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 52

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Ala Moana 1

Chinatown 9

Diamond Head 2

Downtown Honolulu 11

Kahala 2

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 12

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 11

Nature Preserve/ Wildlife Refuge 1

Neighborhood/ Street 2

Park (National/ State/ Provincial) 5

Park/ Playground 1

Plaza/ Square/ Piazza 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...

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...

Duke Kahanamoku Beach

  • Beach–Sight

Named for Hawaii's famous Olympic swimming champion, Duke Kahanamoku, this is a hard-packed beach with the only shade trees on the sand...

Fort DeRussy Beach Park

  • Beach–Sight

This is one of the finest beaches on the south side of Oahu. A wide, soft, ultrawhite beachfront with gently lapping waves makes it a...

Haleiwa Alii Beach Park

  • Beach–Sight

The winter waves are impressive here, but in summer the ocean is like a lake, ideal for family swimming. The beach itself is big and...

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

  • Beach–Sight

Picture this as the world's biggest open-air aquarium. You go here to see fish, and fish you'll see. Due to their exposure to thousands...

Honolulu Zoo

  • Zoo/Aquarium

There are bigger and better zoos, but this one, though showing signs of neglect due to budget constraints, is a lush garden and has some...

Kahana Bay Beach Park

  • Beach–Sight

Local parents often bring their children here to wade in safety in the very shallow, protected waters. This pretty beach cove, surrounded...

Kailua Beach Park

  • Beach–Sight

A cobalt-blue sea and a wide continuous arc of powdery sand make Kailua Beach Park one of the island's best beaches, illustrated by the...

Kapiolani Bandstand

  • Arts/Performance Venue

The Victorian-style Kapiolani Bandstand, which was originally built in the late 1890s, is Kapiolani Park's stage for community entertainment...

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