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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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...

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...

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 Museum of Art

  • Museum/Gallery

Originally built around the collection of a Honolulu matron who donated much of her estate to the museum, the academy is housed in a...

Iolani Palace

  • Castle/Palace/Chateau

America's only official royal residence was built in 1882 on the site of an earlier palace. It contains the thrones of King Kalakaua...

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...

Lanikai Beach Park

  • Beach–Sight

Think of the beaches you see in commercials: peaceful jade-green waters, powder-soft white sand, families and dogs frolicking mindlessly,...

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