Oahu Quick Facts
A Traveler's Guide to OahuOahu, the third largest island in the Hawaiian island chain, is home to the state capital and some of the state's most historic sites. It is also the birthplace of some of Hawaii's most loved traditions. If you are planning a trip to the Hawaiian Islands and aren't sure which one to visit, this list of things to do on Oahu may help you make your decision.
The island lives up to the meaning of its name, "The Gathering Place", because people from all over the world gather there each year. Most of the tourists to Oahu come to the city of Honolulu, the state capital. Honolulu is also the main port for the state of Hawaii as well as the home of a US Navy base. Honolulu is much like any big city, with plenty of hustle and bustle. Restaurants, nightclubs, and shops are in abundance, but there are many other exciting things to see and do on the island besides just visiting the main city.
Waikiki Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the world. This beach is on the south shore of the island and borders parts of Honolulu and extends all the way to Diamond Head in the east. Waikiki has long been a favorite surfing spot, even back to the early Hawaiian kings and queens. A statue of Duke Kahanamoku stands on the beach, a memorial to the man who made surfing a popular Hawaiian sport.
Diamond Head to the east is the coned rim of Le'ahi volcano. Hawaii is a series of volcanic islands and Diamond Head is one of the most popular ones visited by tourists each year. It has been declared a state monument by the US government. Even though the inner crater is not accessible to tourists, there is a semi-challenging hike up the side of the crater that many people take part in each year.
Hanauma Bay is arguable the most popular natural tourist attraction on the island. Located on the southeast portion of the island, this crescent shaped bay is a great spot for snorkeling and observing natural marine life such as turtles and indigenous fish. Hanauma and Kane'ohe Bays are two of the most visited natural reefs in all the islands.
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