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Oahu Adventures on Land and Water

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The island's seas, beaches and rainforested ridges form a tropical playground for outdoor adventurers. Dive deep—scuba or sub, take your pick!—or snorkel alongside sharks. Serious wave riders can hit the massive North Shore swells in winter, while beginners paddle out with the Ohana Surf Project. Onshore, climb high into the rugged, volcanic hills or ATV through jungle valleys familiar from the set of "Jurassic Park."
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252 Paoa Pl, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
A great introduction to the ocean floor for nondivers, the world's largest passenger submarine descends within view of Diamond Head and Waikiki's skyline. It churns down to 100 feet, sometimes passing eels, green sea turtles, and even majestic...
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Waikīkī, HI 96815, USA
One of the most recognizable sites in Hawaii, this volcanic ash cone overlooks Waikiki's coastline—a tectonic memory from an explosion half a million years ago, measuring almost 3,500 feet across. British sailors named it Diamond Head in the...
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609 Keawe St, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA
Oahu's diving may not be the islands' best, but it has enough epic descents to keep scuba connoisseurs smiling. The favorite tends to be the YO-257 navy oiler, which Atlantis Submarines sank as an artificial reef within sight of Diamond Head...
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Hanauma Bay, Hawaii 96825, USA
Hawaii's waters boast an exciting wealth of biodiversity, accessible with a swimsuit and a snorkel. The rocky shores of Richardson Beach on the Big Island are a favorite jumping-off point for humans and sea turtles alike, while the island’s...
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49-560 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744, USA
This 4,000-acre private nature reserve moonlights as an adventure playground and also a film set. Kaaawa Valley serves as Hollywood's "Hawaii backlot" and has hosted more than four dozen shoots, ranging from Elvis hits to Jurassic Park and 50...
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Kalaau Pl, Honolulu, HI 96821, USA
Escape the hubbub of Honolulu and stretch your legs on this 4.4-mile, moderate, out-and-back path. Somewhat steep, this serious glute workout attracts a lot of trail runners, especially on the weekends. The hike begins among rocks and small...
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66-105 Haleiwa Rd, Haleiwa, HI 96712, USA
Plenty of people brag about shark cage diving, but here's your chance to swim freely with these ancient predators! Hawaii Adventure Diving puts a maximum of six snorkelers in the water, accompanied by a dive master, scuba instructor, and a...
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2699 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
Ease into the wave-riding scene with this uniquely soulful surf school on Oahu. Sean Anderson had been teaching for 20 years when he saw the family of a deceased surfer struggling to get into the water. With Susan Geraci he launched the Ohana Surf...
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66-105 Haleiwa Rd, Haleiwa, HI 96712, USA
Around 11,000 humpbacks—a quarter to a third of the global population—visit Hawaii from November until early May. They migrate here to mate and give birth: Intensely focused on procreation, these marine mammals don't eat and can lose...
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Haleiwa, HI 96712, USA

Looking for the perfect wave? You'll probably find it on the North Shore, a surfers' paradise that offers up legendary big, glassy winter waves for world-class riders. Over 11 kilometers (seven miles) of beaches host the planet's...

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Waimea Bay, Hawaii 96712, USA
If you are looking for high surf, winter is the time of year to visit Hawaii. And, Waimea Bay is where you can find some of the biggest walls of water tumbling into the beach. Lifeguards bark instructions to a wayward crowd who are tempted by the...
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2259 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
Paddleboarding is an easy water sport to learn in Hawaii. After you get on your board, all you have to do is sit and paddle around the bay. For the slightly more adventurous soul, you can stand and paddle parallel to the shoreline, maybe even ride...