Oahu means "The Gathering Place" and that spirit still shines. The Hawaiian island blends the hip urban culture of Honolulu—the state's capital—with ancient sacred sites, steep rain-forested ridges, and resorts sprawling beside turquoise coves. It also gave birth to big-wave surfing along its North Shore, which shelters mellow, artsy towns. Just a little bigger than Los Angeles, Oahu makes it easy for visitors to zip outside the glitzy tourist hub of Waikiki into the heartland of Hawaii.