Oahu is the third largest Hawaiian Island after the Maui and Big Islands but boasts as being most populous of them all. It is the most famous tourist destination among the Hawaiian Islands and the financial and cultural hub of the area. Housing the great city of Honolulu, the capital center of Hawaii, 86 percent of the total state’s population calls Oahu home and has earned it the nickname of, The Gathering Place. Oahu is actually the heart and soul of Hawaii. Honolulu city and Waikiki district are extremely busy. Being the only true metropolitan region of Hawaiian Islands, Oahu has been a curse and a blessing to the island and surrounding region.
On the positive aspect, local Hawaiian dwellers and visitors to Oahu have access to all the conveniences and amenities offered by a huge city as provided by Honolulu. People spend their days dashing about the city; there is great transportation, a bustling nightlife, exciting cultural establishments, events and festivals, great restaurants and a wide variety of lodging and shopping options. When all this is combined with island’s many parks, extensive beaches, recreational areas, quaint towns and mountains, you can expect why Oahu is such an enjoyable metropolitan area. However, being home to the huge city of Honolulu, Oahu is a victim of a myriad of problems such as crime, high cost of living and traffic.
Natural beauty in Oahu is well showcased in the mountain ranges of Waianae and Koolau. Taking a hiking trip to the mountain ranges is an exciting thing to do. On the northern shores, you will be greeted by funky beach towns, secluded and beautiful white sand beaches and the pounding winter surf. However, North Shore receives monstrous waves during winter time and brave surfers get to attack the waves and take home a memorable experience.
You can also take a drive through the pineapple files or visit the beaches and mountain trails on the island. Most of the visitors going for a holiday vacation in Oahu opt to stay in Waikiki district and Honolulu. Nevertheless there also other cities in Oahu worthy a visit like Kailua, Kapolei, Kahuku and Waianae. Waikiki beach and the Pearl Harbor are the major tourist destinations in Oahu.
Polynesian Cultural Center gives visitors an opportunity of experiencing the local culture of Hawaii and seven more Polynesian islands. The USS Arizona National Memorial is reminder of the events experienced by Pearl Harbor during the wartime period. Other attractions include Banzai Pipeline, Queen Emma’s Summer Palace, Lolani Palace and the Bishop Museum.
Beaches in Oahu are a way of life and include Kailua Beach Park, Kahana Bay Beach Park and others. There are many activities to enjoy in Oahu like hiking, kayaking, horseback riding, snorkeling, diving and windsurfing alongside body boarding and surfing. Unfortunately, some areas in Oahu like Pearl City, Chinatown, Kalihi, Waipahu and Nanakuli are not very safe especially after dark. However, local officers are quite helpful to visitors and can help you stay away from some common problems like crime.