As one of the hottest tourist destinations of the Hawaiian Islands, Oahu is a worldwide recognized cultural and financial center in Hawaii. It houses Honolulu City, the capital of the state of Hawaii and more than 85 percent of Hawaii’s population lives in Oahu. Travelers and locals have nicknamed Oahu as ‘The Gathering Place’ depicting the large number of people who visit this place. Everything in Hawaii revolves around Oahu with some of its areas like Waikiki district and Honolulu city being extremely busy. Home to the only true metropolitan place in the Hawaiian Islands, it has become both a curse and a blessing for the locals.
If you are planning to visit Oahu, you can rest assured that you will have all the conveniences and amenities that can be provided by a big city like Honolulu. Both locals and tourists spend their days dashing about the island; there is a great transportation network, a bustling nightlife and a huge variety of lodging and shopping options. This is combined with the exciting cultural establishments and events and the extensive beaches, mountains, parks, quaint towns and recreational areas of the town. Unfortunately, since Oahu houses the big city of Honolulu, tourists still have to encounter the usual problems of big cities like high living costs and traffic problems as well as criminal issues.
Honolulu might not live to the expectations of some visitors like serenity, relaxation and many postcards. However, you can still relax and have a peaceful time in Oahu if you visit the best destinations and you just need to know where to visit and when. Most of the resorts are located in calming oasis and are far from the highly crowded areas. The Waianae and Koolau mountain ranges showcase the natural beauty of Oahu and most visitors travel to these places to enjoy some great hiking into the mountains. The northern shore is home to secluded white beautiful sand beaches and some funky beach towns.
If you are brave enough, you can go surfing at the North Shore where monstrous waves sweep over the waters to the shore like. The famous Pearl Harbor is also in Oahu and other destinations of interest include Waikiki, Nanakuli, Kailua and Kahuku among others. One of the major attractions you don’t want to miss is the Polynesian Cultural Center where you can experience the true culture of Hawaii. Other attractions include USS Arizona National Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Honolulu Academy of Arts, The Bishop Museum and Lolani Palace among others.
If you are a more active traveler, try surfing, body boarding and surfing at Waikiki, diving and snorkeling trips, horseback riding, hiking and kayaking. You will also encounter a myriad of shopping malls located almost everywhere in major districts. Some of the most famous shopping malls include the Ala Moana Center, Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, Kahala Mall and duty-free shops at DFS Galleria. Finally, keep in mind that some areas of Oahu are less safe especially after dark and you should take all the necessary precautions.