Oahu Hawaii Travel Guide
Oahu, which means the "Gathering Place", is the third largest of the Hawaiian Islands and most populous island in the State of Hawaii. Oahu also includes smaller offshore islands, such as Ford Island and the islands in Kaneohe Bay.
Click on the map for a more detailed view.
Oahu is the home to world-renowned cities and sights. Waikiki, the vibrant city that pulsates with life day and night, Honolulu, the economic and political center of the Hawaiian state, Pearl Harbor, a historical landmark from World War Two, and the mighty waves of the North Shore, home to numerous international surfing competitions.
Oahu is home to about 870 000 people and nearly seven times that number visit the island each year, which makes Oahu by far the most popular tourist destination in the state.
If you are looking for a quiet, relaxing rest, Oahu offers some of the best spas and secluded beaches. If you want non-stop fun and adventure, try surfing the colossal waves of the Banzai Pipeline or scuba diving in the crystal clear waters of the Pacific Ocean. The island offers an amazing diversity of activities and sights. From botanical gardens to military bases, from nightclubs to beach activities. There is an abundance of accommodation, dining and entertainment to meet all tastes and all budgets.
Waikiki, Oahu Hawaii
Waikiki is probably the most famous resort in the world. Many visitors never wander from its long sandy beach, hotels and retail area, and for lovers of sun, surf and an upbeat lifestyle, there is really no need to leave. Accommodations range from premier luxury, to simple but perfectly adequate hotels and studio condominiums. Similarly, eating opportunities abound - from world class restaurants with their own 'designer' chefs, to simple low cost buffets and fast food establishments.
The shopping is fantastic, and you can find everything from luxury boutiques to tee-shirt stands, offering excellent deals. Try the AlaMoana Shopping Center, five minutes from Waikiki, with over 200 stores, a huge international food court and designer fashion outlets. Open 9:30 to 9pm Monday to Saturday, and 10 to 5 on Sundays. The Dole Cannery Square is a wonderful place to sample the best of what Hawaii has to offer. There is a free shuttle from Waikiki.
The Waikiki Aquarium is the third oldest public aquarium in the United States. It’s located next to a living reef on the Waikiki shoreline, and there are over 420 species, which reside there. The Aquarium is open every day from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., with special hours on holidays.
Honolulu, Oahu Hawaii
Honolulu is the hub of commerce for the entire state. Most food and manufactured goods are shipped to Hawaii through Honolulu Harbor and then distributed to the neighboring islands.
Downtown Honolulu is the home of the Academy of Arts, which houses the finest American collection of Chinese ceramics, bronzes and other Asian sculpture. Visitors can witness Hawaii’s rapid development through various artists’ eyes. Included is a sketch of Waikiki dating from 1838. Don’t miss the impressive collection of Impressionists, including Van Gogh's, Monet, and Gaughin. Open Tuesday-Saturday 10:00-4:30, Sunday 1:00-5:00 p.m. Call (808) 538-1006.
Honolulu's Chinatown seems a world apart from the rest of the city and Waikiki Beach. Consult with a traditional herbalist, or browse through their amazing collection of remedies. Inexpensive, yet delicious restaurants are in abundance, as are various temples and shrines. The Chinese Historical Society (808- 521- 3045) offers guided walking tours, which begin at the Asian Mall at 10.00 a.m. and last about 2 hours.
Another interesting site is the Iolani Palace, which was built during the rule of King Kalakaua who wanted the palace to be as impressive as any of those found in Europe. The Palace remained a royal residence until Queen Lili`uokalani was deposed in 1893. The Palace then served as the capitol of the Provisional Government, Republic, Territory and State of Hawaii until 1969. Tours are held from Wednesday to Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Make early reservations by calling 808-522-0832.
Pearl Harbour, Oahu Hawaii
The events of December 7, 1941 changed the entire course of World War II, and the attack on Pearl Harbor was devastating. The death toll was considerable, with over 2,500 people losing their lives, 21 U.S. ships sunk or damaged, and 347 aircraft destroyed.
Today, Pearl Harbor remains a military compound. Though most of it is closed to the public, the remnants of the U.S.S. Arizona remain a poignant and remarkably effective memorial to the events of that day. Launches carry visitors to the site where they can look directly into the ship's grave, and tours and discussions are often led by those who survived the attack. The memorial is open Sunday through Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. There are interpretive programs, including a documentary film about the attack, which begins at 8:00 a.m. (7:45 a.m. in summer). The last program each day begins at 3:00 p.m. It is closed on holidays.
Experience Paradise - Visit Oahu Hawaii
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