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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Category

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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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Ala Moana Beach Park

  • Beach–Sight

A protective reef makes Ala Moana essentially a ½-mile-wide saltwater swimming pool. Very smooth sand and no waves create a haven for...

Aloha Tower Marketplace

  • Viewpoint/Scenic Overlook

In fall 2015, the 89-year-old Aloha Tower, opened in 1926, became the new home to Hawaii Pacific University students. The Aloha Tower...

Battleship Missouri Memorial

  • Memorial/Monument/Tomb

Together with the Arizona Memorial, the USS Missouri' s presence in Pearl Harbor perfectly bookends America's World War II experience,...

Bellows Beach Park

  • Beach–Sight

Bellows is the same beach as Waimanalo, but it's under the auspices of the military, making it more friendly for visitors—though that...

Bishop Museum

  • Museum/Gallery

Founded in 1889 by Charles R. Bishop as a memorial to his wife, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the museum began as a repository for...

Byodo-In Temple

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Tucked away in the back of the Valley of the Temples cemetery is a replica of the 11th-century Temple at Uji in Japan. A 2-ton carved...

Diamond Head Beach Park

  • Beach–Sight

You have to like a little hiking to like Diamond Head Beach. This beautiful, remote spot is at the base of Diamond Head crater. The beach...

Diamond Head State Monument and Park

  • Geological Site

Panoramas from this 760-foot extinct volcanic peak, once used as a military fortification, extend from Waikiki and Honolulu in one direction...

Dole Plantation

  • Educational Institution

Pineapple plantation days are nearly defunct in Hawaii, but you can still celebrate Hawaii's famous golden fruit at this promotional...

Dolphin Quest at The Kahala

  • Zoo/Aquarium

This worldwide dolphin-encounter group has an Oahu location in the Kahala, where trained Atlantic bottlenose dolphins hold court in an...

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