Few images conjure up romance more than a couple walking hand-in-hand on Waikiki Beach while the sky explodes with color at sunset. Oahu is famous for its striking sunsets, after all. But there are a lot more things couples can do on Oahu to spark romance or simply have fun. Below is a list of some “adults-only” adventures that will liven up any couple’s Oahu holiday.
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Experience a Catamaran Cruise at Sunset
As dramatic as an Oahu beach sunset is, you and your partner can still take it up a notch. One of the most memorable things a couple can do in Oahu is to watch the sun go down from the water with a cocktail in hand and a ukulele playing in the background. Although a number of operators offer “sundowner” cruises that go from Waikiki out to Diamond Head back, opt for a catamaran or sailboat for a more relaxing and authentic experience. The best cruises will have a small number of passengers, unlimited non-alcoholic beverages and cocktails, and tasty seafood appetizers. If holding your significant other while gently swaying on the water at sunset doesn’t kindle romance, nothing will! Check out Viator to book your sunset cruise.
Take a Hawaiian Cooking Class
If Hawaiian poke bowls and chicken long rice tingle your taste buds, why not learn how to make them at home? You and your partner can bond over learning to make the Hawaiian cuisine that has become a fusion of mainland, Polynesian, and Asian flavors. A number of native Oahu chefs offer hours-long cooking classes, some of them in their own homes. It doesn’t get more authentic than that!
Besides favorites like poke and chicken long rice, you can try your hand at traditional Hawaiian dishes like poi (fermented taro root paste), squid luau (a taro leaf, coconut, and squid stew) or lau lau (fatty pork and salted butterfish wrapped in lu’au leaves). Or if Asian cuisine is more your thing, Asian roots run deep on Oahu. Dishes like gyoza (Japanese dumplings), yakisoba noodles, and sushi are popular. Either way, a Hawaiian cooking class will whet your appetite for mastering some of the islands’ best food. Check out the Hawaiian Style Cooking Class website to book an authentic cooking experience.
Go Wine Tasting at Mana + Pua
When most people think of Hawaii, wine tasting is not usually the first thing they think of. Or the tenth. But a few vineyards have sprouted on the islands, and Mana + Pua on Oahu’s North Shore has become one of the finest vintners. Mana + Pua gets a mixture of grapes from California to create a startling good blend of unique wines they call “Mana,” a sacred term referring to our internal spiritual energy. The Mana wines include a range of dryer varietals from a sparkling brut to a pinot noir. You won’t have to coax your sweetheart to try the sweeter Pua (flower) wines, which are made from Maui grapes and infused with the fragrance of the plumeria flowers that fill the Hawaiian air.
After sampling the wines of Mana + Pua, you may develop an appetite. You and your partner will be rewarded with a scrumptious menu of flatbreads, sandwiches, and breakfast fare that staff will help you pair with the wine you just tasted. And don’t forget to try one of their signature cupcakes with sprinkles. Where else can you savor delicious wine and food within earshot of crashing ocean waves? Visit the Mana + Pua website to learn more.
Dine at the Royal Hawaiian
Even if you’re not hungry, a visit to the storied Royal Hawaiian Hotel is a must for any couple on Oahu. Its dramatically pink Spanish-Moorish architecture has earned the hotel the alliterative moniker “The Pink Palace of the Pacific.” The world-class service and luxurious accommodations have been drawing celebrities and dignitaries for nearly a century. A stroll through the lobby is a tropical delight of fountains, greenery, and pink stucco.
Once you experience the fine dining at the hotel’s Azure restaurant, you’ll see why the well-heeled keep coming back to the Royal Hawaiian. Commanding the west end of Waikiki Beach, the hotel and its restaurant afford one of the most dramatic views on Oahu. Get a table outside and you’ll see Waikiki spreading out before you and leading your eyes to the iconic Diamond Head in the distance. The Azure serves a rotating four-course menu emphasizing Hawaiian seafood delicacies like ahi crudo and pan-seared kona kampachi (yellowtail fish). Reservations are essential and can be made at the Royal Hawaiian website here.
Visit the Honolulu Museum of Art
Art lovers will rejoice and everyone else will be delighted by the range of modern, Polynesian, European, and Asian art at the Honolulu Museum of Art, the largest art museum in the state. Couples will appreciate the large spaces exhibiting classics like Claude Monet’s Water Lilies, Vincent Van Gogh’s Wheat Field, and Georgia O’Keefe’s Waterfall – No. III – ‘Iao Valley, which she painted during her stay in Hawaii. Asian influences can be found in works like the ceramic Dragon Jar from 18th century Korea or Takako Irie on Couch, painted by an early-20th century Japanese artist. Not to be missed is a stroll with your significant other in the finely manicured sculpture garden. Check out the Honolulu Museum of Art website for visitor information.
Unwind at a Day Spa
Has all that surfing and swimming left you sore? Or perhaps you’ve come to Oahu with your significant other to unwind from the stresses of the mainland. Either way, you’ll find several great day spas on Oahu where you can get 90-minute couples massages, Hawaiian hot stone treatments, or long soaks in luxurious whirlpools. Any of the options below will leave you feeling completely relaxed at the end of the day,
For the most luxurious experience and best world-class service on Oahu, try Naupaka Spa & Wellness at the Four Seasons Resort at Ko Olina. There, you’ll experience “lomilomi,” a particular kind of kneading massage developed in Hawaii over centuries. Couples can experience a massage together in their own suite and relax together outside in the garden or at the terrace pool. For a less pricey but equally relaxing option, consider Lava Massage & Day Spa in Honolulu. It offers a number of couples packages that include a full-body coconut oil massage, hot stone treatments, reflexology, and more–all while gazing out the floor-to-ceiling windows on the 25th floor!
Snorkel at Turtle Canyon
Given how crystal clear the ocean waters of Oahu are, you and your honey would be remiss if you didn’t see one of Hawaii’s most famous residents, the green sea turtle. Known for its greenish belly and large size–up to four feet long–seeing the endangered green sea turtle in its natural habitat is a must for any adventurous couple. Fortunately you don’t have to go far. Turtle Canyon, an underwater ravine just offshore from Waikiki, is teeming with the reptilian creatures, and they’re easily spotted while snorkeling at the surface. You might be surprised to see reef fish cleaning the turtles’ shells.
Several tours operating from Waikiki will take you on a guided two- to three-hour excursion by catamaran. They usually include drinks, snacks, and of course, snorkeling equipment. One of the most popular tours can be booked here on TripAdvisor. This is a shared experience you and your other half will talk about for years to come!
Go Horseback Riding on the Beach
What could be more romantic than riding a horse into the sunset with your partner? It’s possible on Oahu. Several outfitters with guides and well-trained horses will take you on one- to three-hour rides that culminate on the beach with the sun dipping below the horizon.
One such outfitter is the Hawaii Polo Club on the North Shore in Waialua. They offer rides for experienced and new riders alike on their Oceanfront Trail during the golden hours just before sunset. Visit their website here to see all the rides they have available. And if you come between April and August, you can watch a polo match to boot! Another good option for beach rides on the North Shore is the Turtle Bay Resort. Go here to book a sunset ride you won’t soon forget!
Laugh Together at Sharkey’s Comedy Club
You know what they say: “The couple that laughs together, stays together.” Well, there’s no better place on Oahu to start laughing than Sharkey’s. “The High & Right Comedy Night” show happens every Tuesday and Saturday night in the Warriors Lounge at the Hale Koa Hotel. Sharkey’s hosts some of Hawaii’s best professional comedians, including Bo Irvine, the “Hawaiian King of Comedy.” They’ll get you knee-slapping in no time. Just try not to spill your cocktails and food! Check out their website for more information.
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