Things to Do and See in Oahu

Oahu is the third largest of the islands of Hawaii (the Big Island and Maui are both larger), located in the United States of America, and the most popular tourist destination. As the location of Honolulu, the state capital, and as home to over 85% of the state’s population, the island is appropriately nicknamed “The Gathering Place.”

Things to do in Ouahu

  • Windsurfing, surfing and body-boarding at Waikiki and (less crowded and more scenic) North Shore and Kailua Beach. – see Oahu Surf Conditions, Radar, and Forecasts
    Snorkeling and diving trips leave from Waikiki and most hotels.
  • Horseback riding on the North Shore and Windward Koolau Range
  • Hiking all over the island: in particular, Diamond Head State Park (excellent view of Honolulu and the surrounding area). Also visit Lanikai’s Pillbox (leftover from WWII sitting above Lanikai). Gives spectacular view of Waimanalo, the Koolau Mountains, Kailua and the Mokulua Islands sitting in the distance.
  • Kayak on the Windward side to the Mokulua Islands which are a bird sanctuary and also offer encounters with turtles which have made a huge comeback in the Windward bay area. It should be noted that it is against state law to violate the sanctuary area. The beach on the islands is not part of the restricted zone, however.
  • Driving tour around East-side of island gives spectacular views. Stop several times along the route to see blowhole, swim in secluded cove, hike up to the Lighthouse for amazing views or check out ancient Hawaiian drawings and Heeiaus.
  • Driving tour over the Pali Highway; be sure to visit the Pali Lookout.
  • Drive up to the Round-Top Forest Reserve. (excellent view of Honolulu and the surrounding area)
  • Snorkeling and sun bathing at Hanauma Bay
  • Viewing Marine Wildlife (the best 1/2 of Oahu is underwater!)- see Wild Side Specialty Tours to sail with whales, dive with dolphins, and snorkel coral reefs with turtles and tropical fish.

Shopping in Oahu

If you are looking for an independent local markets, upscale boutiques or a shopping center, theres a lot of places where you can do your shopping in Oahu.

Here is a list of shopping centers to get you started:

  • Ala Moana Center: one of the largest open-air shopping centers in the world with more than 200 stores
  • DFS Galleria Waikiki: luxury duty free shopping
  • International Market Place: an open-air market in the heart of Waikiki, built around a 100-year-old banyan tree
  • Pearlridge Center: the largest indoor shopping center in Hawaii is connected by the island’s only monorail system
  • Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center: more than 150 stores and services in a three-story Waikiki complex

Where to Stay in Oahu?

Turtle Bay Resort lies on five miles of Oahu’s North Shore, approximately 37 miles from Honolulu International Airport. Four miles away is the Polynesian Cultural Center. Turtle Bay Resort has five miles of beachfront for a variety of watersports and other beach activities. Also available are tennis and tennis instruction, horseback riding, two pools, volleyball, surfing and scuba instruction, and a concierge to assist with additional recreation and golf opportunities on the Arnold Palmer Course and the Fazio Course. For dining, Turtle Bay Resort has four restaurants, two snack shops (one by the pool), and a bar. All rooms have air-conditioning, refrigerators, and cable TV.

You can also Enjoy a clear view of the ocean while staying at the Hale Kai villa in Oahu. Aside from exquisite dining at six Turtle Bay restaurants, guests have access to oceanfront hiking trails, surfing, scuba diving, and snorkling. The villa’s amenities include a gourmet kitchen, private balcony with sitting area, high-speed internet, more than 50 frequently updated DVDs, board games, flat screen tvs, as well as availability of a private chef, room service, and in-villa massage for an added cost. You can also visit Kahuku from this resort.

The villa also has access to all the amenities of the 5-star Turtle Bay Resort, including the pool, tennis club, fitness center, spa, direct hotel phone connection, horseback riding, championship golf courses at hotel rates, and helicopter services for an added cost.

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