Oahu Island Holidays & Accommodation

Hawaii Islands, USA, North America

oahu island holiday and accomodation guide

With its mild temperatures and sunny skies and tropical climate, Hawaii is a great place to visit. But if you enjoy having access to the amenities of city life in addition to the joys of nature and beautiful beaches, then you will want to visit Oahu during your stay in Hawaii. With the biggest city of the Islands on Oahu, you will find a great a great urban playground in Honolulu to mix with the spectacular natural vistas that are associated with the islands of Hawaii including its most brazen icon, Waikiki Beach. Oahu is the most populous of all the Hawaiian Islands, and is home to the Islands' capital of Honolulu on the southeast coast.

Oahu Island Holidays Planner

Although the most populous, Oahu is only the third largest island in the Hawaiian Island chain at 597 square miles - its highest point is Mt. Ka'ala in the Wai'anae Range. The capital cityu of Honolulu sits on its southern shore with the international airport and the mega tourist strip of Waikiki Beach.

Honolulu, unlike Oahu, is actually a word in the Hawaiian language, and it means 'place of shelter.' This cosmopolitan city is host to a variety of noteworthy sites to visit. You may want to spend the afternoon in the Ala Moana Center in the district of the same name, it has been referred to as the world's largest open air shopping centre, and with over 300 tenants, it draws many visitors every year. There is also the Chinatown Historic District to visit if you have the time, but a must-see is the Iolani Palace. This palace was the home of the last two monarchs of Hawaii from 1882 to 1893. It featured what was at the time Hawaii's first electric light system, flush toilets, and an in-house phone system. The palace has many luxuries and gifts from all over the world and visitors can walk the grounds freely with admission.

On the western side of Honolulu is Pearl Harbor, home to the U.S.'s Pacific Fleet, and site of the attack on December 7 1941 by the Empire of Japan, an attack which brought America into World War II. Today, Pearl Harbour is host to a floating memorial to the sunken U.S.S. Arizona where over 1100 servicemen lost their lives. Visitors can go to the Visitor Center, see a documentary about that day and then take a short boat ride out to the memorial. Other museums that are in the area include the Battleship Missouri , USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, and the most recent addition to the park, the Pacific Aviation Museum which opened in 2006 and documents military aviation in the Pacific during World War II.

Waikiki district sits on the on its eastern flank of Honolulu and includes Waikiki Beach. Here you will find the beach resorts, clubs, and restaurants that are geared to the influx of Hawaii's visitors. Overlooking Waikiki is Diamond Head, a volcanic tuff cone that, due to the short eruption cycle of this now long-extinct volcano, has a near-perfectly symmetrical cone from which hikers can enjoy a great view of the surrounding city.

One of the more notable places to go on Oahu is the Nuuanu Pali Lookout, found on Highway 61. It is a section on the windward cliff of the Ko'olau Mountain located at the head of the Nu'uanu Valley. From this vantage point visitors can enjoy a fantastic vista of the rest of Oahu. Two large stones near the back of the valley have been said to represent a pair of goddesses who were guardians of the passage down the pali, or the cliff.

There are plenty of beaches throughout Oahu where visitors can experience watersports like parasailing, surf fishing, canoeing in an outrigger, and maybe snorkelling. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve on the south east corner of the island is a bay that was once a volcanic crater but is now the site of some spectacular snorkelling opportunities. You can either bring your own equipment or rent some equipment there. Other nearby beaches great for swimming and body surfing include Makapu'u and Sandy Beach.

The beaches of the north shore of Oahu also have good snorkelling, but only during the protected summer months. In winter, the northern storms convert these beaches into some of the most challenging surfing breaks in the world and the region has beceme a Mecca for surfers boasting the iconic Banzai Pipeline and Sunset Beach amongst others.

Oahu Island Accommodation Guide
Many people are drawn to the beaches of Hawaii and choose to either stay in hotel or a condo rental, which is a popular option for holiday-goers in this state.