Now that you've closed all those wedding tabs on your laptop, you may not have much left in the tank to plan your honeymoon. So, we’ve got you covered with suggestions on the best opportunities to relax, explore and make new memories together. Luckily, there’s no shortage of things to do – or ways to unwind – on Oahu.
Where to stay
After that post-wedding hangover, you deserve to treat yourself. Book yourselves at a luxury resort where everything you’ll need is at your fingertips – and on Oahu, you’ll have plenty to choose from. There are two major resort areas on Oahu, with two notable outliers. These resorts are all in iconic, beautiful, and buzz-worthy locations, so there are no wrong choices – choose the one that speaks to the both of you.
On the sunny south shore of Oahu is legendary Waikiki. This is where you’ll find the majority of Oahu’s hotels and resorts, framed by the iconic silhouette of Leahi, better known as Diamond Head Crater. If you want to stay at a historic place that you can revisit again and again, stay at the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa. Known as “The First Lady of Waikiki,” the Moana was the first hotel in Waikiki, built in 1901. The Royal Hawaiian, which opened in 1927, also known as “Pink Palace of the Pacific,” joins the Moana as two of the most iconic – and unforgettable – hotels in Waikiki.
Other options include The Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach, the expansive Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, Alohilani Resort Waikiki and much, much more. Yes, you’ll find crowds in Waikiki, but you’ll also be in the center of the action where you can take a surfing lesson on Waikiki Beach by day, then hit up the many bars, restaurants and entertainment options along Kalakaua Avenue at night.
If you prefer to get away from it all, head west to Ko Olina. This master-planned resort community on the sunny west side of Oahu is a great spot to unwind and get comfy. There are four main resorts in Ko Olina. Disney fanatics choose Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, while others pamper themselves at the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina, Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club, or the Beach Villas at Ko Olina. Along with fantastic resort amenities, the Ko Olina resort area also features four beach lagoon areas, an award-winning golf course, and a marina for ocean adventures.
There are two notable exceptions to Oahu’s main resort areas. In town, east of Waikiki, you’ll find The Kahala Hotel & Resort, known for its dolphin lagoon encounters. And to truly get away from it all, head to the northern tip of Oahu to stay at the Turtle Bay Resort, which features unique North Shore adventures like helicopter rides and horseback riding.
Get outdoors and adventurous
Yes, you’ve earned the right to spend your entire honeymoon napping under an umbrella by the infinity pool, but don’t miss the opportunity to get a taste of all that Oahu has to offer.
From mauka (the mountains)...
While Oahu is the urban epicenter of Hawaii, you’re never far from an outdoor adventure. Unplug and seek some breathtaking views on a fun . Thinking of driving around the island? Don’t forget to head over to Kualoa Ranch for jaw-dropping views and exhilarating experiences like ziplining, horseback riding, Secret Beach adventures and more.
To makai (the sea)
There’s a plethora of ocean activities awaiting you on Oahu. Start your day with a surfing or stand-up paddle boarding lesson together on Waikiki Beach. Then grab some beach towels and head southeast for a snorkel expedition at the ever-popular Hanauma Bay (just don’t forget to make a reservation). Hop in the car and take a road trip to one of our favorite beaches and watch the vibrant hues of the sunset together – the absolute perfect ending to this romantic day.
Explore the streets and local boutiques in some of our favorite neighborhoods like Kaimuki (pictured above) and Kakaako.
Soak up the scene
The island of Oahu is known as The Gathering Place, and for good reason, as it’s the most populated and visited of the Hawaiian Island chain. There are a variety of ways to explore its rich history, embrace the culture and discover the island’s talents and tastemakers.
Go on a walking tour of Kakaako to view street art from renowned artists like Shephard Fairey and local artists like Kamea Hadar. You can also explore Hawaii’s best museums and cultural destinations, including the Bishop Museum, Iolani Palace, and the Honolulu Museum of Art. And every weekend, you’ll find a fun event – from summer Obon dances to the famed Waikiki Spam Jam – or a great night out at venues like the Hawaii Theatre, Blaisdell Concert Hall, and Blue Note Hawaii.
Dine to your hearts delight
If your idea of Hawaiian-inspired cuisine is pineapples on pizza, you’re in for a surprise. Oahu has a vibrant culinary scene inspired by the islands’ fresh ingredients and diverse Asian, Pacific Island and European influences. Chef Robynne Maii of Fete in Chinatown won a 2022 James Beard Award. Other Oahu James Beard Semifinalists included Chef Andrew Le of The Pig and the Lady, Chef Keiji Nakazawa from Sushi Sho, Sushi Izakaya Gaku, as well as outstanding bar program for Bar Leather Apron and outstanding pastry chef for Michelle Karr-Ueoka at MW Restaurant. Do a little Oahu restaurant and bar research and say a welcome goodbye to all that wedding dieting.
There are too many local spots, hidden gems, and top spots throughout Oahu to count, so don’t overwhelm yourself. Browse our Oahu Island Guide, choose a couple of your favorites, then let the rest take you by surprise. Go with the flow and enjoy every unplanned Honeymoon moment together on Oahu.
Note: Due to web limitations, the use of diacritics in the Hawaiian language are omitted from this article.