With summer here we suggest considering booking island escape, so why not visit the island of O’ahu? Known as “The Gathering Place,” O’ahu is the third largest Hawaiian Island and is home to two-thirds of Hawaii’s population. On the island of O’ahu, you can learn to ride the waves in Waikiki where surfing was born or catch a big-wave surf meet on O’ahu’s famed North Shore.
Between sunrise and sunset, you’ll have hours to explore the hottest shores, local restaurants, check out the local art scene, or stroll through Hawaii’s history at the Iolani Palace. When the sun goes down, it’s time to put on your dancing shoes and feel the “Heartbeat of Hawaii”.
Some great places on O’ahu include Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay, and the North Shore. If you want to visit each place within a weekend, try getting a room at the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel. This family-style resort is located a 15-minute walk along an oceanfront from Waikiki, across from Kapiolani Park and close to Diamond Head, and about five miles from downtown Honolulu.
Along the beachside you will find the best dining. An open-air restaurant nestles under ancient hau trees, steps from the ocean. The resort itself offers a second-floor restaurant serving traditional Japanese cuisine. Each room also offers private balconies, free WiFi, refrigerator, laundry facilities, and coffee makers. The resort also features a beauty salon and a fitness center for those days you want to stay indoors.
Now onto all the wonderful things to do while you’re away in O’ahu. First place to visit should be the Bishop Museum, the must-see attraction for any visitor in Hawaii. To discover the history, arts, and culture of the Hawaiian people, there is no better place to visit than the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum! If you’re looking for an indoor activity for your vacation, the Bishop Museum is designed to entertain and enlighten. Another great historical stop is Pearl Harbor and the World War II Valor. Preserving and interpreting the stories of the Pacific War, the World War II Valor commemorates the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and the events leading up to American engagement in World War II.
Lastly on the list of historic sites is the Valley of the Temples. The Valley of the Temples is a beautiful memory park located in the lilting foothills of the Koolau Mountains. It is worth making a short detour here to take in all the beauty O’ahu has to offer, and appreciate the diverse culture of Hawaiian society.
You can’t stay in O’ahu without visiting at least one of its many beaches. Waikiki Beach is a must see tourist destination. The natural beauty and cozy charm of this world-renowned shore cannot be denied. It’s an amazing beach with gentle waves, scenic backdrop, and offers wealth of attractions including a zoo, aquarium, and lots more. You can also find some of the island’s best shopping and dining here too. End your day here with a walk along the boardwalk, some amazing food, and a tropical cocktail.
On your quest for food, be sure to drop by the Side Street Inn for great American, Hawaiian, and Asian cuisine. Side Street Inn serves family-style dishes that range from fried rice to pork chops and salads. Portions here are huge so expect to bring leftovers home. Side Street Inn features a fun and relaxed environment anyone can appreciate.
Don’t forget to end your vacation right by traveling to the Polynesian Cultural Center. This Polynesian-themed theme park and living museum is located on the northern shore of O’ahu and is the most popular paid attraction in Hawaii. The center provides an authentic experience unlike any other while looking into the seven Polynesian culture. You won’t regret it.