Visit the true tropical paradise of Hawaii’s most populated island, which has the state’s sprawling capital in the south and world-class surfing on the long North Shore.
On the Hawaiian island of O’ahu, Honolulu is the center of activity. It’s where you can enjoy white-sand beaches and high-end shopping only blocks apart. Just west of Honolulu, find memorials to those who lost their lives in the Pearl Harbor bombing and World War II counterattacks. Continue on to Waipahu to visit a Hawaiian plantation village or enjoy golf and shopping.
An hour’s drive from Honolulu, the North Shore features 8 miles (13 kilometers) of beach, from Hale’iwa to Waimea Bay, Banzai Pipeline and Sunset Beach. Visit in winter to watch international surf competitions. In summer, snorkel or dive at Pūpūkea Beach or simply relax on the North Shore sands, enjoying a picnic or spectacular sunset.
Stay at the Turtle Beach Resort, which has easy access to North Shore beaches. The resort offers luxury accommodations and extensive outdoor activities from mountain biking to surf school. Learn to dance the hula, make a lei or play the ukulele.
On the eastern shore, find scenic beaches, generally with smaller waves. Beaches near Kailua are great for windsurfing and kitesurfing. Some offer beach access for the disabled. Near the area of Kāne’ohe experience peace and tranquility in a botanical garden. Makapu’u Beach has glorious shoreline views. Hike to vistas above the working lighthouse here to spot whales and passing ships.
O’ahu has much more to offer in addition to beaches and surfing. Rent kayaks, outrigger canoes or paddleboards to enjoy gentler waters. Mountain bike, ride a horse or hike on jungle trails to reach lookout points with stunning views. Explore plantations or spy on sea turtles. Play golf on well-kept courses and shop at high-end boutiques or outlet stores. Or, simply relax with a treat of tropical shave ice.
Reach O’ahu by flying into Honolulu International Airport and then get around the island using a rental car, moped or motorcycle, taxis or the public transport system called “TheBus.” O’ahu is a popular vacation and honeymoon destination offering a pleasing mix of city and countryside, relaxation and excitement, modernity and history. Come see why visitors from around the world enjoy “the gathering place” of O’ahu.
For more details on interesting local attractions and activities, check out our thngs to do in Oahu page.