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Explore the Pearl Harbor Historic Site and beyond.

Take a surf lesson in Waikiki and see how Duke's legacy lives on today.

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The Islands of Hawaii > Island of Oahu

Hawaiian Vacations - Island of Oahu

Island of Oahu


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The Heart of Hawaii

Hike down a lush mountainside, just minutes away from a soaring cityscape. Feast at a luau under the stars one night, dine at a five-star restaurant another. Sunbathe all day on the North Shore then dance all night in Waikiki. There's no shortage of things to do on Oahu.

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With Waikiki as a central hub, you can explore the legendary North Shore of Oahu one day, and spend the next day on the east side snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, a protected marine sanctuary with tons of colorful fish. It's clear that Oahu offers just the right amount of diversity for the adventurous as well as the cautious visitor. Thrill seekers can skydive at Mokuleia while daydreamers can relax peacefully on the beach. Exquisite dining and exciting nightlife also entice people to the Hawaiian Island of Oahu again and again.

LEARN MORE ABOUT OAHU!

Facts:Population 876,156, Area 597 sq. miles

The most populated Hawaiian Island, where Honolulu is the Capital City, the principal port, the major airport, and business and financial center, and the educational heart of the State. Oahu is the military command center of the Pacific. Waikiki is the visitor center. Landmarks: Nuuanu Pali, Diamond Head, Pearl Harbor.

Oahu Flower: Ilima

Oahu Island Color: Yellow

North Shore (Virtual Tour)

The North Shore, a 20-plus-mile stretch of coastline from Kaena Point in the west to Turtle Bay in the east, comes alive during the winter season when waves reach up 30 feet at Waimea Bay. In summer months, the shore break is usually calm enough for snorkeling and swimming. Haleiwa, is the North Shore's central town where there are interesting surf shops, dress boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, and not to mention Matsumoto Shave Ice, serving the best local icy treat!

Pearl Harbor (Arizona Memorial) (Virtual Tour)

Pearl Harbor was originally a river, which early Hawaiians called Wai Momi or "river of pearl," because of its numerous oyster beds. Today, Pearl Harbor is Hawaii's largest harbor and the nation's only naval base designated as a National Historic Landmark with three significant memorials: the USS Arizona Memorial, honoring the 1,100 men of the Pearl Harbor attack; the Battleship Missouri Memorial, a living museum of the most celebrated and last-built battleship; and the USS Bowfin Museum, featuring a World War II submarine, a Japanese mini submarine and extensive submarine history.

Bishop Museum (Virtual Tour)

At Bishop Museum, take a historical walk through the Hawaiian Hall to see the over 76,000 Hawaiian artifacts from hand-made feather cloaks to ancient hand-carved bowls to the skeleton of a 50-feet sperm whale hanging from the ceiling. Built in 1889 to honor Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last heir of the Kamehameha dynasty, the museum has an impressive collection of the monarchy's artifacts.

Aloha Tower Marketplace (Virtual Tour)

This 10-story tower was built in 1926 at Pier 9 in downtown Honolulu. The tower, with its four-sided clock, is now part of a new inter-island cruise ship terminal. Hosting close to 100 shops, along with a variety of restaurants and entertainment venues, the Aloha Tower Marketplace is guaranteed to have something to interest any visitor. After a day of shopping and activities at the Aloha Tower, jump on the elevator and head up to the 10th-floor observation deck for a stunning panoramic view of Honolulu.

Duke Kahanamoku Statue (Virtual Tour)

Three-time Olympic gold medalist, movie star, beach boy, the legendary Duke Paoa Kahanamoku has been dubbed "ambassador of surfing" having introduced surfing to the world. Early Hawaiians originated hee nalu (wave sliding), which was part of their warrior training. The beach behind the Duke statue happens to be one of the best swimming and surfing spots in Waikiki.

Diamond Head (Virtual Tour)

Diamond Head is Oahu's largest tuff cone formed over 100,000 years ago by an active bubbling volcano. Nineteenth century British sailors nicknamed the crater Diamond Head when they mistook the calcite crystals for diamonds. A well-graded trail leads you up the 760-feet summit to a World War II bunker with a bird's eye view of Honolulu.

Polynesian Cultural Center (Virtual Tour)

The Polynesian Cultural Center, located on Oahu's north shore, brings together the history and cultures of Hawaii, Fiji, New Zealand, Marquesas, Samoa, Tahiti and Tonga in authentic recreated villages covering over 42-acres. Learn first-hand how Pacific islanders build houses with no nails, expertly spear fish, climb 50-foot trees for coconuts, pound bark into cloth, carve fishhooks, weave mats and cook with "hot rocks" in an imu (underground oven). Don't miss the ancient war dances, traditional wedding ceremonies and the spectacular luau show with a cast of over 100 Polynesian dancers.

Hanauma Bay

One of Oahu's natural wonders, Hanauma Bay is a world-class nature preserve and home to a huge assortment of sea life from colorful rainbow parrotfish, convict tangs, trumpetfish, mullet, squid and living coral reefs. Even with the "no fish food" rule, fish are eager to swim right next to you. Check out the new Marine Life Education Center to learn more about Hawaii's marine and coastal environment through the interactive exhibits, displays and video presentations.

Nuuanu Pali Lookout

Test your wind stamina at Nuuanu Pali, where periodic wind gusts make it difficult for visitors to walk to the lookout point. Perched 3,000 feet above Windward Oahu, Nuuanu Pali is the site of a famous Battle of Nuuanu led by Kamehameha I in 1795 when he drove hundreds of warriors over the cliff.

Oahu is the most populated island, where Honolulu is the Capital City, the principal port, the major airport, and business and financial center, and the educational heart of the State. O`ahu is the military command center of the Pacific. Waikiki is the visitor center. Landmarks: Nuuanu Pali, Diamond Head, and Pearl Harbor.

Plan to take time to visit Pearl Harbor on your Oahu vacation. It was originally a river, which early Hawaiians called Wai Momi or "river of pearl," because of its numerous oyster beds. Today, Pearl Harbor is Hawaii's largest harbor and the nation's only naval base designated as a National Historic Landmark with three significant memorials: the USS Arizona Memorial, honoring the 1,100 men of the Pearl Harbor attack; the Battleship Missouri Memorial, a living museum of the most celebrated and last-built battleship; and the USS Bowfin Museum, featuring a World War II submarine, a Japanese mini submarine and extensive submarine history.

At Bishop Museum, take a historical walk through the Hawaiian Hall to see the over 76,000 Hawaiian artifacts from hand-made feather cloaks to ancient hand-carved bowls to the skeleton of a 50-feet sperm whale hanging from the ceiling. Built in 1889 to honor Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last heir of the Kamehameha dynasty, the museum has an impressive collection of the monarchy's artifacts.

Completed in 1882, King David Kalakaua held many grand parties and festivities here at Iolani Palace, America's only royal palace. During this reign, Kalakaua installed modern upgrades such as plumbing, electric lights and Hawaii's first telephone to the palace. The last reigning monarch, Queen Liliuokalani, lived here but was also imprisoned at the palace after the Hawaiian government was overthrown in 1893. Hale Alii was the original name for the royal resident, which was renamed by Kamehameha V in 1863 in honor of late his brother, Iolani.
On your Oahu vacation see the Duke Kahanamoku Statue located on Waikiki beach. The Three-time Olympic gold medallist, movie star, beach boy, the legendary Duke Pauoa Kahanamoku has been dubbed "ambassador of surfing" having introduced surfing to the world. Early Hawaiians originated hee nalu (wave sliding), which was part of their warrior training. The beach behind the Duke statue happens to be one of the best swimming and surfing spots in Waikiki.

Diamond Head is Oahu, Hawaii's largest tuff cone formed over 100,000 years ago by an active bubbling volcano. Nineteenth century British sailors nicknamed the crater Diamond Head when they mistook the calcite crystals for diamonds. A well-graded trail leads you up the 760-feet summit to a World War II bunker with a bird's eye view of Honolulu.

Hanauma Bay is one of Oahu, Hawaii's natural wonders, Hanauma Bay is a world-class nature preserve and home to a huge assortment of sea life from colorful rainbow parrotfish, convict tangs, trumpetfish, mullet, squid and living coral reefs. Even with the "no fish food" rule, fish are eager to swim right next to you. Check out the new Marine Life Education Center to learn more about Hawaii's marine and coastal environment through the interactive exhibits, displays and video presentations.

At the Nuuanu Pali Lookout test your wind stamina, where periodic wind gusts make it difficult for visitors to walk to the lookout point. Perched 3,000 feet above Windward Oahu, Hawaii Nuuanu Pali is the site of a famous Battle of Nuuanu led by Kamehameha I in 1795 when he drove hundreds of warriors over the cliff.

The Polynesian Cultural Center, located on Oahu, Hawaii's north shore, brings together the history and cultures of Hawaii, Fiji, New Zealand, Marquesas, Samoa, Tahiti and Tonga in authentic recreated villages covering over 42-acres. Learn first-hand how Pacific islanders build houses with no nails, expertly spear fish, climb 50-foot trees for coconuts, pound bark into cloth, carve fishhooks, weave mats and cook with "hot rocks" in an imu (underground oven). Don't miss the ancient war dances, traditional wedding ceremonies and the spectacular luau show with a cast of over 100 Polynesian dancers.

 

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