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.
Major Industries of O’ahu
- Retail Sales
O’ahu has a land area of 607 square miles. It is 44 miles long and 30 miles across.
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.
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
WINDWARD/SOUTH EAST SIDE
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:
Honolulu Festival (March)
Lei Day (May)
King Kamehameha Day Floral Parade (June)
Aloha Festivals (September)
Hawaii International Film Festival (November)
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:
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
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:
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
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…
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.