A Guide to Oahu
Collected by Allison Murray, AFAR Contributor
From the beautiful, white sands of Waikiki, to the heights of Ka‘ala, to the laid-back lifestyle and surfing on the North Shore, Oahu has it all. With urban highlights in Honolulu and easily accessible escapes into nature, it’s the ultimate island getaway.
915 Maunawili Rd, Kailua, HI 96734, USA
Visible from anywhere in Kailua-Kaneohe are the three peaks of Mount Olomana. The majestic peaks are named after a mythical Hawaiian warrior and offers more than spectacular views from all angles. To reach your destination from Honolulu you take...
2233 Kalakaua Ave Suite 304, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
Satisfy your sushi cravings at Doraku Sushi. This reasonably-priced Japanese restaurant's owner is the son of Benihana's founder and located on busy Kalakaua Avenue—right in the middle of the action. Feast your eyes on this ahi poke: local tuna,...
Round Top Dr, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
Kailua, HI 96734, USA
Lanikai Beach is no secret to the locals, or to tourists, as it is consistently ranked among the best beaches in the world, and it's arguably the best beach on the island of Oahu. Chances are that if you're visiting Hawaii then you're probably on...
96818, 99-500 Salt Lake Blvd, Aiea, HI 96701, USA
The ABC Stores on Honolulu's every corner actually aren't a bad place to pick up inexpensive gifts for loved ones back home. But true bargain-hunters will want to make the 20-minute drive from Waikiki to the Aloha Stadium swap meet, held every...
49-560 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744, USA
Why would a local visit a tourist attraction? Because Kualoa is a beautiful escape and a place to appreciate Hawaiian culture. Building sprees that began in the early 1900s spread across Hawaii with no concern for desecrating places of cultural...
2335 Kalakaua Ave #203, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
For me, ceviche is a mandatory menu item: if I see it on the menu, that's what I'm having. I was a little hesitant about "Polynesian-style ceviche" at the Hula Grill, but ordered anyway. I shouldn't have worried: it turned out to be a magnificent...
4055 Pāpū Cir, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA
If you're interested in architecture, design, or Islamic art, Doris Duke's Shangri La is for you! Don't be fooled by the simple facade; the interior of the home as well as the views from the gardens are spectacular! Islamic art from all over the...
66-111 Kamehameha Hwy #101, Haleiwa, HI 96712, USA
This spacious North Shore eatery and watering hole riffs on the beloved Honolulu original. It makes a strong showing in the "pupu" (appetizer) department with nibbles like poke, pot stickers, kālua-pig fried rice, Korean-style chicken wings, and...
1602 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96826, USA
All of the sandwiches at Storto’s are named after surf breaks. My favorite is the Sunset, which is roast beef, ham, and turkey. —Hoku Haiku 66-215 Kamehameha Hwy., Haleiwa, (808) 637-6633. This appeared in the June/July 2013 issue. Read more...
Honolulu, HI 96825, USA
This fighter plane sank during a training exercise during WWII when the pilot ran out of gas and had to ditch the plane. It's a smaller wreck but still really cool, 97 feet to the sandy bottom. There are large schools of fish jammed into the...
933 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA
Kapiolani Park Beach, Diamond Head - Kapahulu - St. Louis, HI 96815, USA
The Hawaiian Islands are made up of many more cultural groups than Hawaiian Islanders and white settlers. Located between Asia and North America, the blend of cultures is much different than the other 49 States. Every time I host guests in ...
7491 Kokonani St, Honolulu, HI 96825, USA
Looking for something low-key and different to do on one of our last days on Oahu, we found the Koko Crater Botanical Gardens. While the 'hike' was really more of a walk, the impressive crater ridge and amazing assortment of some seriously crazy...
Magic Island, Honolulu, HI 96814, USA
Even before I moved to Hawaii, I knew I wanted to be a part of the Lantern Floating Festival. It takes place on Memorial Day weekend in May at Ala Moana Park in Honolulu. An estimated 40,000 people turned out for the 2012 celebration where...
Waikiki Beach Walk 1st Floor, 226 Lewers St, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
A trip to Hawaii is all about getting out on the water, even for just an afternoon or evening. There are plenty of touristy booze cruises operating from Waikiki, but the Na Hoku II is an outstanding value even before you figure in the...
100 Hanauma Bay Rd, Honolulu, HI 96825, USA
We learned about this hard-to-find, stunning "spitting cave" in our guidebook, Oahu Revealed. Accessed via a semi-hidden public access walkway (there's a sign) in the dead end at the end of Lumahai Road, the short but steep trail leads down to a...
Honolulu, HI, USA
There's a certain kind of peace that one feels when basking in the Waikiki sun. You go there, banana daiquiri on one hand, and a trusty old camera on the other. You capture the moment and say to yourself, "ahh...this is paradise."
2801-N2 Lā-'ī Rd, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA
Waikiki and the North Shore get most of the attention on the island of Oahu, and for good reason. Oahu is the surfing capital of the world and has something to offer every skill level, but hiking on the island of Oahu is one of its best-kept...
3308 Kanaina Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
If you're hungry for a deliciously carb-heavy Hawaiian plate lunch, why not go to Rainbow Drive-in and enjoy a meal fit for a president? It's true: President Obama ate there as a kid and tries to make it back during his visits. Starting at 7 am,...
11 Arizona Memorial Dr, Honolulu, HI 96818, USA
The USS Bowfin earned the nickname "The Pearl Harbor Avenger" when it started service one year after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Now docked in the harbor as a museum, visitors can walk through the attack submarine and imagine what events...
2330 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
This elegant mall bridges glitzy Kalakaua Avenue and up-and-coming Kuhio Avenue. Its heart: a treehouse in an enormous Indian banyan tree. The tree was planted around 1850 and briefly owned by Queen Emma; at one point, one of its tree houses...
2877 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
Some of the best snorkeling we did on Oahu didn't cost a cent—including Sans Souci Beach, a walkable distance from the Waikiki hotels and close to the aquarium. But why pay to get into the aquarium when you can wade right into the water and see...
1156 Koko Head Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA
Growing up in Hawaii allowed us to have exposure to many types of foods. Japanese, Chinese, Hawaiian, Korean, Portugese, Puerto Rican, Filipino, Tonga—the list goes on and on. One of the treats we would enjoy was Li Hing Mui, a type of preserved...
42 Pier, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA
Every morning from Monday to Saturday visitors can watch the opening of the Honolulu fish auction. The bell rings at 5:30am and enjoy the flurry of activity of buyers bidding on fish for their clients. If you want visitors can also buy fish...
364 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA
The grand koa wood staircase was shining with a new coat of oil as the focal point of the room; it’s beautiful curves lead the eye gently from the second floor down to the first floor. Men and women dressed in ornate gowns and neck-restricting...
1113 Smith St, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA
From the dingy exterior, you might expect Little Village Noodle House to be a hole-in-the-wall, but it's surprisingly cute and nicely decorated inside, with fountains, decorative woodwork, and nice tables and chairs. The chef's special fried rice...
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