Oahu, known as The Gathering Place is the home of world-famous Waikiki Beach. Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona and the Polynesian Cultural Center are must-see historical highlights.
A drive around the island reveals a surprising variety of sights and experiences. You can marvel at the prowess of surfers riding 30-foot waves at renowned Sunset Beach. The view from Makapuu Lighthouse regularly includes whales frolicking in the ocean below.
The days you spend on Waikiki's beautiful beach are unforgettable. The incredible color and soothing temperature of the ocean promise many joys for those who want to get wet. Be sure to make time to enjoy Waikiki's many shopping and dining opportunities. For those of you looking for more serene Oahu vacations, the Kahala or Ko Olina areas offer unparalleled tranquility with deluxe accommodations.
Driving times from the airport:
Waikiki: 9 miles.16 min.
Hanauma Bay: 18 miles. 28 min.
Downtown Honolulu: 6 miles. 12 min.
Sea Life Park: 9 miles. 17 min.
Pali Lookout: 10 miles. 18 min.
Polynesian Cultural Center: 35 miles. 55 min.
Pearl Harbor: 2 miles. 7 min.
Makaha (Surfing): 29 miles. 44 min.
Diamond Head: 12 miles. 21 min.
The weather on Oahu is similar to that of the other Hawaiian Islands, with a minimal temperature variance between seasons and coastal temperatures ranging from 60 to 80 degrees year round. As with the other islands, the farther you rise in elevation, the colder it will get, with the temperatures at the highest elevations (around 4000 iE dipping into the forties in the winter months.
Oahu is supposedly the first Hawaiian Island to be seen by a westerner, in January of 1778 when Capt. James Cookis HMS Resolution passed close by. The ship did not actually land on the island, and instead visited Kauai. Oahu was visited the next year by Capt. Clerke on the same ship after Capt. Cook was killed on the Big Island.
Honolulu, Oahu became the capital of the Hawaiian Island Chain in 1845 under King Kamehameha III, and on the island today stands the U.S. is only Royal Palace, in the Capitol District of Honolulu.
Oahu is also the location of the Imperial Japanese Navy attack on Pearl Harbor, which marked the United States Entry into World War II. During the attack on December 7, 1941, 2,403 American servicemen and 68 civilians lost their lives. 12 American warships and 188 aircraft were also lost.
Today, Oahu is home to some of the world's best surfing, and is also the travel hub to the rest of the world, with Hawaii's main international airport being found in Honolulu. 5 million outside visitors pass through Oahu every year.