Just how you like your beach on Oahu is up to you. Impossibly beautiful sandy stretches ring the island, and you can either seek out some solitude or join the party at Waikiki. Swimming in calm cobalt waters with the fantastic spectacle of the island rising up behind the beach is very much the order of the day, and the sun shines all year round. But hit the North Shore in winter, when this particular part of the coast is transformed, and the ocean will be awash with surfers battling monster waves.
Oahu's size means it's very easy to get around - which is just as well, since there's so much to fit in. The snorkelling is sublime, with Hanauma Bay being one of the best spots to strap on a mask and see dazzling Technicolour marine life. Hawaiian history is on show at the fascinating Polynesian Cultural Centre, the Pearl Harbour memorial, and the ruined temple hidden away in Waimea Valley. Plus there's sublime views to be had everywhere - especially if you hike some trails.
The food and night-life aren't half bad either on holidays to Oahu, and whether you're hitting the club scene in Honolulu, or savouring succulent seafood at a beachside restaurant on the North Shore, you'll be living the Hawaiian dream.
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Oahu Holiday Highlights
Oahu Holiday Highlights
Oahu Holiday Highlights
Take A Hike
If you want to stretch your legs on Oahu, you'll be rewarded with lush scenery and some spectacular panoramic views. Diamond Head and Nuuanu Pali are both renowned lookout points; or savour the sights as you wander through rainforests filled with bamboo trees and native flora en route to a cooling dip at beautiful Manoa Falls.
The snorkelling and diving is superb both at Hanauma Bay and at several other places round the island - including at Kawela Bay, where you might even spot a honu: a Hawaiian green sea turtle. There's plenty happening on top of the waves too, with windsurfing, bodyboarding, parasailing and sea kayaking all popular at Kailua on the Windward Coast.
The island's best-known beach was once the preserve of Hawaiian royalty, but now everyone is free to enjoy its fine sand and crystal waters. The result is a buzzy vibe and plenty of things to keep you occupied: sunbathing for starters, but also sailing trips, surf lessons, canoes to paddle, people-watching, and lots of oceanfront shopping and dining.
Come winter, and the waves from Haleiwa to Sunset Beach along the North Shore are colossal, making for perfect surfing conditions - especially at Waimea Bay and at Ehukai Beach Park, where the fabled Banzai Pipeline is the big draw. Watching some of the best boarders around do battle with surf towering up to six storeys high is a sight not to be missed.
Polynesian Cultural Centre
To really get the most out of holidays to Oahu, you need to understand a bit about the local culture. You can get a good insight into Hawaii's history by touring the centre's 42 acres of Polynesian island settings. Watch fire walking and spear throwing, then try your hand at coconut husking and Hawaiian dancing.
Roam free on horseback through a beautiful cattle ranch located in Ka’a’awa valley. Explore scenic ranch land and mountain views on this 1 hour at this Horseback ride at Kuala Ranch
Pearl Harbour Historic Tour
Go back in time in Hawaii’s history visiting iconic Pearl Harbour followed by tour of downtown Honolulu
See the best that Oahu has to offer with this amazing on this 45 minute tour, from Honolulu Harbour to the Sacred Falls
Sunset Catamaran Cocktails and Dinner
Capture the beauty of a Hawaiian sunset aboard the Polynesian Alii Kai Catamaran, whilst enjoying cocktails and dinner
Grand Circle Island Tour
Spend the day exploring the beautiful island of Oahu from Hanauma Bay to the North Shore, visiting Dole Plantation, Pali Lookout, Byodo-In Temple and more
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