Oahu

  • Lovely view from Oahu's windward side

Duke Kahanamoku memorial statue Waikiki beach Oahu

Duke Kahanamoku memorial statue Waikiki beach Oahu

O’ahu (pronounced “Oh-ah-hu”)is the third largest of the Hawaiian Island chain and nicknamed as the “Gathering Place”, hence where the most people live and has the most visitors of any island.

O’ahu is one of the seven islands that make up the Hawaiian Chain, or state of Hawaii. It has over 865,000 people living here, with about 5 million visitors a year. Oahu is between the west tip of Moloka’i and Kaua’i  with Lana’i,  Mau’i and Hawai’i (the Big Island) further south. It has 139 beaches, and is home to famous places like Pearl Harbor, Hawaii 5-0 (old and new TV shows), Waikiki, the Polynesian Cultural Center and Honolulu. Although you can visit the much quieter areas of the North Shore and the Windward Coast (east) you will probably spend a lot of time in busy Honolulu.

 

 

 

WIKI FACTS

O’ahu Airport
Honolulu International Airport (HNL) is the principal airport in the Hawaiian Islands and the 23rd busiest in the U.S.A. All major airlines offer direct service from the U.S. and Canada to Oahu.

Major Industries of O’ahu
  •        Tourism
  •        Military/Government
  •        Construction/Manufacturing
  •        Agriculture
  •        Retail Sales
Area

O’ahu has a land area of 607 square miles. It is 44 miles long and 30 miles across.

oahu_map3

Map of Oahu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know?
  •       The city of Honolulu is the most populated of the Hawaiian islands and the most  remote large city on earth.
  •        Waikiki’s Halekulani Hotel is consistently rated as one of the top hotels in the world.
  •        Waikiki Beach is considered the world’s most famous and most photographed beach.
  •        Oahu was the home to one of TV’s most popular series, ABC’s Lost.
ilikai_ov_ste

The iconic Ilikai Hotel on Oahu’s south shore – Waikiki beach

O’ahu has 5 distinct areas, 4 of which are the favorites for the best lodging options; Leeward side which is the west side of the island of noted Ewa beach, Windward Side or the east side lined with great beach front communities and the world famous South Shore, the home of Waikiki Beach and Honolulu. Central Oahu is the area of Schofield Barracks (army post) including the towns of Miliani and Wahiawa nestled in the mountains – usually not a vacation rental lodging choice as it is not near the water. And the world famous surfing capital of the North Shore is a must see during the winter months to watch spectacular waves and their expert surfers that ride them. Each area offers its own diverse sub areas, communities, activities, sites and accommodation types.

We have broken down the most desirable areas and accommodation options below. Click on the links to navigate to each area to explore accommodation options or contact us to discuss and start designing your island paradise vacation today!

LODGING ON OAHU

SOUTH SHORE
Resorts/Hotels

WINDWARD/SOUTH EAST SIDE
Villas /Estates
Houses/Cottages
NORTH SHORE
Villas/Estates
Houses/Cottages
Resort/Hotel
LEEWARD/WEST SIDE
Villas/Estates
Houses/Cottages
B&Bs

alohafestival_oahu

Aloha Festival celebrating Oahu’s diverse cultural heritages

O’ahu has a magical landscape of dream-like contrasts. O’ahu is rich in cultural history and the island’s many annual festivals fully illustrate Hawaii’s famed ethnic diversity. With a relaxed multicultural mix that gives a memorable flavor to its streetscapes and restaurants, O’ahu offers the best of Hawaii’s cultural activities and events throughout the year, including must-do festivals such as the Aloha Festivals, May Day and the Prince Lot Celebrations. Other celebrations include:

Chinese New Year (late January/early February)
Honolulu Festival (March)
Lei Day (May)
King Kamehameha Day Floral Parade (June)
Aloha Festivals (September)
Hawaii International Film Festival (November)

Vietnamese "pho nam"  Photo credit: Hawaii Food Tours

Vietnamese “pho nam”
Photo credit: Hawaii Food Tours

Oahu has a variety of excellent restaurants to choose from and has arguably become home to some of the best chefs in the world. On Oahu you can eat like a local in small neighborhoods like Kapahulu or Haleiwa or dine in high style at some of Hawaii’s finest restaurants in Waikiki, everything from quaint cafes to city chic and beyond.

Alan Wong, Roy Yamaguchi, George Mavrothalassitis and Sam Choy were some of the founding chefs of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement. These local legends take the freshest, locally grown produce and ingredients to create flavorful dishes for visitors and locals alike. Let us make your reservations at these Honolulu restaurants or at hot spots throughout Oahu and get a taste of this unique culinary fusion of Hawaii’s ethnic influences. Here’s a list of some of really good restaurants choices right in the heart of the action of Waikiki and Honolulu:

Alan Wong’s Restaurant in Honolulu
Roy’s Waikiki in Waikiki and Hawaii Kai
Chef Sean Prestier “Lil Soul Cafe” in Honolulu (a slight twist on good ole southern food)
Chef Mavro Restaurant in Honolulu
Sarento’s Top of the “I” in Honolulu
Sam Choy’s Breakfast, Lunch & Crab in Honolulu
Dukes Canoe Club in Waikiki

shopping-oahu_gohi

Oahu’s Honolulu and Waikiki areas boasts some of the best (and most) shopping choices in Hawaii.
Photo credit: Go Hawaii

For the casual shopper or the sophisticated consumer, Oahu is a virtual shopping paradise. Find a delightful variety of independent, locally owned markets and stores to national retail chains and upscale boutiques that sell everything from handcrafts and uniquely Hawaiian products to merchandise imported from all over the world. There are also dozens of independent markets, boutiques and shops The major shopping malls on Oahu include:

Ala Moana Shopping Center in Honolulu
Aloha Tower Marketplace in Honolulu
Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center
International Market Place in Waikiki
DFS Galleria in Waikiki;
Ward Warehouse and Ward Center, across from Fisherman’s Wharf
Pearlridge Center in Aiea
Kahala Mall in Kahala
Windward Mall in Kaneohe

USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor

USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor

Oahu is also called the “Heart of Hawaii” so it’s the appropriate home to Hawaii’s widest range of popular activities and famous sights found right in the “heart” of Waikiki. Tour the Bishop Museum, royal quarters of Iolani Palace, Diamond and Koko Head , Duke Kahanamoku monument (the ambassador of “Aloha”) and no Oahu trip would be complete with out visiting Pearl Harbor. Or get off the beaten path and visit local neighborhoods like Kapahulu and Haleiwa on the North Shore or lesser-known attractions like the Valley of the Temples or the Makapuu Lighthouse. We can assist you in planning your itinerary for your next visit to Oahu. Let us get you there…

Lani Kai beach windward or east side of the island.

Lani Kai beach windward or east side of the island.

At sea level the average afternoon winter temperature is around 75°F during the coldest months of December and January. August and September are the hottest summer months with temperatures in the low 90s. The average temperature is 75°F – 85°F. Due to the prevailing trade winds, most rainfall hits the north or northeast facing shores, leaving the south and southwest areas, including Honolulu and Waikiki, relatively dry.

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