Oahu is perhaps like no other destination on the globe. This island, which is central in the string of Hawaiian islands, is the most populous of its neighbors and is often referred to as the “Heart of Hawaii.” Oahu was once the hub of Hawaiian royalty, with Queen Liliuokalani serving as the longest reigning monarch of the islands before Hawaii became a U.S. territory in 1898. Relics of the royal history remain in places like Iolani Palace, located in downtown Honolulu.
This island delivers a unique mix of urban opportunities paired with awe-inspiring natural beauty. The city of Honolulu is the most populous area of the island and is also home to legendary Waikiki Beach, known for its views of Diamond Head, exciting nightlife opportunities and a plethora of shopping and dining. Downtown Honolulu maintains a distinct city feel, and is a center of arts, up-and-coming dining opportunities and is also where you’ll find the markets and eateries of Chinatown.
As you explore Oahu, you’ll see stunning areas where plunging cliffs dive into the rich blue of the ocean, and lush vegetation covers soaring elevations.
Once you leave the urbanized Honolulu area, you can discover quieter and less populated areas, such as the North Shore. A drive to the North Shore affords you opportunities to observe the many farms and crops which abound in the temperate climate found here. Reaching the North Shore, you’ll find not just a surfer’s paradise defined by seven miles of pristine shoreline and waves that can swell to 30 feet or more, but also a village-like setting that’s charming with independent local boutiques and galleries. The North Shore is also the perfect place to indulge in fresh seafood at the shrimp trucks or a cup of shaved ice.
Lanikai is another notable area of Oahu. This calm beach stands in sharp contrast to the dramatic waters of the North Shore, and the soft, white powdery sand and beautiful water have led to its being named as one of the top beaches in all of the world.
Whether you’re searching for high-end shopping that reflects the Hawaiian culture, luxury homes set on waterside cliffs or relaxing beaches with tranquil waters that invite you to take a dip, Oahu is a distinctive and varied island with something for everyone.
Observe Outrigger Canoes
This ancient sport is kept alive today, as hundreds of canoes gather at Ala Wai Canal from February to September to showcase their skills. Find a comfortable spot at Ala Wai Park and enjoy the show, or take a private lesson to learn even more about these majestic boats.
Set your alarm early and make your way to the Honolulu Fish Auction for an amazing look at Hawaii’s maritime bounty. Each Monday through Saturday at 5:00 a.m., fisherman offer their freshest catch to a small select group of bidders. After the auction, enjoy an early sushi breakfast.
Hiking is one of the best ways to take in the breathtaking scenery of Oahu. From Diamond Head, which is a relatively simple hike, to the more challenging Lanikai Pillboxes Hike, we can help you target the hikes that you’re most interested in exploring and even pair you with a professional guide.
Watersports are prolific in Oahu. We’ll pair you with kayak rentals to explore places like the Kailua Bay and the Mokulua Islands, or if you’re feeling more adventurous, rent a surfboard and paddle out in Waikiki.
Consider a visit to one of the luxurious spas on the island such as Spa Halekulani, with signature Polynesian-inspired treatments or Spa Luana at the famed Turtle Bay Resort.
Rent a Jeep
Rent a Jeep or other open-air vehicle to explore the island by car. The drives are some of the most beautiful you’ll ever experience whether you’re following Kamehameha Hwy. along the Windward Coast or you’re riding along the panoramic vistas of the Pali Highway. We can also arrange a private vehicle tour so you can spend more time viewing the scenery.
Nothing should get in the way of your perfect experience. Check these helpful tips for ensuring a smooth journey.VIEW LIST
If you are traveling with prescription medicines, carry them in their original containers and bring a copy of your prescription. If you buy medications abroad, be aware that they may not be FDA-approved or allowed into the United States. For more information on customs rules and regulations, please contact 202.354.1000 or visit www.cbp.gov.