Hawaii is one of the most luxurious and beautiful places on earth, and there is a reason that this is one of the most sought after destinations around. Of course, this is part of the USA, but it seems like a million miles away from the bustling metropolis’ of Las Vegas, New York, Los Angeles, and Orlando.
For anyone who wants to relax completely, the island archipelago is the place to go, but if you want a mixture of urban life and beach life, it has to be Oahu. This is the most populated of the islands, and that means there is more to see and do here than probably any of the other choices. There are also countless Oahu vacation rentals on offer, which means you can have a home away from home experience, whilst exploring this beautiful and natural part of the world, to your heart’s content!
This is the third largest of all the islands, but it does encompass the capital city, Honolulu. Now, Honolulu has everything you would expect a sprawling metropolis to have, including shopping, nightlife, restaurants, and culture, but it also has the highly famous, and rather wonderful Waikiki area. Waikiki Beach is one of the most famous in the world, and although this isn’t one of the biggest surf spots around, it is ideal for those who are learning, because the waves here are a little calmer and the water is a little shallower. On the flipside however, this is no doubt the busiest of all the beaches, so you will need to get there early in order to place your towel down on a good spot of sand!
Oahu has the rather attractive nickname of “The Gathering Place”, and that is because it is where most of the residents of Hawaii live. Basically, this island is the beating heart of the state, not only because the capital is here, and the most well-known beach, but because there are also many sites of natural importance here too, as well as historical monuments, such as Pearl Harbour. Visitors can venture there and visit the sombre monument to that catastrophic event in history.
Whilst the Big Island is known for its huge volcanoes, Oahu has some pretty impressive mountains to take into account. There are two main ranges which are situated on Oahu, and the easiest to spot is the Koolau Range, because it can easily been seen from the capital, in the near distance. The Waianae Range runs along the western side of the island, and a great spot for those who want to venture off into nature and perhaps hike or mountain climb.
Most people however tend to stick to Waikiki and the city itself, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of Oahu isn’t for exploring! Hiring a car is a great way to get around and see the more natural side of the island, away from the capital city, and the central part is where you will find plentiful colourful pineapple fields. You could venture to the Windward Coast, and enjoy the more chilled out, laid-back feel of this part of the island, where you will also find the Marine Corps base, or you could venture to the other coast, the Leeward Coast, which is where you will come across a few new resorts which are being developed, away from the typical spot of Waikiki.
Surfers certainly don’t miss out here however, because the North Shore of Oahu is home to the largest waves anywhere on the planet during the winter months, so you can easily venture over and check out professional surfers tackling some beast-like waves! There are many competitions held here over the winter months, as well as throughout the year generally.
Culture fans should definitely head to the Polynesian Cultural Centre, to explore the real way of life and history which makes up the true feel of Hawaii, it’s real heartbeat, and also perhaps learn how to hula at the same time! Alternatively, families will love Wet ‘n Wild Hawaii, with rides and attractions in a water-based manner – a great way to cool down in the intense Hawaiian summer heat! Of course, we mentioned Pearl Harbour, and the USS Arizona National Memorial is a sombre way to remember those who lost their lives.
We can’t talk about Hawaii and not mention beaches! Oahu is home to more than just Waikiki, and there are more than we have time to mention! Sunset Beach is a fantastic place to check out the literally amazing blaze of sunset sky, so remember your camera when you venture here. You can also check out more surfing competitions here, and learn to have a go at balancing on surfing boards at the same time! Alternatively, Kailua Beach Park is a fantastic spot for those who want to chill out completely, and is also a little quieter compared to some of the other beach spots around the capital. This particular beach is famous for its good swimming conditions, due to the calmer waters.
Getting to Oahu isn’t difficult, as it is served by Honolulu International Airport, which connects to major cities across the globe, as well as domestic flights from the USA. It’s always worthwhile checking out your visa requirements before you make any firm travel arrangements, as this is part of America, and is therefore subject to the same visa restrictions as any other state.