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Oahu Vacations

Oahu is the most popular destination in Hawaii.  Honolulu, the major city on the island, is home to about 80% of the state’s residents and is the gateway to the majority of travelers visiting Hawaii.

Honolulu has all the amenities and services of any large city on the Mainland – a wide variety of lodgings, a bustling nightlife, plenty of dining options, a diversity of cultural events and lots of shopping.

image What Can I Do On Oahu?

HONOLULU

Visit the only royal palace on USA soil, stroll through Chinatown and shop at the Mauna Kea Marketplace or enjoy wonderful Chinese cuisine at the local restaurants.


Visit the Kuan Yin Temple and the Izumo Taishakyo Shrine. You can't miss Waikiki, the center of all of the action in Oahu. Much of the Honolulu visitor accommodation is located here in the modern, luxury hotels.

Historic and cultural events take place here and the world famous Waikiki Beach attracts millions of visitors each year. Enjoy surfing, windsurfing and body boarding or arrange for a diving or snorkelling trip. Charter a boat for a day or evening sail or try your hand at blue water fishing. Prized sports fish are plentiful in the offshore waters. Snorkel in the clear blue waters of Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve filled with colorful fish and learn about the fragile ecosystem of the bay.

Take the keiki (children) to the Sea Life Park Hawaii to see the Hawaiian Reef Aquarium, with over 2000 reef species in this 300,000 gallon tank. The Bishop Museum includes millions of artifacts and photos about Hawaiian and other Pacific cultures. A planetarium show  demonstrates how voyagers navigated under the stars to sail the Pacific.

Take the opportunity to try the various Hawaiian and Chinese cuisines in some excellent restaurants. Try a shave ice or a malasada (local style donut) before checking out the incredible patterns of the Hawaiian aloha shirts and garments in the local markets.

Honolulu boasts a fine selection of clubs and venues for those seeking nightlife action with a choice of both DJ's and live bands performing at various venues.

[More about Honolulu]

THE NORTH SHORE

During the winter months the north shore provides some of the largest waves in the world to such beaches as Sunset Beach, Waimea Bay and Ehukai Beach Park, home of the Banzai Pipeline.

For horseback riding, ATV tours and kayaking, visit the 4,000 acre Kualoa Ranch. At Kahuku try a plate of locally grown prawns from one of the shrimp trucks that line the Kamehameha Highway. Shrimp scampi, shrimp tempura and garlic shrimp are all favorites.

Experience the culture of Hawaii and the South Pacific in seven recreated traditional villages of Polynesia in the Polynesian Cultural Center. The Horizons evening show offers Polynesian entertainment where you can learn to dance the hula and enjoy a traditional luau.

[More about the Oahu North Shore]

CENTRAL OAHU

This area is a mix of small communities separated by miles of pineapple fields. Sample fresh cut sweet pineapple and explore Dole Plantation’s  1.7 mile garden maze.  Pay tribute at the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor and explore the Battleship Missouri Memorial, the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park and the new Pacific Aviation Museum.

THE OAHU COAST

The windward (eastern) side of the island is set between the towering green slopes on the Koolau Mountain Range and offers a scenic alternative to Honolulu. Visit the Sea Life Park and watch entertaining shows featuring dolphins, penguins and sea lions.

Makapuu Point Lighthouse is nearby and the short hike of about a mile will provide breathtaking views of the windward coast and Rabbit Island. During the winter months migrating humpback whales can be seen from this vantage point.

Makapuu Beach and the white sandy beaches of Kailua Beach, Kailui, Waimanalo Bay and Sandy are all favorites of tourists and locals alike. The Byodo-In Temple is a re-creation of the 900 year old  temple of the same name in Kyoto.

Byodo-In is located on the Kahekili Highway, Kaneohe. Drive the Pali Highway SR 61, between Honolulu and the windward town of Kailua (or vice-versa) and stop at the Pali lookout for magical views along the coastline.

The western coast of Oahu is known as the Leeward Coast. Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park features a unique variety of rides for all ages. Kaena Point is the most western tip of Oahu and can only be reached by hiking.

Scenic views of the Waienae Coast to the South and Mokuleia to the north reward the hiker after a long and hot journey.

image When Is The Best Time On Oahu?

Oahu is a year-round vacation destination. The "wet season" is generally from October to March and results in cooler temperatures. The "dry season" runs from April to September with warmer temperatures. Average winter temperatures in January are 65/80F (18/27C) and summers in July are 74/88F (23/31C). It is not unusual for the beaches at Waikiki to be sunny while it is raining only a few miles away.

The influx of snowbirds escaping from the harsh winters in their mainland states means that December to February is the busiest time on Oahu.

For detailed weather forecasts visit the Hawaiian Islands National Weather Service Forecast website.

image Getting To Oahu & Getting Around?

Flights from all over the world arrive at Honolulu International Airport located 5 miles (8km) from the city downtown area. All persons arriving on International flights must first clear Customs and Border Protection inspection before exiting the airport. Transfers to and from the airport are quite quick and inexpensive.

Ground transportation to your accommodation is via either the Airport Waikiki Express, rental car, pre-arranged ground transportation or taxi cabs.

Oahu offers an excellent public transport bus service that runs approximately every 30 minutes depending on the route number. Most of the city and adjoining areas can easily be reached via public transport. Travel to areas further afield such as the north shore will require a rental car or being part of an organised tour.

[More about flights to Hawaii]

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