Oahu Sights

Oahu is one-stop Hawaii—all the allure of the Islands in a plate-lunch mix that has you kayaking around offshore islets by day and sitting in a jazz club 'round midnight, all without ever having to take another flight or repack your suitcase. It offers both the buzz of modern living in jam-packed Honolulu (the state's capital) and the allure of slow-paced island life on its northern and eastern

shores. It is, in many ways, the center of the Hawaiian universe.

There are more museums, staffed historic sites, and guided tours here than you'll find on any other island. And only here do a wealth of renovated buildings and well-preserved neighborhoods so clearly spin the story of Hawaii's history. It's the only place to experience Islands-style urbanity, since there are no other true cities in the state. And yet you can get as lost in the rural landscape and be as laid-back as you wish.

Oahu is home to Waikiki, the most famous Hawaiian beach, as well as some of the world's most famous surf on the North Shore, and Hawaii's best-known historical site—Pearl Harbor. If it's isolation, peace, and quiet you want, Oahu might not be for you, but if you'd like a bit of spice with your piece of paradise, this island provides it.

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Fodor's Choice

Area

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Honolulu 50

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Ala Moana 1

Chinatown 8

Diamond Head 2

Downtown Honolulu 11

Kahala 1

Kakaako 2

Kalihi 1

Makiki Heights 2

Manoa 1

Nuuanu 2

Pearl Harbor 6

Salt Lake 1

Waikiki 12

Windward Oahu 18

The North Shore 11

West (Leeward) Oahu 9

Southeast Oahu 8

Central Oahu 2

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Amusement Park/ Water Park 1

Archaeological Site/ Ruins 1

Arts/ Performance Venue 3

Beach–Sight 35

Castle/ Palace/ Chateau 1

Cemetery 1

Educational Institution 1

Farm/ Ranch 2

Film Studio 1

Garden/ Arboretum 5

Geological Site 2

Government Building 2

Historic District/ Site 1

House/ Mansion/ Villa 3

Information Center 1

Library/ Archive 1

Market/ Bazaar 2

Memorial/ Monument/ Tomb 5

Military Site 5

Museum Village 1

Museum/ Gallery 10

Nature Preserve/ Wildlife Refuge 1

Neighborhood/ Street 1

Park (National/ State/ Provincial) 5

Park/ Playground 1

Public Art (Mural/ Sculpture/ Statue) 1

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 5

Scenic Drive/ Tour 1

Tour–Sight 1

Town/ Village 2

Viewpoint/ Scenic Overlook 6

Zoo/ Aquarium 4

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Best For

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Family 22

Historical 4

Oahu Sights

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Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium

  • Memorial/Monument/Tomb

This Beaux-Arts-style, 1927 World War I monument, dedicated to the 101 Hawaiian servicemen who lost their lives in battle, stands proudly...

Waimanalo

  • Town/Village

This modest little seaside town flanked by chiseled cliffs is worth a visit. Home to more Native Hawaiian families than Kailua to the...

Waimanalo Beach Park

  • Beach–Sight

One of the most beautiful beaches on the island, Waimanalo is a local pick, busy with picnicking families and active sports fields. Expect...

Waimea Bay Beach Park

  • Beach–Sight

Made popular in that old Beach Boys song "Surfin' U.S.A.," Waimea Bay Beach Park is a slice of big-wave heaven, home to king-size 25-...

Waimea Valley

  • Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

Waimea may get lots of press for the giant winter waves in the bay, but the valley itself is a newsmaker and an ecological treasure in...

Washington Place Foundation

  • House/Mansion/Villa

For many years the home of Hawaii's governors, this white-column mansion was built by sea captain John Dominis, whose son married Liliuokalani...

Wet'n'Wild Hawaii

  • Amusement Park/Water Park

This 29-acre family attraction has waterslides, water cannons, and waterfalls. ...

White Plains Beach Park

  • Beach–Sight

Concealed from the public eye for many years as part of the former Barbers Point Naval Air Station, this beach is reminiscent of Waikiki...

World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument

  • Historic District/Site

Two sights associated with the devastating Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, are part of this national monument, which...

Yokohama Bay

  • Beach–Sight

You'll be one of the few outsiders at this Waianae Coast beach at the very end of the road. If it weren't for the little strip of paved...

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