Oahu Travel: Surf’s Up!

Beach Sunrise on Oahu Island

Oahu Travel: Surf’s Up!

Oahu is home to the majority of Hawaii’s population for a reason. From the crystalline waters of Kailua Beach to the legendary North Shore, Oahu offers something for everyone. Whether you want to hike to the top of Diamond Head or wander small towns like Haleiwa, Oahu is one of the top destinations in the Hawaiian Islands. For history lovers, Pearl Harbor and Iolani Palace are top tourist sites. Meanwhile, top shops and boutiques can be found within Honolulu.

Traveling to Oahu

The majority of visitors arrive at the Honolulu International Airport. Most domestic carriers and international carriers serve the airport, so it is fairly easy to get to Oahu from any location. Once you arrive on the island, you can get around using a taxi, car rental, public transportation or a shuttle bus. Many hotels and tour groups offer complimentary shuttles, so this option is fairly inexpensive for visitors.

For public transportation options, visitors can check out the “Bus”. The fare rates are reasonable and it is easy to find a route to your favorite attraction. If you are less concerned about routes, the trolleys are ideal for checking out the major destinations. Both public transportation options include options for multiple-day tickets or unlimited rides that reduce the cost of traveling.

Other than car rentals, visitors can check out moped and motorcycle rentals. Taxi stands are also available at most major shopping malls and the airport. You can also ask your hotel concierge to call for a pickup from your hotel.

Sleeping on Oahu

Sleeping on Oahu

Once you arrive at the island, you will have a number of options for accommodation. Depending on what you are looking for, you can find luxury resorts, boutique hotels, bed and breakfasts and budget inns. In east Honolulu, the Kahala Hotel & Resort is the most popular luxury resort. On the Leeward Coast, make sure to check out the Ko Olina Resort area. Meanwhile, the Turtle Bay Resort is the most luxurious accommodation that you can find on the North Shore.

Top Attractions

Paradise Cove: Enshrined in dozens of Hollywood films, luaus are a large part of Oahu’s identity. At Paradise Cove, visitors can enjoy an authentic luau that features taro bread rolls, lomi salmon, kalua pork and cold haupia. Activities like weaving headbands, making a lei and throwing spears offer a unique way to understand the island’s history and culture.

Iolani Palace: Iolani Palace is the only official home to royalty in all of the United States. Before the 1900s, Hawaii was ruled by a monarchy that lived at the palace. Today, you can tour the palace and see where balls were once hosted and the king once played cards. Make sure to check out the Imprisonment room where Queen Liliuokalani was placed under house arrest for nearly half a year.

North Shore: Whether you want to relax or enjoy world-class surfing, the North Shore is the place to go. If you get hungry while you are there, check out the Mastumoto’s Shave Ice and Romy’s Kahuku Prawns. For non-surfers, take a leap off of the infamous Waimea Bay Beach Rock.

Surfs up on Oahu

Pearl Harbor: The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was the start of World War II. Today, visitors can see the USS Arizona and historic sites from the attack. Pearl Harbor tours offer somber reminders of the past and an unforgettable way of experiencing history firsthand.

Dole Plantation: At the Dole Plantation, check out the garden maze and train tour. This attraction is popular with children.

Aloha Stadium’s Swap Meet: At this location, you can check out more than 400 merchants as you shop ’till you drop. From sweet plums to beach towels, visitors can find low-cost gifts for their family members back home in the states. Better yet, you can sip chilled coconut water directly from the coconut.