Oahu is third largest island in Hawaii. It is an island of contrast, being place where ancient stone temples meet 21 century buildings. 1,2 million people live on this island, and third of them live in urban area of Honolulu, which is only big city in all Hawaii. Just as other islands of Hawaii, this one was made by volcanoes. Remaining of those volcanoes are Ko’dau and Wai’onae mountains that are positioned on east and west shore of the island.
When arriving in Honolulu you might not expect skyscrapers, concrete, glass and wide streets with abundance of cars. But don’t be disappointed, this city has a lot to offer. Its downtown is mixture of past and present with modern buildings across ones from Victorian era. Aloha tower is the first thing that will greet you when you arrive on the island – it is 10 store building that has Aloha written on it facing the port, so everybody that arrives by the boat sees it.
This palace was so modern for the time it was built that it even got electricity before White House. Today it serves as a museum. Waikiki was a swamp that got turned into most famous vacation resort in all Hawaii. Today it is magical place with white sand beaches, rich night life, top class hotels and supreme restaurants. They call it a playground of the Pacific and it is first choice for majority of visitors that come to Hawaii. It is estimated that around 65.000 of tourists stay in this resort every day, while there are around 25.000 permanent residents.
Some of the biggest attractions are Diamond Head crater, Waikiki Aquarium, Honolulu Zoo, Royal Hawaiian Hotel and others that you can visit driving around in Waikiki Trolley – a convenient and educational transportation. Polynesian Cultural Center is one of the most visited places on the island.
It is divided into seven villages that represent Samoa, New Zealand, Fiji, Tahiti, Tonga, Markeze and Hawaii. Here huts look authentic along with traditional houses, and here you can see traditional games, sports, dances and crafts.
If you truly want to experience Hawaiian culture visit in September or October when Aloha Festivals kicks off. During the festival every island choose royals from Hawaiian descents. In Oahu the ceremonies start at Royal Hawaiian Center, and after that party goes on many stages and streets. This way domestic inhabitants want to preserve Hawaiian culture and celebrate diverse customs of Hawaii. On this island is the famous Perl Harbor, a place of Japanese invasion during the World War II.
North shore is surf paradise during the winter. Haleiwa is small funky town full of surf shops, art galleries and boutiques. During the surf season you can try your surf knowledge and your bravery on 25-foot waves.