This Family Island is known as the gathering place, so if you want to spend your vacation here, you better like being around other people! The North Shore is a quieter, more laid back side of the island, but Honolulu is chock full of things to do and places to see.
Oahu is the most visited of all the islands, not because the personality of the island matches up with so many visitors, simply because it is the most well-known. After all, this is where you will find The Arizona Memorial and The Punchbowl Cemetery, which are the most well-known spots in all of Hawaii.
But truthfully, visiting the 2 most frequented tourist attractions will only take, at the most, one day. What will you do with the rest of your time? On Oahu, there are so many choices it will take several trips to do even half of them.
Besides lying about on the beach and playing in the ocean, Honolulu, the major city of the islands located on Oahu, is a vibrant and bustling city, full of a wide range of shopping and dining experiences, museums, rich in cultural history, fantastic scenery and so much more.
Oahu is the island to visit the North Shore, where world class surfers gather every winter to surf some of the best waves to be found anywhere on the planet. Enjoy the charming town of Haleiwa while you are on that side of the island.
Some other places you may want to visit while on Oahu are Diamond Head, a famous Hawaiian landmark, where you can hike to the top for some incredible views from an old army bunker; Hanauma Bay, a marine park where you can snorkel with Hawaii’s fantastic array of colorful ocean life; Sea World, the best setting I have ever seen for an aquarium and where you can partake of a program that allows you to get up close and personal with dolphins; I’olani Palace, the residence of Hawaiian royalty King Kalakaua and Queen Lili’uokalani and of course, make sure to take in China Town while on Oahu.
Maui is known as the Valley Isle, because of the valley between its two volcanoes. This is my favorite of all the islands, and it is what I consider to be a true tropical playground. I love the beaches of Hawaii, and that is why Maui is my favorite. When it comes to beaches, Maui No Ka Oi! (Maui is the best!)Ãï¿½Â
All of the islands, in addition to having their own personality, have two sides to the island. A wet side and a dry side. Maui’s wet side is most famous for the road you must drive to get there, the Hana Highway. It is more about a journey than a destination, a full day trek over a winding road viewing some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable. Make sure your camera batteries are charged!
Maui is also the best island for whale viewing from October to February, with the best viewing in December and January when the whales make the shores of Maui their winter playground. They come to birth and enjoy the shallow tropical waters of Au’au channel off the coast of Maui. They come back year after year, and if you are on Maui during whale watching season the excursion operators will guarantee a sighting or you get another trip free.
Lahaina is an old whaling village that has been turned into one of the premier shopping experiences on Maui, with a 1 1/2 mile long street with shop after shop after shop, with some great eateries to rejuvenate yourself at so you can do some more shop.