous is Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, known for its incredible garlic shrimp plates.

Exploring the North Shore’s romantic and quiet places offers couples a chance to connect with the natural beauty of Oahu. 

You’ll need a rental car for this romantic road trip for two. My top pick in Hawaii is Discount Hawaii Car Rental.

MY Pick
Driving on Molokai Hawaii

Discount Hawaii Car Rental

For rental cars in Hawaii, go to the local experts. They’ll find you the best rate among all the major companies with no booking fees. And their customer support is top-notch.

7. Snorkel side by side at Hanauma Bay 🐠

It’s considered the jewel of Oahu and one of the best snorkeling sites in the world. And I mean, truly exceptional snorkeling on par with colorful coral heavyweights like Moorea and the Maldives.

The pristine marine ecosystem of Hanauma Bay was formed within a volcanic cone creating a natural marine park. The curved bay has been a favorite of Native Hawaiians for thousands of years and is etched deeply in Hawaiian history.

Hanauma Bay for Snorkeling Oahu Hawaii Waikiki
Hanauma Bay, Oahu’s best snorkeling

Hanauma Bay is not just a snorkeling spot; it’s an underwater paradise teeming with colorful marine life and coral reefs. As a protected nature preserve, it offers some of the best and most accessible snorkeling in Hawaii. The bay’s calm, clear waters make it perfect for couples to explore Oahu’s vibrant underwater world together. 

Arrive early to avoid the crowds and enjoy a more intimate experience with nature. Snagging a reservation can be tricky, the number of daily visitors is limited to 1000 people and it books up daily in just minutes. 

But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with my best tips for getting a prime time slot using the online reservation system:

Read More: The Foolproof Guide to Hanauma Bay for Snorkeling

If you can’t score a reservation, one workaround is to book a tour like the Hanauma Bay Snorkeling Tour. They take care of the reservation and provide transportation from your hotel so your romantic beach day is hassle-free. Note: Tours do not include the $25 per person entry fee.

8. Have a picnic lunch on the beach 🧺

Pack a gourmet picnic lunch and head to Lanikai Beach, known for its powdery white sand and crystal-clear waters. The Mokulua Islands in the distance are a stunning backdrop for a romantic afternoon.

(Also, there are no facilities at Lanikai Beach since it’s a residential area. So, if you go, you’ll want to bring drinks and snacks with you.)

Lanikai Beach Oahu Hawaii
Pack a picnic for Lanikai Beach

For the ultimate beach picnic experience, let an expert take care of all the details. Two companies on Oahu will set you up with a 5-star romantic picnic at a location of your choice – Oasis Picnics and Oahu Premier Picnics.

They both offer a variety of different packages at different price points. They’ll also help you choose the perfect Oahu location and timing for your oceanfront feast. 

Full disclosure, I have not tried either of these services but I think this is a super fun, romantic idea. Plus, the pictures I’ve seen of their picnic setups are nothing short of amazing. 

9. Take a Sunset Catamaran Cruise ⛵

There’s nothing quite like sailing along the stunning Waikiki coastline on a catamaran cruise as the sun sets, with a fruity Mai Tai in hand. The gentle sway of the catamaran, the sound of the waves, and the warm tradewinds create a truly romantic atmosphere. 

Sunset Catamaran Cruise for Couples Waikiki Hawaii
A sunset catamaran cruise in Waikiki

Getting out on the water for a sunset catamaran cruise is one of my absolute favorite things to do in Waikiki. And that’s why this one gets my vote as the #1 thing for couples to do on Oahu.

Several local companies offer nightly trips departing from Waikiki Beach or nearby Ala Wai Harbor.

Most cruises last approximately 2 hours, include free-flowing Mai Tais (or non-alcoholic fruity drinks) and offer jaw-dropping views of the Waikiki skyline at sunset. It’s an ideal way to unwind, connect, and soak in the breathtaking views of Waikiki and Diamond Head during the golden hour.

My favorite sunset catamaran cruise is Moana’s Sunset Cocktail Sail. Awesome crew, gorgeous sunset views of Waikiki, and just a generally fabulous way to spend an evening in Waikiki.

Tip:  If you want to do a sunset cocktail cruise but you’re prone to seasickness and need a larger boat, the Waikiki Sunset Cocktail Cruise aboard the Majestic by Atlantis is the perfect choice. 

10. Attend a Luau 🌺

Experience Hawaiian culture together by attending a luau. Enjoy traditional Hawaiian food, music, and dance performances under the stars. A luau is a delicious 3-hour glimpse into the rich heritage of the Hawaiian Islands.

The setting of a luau, under the canopy of a starlit sky, sets the stage for an unforgettable night. As the sun sets, the torches are lit, casting a warm glow and creating an intimate ambiance.

Sharing a traditional Hawaiian feast complete with kalua pig, lomi lomi salmon, and poi, is a must while visiting Hawaii.

Royal Hawaiian Luau Waikiki Hawaii
Romantic vibes at the Royal Hawaiian Luau

The highlight, however, is the live entertainment. Featuring hula dancers whose graceful movements tell stories of love, adventure, and Hawaiian heritage.

Among the luaus on Oahu, a few stand out for their particularly romantic settings and experiences:

  • Paradise Cove Luau: Located at Ko Olina, Paradise Cove offers a stunning sunset backdrop against the ocean. The luau includes a Hawaiian village where couples can learn about arts, crafts, and games, adding a playful element to the evening.
  • Royal Hawaiian Luau (Aha’aina): Hosted at the iconic Royal Hawaiian Hotel, also known as the Pink Palace. This luau is set on the oceanfront lawn, offering a luxurious and intimate setting. The Royal Hawaiian’s rich history adds a layer of elegance and romance to the luau experience.
  • Chief’s Luau: Set against the panoramic backdrop of the Waianae mountains, Chief’s Luau is known for its heartfelt performances and genuine aloha spirit. The setting, in a secluded area, ensures an intimate atmosphere perfect for couples.

Each of these luaus brings something unique to the table, from scenic views to cultural depth, making them great choices if you’re looking to add a touch of romance to your Oahu visit. 

11. Set sail on a sunset Dinner Cruise from Waikiki 🚢

Sip cocktails and dine on gourmet cuisine as you sail along the Oahu coast. Live island music and the twinkling Honolulu skyline add to the ambiance.

Romantic Sunset Dinner Cruise Oahu Hawaii
A romantic sunset Dinner Cruise in Waikiki

Glide along the turquoise waters of Oahu as the sky transitions from blue to hues of orange, pink, and purple. This is the enchanting scene of a sunset dinner cruise. It’s an unforgettable experience for couples looking for romance at sea.

A romantic dinner cruise is a great date idea or a lovely way to celebrate a special occasion. 

Bonus: In the winter months, you might even spot humpback whales during your dinner cruise.

The most popular Waikiki sunset dinner cruise is the Star Casual Sunset and Show Cruise. This 2-hour dinner cruise includes a 3-course crab and steak dinner, and a fun Hawaiian show called “60 Years of Aloha.” 

12. Watch the Friday Night Fireworks on Waikiki Beach 🎆

Every Friday night, the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort puts on a spectacular fireworks display lighting up the sky over Waikiki Beach. It’s a weekly tradition that adds a touch of magic to the start of the weekend and it attracts both visitors and local families from around the island. 

Grab a spot on the beach early, perhaps with a picnic or a couple of beach chairs, and watch as the night sky is illuminated with colors. The sound of the ocean, the warm tropical breeze, and the dazzling fireworks create a truly romantic setting, perfect for kicking off your weekend in style.

Friday Night Fireworks Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Hawaii
The Friday night fireworks at the Hilton Hawaiian Village

Yes, you can watch the fireworks for free from the beach (I recommend the wide beach area in front of the Hale Koa Resort). But if you want to up the romance level a bit, there are two even more special ways to watch:

Watch from above at PESCA in the Ilikai Hotel – We love the views from this upscale Mediterranean restaurant on the top floor of the Ilikai Hotel. It also has a pretty fabulous all-day happy hour so let’s just say we go often.

On one of our first visits, our helpful waiter pointed out that on Friday nights the restaurant is a great place to watch the fireworks from above in their dining room.

We’ve since been several times on Friday nights and it’s always a special treat to watch from this unique vantage point. They even turn out the lights for the 5-minute show so everyone has a great view.

Take a “Fireworks Catamaran Cruise” –  On Friday nights the sunset catamaran cruises do a later sailing specifically to watch the fireworks from sea. This Friday Night Waikiki Fireworks Catamaran Cruise is my favorite choice for a fireworks sail.

BONUS Activities: Explore local culture and history together 🏛️

Learning about Hawaiian culture is not just an enriching experience, it’s an essential part of any visit to Hawaii. It’s the perfect way to deepen your connection with the spirit of the islands (and each other!).

As you explore the rich heritage and traditions of Hawaii together, you’ll gain insights into the Aloha spirit that defines the way of life here.

Whether it’s a tour of the Iolani Palace, the only royal palace in the United States, or exploring the diverse Pacific cultures at the Polynesian Cultural Center, Oahu offers plenty of opportunities to learn more about Hawaiian culture.

History buffs will love the Bishop Museum, it’s a treasure trove of fascinating Hawaiian artifacts and natural history exhibits. The Honolulu Museum of Art showcases an extensive collection of Asian, Western, and Hawaiian art, bridging the past with the present through visual storytelling. 

A visit to the Kualoa Ranch Private Nature Reserve is another great way to have some fun while learning about Oahu’s sacred lands and history. Tours range from horseback riding and catamaran cruises to Movie Tours that visit filming locations from Jurassic Park, Lost, and more.  

Learning about Hawaiian culture together adds to your appreciation of the island’s core values – harmony, respect, and Aloha. And if that’s not a beautiful backdrop for a romantic getaway, I don’t know what is!

Travel Guide to Oahu Hawaii Romantic Things to Do
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And there you have it! My picks for the best Oahu Hawaii activities for couples.

Each of these experiences offers a unique way to connect and create lasting memories on Oahu, making your romantic getaway truly unforgettable. 

But among all of your Oahu activities, don’t forget to take a moment to stand still, inhale the salty air, let the warm sands slip between your fingers, and just enjoy the beautiful spirit of Aloha that permeates the Hawaiian Islands. 

Because Aloha is what love is all about. ❤️ 

Share the Aloha!

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