Nicknamed, “The Gathering Place,” Oahu certainly lives up to its name. The third largest island is home to the majority of Hawaii’s diverse population, a fusion of East and West cultures rooted in the values and traditions of the native Hawaiian people.
This is an island of activity. Whether you’re learning to surf in legendary Waikiki, hiking through the rich rainforests of Waimea Valley, or watching the brilliant pastels of dusk fade off of Sunset Beach, you’ll find variety at every turn on Oahu.
Pearl Harbor & Arizona Memorial Museum – Pearl Harbor, named for the pearl oysters once harvested there, is the largest natural harbor in Hawaii and the only naval base in the United States to be designated a National Historical Landmark. The devastating aerial attack on Pearl Harbor resulted in 2,390 dead and hundreds wounded, and drove the United States into World War II. Pearl Harbor honors this history-changing event with the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites. This memorial centre is constructed over the sunken hull that lies 6ft below the ocean and visitors are taken over by Navy shuttle boats. As the most visited spot on Oahu, the Pearl Harbor museum pays tribute to the souls who lost their lives that day.
Bishop Museum – Hawaii’s museum of natural and cultural history, the Bishop Museum was originally designed to house the extensive collection of Hawaiian artifacts and royal family heirlooms of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. The Museum has since expanded to include millions of artifacts, documents and photos about Hawaii and other Pacific cultures.
Iolani Palace - Visit the beautifully restored state apartments, including the Blue Room, State Dining Room and Throne Room, where King Kalakaua and his successor, Queen Lili‘uokalani, held lavish entertainments and conducted the diplomatic affairs of the kingdom. View the private living quarters of the royal family, and listen to the poignant story of Queen Lili‘uokalani’s imprisonment in an upstairs bedroom following the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.
Punch Bowl – The memorial and cemetery for US war veterans, Punchbowl crater is an extinct volcano tuff cone.
Shopping – The main areas include the Aloha Tower Marketplace, Kalakaua Avenue, Kilohana Square, Ala Moana Centre and Kahala Mall.
Polynesian Cultural Centre – The Polynesian Cultural Center is Hawaii’s #1 visitor attraction, with villages and exhibits representing the 8 cultures of Aotearoa, Fiji, Hawaii, Marquesas, Samoa, Tahiti and Tonga, and Easter Island. Set on 42 acres of Oahu’s North Shore, the PCC has a winding lagoon that hosts canoe tours during the day and an exciting Canoe Pageant at 2:30 p.m. Guests cool off in Hawaii’s only IMAX Theater to enjoy Coral Reef Adventure and learn the importance of coral reefs. The award-winning Ali‘i Lu‘au takes guests on a nostalgic trip to learn about Hawaii’s royalty while enjoying traditional Hawaiian food and entertainment. Shoppers delight at Polynesian handicrafts and souvenirs found in the Pacific Marketplace. Cap the day with the Horizons night show, featuring over 100 performers and the thrill of Samoan fire knife dancing.