Oahu is the main island of Hawaii, it is the third largest in size and home to the city of Honolulu and to over 85% of the state’s population. Because of this the island has been appropriately nicknamed “The Gathering Place”. The island is 71 km long and 48 km wide and has a land area of 1,600 km ². Two mountain ranges make up the island of Oahu. The Koolau Range runs along the east side of the island and forms the backdrop for Honolulu; the Waianae Range runs parallel to the Koolau Range along the west side. The highest point of the island is Mount Ka’ala in Waikanae Range , 1220 meters above sea level. The majority of visitors to Oahu stay in Honolulu and its Waikiki district. The rest of the island is less visibly touched by tourism, with only a few B&Bs among the houses and natural sites on the Windward Coast and the North Shore.

Top Areas To Stay on Oahu

Waikiki, Honolulu

marathon The largest city in the Hawaiian Islands and home to the tourist hotspot of Waikiki. Honolulu is a modern and beautifully landscaped city, stretching along the south coast of the island.

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North Shore

north shore Home to some of the largest waves on earth in the winter; the ocean and surfing are a way of life here. Its home to several world famous surf beaches including Sunset Beach and Banzai Pipeline Beach.

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Ewa Beach

windward coast This quiet part of Oahu has beautiful safe bays, ideal for swimming and snorkelling. It is a great spot if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Waikiki but still not be be too far from the action.

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Directors Choice – Top Hotels for all Budgets

 

Director of Pacific Island Travel, Rob Kusters shares his top picks of Hotels, Resorts and Condos in Oahu for all budgets!

Queen Kapiolani***

Queen Kapiolani, Oahu, Hawaii
“Fantastic location right next to Kapiolani Park and a short stroll to the beach.  I recommend booking the city view room or above categories to ensure your view is not of other hotel rooms! It also has a great rooftop pool with mountain and sea views and for Waikiki a very good price!”

Sheraton Waikiki ****

Sheraton Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii
“One of the best locations in Waikiki.  It is located right on the beach and has no road in between like many of the other Waikiki hotels. The rooms are very spacious and modern. An unbeatable 4 star option that is absolute beach front!”

The Kahala *****

The Kahala, Oahu, Hawaii
“This luxury hotel is a favorite with the rich and famous, but still offers a warm and unpretentious atmosphere!  If travelling with children go for rooms in the Dolphin Lanai Wing. You will have dolphins swimming one meter below your balcony! ”

Regency ***

Outrigger Regency on Beach Walk, Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii
“The Outrigger Regency on Beach Walk is a great apartment (condominium) style hotel located at the end of the lively Waikiki Beach Walk. A short walk the beach and offers a great four person rate.”

More information about Oahu

Ala Wai Harbor and Waikiki1. Waikiki Beach

Waikiki is the world famous beachfront neighborhood of Honolulu. There is plenty of fun    to be had on Waikiki from world-class shopping, restaurants and  bars and to surf lessons  and traditional Polynesians shows. There are also a  number of great attractions on Waikiki  such as the Honolulu Zoo and the Waikiki Aquarium. Find Out More >

USS Arizona Memorial2. Pearl Harbor

A visit to Pearl Harbor is a must with its impressive USS Arizona War Memorial, the USS Missouri and the Pacific Aviation Museum. Here marks the resting play of the sailors and marines killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941. This action led to the United States direct involvement in World War II. Find Out More

Polynesian_Cultural_Center_-_Canoe_Pageant_(8328364423)3. Polynesian Cultural Centre

An interactive museum where you can visit authentic villages and mingle with locals from six Pacific cultures as they demonstrate their arts. Join in on a variety of Polynesian activities and games that will test your skill and courage. In the evening enjoy a traditional Luau with dinner and exciting show. Find Out More >

Golfer putting golf ball4. The Great Outdoors

Where else can you snorkel a crystal lagoon, climb a dormant volcano, surf huge waves, kayak along a pristine tropical coastline, picnic on a sandbar, soar in a glider over tide pools, scuba dive over sunken aero planes, play golf at a championship course and sail into a magnificent sunset? The magnificent island of Oahu has many outdoor adventures at your fingertips. Find Out More >

Rainbow over Waikiki5. Diamond Head

The 350 acre Diamond Head crater is a must see when on Oahu. Hike to the top and you will be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of Honolulu. Its an easy enough hike that the whole family can enjoy.  Find Out More >

00949.Iolani Palace6. Iolani Palace
Iolani Palace is a must see when in Oahu. It is the only royal palace in the United States used as an official residence by a reigning monarch and is a National Historic Landmark. Located in downtown Honolulu, it’s a short drive or bus ride from Waikiki. Find Out More >

pupu7. Sample Local Cuisine

Food is a very important part of Polynesian culture, so make sure enjoy all that is on offer. Honolulu is a gourmet’s paradise with the unique blend of spices of Asia and the Pacific combined with European styles and sauces. In Honolulu you will find a vast variety of restaurants and cuisine – from affordable fast food chains, to traditional Polynesian cuisine to world-class fusion restaurants. Find Out More >

aloha tower8. Aloha Tower

The Aloha tower is a lighthouse located at Pier 9 of Honolulu Harbor that welcomes vessels to the City. The Aloha Tower complex has a nice shopping and entertainment center overlooking the harbor. Head to the top of the tower for breathtaking 360 degree views of Honolulu. Find Out More >

Couples watching surfers off a North Shore beach9. Bansai Pipeline Beach

Bansai Pipeline Beach or “Pipeline” or “Pipe as referred to by the locals is a famous surf reef break on the North Shore of Oahu. Spend an afternoon watching pros surf the massive waves and tubes. Find Out More >

Dole10. Dole Pineapple Plantation

For a change of pace, visit the famous Dole Plantation three miles past Wahiawa, inland on Oahu. Walk around the Pineapple Garden tasting the varieties of pineapple grown here. Originally operated as a fruit stall in the 1950’s it is now one of Oahu’s most popular attractions, it is also home to a giant pineapple maze. Find Out More >

Car rentals are available at the airport and various locations downtown. A car is worth having for visits to the North Shore or if you are staying outside of Honolulu/Waikiki. The Oahu bus system, officially called TheBus, runs between almost all towns and to most tourist destinations.