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Visiting the West Side of Oahu

a close up of an animal

Everyone knows about Waikiki Beach and all the great things to do on the south side of Oahu. But today, we’re going to talk about what’s great about visiting the west side of Oahu. We’ll cover beautiful locations in this part of Oahu, what there is to do on this side of the island, and why the west side makes a great destination for a family vacation.

What to See When Visiting the West side of Oahu

Most tours on Oahu cut through the middle of the island. These tours cover a large portion of what Oahu has to offer, including the film site for the movie Jurassic Park, Diamond Head, and the Dole Pineapple Plantation. Additionally, this tour don’t require crossing a mountain to get to the west side. That being said, there is still plenty to see on the west side of the island.

Waves on the Oahu west side
Waves on the Oahu west side

For example, you will see several coves which contain ocean water but are slightly inland, offering gentle waters for families to enjoy. Beginner stand up paddle boarders will have an easier time getting used to balancing with minimal swells and waves. (Get your paddle board here or rent one.)

There are a few family friendly hotels to consider, but they are a bit more expensive. However, if you can afford to stay at the Disney Aulani, it is a great place to bring your kids.

White Sand Beaches

You will see picture perfect white sand beaches when visiting the west side of Oahu. From Yokohama Beach to Makua Beach and Makaha Beach, you’ll have your pick of lovely sand with a gorgeous backdrop in the Waianae Mountain Range.

You may even see dolphins jumping from the shore. If you’d like to meet some of them, read on to learn about your chance to do so.

Swim with Dolphins in the Wild

The west side of Oahu offers one of the best places to swim with dolphins in the ocean. These are wild dolphins who are not trained. Tours can take you to the place where they are most likely to sleep. However, you may not touch or chase the dolphins, so there is an element of luck as to whether you will be successful meeting dolphins to this tour.

You don’t have to stay on the west side to enjoy the wild dolphins—you can take a shuttle from Waikiki if that is where you are staying.

Paradise Cove Luau on the Oahu West Side

The best place to enjoy a luau is when you are visiting the west side of Oahu. You’ll enjoy delicious food and incredible dancers while the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean. This part of Oahu is ideal for a luau due to its location on the west side of the island, since the sun always sets in the west.

Sunset on the Oahu west side
Sunset on the Oahu west side