Home to the capital city of Honolulu and world renowned Waikiki, Oahu offers a diverse selection of attractions and activities that range from historic sightseeing adventures to snorkeling in crystal clear waters filled with vibrant tropical fish and a variety of marine life. Other popular areas in Oahu include the North, West and East Shores as well as the Windward Coast. Whether you’re in search of a romantic tropical vacation or want a thrilling family vacation, Oahu and its many sides offers a wealth of options.
Nicknamed the “Gathering Place”, Oahu is the third largest of the Hawaiian Islands and combines romantic island getaways with a bustling cosmopolitan city overflowing with activities. There’s no better place to begin your tropical vacation in paradise than in the historic city of Honolulu. Honolulu is filled with Hawaii’s rich culture and history. The Bishop Museum offers a fun-filled day with its collection of Hawaiian artifacts as well as prestigious research facilities, the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame, traveling exhibits and a planetarium. While in Honolulu be sure to spend some time at Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial and explore the site of the attack that launched the United States into World War II. For an amazing panoramic view of the harbor visit Aloha Tower which is one of Honolulu’s most recognized landmarks that is also a great shopping and dining destination.
South of Honolulu is Waikiki, which is known as Hawaii’s playground, and offers world-class shopping, kid-friendly beaches and some of the island’s most exciting nightlife. Waikiki Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the world and is a great destination for swimming, canoeing, surfing and snorkeling. This two mile stretch of soft sand, umbrellas and sand castles is lined with many of Hawaii’s most luxurious accommodations. The Sheraton Waikiki is one of a few hotels located directly on Waikiki Beach. With tons of daytime and nighttime activities as well as some of the island’s finest dining opportunities the Sheraton Waikiki offers a great escape for families and couples. Enjoy elegant accommodations with unbelievable views of the sparkling ocean and the Ko’olau Mountains. A trip to Diamond Head will also provide an amazing view of the Ko’olau Mountains as well as the outline of Molokai, Oahu’s beautiful neighbor in the east. Diamond Head is the most famous volcanic crater in the world and offers one of the most breathtaking views ever seen.
Minutes away from Waikiki is Oahu’s east shore which features one of Hawaii’s most dramatic stretches of coastline. The east shore is a step away from the lively atmosphere of Waikiki and a step towards a more laid back tropical experience. Hanauma Bay is located on the east shore and is one of the world’s best known marine sanctuaries. To the north of Hanauma Bay is the popular Sandy Beach which is an ideal place for snorkeling, kayaking and skim-boarding because of its calm waters all year long. If high action water sports is what you crave then take a trip to Oahu’s north shore which is considered a surfer’s heaven. During the winter months Oahu’s north shores offers some of the largest waves in the world. Waima Bay is the place to go if your ideal vacation has you surfing monstrous waves. Every year this popular surfing destination hosts the Quicksilver Eddie Aikau Invitational, a big-wave contest. A great way to get to the north shore from the east shore is to travel along the scenic windward coast. The Kualoa Ranch is located on the windward coast and is a great place to spend an afternoon enjoying horseback rides, tours and ATV rides. Kualoa is one of the most historically significant destinations on Oahu and was one of the most sacred places on the island in ancient times. A visit to this family owned and operated ranch offers an experience unlike any other that combines Oahu’s breath-taking natural beauty with exciting activities and Hawaiian culture.
Surround yourself in Hawaii’s unique culture on the Oahu’s west shore which offers warm sandy beaches and numerous local shops and eateries. The west shore is easily accessible by using TheBus. Oahu’s bus public transportion system. TheBus runs between almost all towns and to most of Oahu’s popular destinations. Fare for TheBus is US$2.00. There is a 4 day TheBus pass available at most stores for US$20.00 but make sure that you “scratch” it correctly before getting on the first TheBus. If purchasing the 4 day pass there is a highly recommended guide to TheBus that is available for US$2.95.
Oahu is the Hawaiian vacation destination that surrounds you in the sweet scent of exotic flowers, unparalleled natural beauty and a huge array of activities. With it’s great history, arts and culture it’s easy to see why Oahu is one of Hawaii’s most appealing vacation spots.