Oahu might be a top honeymoon destination, but the Gathering Isle is also a great place for families, friends and even the solo traveler. Though you could relax on the beach or sip cocktails in the outdoor hotel bar all day long, there’s much to discover while you’re visiting the island. With oceans to explore and neighborhoods to sightsee and breathtaking views to ogle, Oahu is an ideal destination for a visiting solo. Whether you’re climbing a mountain, dining at a restaurant with a view or just talking to locals, you’ll rarely ever feel alone on Oahu.
Tucked at the end of Waikiki and within walking distance to the beach, Ala Moana Beach Park and Ala Moana Center, you can enjoy ocean views while finding endless dining options nearby. This hotel also boasts two pools, a spa and a popular night club and bar lounge, where both locals and tourists frequent, so it'll be easy to meet people.
If you're looking for a tasty local treat, this bakery is the place to go for a warm, fried no-hole Portuguese donut. Tourists visit this popular local institution by the busload, so you can eat your malasada puff (plain or filled with fruit or custard) alongside other patrons or, if you'd prefer, devour your donut on a bench alone.
If you're a little bored and looking to mingle with locals and other tourists, this hotspot is the perfect place to strike up a conversation. Bartenders and patrons are friendly, and you'll also be treated to ocean views. This is Sheraton Waikiki's posh, beachside lounge known for unique cocktails, comfort food and coveted fire pits.
When your vacation calls for relaxation, take a short drive out of Waikiki and immerse yourself in a solo hike through the jungle. The short hike is perfect for beginners, with just small changes in topography. The 1.6 mile roundtrip hike will take you through pleasant eucalyptus fields and bamboo before reaching a 100-foot waterfall.
Climbing Diamond Head Crater is often at the top of traveler's to-do lists when visiting. The mostly paved path is an 0.8-mile hike from trailhead to the summit. With so many travelers hiking the trail, it'll be easy to get another hiker to snap your picture. Tip: The last entrance to hike the trail is at 4:30 pm.
Visiting the only royal palace in the United States is a great place to learn about the tumultuous history of Hawaii and the United States government. Perfect for solo travelers, this historic site offers both docent- and self-led tours, so you could either join a group tour or travel through the opulent resorted palace by yourself.
If you're a water buff traveling solo, you can still get your thrills with a surf lesson in Waikiki. You could opt for a group lesson and learn to ride the waves with fellow novice surfers or spring for a private lesson and hone in on your wave-catching skills. Either way, you can enjoy a few hours in the surf and catch your first wave.
From Monday through Friday, the Royal Hawaiian Center offers free cultural programs, where you can try your hand at stringing a lei, strumming an ukulele, weaving lauhala jewelry or even sewing a quilt. With large groups turning up to take advantage of the free courses, it's a great place to also discuss travel tips with your classmates.
Miles away from the buzz of Waikiki, this neighborhood beach offers a bit of quiet time away from the crowds of Waikiki. This Windward beach boasts clear turquoise waters and fine, white sand, where you can sprawl out without bumping elbows with your neighbor. This picturesque beach is the perfect spot to pack a picnic and enjoy the view.
Before you leave the island, be sure to check off everything you came to see and do. A circle island tour means you can do just that without doing all the driving. Stop at the Dole Plantation, Hanauma Bay, Nuuanu Pali Lookout and the North Shore all in one day--your family and friends will be impressed you did so much all by yourself.
This 2-mile (round trip) hike is paved, except at the very top. Drive past Hanauma Bay and Sandy Beach to the Hawaii Kai Golf Course. About ½ mile past the golf course on the right is the parking entrance. Nearing the summit, stop at the overlook for views of Goat Island, Rabbit Island, and Windward Oahu from Sea Life Park to Kaneohe.
Pamper yourself at LaaKea Spa. Unwind with a healing lomilomi or hot lava rock massage that promote relaxation, balance and energy. Get your feet ready for sandals with a soothing pedicure. After basking in the tropical sun, revitalize your skin with a hydrating body wrap and feel the soothing effects of aloe vera, lavender and chamomile.