Oahu, Hawaii, is one of the world’s most favorite places to vacation. Great weather, great food, and, of course, great things to do. From luaus and sailing to snorkeling and bus tours, Oahu’s got it all.
If you’ve never done a luau, now’s the time. Oahu is famous for them, with the ones that stand out the best being the Polynesian Cultural Center and Germaine’s.
These venues are in and of themselves an Island paradise. Each features lush gardens, waterfalls and sandy beaches. The entertainment is extraordinary and the live shows in particular rival what you’d see in Las Vegas or New York City.
But the real deal about Luaus is the food. Most are buffet style and feature Kalua Pig, island fish, Chicken Long Rice and More. Exotic drinks, too, are to be had, ranging from the famous Mai Tai to the Lava Flow!
Oahu is about water so expect to get wet. Of course, there’s surfing, but that takes a level of skill to really enjoy. Instead, consider paddle boarding or snorkeling, both of which can be mastered quite quickly.
The water off the Oahu shore is ideal for sailing. There’s a constant, steady wind, so you can be assured you’ll have an awesome day on the water. I do suggest starting out with “cat,” which means catamaran. They are bigger, wider and more stable than a conventional sailboat.
Then there’s swimming with the dolphins. These mammals are beloved by all and are very friendly. Kids and adults alike will totally enjoy mingling with these playful, gentle fish. Many say this is the highlight of their Hawaiian vacation.
Oahu is loaded with day trips. For nature enthusiasts, there are jungle treks and waterfall hikes. Military buffs will enjoy Pearl Harbor, which includes the Pacific Aviation Museum, the USS Arizona Memorial and the USS Bowfin Submarine.
Other sights you’ll want to experience include Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head, the Dole Pineapple Plantation, the rugged beauty of the North Short, and the beautiful City of Honolulu (great shopping!).
Oahu is the third-largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago, measuring 44 miles long, 30 miles wide and 112 miles round. It hosts the ONLY royal palace (Iolani Palace) in the United States.
Waikiki is Oahu’s main tourist attraction. It attracts some 72,000 visitors a day, which accounts for nearly 45 percent of all visitors visiting the Hawaiian Islands. Equally fascinating is that Honolulu is the second most expensive city in the U.S. right after Anchorage, AK.
Which brings me to my final point: Plan out your trip to Oahu or you’ll go over budget. Hotels aren’t cheap so it’s usually best to get a package deal. Personally, I find rental cars a bargain — it’s the price of gas that gets you (but that’s splitting hairs because Oahu is small).
Airfare is best purchased online via a reputable travel website. I’ve heard that late Sunday night is the best time to search for fares. You are going to want to assume that you’re going to do a number of tours and attractions. If you go the “a la carte” route, you’ll pay through the nose. Avoid this by pre-purchasing a card that bundles activities in a way that gets you through the “gate” at up to 55 percent off retail. That will allow you to use the savings for other things like another serving of savory pulled pork for dinner!