The top 10 places to see on Oahu

Hawaii

Hawaii

Discover the 10 must see places when taking a tour of Oahu, also known as “The Gathering Place”. Included in this lense are links to important information, maps, photos and other fun things to see and do while you are on Oahu.

1. Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head

World’s most famous beach and best landmark on Oahu

Waikiki Beach is probably the best known beach in the world, and definitely the most popular beach in Hawaii. Waikiki was the favorite playground of Hawaiian royalty in the 19th century. At the time, Waikiki, which literally means “spouting waters”, was once an area of wetlands fed by streams from the valleys above Honolulu. This changed in the 1920s when the government built what would become the Ala Wai Canal, which drained the wetlands and paved the way for later development.While on Waikiki Beach you can also see Diamond Head towering above you. This is a great landmark if you are ever lost on the island, but you can also climb to the top for a great view of Waikiki and Honolulu below.

2. Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona Memorial

Remember one of the most important days in US History

Pearl Harbor was a U.S. naval base attacked by the Japanese navy on December 7, 1941, which became known as a “Date which will live in infamy” when then US President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the nation with the news. The attack sank 4 US Naval battleships, most notably the USS Arizona which is where the Pearl Harbor memorial now resides.Today there are many ways to remember one of the most historic days in US and World history by taking Pearl Harbor Tours.

3. Dole Plantation

From fruit stand to tourist attraction

Originally operated as a fruit stand in the 1950’s the Dole Plantation is now one of the most visited attractions during Hawaii Tours. The Pineapple maze at Dole Plantation is home to the World’s largest maze, which winds through the Pineapple fields.Many Hawaii Tours will take you to this interesting and amazing place.

4. North shore beaches

Sun, sand, surf

The North Shore of Oahu is one of the most famous surfing destinationsin the World, particularly in the winter which is when you will see some of the largest waves in the World. A short drive from Honolulu (Town), the North Shore is considered “The Country” by Oahu locals. The North Shore of Oahu is also where the Triple Crown of Surfing is held, where 3 Professional Surfing events take place during a six week stretch in the winter.Cool Oahu Circle Island Tour Map

5. Laie Point Lookout

Great spot for photos

Located in the Northeast corner of Oahu, Laie Point offers spectacular views of rock formations, mountains, and beaches. Only the most comprehensive Oahu Tours will stop at this location, it is a little off the beaten path and a difficult road to navigate, but well worth the effort. The coolest rock formation at Laie Point is an arch that was created by a tsunami wave that struck the island in 1960.Check out some more pictures of Laie Point Oahu

6. Chinaman’s Hat Island

On the Windward side of Oahu
Chinaman’s Hat Island Oahu (Mokoli’i Island) is a famous island on the Windward side of Oahu in Kane’ohe Bay, due to its distinct shape similar to that of the chapeau straw hat worn by farmers throughout China. You can walk out to Chinaman’s Hat Island on the reef during low tide, but it is best to take a kayak or paddle board. Once on the island you can explore the little beach carved out of the lava, check out a cave, or climb to the peak – about a 20 minute climb.

7. Koolau Mountains and Valley

Famous film locations for ‘Lost’, Jurassic Park, and Godzilla

The Koolau Mountains and Valley might be familiar to you if you have seen the movies Jurassic Park, Pearl Harbor, Godzilla or the TV show ‘Lost’.This is a great filming location because of the stunning views of lush green mountains, open plain areas, and the beach and ocean below. The Koolau Mountain range is actually the eastern side of the shield volcano that helped form the island of Oahu. If you have the time you can take a tour of the ranch on ATVs.

8. Byodo-in Buddhist Temple

Peaceful spot
This Buddhist Temple located on the Windward side of Oahu is a tranquil stop and a must see during a Hawaii Tour. The temple is actually a replica of the Byodo-in Temple in Uji, Japan. There are koi ponds, gardens, a 3 ton brass bell, and a 9 foot lotus Buddha statue inside.

9. Polynesian Cultural Center

Experience the many cultures of Polynesia

If you want to learn about some of the most influential cultures in the Polynesian Islands then the Polynesian Cultural Center is a great place to stop. The cultural center has separate villages dedicated to teaching visitors about each unique culture.The villages represent the different islands of Polynesia: Hawaii, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, and Tahiti. While you are at the Polynesian Cultural Center you can enjoy a buffet lunch with foods from the various islands.

10. Sunset

End of another great day in Hawaii
At the end of any day in Hawaii you should take the time to view the sunset

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