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Hawaii-Oahu Destination Guide

Appropriately named "The Gathering Place," Oahu is the exciting center of the Aloha state. Famous Waikiki Beach, the heart of the island and a world class resort area, offers outstanding dining, entertainment, shopping, attractions and hotel accommodations to fit any budget. Down the shore from Waikiki Beach is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Hawaii, Diamond Head. This extinct volcano crater sits solemnly above another fabulous beach filled with sun worshippers and surfers. Beyond Waikiki, Oahu becomes a quietly enchanting island. There are 23 state parks on the ocean and throughout the interior. On the North Shore, the ocean's fury comes to life as massive waves pound the shore in an unforgettable rhythm. History buffs can trace the million year history of the islands on Oahu, or experience more recent history at Pearl Harbor.


There are a variety of lodging options available in Oahu. You can choose between hotels, luxury boutiques, rentals and bed & breakfasts. Waikiki is where you will find the majority of hotels and resorts. You can also find rental cottages and condos throughout the island.

When to visit

Anytime of the year is a good time to visit Oahu with average temperatures of 75-85 degrees F. Winter is the big wave surf season on Oahu’s North Shore. During November and December there are major surfing competitions held here. Whale watching season begins in December and ends in May with peak times between January and early April.

Oahu Highlights

Waikiki – Waikiki is located on the South Shore of Honolulu. Waikiki was once a playground for Hawaiian royalty, and is now a historic hot spot for the world. Along the main strip of Kalakaua Avenue, you’ll find world-class shopping, resorts, entertainment, dining and activities. Waikiki is known for its beaches, with Leahi (Diamond Head) as the backdrop, the calm clear waters of Waikiki are perfect for sun and surf. There is more to Waikiki than just its beaches; such as the Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Aquarium which offers fun for the whole family! Waikiki is a half hour away from popular attractions like Pearl Harbor, Iolani Palace, the Nuuanu Pali Lookout and Hanauma Bay.

Pearl Harbor - Pearl Harbor is the largest natural harbor in Hawaii, a World War II valor in the Pacific National Monument and the only naval base in the U.S. to be designated a National Historic Landmark. There are 5 historic sites honoring the events occurring at this National Landmark: USS Arizona Memorial, Battleship Missouri Memorial, USS Oklahoma Memorial, Pacific Aviation Museum and the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park.

North Shore, Oahu - North Shore holds world-premiere surf competitions. This area has attracted the best surfers in the world and appeals to beginner surfers as well as veteran surfers depending on the time of year.

Iolani Palace – This was the official residence of the Hawaiian Kingdoms last 2 monarchs from 1882 to 1893. Iolani Palace is a national historic landmark. This Palace was a symbol of promise for the Hawaiian Kingdom and once Hawaii became the 50th state became the capitol building up until 1968. This Palace is now open for tours for the public. On this tour you can view the private living quarters of the royal family as well as Hawaiian royalty jewelry and the 2 golden crowns of the King and Queen. Iolani Palace plays an essential role in understanding Hawaii’s history and culture.
Not sure where to start? Ask a travel agent specializing in Hawaii Vacations to help you plan the ultimate vacation to Oahu, Hawaii.


Weather in Hawaii-Oahu

Summer temperatures range from 85 to 87°F, with night time lows of 70 to 74°F. Winter temperatures range from 70 to 74°F, with night time lows from 65 to 69°F.

Tipping in Hawaii-Oahu

Tipping is at the discretion of the customer, usually 15%.

Wedding Requirements for Hawaii-Oahu

There is no waiting requirement for marriage licenses, but the bride and groom must present themselves in person in order to obtain it ($50 payable in cash, valid statewide for 30 days). Guests can ask at their hotel for the nearest licensing agent.

Airport Information for Hawaii-Oahu

Travel to and from Hawaii-Oahu uses the HNL - Honolulu International Airport.

Rental Cars in Hawaii-Oahu

Many major rental agencies are available throughout the Hawaiian Islands.