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Oahu – “The Gathering Place” – A Beginner Visitor’s Guide

Oahu, known as the heart of Hawaii, attracts visitors from all over the world to explore the life force that emanates from it. With the big city of Honolulu, surfer’s paradise on the North Shore, historical Pearl Harbor, popular Waikiki and numerous charming neighborhoods, Oahu offers a variety of options to both its visitors and residents.

Being the capital of Hawaii, Honolulu represents the energy of Oahu and of all the Hawaiian Islands. Like a aged novel, Honolulu tells a story of the past with royal palace blocks, museums and historic buildings. Visit the Iolani Palace, the only palace on U.S. soil, or the Bishop Museum, a place of culture and Hawaiian heritage. Chinatown, a market of vibrant colors, exotic smells and many hole-in-the-wall restaurants, is a reminder of the days when the Chinese were brought over to Hawaii to work in the sugar plantations. But at night, it is as though the past sets with the sun and modern day rises with the moon. Jazz clubs, gourmet restaurants and trendy wine bars are the nighttime entertainment. Live and breathe Hawaii thru the eyes of its capital.

Waikiki, once the playground for Hawaiian royalty, is a vibrant beach community displaying a personality all its own. Famous white sand beaches are just blocks away from every hotel room in Waikiki, creating the perfect neighborhood to be explored by foot. An array of restaurants offer local plate lunches, beachfront elegance or even late night nibbles with live music from a local band. During the day, enjoy a swim in the calm waters of Waikiki or test your skills at surfing with a lesson from a local shop. Many of the shopping centers or hotels also offer free lei making, hula lessons or the chance to strum a ukulele and sing about the wonders of Hawaii. Waikiki has all of the comforts of home with the enjoyment of beach-side living.

Oahu’s North Shore is where big wave excitement meets laid back countryside. In the winter time, professional surfers from around the globe come to ride the glassy waves that host premier surfing competitions. In the summer, as waves subside, water activities can enjoyed by all. The small towns are accented with quaint shops offering a new bikini or a shiny surfboard. It’s simply a slower pace of life on the North Shore, a chance to unwind and soak up the sun.

On the leeward side of Oahu is Pearl Harbor. World War II left its mark on Hawaiian soil when the Japanese bombed the harbor, forcing the U.S. into the war. This large, natural cove is host to four museums, one memorial, a large battleship, WWII submarine and an aviation museum. A trip to this momentous area of Hawaii, is a gift of honor to the many soldiers who fought to protect these enchanted islands.

From the convenience of Honolulu and Waikiki to the splendor of the North Shore, Oahu is like a wide angle lens, allowing a single picture to be made by many tiny photos.

Hawaii Hideaways offers luxury accommodations throughout the island of Oahu. From the hills above metropolitan Honolulu to the sands of laid back Haleiwa, Hawaii Hideaways looks forward to assisting with your ultimate Oahu get away.