10 Things to Do in Pearl City That You Shouldn't Miss

November 11, 2017 Flossie Demartino

Pearl City is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) located in the ʻEwa District and City & County of Honolulu on the Island of Oʻahu. As of the 2010 Census, the CDP had a total population of 47,698. Pearl City is located along the north shore of Pearl Harbor. ʻAiea borders Pearl City to the east, while Waipahu borders the west. The U.S. postal code for Pearl City is 96782.
Restaurants in Pearl City

1. USS Arizona Memorial

1 Arizona Memorial Place, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96818-3103 +1 808-422-3399
Excellent
78%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 22 reviews

USS Arizona Memorial

A 184-foot memorial honoring the 2,388 Americans who died during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Reviewed By SeeTheWorld608 - Oceanside, California

The memorial site was stunning & absolutely worth visiting. It’s a very unique glimpse at a critical moment in history.

2. Pearlridge Center

98-1005 Moanalua Rd Spc 231, Aiea, Oahu, HI 96701-4707 +1 808-842-1133
Excellent
26%
Good
52%
Satisfactory
20%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 178 reviews

Pearlridge Center

Reviewed By Milo H - Aiea, Hawaii

I had three watches repaired, one that was carried and couldn't be repaired with one having two batteries and only the one not working was replaced. great customer setvice, persinable, friendly and professional. ni've selection of shoes although it is self service. Justin Uejo, was the ales appliance specialist who helped me with the Samsung superseded steam VRT plus washer and Multisteam Ventsensor electric dryer. I also purchased a three year service warranty that includes annual preventive maintaence check. Justin was attentaive respectful and professional. I wasn't always a big Sears Dan but I am now.

3. Hawaii Convertible Tours

Waipahu, Oahu, HI 96797
Excellent
97%
Good
3%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 228 reviews

Hawaii Convertible Tours

Private tour guide and limousine service on Oahu & Honolulu, Hawaii in a luxury convertible! Relax and leave the driving to us and enjoy the views while riding in style. Not only see the ocean and sky but experience it with the aroma of flowers in the air and the gentle feeling of wind through your hair! We customize the route and activities to accommodate your interest and schedule while you are here on Oahu. No stress, no worries, no hurries. The only 4 door convertible on the island, a Chrysler 300C that carries 4 passengers. Reasonable rates!

Reviewed By martinsI9557CG

Mark collected us right on time and made us feel comfortable from the start. After a chat about what we wanted to see, he made sure we had plenty of time at each stop, took us to all the best food and dessert stops, beaches and famous places, and stopped at places well off the map. We finished up with some shopping and Mark had us back at our hotel 12 hrs after he picked us up. Its just a great day, that we would recommend to anyone.

4. Waimano Pool Trail

2566 Komo Mai Dr # 2572, Pearl City, Oahu, HI 96782-1063
Excellent
59%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 24 reviews

Waimano Pool Trail

Reviewed By Carolyn E

Here's a review from a moderately active (low to moderate intensity level workouts), non-hiker's perspective:

First off, there are previous reviews about Waimano Loop Trail and Waimano Falls Trail being different - this is true. I went on the Waimano Falls Trail which is only about 3 miles roundtrip, but it is a rough 3 miles (follow the directions in the other reviews if you want to do Waimano Falls trail. I honestly can't remember how I found this trail). I do know that you'll have to park in a neighborhood for this hike. Also, I went around 2:30pm and the hike was not crowded, at all.
The trail was very muddy and you pretty much are going downhill on uneven, tree root ridden mud for most of the way. This is what makes this hike fairly difficult. There are areas that are very narrow, and areas that have an almost vertical decline/incline. So you completely rely on the tree roots when going up or down. There are mud slicked ropes available in two areas, which are somewhat helpful. Then there's the infamous "Cardiac Hill." Believe me when I say you'll know you've reached the hill when you see it! Although it may appear daunting, it isn't that bad! The tree roots make going down this hill, safely, possible. Don't be afraid to get dirty because I guarantee that you will get mud everywhere, especially if it has been raining.
When we finally made it to the falls, it was beautiful. The lower falls are deep enough for jumping into (there are ropes available), and if you go a little further, you'll see the upper falls. The upper falls is not deep enough for jumping into.
So a lot of people, myself included, we're discouraged after the difficult decline to get to the falls. However, let me encourage those who are weary of this hike that the way back is much much easier and quicker. But you will see why they call it "Cardiac Hill" (don't worry, there is space available to take breaks).

Make sure to bring water, swim suit/towel, and maybe water shoes if you're going into the pools (it's pretty rocky in the falls). I wore closed-toe Keens during the hike and when swimming in the falls. I saw some people wearing flip flops or no shoes - they did not look like they were having the best time.

Overall, due to to the the way back being easier than the way there, I would highly recommend this hike, as it was challenging, but doable, and it was a beautiful. However, there are some parts that require pure upper body strength to lift yourself up, due to the slickness of the mud, and that infamous hill is a bit of a workout. So to those who are very out of shape, I wouldn't recommend going straight to hike.

5. Pearl Harbor / WW II Valor in the Pacific National Monument

1 Arizona Memorial Place, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96818-3103 808-422-3300
Excellent
75%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 10 reviews

Pearl Harbor / WW II Valor in the Pacific National Monument

A 184-foot memorial honoring the 2,388 Americans who died during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Reviewed By plnfxr - Port Orchard, Washington

Brought the boys with us this time and it held their attention. They only used their phone for pictures. Must see for its history.

6. Aiea Loop Trail

Aiea, Oahu, HI
Excellent
36%
Good
46%
Satisfactory
15%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 111 reviews

Aiea Loop Trail

Reviewed By 808Sunshine - Kapolei

Great hike away from city, trails mainly in shade, good views of valley, city, 'modern day' concrete H3 Freeway (cool sight tho). Nice, quiet easy trail with some slight incline spots. Bring food and of course H2O, take a break from your already leisure walk.

7. Waimano Ridge Trail

Waimano Home Rd, Pearl City, Oahu, HI 96782
Excellent
56%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 9 reviews

Waimano Ridge Trail

Reviewed By TravelerThere - Singapore, Singapore

First of all, this trail can be a loop trail, which mean, you can do a short (about 3 miles) hike that loop around. Or, if you are able, do the full 14+ mile full ridge trail. I believe the full ridge trail is going to the top of the mountain and then made a turn back.

My review will be centered on the loop trail. May be a little bit of the full ridge at the end of it. I will tell you the story below.

One important thing, there is NO rest room in the area. So, do your business before heading there. Pearl City Culture Plaza is on the opposite side, if you do have an emergence, you can tried there (if they are open).

To get to the trail, it is an easy drive UP Waimano Home Road. The trail start at the end of this road. You can't drive further, unless, you are a state employee who are allow to enter the all fence/gated up security area.

Parking on the left side, where there are rocky area on the side. Look for the trail sign, which is on the left of the fence. It is where you start to get in. Watch out for dog poops. No kidding.

There are pink and orange ribbons that people left to indicate the trail. So, look out for them, especially if you think you lost the way. At times, the ribbons may bring you back as a small loop, which is okay, as you can easily identified your area.

Less than a min walk after the sign, you will come upon a split. Another sign tell you if you want to go up the Upper Trail (on the Right side, along the fence) or Lower Trail (on the Left Side).

A little about these two trails. They do link to each other at one area where there is a sign indicating the loop's turning point. So either trail will take you for both ways if you choose to. However, I strongly recommend doing the UPPER loop trail first. Especially with young children.

The Lower trail is wider and safer to walk on. If you are only planning to get to the river, and turn around (without doing the loop), this trail is very much recommended. However, if you are planning to do the loop trail, then, go for the Upper trail first. If you choose to start the loop trail with the Lower trail first, you will ended up trying to climb up many areas (to make the loop) at half way point onwards. That means, the harder hiking time will be at the end. Some of the areas in the Upper trail are quite challenging, meaning, footing area of about 1.5 feet wide to walk. I prefer to clear all the "obstacles" in the earlier part of the trail before ending with a smoother and easy path.

Now, I can beginning sharing our hiking experiences.

So, on Memorial Day, we took our 4, 6, 9 year old to this trail. We took the Upper trail at the second sign. We walked next to the fence for at least 10 min. Remember we have young children, walking speed is slower. Most of this Upper trail is narrow walk along the ridge. Some area is only about 1.5 feet wide. At a ditch, the short brick "bridge" is probably about 1 feet wide in the middle, but less than a feet walk. Easy for adult yet a little scary for young children. So, if you have young children, just make sure them stay safe.

After about 20 min walk, we came to a "cross" path. Take the left path. The Right path is just another way to get to the same meeting point on top. The Right path may be a little easy but longer walk. The left path has a sleeper climb but shorter.

Continue to the left where you can see some man made steps. After these (3 or 4) steps, you will see a trail signs. On the left, you will see a blue bench, where you can take a rest and enjoy the great view. Yes, a great photo taking area. See my photos named TA01.Note, there is no shade in this area, can be quite hot.

Follow the trail sign, to the left. This is a little down slope area. After that, many more areas with narrow walk, next to the ridge. The ridge is always on your left before the turning point. Be very careful, especially with young children. We did make it safely across (with my 4 years old walking all the way) but we were very tense on some areas.

About an hour into the hike, we reached the first tunnel. The children were very excited. Bring a flash light or use your cellphone (if it has a light feature). Tunnels appear on the right side, next to the slope. The tunnels aren't tall. I am only 5 feet and I had to bend to make sure I don't hit the top. They are not wide either. And they were quite short. You should be able to get thru them within 30 seconds.

You don't need to go thru tunnels to continue the hike. The trail continue next to the tunnels. However, some areas are very sleep and more scarey. There were ropes to help people getting across the areas. So, with young children, we tried to use the tunnel to cross the area.

If my count is correct, at the 3rd tunnel, that is where the Loop TURNING POINT is. This is a tunnel where there is a big rock (about 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide) in front of the tunnel entrance (coming from the Upper Trail, where the ridge is on your left). Yes, you can still enter the tunnel.

Here is the thing. If you are planning to do the loop, without going further, then, DO NOT use this tunnel.

To make the loop to the Lower Trail, go to the trail on your left (don't go into the tunnel). You will see a sign pointing to the left trail. The sign said, "Lower Trail". Use this trail to make your turn around.

(Side note, we made a mistake of going into the 3rd tunnel and missed the sign. Thus, we hiked way further into the ridge. Will share a little more about this in the later part. I want to complete the loop review first.)

If you took the left turn onto the Lower Trail, follow the pink ribbons. The trail begins to get wider. However, there are a few steep down slopes. I would say more than 45 degree angle slope in some parts. If you come from the Lower Trail, you will have to climb up these areas. Nevertheless, these areas are safer than the Upper trail. They are wider and not so closed to the ridge.

After these slopes, the trail gets a little flat. The river/stream started to appear on our RIGHT now. Remember the loop has started to turn around. At one point, we had to climb over rocks to continue the trail. These rocks are next to the river. Easy but slippery.

Right after the rocks, you can see a fallen tree on the left. Take a rest if you want. I think it is about the same area where the trail begins a little incline. Not that bad, way easier than the area before. Again, wider and safer area to walk.

From the rocks area, it took us about 30 to 40 min to get back to the parking area. Remember, we have young children with us. And this is after our 5 hour hike. Yes, after our 5 hour hike!

Remember I mentioned the loop's turning point is at the trail, next to the 3rd tunnel. Well, we didn't take the trail on our way there. It was our first time going to this trail. We went into the 3rd tunnel and missed the sign for the Lower Trail. Oh yes... (and that's why I take my time writing this review, hoping to help others not to make the same mistake as we did).

Anyway, we continue our hike all the way to the 7th tunnel. (According to one hiker, they went all the way to the 10th tunnels.) However, we decided not to go into the 7th tunnel as the 6th tunnel was quite muddy. We took the trail next to the 7th tunnel and came upon a row of neatly line tall trees. See photo TA05.

There was a pink ribbon just before this row of tall trees. We took the left turn and up a small slope. There is a sitting area, with shade and benches and table. Not much of a view here. See photo TA02.

Over here, it seems that there are 3 paths. The first one where we came up. Another orange ribbon directly across the shaded area, and another pink ribbon trail on the right of the orange ribbon trail. The orange ribbon leads us as a loop back to our first pink ribbon area. We took the other pink ribbon trail and continue for another 30 min or so.

A very sleep slope down await. We had to use the rope on the side to help ourselves down. We see rivers on and off. But we couldn't find our turning point (which I mentioned that we missed it at the 3rd tunnel). Note, we have T-mobile cell plan and there is NO signal here.

After a total of 3 hours hike, we decided to turn around. Afraid that if we continue, we may reached the end of trail, which is the 14+ mile hike. This is no joke as we weren't prepare for this. Our water and food supplies weren't prepared for the long hike.

Another side note, from the 3rd tunnel to our turning point, there were more narrow areas. I really don't recommend for young children to come along this far. We also cross two small "pool" areas. Since it hasn't been raining, the water level is low. My children love to see the guppies swimming there. Stepping on the rocks can get you cross them easily and dry.

Another strange note, we didn't see the other end of the 7th tunnel. We saw the 7th tunnel (which we didn't enter) and the ending from the first point. However, we went around the tunnel on the right side but didn't see the other ending of the tunnel. Perhaps, it leads to another area where the rest of the tunnels are. Before we turned back, we didn't see anymore tunnel. There might be a different trail after 7th tunnel. Not sure if they will eventually lead to the end of the trail, which is the top of the mountain.

Anyway, on our way back, we met two hikers at the sitting area. One of them informed us about their encounter with hunting dogs earlier. Yes, this is the hunting area. At the beginning of the trail, there is a sign that said, Hunting Area.

The hiker said that they saw the hunting dogs got a boar down and were heading towards them. They stood their ground and starred at the hunting dogs. Thank God, the hunters called the dogs before anything happen. This is one thing you might want to to consider when bring young children. We didn't encounter any hunting dogs on our way back either. Were told by another hiker that the hunters and dogs went ahead of us.

We were worried about bring the young and really tired children back to the Upper Trail. As mentioned before, the slopes are quite steep and narrow at times. Thank God again, my husband found the Lower Trail sign and we took that route back. A happy and safe ending for us.

Well, the whole hike took us almost 6 hours, yes, with us "getting lost" at one point. It would be a great hike with young children if we didn't miss the Loop Trail turning point. Not recommending the full hike to young children.

Some other advises:
It is really muddy and slippery if the weather wasn't clear for at least 2-3 days. Not a fun thing to walk on. Of course, sun block lotion and INSECTS repellent are a MUST to put on. There are a LOTS of mosquito. Very, very bad. Countless of them!

Also don't forget to take your medicine along, especially allergic medicine. Perhaps, it is the time of the year, my allergic reaction was quite bad throughout the hike.

Flash light is recommended if you are doing a Upper Trail and intend to walk in the tunnels.

Of course, bring more food and drink than you need. Hope you find the loop turning point and don't have to go back up the Upper Trail.

God bless....

8. Hawaii Plantation Village

94-695 Waipahu St, Waipahu, Oahu, HI 96797-2601 +1 808-677-0110
Excellent
55%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 171 reviews

Hawaii Plantation Village

A sugar cane plantation village with 30 homes open to the public for viewing.

Reviewed By AprilFool27 - California

This was a very enjoyable experience. The tour guide was very informative, funny, and interactive. They had umbrellas to borrow as it was raining so it did not inhibit our enjoyment of the village. There are examples of living quarters for the immigrant groups that came to work in the sugar cane fields. I had no idea there were so many. The price is reasonable and would be great for a family with school age children.

9. Oahu Urban Garden Center

955 Kamehameha Hwy, Pearl City, Oahu, HI 96782-2501 +1 808-453-6050
Excellent
34%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
33%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 3 reviews

Oahu Urban Garden Center

Reviewed By msbee3 - Waipahu, Hawaii

The Pearl City Urban Garden Center is a hidden gem, so glad we found it! You don't even know that you're by the freeway, shopping, and high density housing - the garden is an oasis. It’s open 9a – 2p Mon-Fri, and on the 2nd Saturday of every month they have garden demonstrations, a University of HI Master Gardener “Got a Plant Question” booth, tours, UH Seed sales, volunteer plant sales, and self-guided garden tours.
There are various theme gardens to suit most any mood, for all ages. Kids (and adults) will love the alphabet garden and the animal garden, there’s one full of gardenias (oh, the smell of it!) and - roses in Hawaii? Yes!! There’s more options, plus a beautiful organic veg garden maintained by the UH Ag program. The urban garden was relaxing, peaceful, yet invigorating at the same time. Can’t say how long it will take you to get through (they say 45 min, we spent 2.5 hrs!), depends on what you want to see.
Should you come here on vacation? YES!! The beaches, malls, activities etc are all great – yet to fully experience Hawaii, why not connect with the land - ‘aina’ - and enjoy the benefits of beauty, fun, stress relief, and anti-jet lag that this beautiful garden has to offer you - for free!

10. Hawaii Escape Challenge

98-1005 Moanalua Rd, Aiea, Oahu, HI 96701-4777 +1 808-379-0952
Excellent
88%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 8 reviews

Hawaii Escape Challenge

Reviewed By Jules V - Peoria, Arizona, United States

We tried to solve the Diamond Heist and escape the room - so close but not quite! This is the second escape room we had visited but it took the 4 of us to find & decipher the clues for this escape room. Very exciting!...MoreAloha Jules, we are very glad that your experience was a great one. Satisfied teams are always what we strive for, and we hope to see see your team again soon!

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