10 Things to Do on a Rainy Day in Oahu
We bet you were expecting an island paradise when you hopped on the plane to Hawaii - a sun in the sky with a warm breeze through the air. Well, just like everywhere else, Hawaii does get its fair share of rain - especially if you’re travelling in the rainy season. But fear not, there are so many wonderful things to do on Oahu, even if it’s raining!
1) Go to a Museum or Historic Site
Oahu is home to a variety of museums that offer everything from the state’s history to world-class art. Below is a list of some of our favorites:
- Honolulu Museum of Art
- Bishop Museum
- USS Missouri
- Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum
- USS Arizona Memorial
- Queen Emma’s Summer Palace
- Shangri La Hawaii
2) Visit Iolani Palace
Did you know that Hawaii is home to the country’s only royal residence? Visit Iolani Palace to learn about the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy and Hawaii’s last monarch: Queen Liliokalani. We highly recommend taking their guided audio tour. And, if it’s not too rainy, you can pair it with our Downtown Honolulu Walking Tour!
3) Visit Waikiki
OK, so this might involve getting stuck in a little rain, but it’s worth it! Waikiki is more than just a beautiful, white-sand beach. It’s home to dozens of shops, hotels, and restaurants. You can spend hours walking around the neighborhood, popping in and out of local establishments.
We recommend grabbing some lunch at one of the many restaurants along Kalakaua Avenue - one of our favorites stops is Duke’s for an ono burger with ocean views! Some other can’t miss spots are: The Royal Hawaiian Hotel, International Marketplace, Duke Kahanamoku Statue and the Moana Surfrider. While you’re there, consider taking out our Heart of Waikiki Walking Tour so you can learn more about the history of the area.
RELATED: What to Do in Waikiki Beach
4) Shop - International Marketplace and Ala Moana
Speaking of International Marketplace - that brings us to our next rainy day activity - shopping! Don’t wait until the last minute to grab souvenirs. Check out International Marketplace or Ala Moana Center where you can find both local shops and global brands. Some Hawaii brands to look out for are: Aloha Collection, Island Sole and Reyn Spooner.
5) Try local food
Well since you can’t go to the beach, you might as well indulge! Hawaii has a unique - and delicious cuisine! One of our favorite meals is poke. Raw fish mixed with things like onion, avocado, shoyu (or soy sauce) and more. To be honest, one of the best spots for poke is the grocery store - Foodland consistently ranks number one on polls. If you’re looking for a local spot, try Off the Hook. Just beware, you’ll probably have to wait in line.
6) Or Fine Dining
If you’re looking for a fine-dining experience, Oahu has plenty of those as well. These even include multi-course tasting menus with Hawaiian influences. If you’re looking for fine dining, some spots to try are Senia, La Mer, Azure, House Without a Key and M by Jeremy Shigekane.
7) Visit Kailua Town
This beachy town with laid back vibes is great for a rainy day. Although the beach is arguably one of the best on the island (don’t just take our word for it, it was voted the best beach in America in 2019), the town itself has wonderful local boutiques, great eateries and art galleries. While you’re there we recommend you check out:
- Lauren Roth Art
- Manoa Chocolate
- Kalapawai Market
- ChadLou’s Coffee Roasters
- Over Easy
- Egghead Cafe
RELATED: Kailua Travel Guide
8) Kualoa Ranch
Although many of the ranch’s activities do require that you’re outdoors, there’s a few that you can do in the comfort of a covered vehicle. Check out their Jurassic Adventure Tour, Multi-Passenger ATV, Hollywood Movie Sites and Ranch Tour, Jungle Expedition Tour, and Aloha Aina Tour.
9) Visit Haleiwa
OK, so you won’t be completely protected from the rain on your visit to Haleiwa, but there are so many great shops, restaurants and art galleries to visit, that you won’t need to spend too much time outside. Just bring an umbrella as you walk around this quintessential beach town on Oahu’s North Shore.
RELATED: Haleiwa Travel Guide
10) Take a Shaka Guide Tour
Drive around and listen to cool stories about Oahu, without ever leaving your car. The best thing about Shaka Guide driving tours is you pick where to go and how long you’ll stay. So, if you only want to visit the stops that are indoors - you can! Learn more about our Oahu tours here.
OAHU TRAVEL GUIDES: