Best of Oahu, Hawaii
Collected by Michelle M. Winner , AFAR Local Expert
Aloha e. Think you know Hawaii ? Read along with me while I highlight the best Stay/Do/Taste/See experiences on Oahu for a visitor written by a born and raised in the islands, fourth generation kama'aina (literally: land child). Please check frequently as I'll add more in the weeks to come. We'll get " really local" here, so once you book your air and get a place to stay- we are taking off! I welcome your questions too.
1775 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
A fairly new addition to the Waikiki waterfront, the seven-year-old Modern was a dream come true for those young urbanites who never quite felt at home in the more traditional Hawaiian resorts. It’s not directly on the beach—the closest is the...
2424 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
Every afternoon about 5:30 PM, islanders and connoisseurs of sunsets arrange themselves at their favorite beach side vantage point on the west and south shores of Oahu for a chance to see the legendary “green flash”. In all of my years of living...
Kailua, HI, USA
Kailua Beach is always named one of the best beaches in the world. It has the most deliciously soft sand, gentle surf, and maybe a turtle ( honu) to swim with. Kailua Beach is actually many beaches. For a fascinating study on ancient beach names,...
59-024 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712, USA
Everyone is crazy for the chocolate haupia pie here, but the shrimp plate is also so good you’ll want to lick your fingers. —Hoku Haiku 59-024 Kamehameha Hwy., Sunset Beach, (808) 638-8207. This appeared in the June/July 2013 issue. Read more...
Pupukea Rd, Haleiwa, HI 96712, USA
The cultural site is home to Pu‘u o Mahuka, Oahu’s largest heiau, or ancient temple. The site has beautiful panoramic views, and you can look out to Waimea Bay, which is cool when the waves are big. —Hoku Haiku Off Pupukea Rd. This appeared in...
Pupukea, HI 96712, USA
Intuition would tell you that the sun always sets in the west, but on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, the sun sets on the North Shore. In reality the area referred to as the "North Shore" is located more toward the western part of the island. The best...
1525 Bernice St, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA
The largest museum in Hawaii studies and preserves the history of the islands and the Pacific—for those interested in local culture, it's a must. The Victorian building originally housed family heirlooms from Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop,...
5000 Kahala Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA
Long considered one of the top hotels on Oahu, the Kahala has always been a particular favorite among the type of guests who travel with their own security detail. A number of past U.S. presidents, plus kings, queens, princesses Grace and Di,...
27 Hoolai St, Kailua, HI 96734, USA
Moke's in Kailua town on the windward side of Oahu is a local institution. It's breakfast all day and lunch after 11AM until closing at 2PM. Highlights? The family's grandmother's Liliko'i pancakes and homemade corned beef hash are the enduring,...
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."
2259 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
A renowned group of Hawaiian watermen worked on the Waikiki beaches during the first half of the 20th century. These "Beachboys" shared their culture, aloha, and intimate knowledge of the ocean—and led the revival of traditional aquatic...
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...
316 Kuulei Rd, Kailua, HI 96734, USA
Handmade soaps with local scents, island and Kailua themed artwork, the good kine slippers, greeting cards, books, treats, floral purses, Hawai‘ian honey, tees, fresh tropical flowers and other goodies will delight you at Kailua General...
Honolulu, HI 96744, USA
This used to be the old highway to get from the leeward to the windward side of the island. It was literally built into the side of a mountain and was barely hanging on. It’s now been replaced with a proper 4 lane highway complete with a tunnel,...
92-1185 Ali'inui Dr, Kapolei, HI 96707, USA
A Hawaiian fantasyland on Oahu’s more remote leeward coast, about 40 minutes from Waikiki, Aulani is so seductive—for all ages—that many guests are loath to leave the property at all. And who can blame them? The beach is an...
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