While visitors to Hawaii often can't tell its islands apart, however, locals in Hawaii know that every island has a unique personality and amazing attractions for visitors. O'ahu stands out for its combination of an urban center with gorgeous beaches and historical sites that have drawn visitors worldwide for centuries. These are some of our favorite places on the island:
Honolulu is and largest city in Hawaii as well as its capital. It is located on the south eastern shore of Oahu, in the U.S. state of Hawaii, and is coterminous with Honolulu County. The city is a major financial center of the islands, with a significant portion of its economy based on tourism, commerce, and government activities. Honolulu has been ranked as one of the top global cities by Condé Nast Traveler; it also has been ranked one of America's best cities for business by Forbes magazine.
The University of Hawaii at Manoa (also known as UH Manoa or simply UHM) is a public co-educational research university as well as a space-grant college in Honolulu.
In 1846, a volcanic eruption formed the crater, known as the Punchbowl. A cemetery was later erected here for fallen soldiers during World War II and is now part of Honolulu's National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
It's one of several attractions that make up O'ahu's "Strip," located on Waikiki Beach near Diamond Head (the pointy mountain in the distance). Taking a walk through this area will take you past hotels, shops, restaurants, and bars with open-air seating where you can watch surfing contests at sunset!
Waikiki is a neighborhood of Honolulu on the south shore of the island of Oahu. Waikiki is best known for Waikiki Beach, the white sand beach shoreline fronting the Honolulu neighborhood of Waikiki. The name "Waikīkī" literally means "spouting fresh water," a reference to springs on Puu Olai near today's Awaalua Falls that ancient Hawaiians often visited.
Hawaiian royalty used the area as a retreat in the 1800s, who enjoyed sledding down what is now called King Street and swimming at what are now known as Kuhio Beach and Hanauma Bay. During World War II, it was an important place from which to defend Oahu against possible attacks by air or sea, so two major bases were established: Fort DeRussy Military Reservation and Fort Ruger Military Reservation. The bases no longer exist except as museums.
Pearl Harbor is a lagoon harbor located in Honolulu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu Harbor. Pearl Harbor is the home of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and the U.S. Navy headquarters for the Pacific theater of operations.
Pearl Harbor was created by ancient volcanic eruptions and has been in continual use since antiquity as a deep water port for oceangoing vessels because it is naturally sheltered from all but southerly winds by Oahu's central mountains and Koko Head. It is also an essential base for military forces in Hawaii and throughout the Pacific Rim, owing to its strategic location near key Pacific shipping routes. Please take a tour during your visit to learn about and experience this active military base and its rich past regarding American History.
Diamond Head State Monument
Diamond Head State Monument is located on the southeastern shore of Oahu and is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Hawaii. Diamond Head is a volcanic tuff cone, and remnants of its crater are still visible today. The name "Diamond Head" was given by British sailors who mistook calcite crystals embedded in lava as diamonds.
The state park was established in 1908 to preserve this historic landmark and provide public access. Visitors can experience Diamond Head by hiking up from Waikiki or along the paved path from Fort Ruger to the summit (1,365 feet above sea level). You'll be rewarded with panoramic views and good photo opportunities once you reach the top!
North Shore is the best place on the island to go surfing, being a popular tourist destination. It is also a great place to go hiking, swimming, and picnicking with your friends or family.
If you would like to spend extra time in this beautiful location while on vacation, look into renting a house nearby so that you can enjoy your own private pool and yard.
Byodo-In Temple was built in 1968 to resemble a lotus blossom and is home to one of the largest bronze Buddhas in America. It's a popular tourist attraction and a popular place for couples to get married.
Kailua Beach Park
Kailua Beach Park is a long stretch of white sand beach on the windward side of Oahu. The water here is a deep blue, and the waves are perfect for surfing or swimming. This is a popular beach for sunbathing, as well as swimming and surfing.
Ko Olina Lagoons
Ko Olina Lagoons is a great place for you to spend your day while on Oahu. Located in Ko Olina Resort and Villas, located in Ko Olina Resort Villas and Spa, this area is a favored destination for both tourists and locals alike. The lagoons are home to many activities, including swimming with dolphins or taking a canoe out into the water. Parasailing is also an option to do here if you are feeling adventurous.
Hawaii Plantation Village
If you want to learn more about the history of the islands, then a visit to the Hawaii Plantation Village is for you. This living history museum recreates a 19th-century plantation village and it offers visitors an excellent chance to learn about life on an old sugarcane plantation.
The village was built in 1961 and opened two years later as part of Waikiki Park—a long strip of land that runs parallel with Diamond Head Crater and Ala Wai Canal. It's been there ever since and continues to be one of Hawaii's best cultural attractions today.
Waimea Bay is a small beach located on the west coast of Molokai. It is a great place to go snorkeling, swimming, and fishing. You can also camp at several campsites if you want to stay overnight or for an extended period.
Turtle Beach is a popular beach on Oahu, and it's no wonder why. It has crystal clear waters, perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and surfing. Turtles can be spotted here too! Turtle Beach is also a great place to watch the sunset.
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
If you haven't heard of Hanauma Bay, it's one of Oahu's most popular snorkeling spots. It's located along the southeastern coast of Oahu and is a marine embayment between Koko Head (a volcanic tuff cone) and Maunalua Bay.
Hanauma Bay is an excellent place for beginners because it has calm waters at low tide, beautiful coral reefs, and abundant marine life to see if you're willing to get in the water with them! As long as you don't mind swimming in salt water, there are no sharks or other dangerous creatures lurking.
The bay itself is protected by an offshore reef that creates calm waters within its boundaries but rough waves outside them—which means there will be surfers out there too! If you want some added fun while exploring Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, then definitely check out some sites like:
- Surfing lessons
- Windsurfing lessons -Kiteboarding lessons
Polynesian Cultural Center.
The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) is a Polynesian-themed park and resort in Laie. The center features a luau that serves traditional Hawaiian food and includes a show of fire dancing and music.
Maiki Aiu Lake founded the PCC as a non-profit organization with the goal of sharing the culture of Polynesia with the rest of the world. The center was designed to be "a living museum" with two areas: one for visitors to see demonstrations of ancient crafts such as making tapa cloth from mulberry bark or carving stone adzes; and another area where authentic buildings from throughout Polynesia were built using traditional methods. In 1970 the center opened its doors for tours. Visitors can watch dancers practicing for performances at the pavilion theatre, which seats 1,500 people.
You can also find a place to stay while you're there. There are many hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals available on Oahu. The Polynesian Cultural Center is located at the base of Diamond Head in Honolulu. It offers visitors an opportunity to visit historical sites and learn about Hawaiian history through interactive exhibits, performances, and educational programs.