Planning a trip to Oahu can be exciting but overwhelming. From the fast-paced city life in Honolulu to the laid-back country living on the north shore, Oahu has something for everyone. If fine cuisine is what you’re looking for, Chef Alan Wong’s restaurant and Chef Mavro’s restaurants are consistently rated as the best.
On Oahu’s north shore, the shark diving tours will get your heart pumping. Adventurers descend into the water protected by a dive cage. After the water is ‘chummed’, sharks swarm and the feeding begins. Experience close-up views of shark fins, gills, and teeth!
On your way back to town be sure to stop at Waimea Bay for a cool swim. There are large cliff jumps if you’re looking for a thrill, just leave the back-flips and 360s to the locals. Full-moon hikes in the arboretum valley behind the bay are a dreamy way to spend the evening with your partner.
The Pali Lookout offers the most spectacular drive-up views of the island. Located conveniently off the Pali Highway, it’s a must-see for any visitors. The lookout peers down onto the picturesque turquoise-colored Kaneohe Bay. Be sure to bring a jacket or sweatshirt, as it is usually very windy.
If nightlife is what you’re looking for there are two neighborhoods worth mentioning. Waikiki offers the tourist aspect. The drinks and door charges can be rather expensive, but the bars and clubs are open until 4am, compared to 2am on the rest of the island. Every first Friday of the month is a great time to check out Honolulu’s Chinatown, which offers a local feel. The art galleries open around 5pm and showcase many homegrown artists. After 9pm the galleries shutdown and the crowds drift into the clubs. Some noteworthy venues are Mark’s Garage, The Manifest, Nextdoor, & Bar35.
One site that gets overlooked on a lot of Oahu journeys is Iolani Palace. Built by and for the Hawaiian Royal Family in 1879, a visit will certainly enrich any trip. Tours are inexpensive and provided by Hawaiian Natives.
The best snorkeling can be found at Hanauma Bay on the east side of Oahu. After a brief informational video enjoy exploring the ancient Hawaiian fishing grounds. Look for turtles, octopus, and schools of tropical fish.
Diamond Head crater is conveniently located close to Waikiki. Hike up the ridge, through a tunnel, and arrive at a WWII bunker. The view is stunning, over-looking Honolulu and the Pacific Ocean. In the 1970’s concert promoters threw the ‘Live at The Sunshine Festival’ inside the crater. Performers included Carlos Santana, Buddy Miles, and Bob Marley.
Oahu, Hawaii is a truly magical destination and can offer the trip of a life time for anyone seeking a tropical island paradise or those more intrepid travelers.