The Gathering Place
The third largest Hawaiian island is home to the majority of Hawaii’s diverse population, a fusion of east and west cultures rooted in the values and traditions of the Native Hawaiian people. 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 Oahu again and again.
Facts: Population 905,266, Area 597 sq. miles
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. Oahu is the military command center of the Pacific. Waikiki is the visitor center. Landmarks: Nuuanu Pali, Diamond Head, Pearl Harbor.
Island Color: Yellow
Family Fun: In Hawaii, it’s evident that caring for keiki (children) is very important. On Oahu, there are a variety of exciting activities designed specifically with kids and families in mind. Take a submarine ride and witness sunken ships, airliners and reef structures. Ride the thrilling waterslides at Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park. Get up close and personal with dolphins, sea turtles, stingrays, sharks, and moray eels at Sea Life Park. Spend the day at the Honolulu Zoo or Waikiki Aquarium and see animal and marine life like you’ve never seen anywhere else. Or explore 4,000-acres of fun at Kualoa Ranch by horse, ATV, helicopter, jet ski or kayak. There are also plenty of other educational and cultural excursions for kids and families year-round, including nature walks, hikes, wildlife feedings, fishing, catamaran sails and more. Many hotels and condominiums also offer programs for kids that include activities such as lei and kite making, lauhala weaving, and sandcastle building. This is one family vacation where boredom is never a problem!
Adventures: From watching the harrowing winter waves of the North Shore to taking your own surf lesson in the calm waters of Waikiki, adventure on Oahu begins at sea. Oahu’s 112 linear miles of shoreline create endless possibilities for world-class water activities. Every sea adventure you can think of is a possibility on Oahu: boating, diving, snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, parasailing, whale watching and more.
On land, feel the exhilaration of riding down a trail on a mountain bike, off-roading on an ATV, or hiking one of Oahu’s thirty-five trails. For the truly fearless, take a 17,000 foot skydive and marvel at a North Shore view few have seen. On Oahu, you can explore a variety of adventures by land, air or sea.
Golf: Great golf is one of the main reasons Oahu is a favorite destination. There are more golf courses on Oahu than any other island. You can choose from more than forty public and private courses, ranging from casual municipal links to elegant resort courses. They offer not only superb challenges, but also spectacular vistas. The backdrop for a shot here might be forested mountains, desert-like terrain or the impressive sweep of the Pacific. There are even courses built on former ranch lands, fields of sugar cane, and seaside layouts that resemble British links. Constant sunshine makes for long hours of dependable golfing weather, and the spectacular surrounding scenery quiets the mind and stirs the heart. So relax and enjoy some of the most pleasant golf in the world. It’s all right here.
Photo courtesy: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson – Oahu
Text & Facts courtesy: HVCB