General

The third largest island in the state, it is home to nearly 900,000 people, nearly half of whom live in Hawaii’s capital, Honolulu. At first glance, this bustling cityscape may seem familiar. But set against the warm wash of pink clouds at dusk, the azure ocean, and the unmistakable silhouette of Diamond Head (Leahi), these city lights are like no other lights on Earth.

It’s this fundamental contrast between the ancient and the modern that makes discovering Oahu so enjoyable. Serene ocean views meet metropolitan cityscapes. Hawaiian architecture meets art deco design. Big city meets small town.

Yes, the bright lights of Waikiki can certainly catch your eye. But to discover the real Oahu you need to look beyond. You might be surprised at what you see.

You close your eyes, losing yourself in this truly unique sound of the Islands. With so much variety to choose from, you’ll see why sunning yourself on a quiet beach is just one way to relax on Oahu.

On any given night, you’ll discover a kaleidoscope of live music, from traditional Hawaiian, to jazz, to deep house in the Honolulu nightclubs.

During the day, experience the serenity of a Buddhist temple or have a drowsy picnic under the trees in Kapiolani Park. Play a round of golf, window shop at the shopping malls, or spend the day browsing the unique collections in Oahu’s art galleries. When it comes to unwinding on Oahu you’ll always have a choice, even if you choose to do nothing at all.

Things to do

Hike to the top of Diamond Head (Leahi) Crater . Take a surfing lesson in Waikiki. Visit the USS Arizona and USS Missouri memorials at Pearl Harbor. Take a drive to Haleiwa and the North Shore. Eat at a luau and watch a traditional hula.

©2009 HAWAII VISITORS AND CONVENTION BUREAU

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Hawaii Tourism Japan (HTJ)

This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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