Without a doubt, it’s one of the most under-rated parts of Oahu.
Most completely skip over it.
But I don’t blame them – most never talk about how incredible it is!
What I’m talking about is Oahu’s gorgeous West Oahu.
It holds some of the islands greatest gems, which I’ll be pulling back the curtain on for you, so you can have a blast on your vacation!
(and if you already live on the island – I’m certain you’ll find new things to do, and learn a thing or two)
Well, let’s not keep you waiting – let’s dive right into the 1st of the 10 best things to do on West Oahu!
1. Hike the beautiful Makua Cave for Sunset
Total time: 1 hour
Best time to hike: Sunset
We recommend you to bring:
Keep in mind:
- It can get pretty hot closer to sunset – so bring lots of water (and wear sunscreen!)
- The west side is the dryer side of the island so if you want everything in your photos to be green – make sure to come after rainfall
One of my favorite hikes on the island – especially during sunset, where the views get lit up with a beautiful orange hue and everything pops!
The best time to visit is after heavy rainfall, as the view is bright green and looks incredible.
Although, I would recommend hiking any time of year – despite the weather.
Nowww – before going on the hike…
All I ask is don’t blame me after the hike talking about how you slipped and slided because of the loose rocks (lol – trust me, you’ll know what I mean after you do it)
So that concludes the first best thing to do on West Oahu…
Lets dive into the 2nd best thing to do!
2. Snorkel at Electric Beach
Yes, you read that right – this beach is called Electric Beach.
(It’s official name is “Kahe Point Beach Park”)
It gets the name because it’s located right across from a power plant…
Which is quite incredible, because the water at the beach is on the warmer side, which attracts droves of incredible fish and sea life!
This beach is out-of-the-world for snorkeling.
I’ve seen dolphins, sea turtles, and tons of other unique fish here.
Now – it can tend to be a little bit harder to swim at and snorkel at some times, so quick heads up regarding that.
But overall, if you’re looking for somewhere to snorkel – or – relax on the beach, this is definitely a great place to go!
Now, let’s jump into another best thing to do…
3. Catch the sunset
This one is the easiest but one of the essential things to do on West Oahu. West Oahu has some of the best sunsets on the entirety of the island.
4. Hike up Mount Lahilahi
With just 20-minutes and a little bit of rock climbing…
You could see a beautiful, vast view of Waianae on a hike called Mount Lahilahi.
It’s located right next to a beautiful beach called Papaoneone beach in Makaha.
I’d say it’s relatively easy to hike, and I highly recommend doing it if you’re in the area, and are up for it.
Want to see more great hikes? Check out our Top 15 Best Hikes on Oahu, Hawaii.
5. Visit the beautiful Ko’olina Resort
Ko’olina Beach is typically pretty crowded, no matter the time and day you visit…
And is nearly impossible to find parking on the weekends (unless you visit earlier in the day).
But it’s an incredible place to relax, lay down, and swim on the west side of Oahu.
The Ko’olina Resort features 4 lagoons and the popular Aulani Disney Resort and Four Seasons.
6. Visit Makua Beach
Located on the West side of Oahu, Makua Beach is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful on this side of the island. Right next to this beach is the beautiful Makua Cave, which we ranked number 5 on the best hikes on Oahu, which you can read more about by clicking here. This beach is also very well-known for encountering dolphins.
7. Visit Kaena Point
Kaena Point is a trail located at the very end of Waianae. It is a state park and a bird sanctuary. It’s located on the most western part of the island and can get very hot on a clear day, so make sure to bring plenty of water and some snacks. The whole trail, from the parking lot in Waianae to Dillingham Air Field is 6.3 miles one way to hike the whole trail – or roughly 4 miles out and back if you’re only looking to visit the state park.
8. Experience the beauty of the Mermaid Caves
Nanakuli Beach Park is most popular for its beautiful Mermaid Caves, which is shown above. When you get here, you will realize why it’s so popular – something just feels special about this place. It can potentially be dangerous at times due to swells that can fill up the cave.
9. Visit Yokohama Bay
Yokohama Bay is the most western beach on the island and is well-known for surfing and bodyboarding. The beautiful mountains in the background combined with the white sands and vibrant blue waters are what makes this beach so perfect to visit. The waves can get pretty big – especially during winter months, so swimming is probably not an option.
10. View Waianae from the Maili Pillboxes
Maili Pillboxes (or Pu’u’ohulu Kai) is a short 1.5-mile hike. It takes a little over an hour to complete. We recommend you hiking the pillboxes during sunset for the best view possible. It can get a little crowded – but it’s definitely worth it.