Oahu's size is a mere 597 sq. miles, but families will find plenty to do. Most of the action is in the south part of the island, around Waikiki Beach; the north is very different, less developed, and well worth visiting.
The Waikiki Beach area, in Honolulu, offers kid-friendly shallow beaches, a lagoon where kids can try stand-up paddleboarding, surf lessons (even for eight-year-olds), a beautified walkway, hikes up Diamond Head, and more. Many visitors tour the USS Arizona Memorial, at Pearl Harbor.
Visitors can venture out on the water on catamaran boat trips and Atlantis submarine outings, both of which depart right from Waikiki beach. Another great outing is a half-day eco-tour to a beautiful bay for a swim with wild dolphins.
Day-trips on land include Kualoa Ranch, with horse-riding and other activities, and the Polynesian Cultural Center, a giant place and a full-day experience. Guests visit areas representing seven Polynesian islands (with kids' activities at each one), and finish up with a lavish luau. Visitors can also take to the air, and get a birds-eye view of the island on a helicopter ride or by "soaring" in a glider plane.