Oahu’s Gathering Place is where nature meets history in more ways than one. At the legendary North Shore Beach, glide over the big waves in Waimea Bay, the birthplace of modern surfing. Or head to the south of the island to Honolulu, Hawaii’s capital city, perched on the shores of Waikiki Beach. No matter where you are in Oahu, you will find a delightful mix of luxurious accommodations, historical landmarks, metropolitan cityscapes all surrounded by clear blue waters, and lush landscapes.


Oahu is typically most travelers first destination to the Hawaiian Islands, as the capital city of Honolulu and the island’s largest airport is here. Whether you’re using Oahu as a starting point for your Hawaiian vacation or you plan to spend several days, you will find everything you need and want in Honolulu. The capital city, located on the southern edge of Oahu, is home to the majority of Oahu’s population, as well as Iolani Palace, Aloha Tower, the world famous Waikiki Beach and nearby Pearl Harbor.


Royal Hawaiian, Waikiki

Waikiki is Oahu’s most famous neighborhood beach and when you step out on to the sandy shores, you’ll know why. Located just south of Honolulu, the calm waters are perfect for a beginners surfing lesson. In Waikiki, you will find a vibrant community of luxury resorts, fine dining, and world class shopping all steps from the beach. With Diamond Head in the background, white sands as far as the eye can see, warm sparkling blue waters, and plenty of activity its hard not to fall in love with Waikiki Beach. We recommend staying at the Royal Hawaiian, a quintessential Oahu resort since 1927. The Royal Hawaiian has a private beach on the Waikiki shores just steps from your luxurious room.


At the opposite side of Oahu is North Shore, where you’ll find over 7 miles of beaches. If you’re an experienced surfer, this is the place to ride the big waves. The legendary Waimea Bay is one of the first places surfers began defining their sport. The big waves are best in the winter months from November to February. Even if you don’t surf, it is worth a trek to North Shore to watch the world’s best surfers compete in surf competitions held here. Nearby in Waimea Valley’s botanical gardens offers a chance to explore the exotic flora found on Oahu as well as Waimea Falls.


In downtown Honolulu, consider a walking tour consisting of historic landmarks like the King Kamehameha I statue, Kawaiahao Church and Iolani Palace, once home to the Hawaiian kings and queens. The palace has been a public museum where you can tour the grounds and palace. Most Fridays you can hear Oahu’s Royal Hawaiian Band playing free concerts on the steps of the palace from noon until 1pm. King Kamehameha I united the Hawaiian Islands into one kingdom in 1810 and his statue is located across from the palace. Nearby, Kawaiahao Church, the first Christian Church in Oahu, is a must visit when you are in the area. To enjoy the beautiful Hawaiian language, consider attending services conducted in the native tongue still held here.


The Pearl Harbor Navy Base in Oahu is the only naval base designated a National Historical Landmark in the US. In addition to the operating naval station, there are five memorials dedicated to the events of December 7th, 1941. The USS Arizona Memorial is perhaps the most recognizable as the floating memorial over the sunken battleship of the same name. The tribute to the fallen officers of the ship is powerful as you stand over the final resting place of battleship’s crew. In addition to the USS Arizona Memorial, the Battleship Missouri Memorial, where the Japanese surrendered to General Macarthur is now located in Pearl Harbor’s Battleship Row. The USS Bowfin Submarine Museum, the Pacific Aviation Museum and the USS Oklahoma Memorial are all located in Pearl Harbor.


Leahi, also known as Diamond Head Crater, is just minutes away from Waikiki and is an amazing ecological park that was once a volcano. The volcanic cone is a United States Monument and a popular hiking destination. Further north on Oahu’s windward coast, the Nuuanu Pali Lookout’s panoramic views of the Koolau cliffs and the Oahu Island make for a stunning trek through the natural landscape. A thousand feet above sea level, the Pali Lookout is a stark contrast to the beaches below. The lush green landscape invites hikers to explore the ups and downs of the jagged hills. If you’d rather, the scenic drive along Pali highway has plenty of free scenic lookouts.


Oahu has more golf courses than any of the other islands. From public courses to private resort courses, an expert Luxe Travel advisor can help you choose and make reservations for the right green. Oahu offers championship courses and even hosts the PGA Tour at Waialae Country Club in January. And when President Obama returns to his island home, he even takes in a round of golf at Olomana Golf links or at the Royal Hawaiian.


There is no bad time to visit Oahu, as temperatures are warm year round. If you want to catch a wave, the biggest surf happens in the winter months. In the summer months, the waves calm making it ideal for hitting the beach. The Royal Hawaiian and Halekulani Hotels are located beachside in Honolulu and Waikiki. When you’re ready to meet at Oahu’s Gathering Place, contact the Luxe Travel team at 1-866-365-8747 to chat with a Luxe Travel Advisor now.