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Harcourts North America
April 25, 2022

The Hawaiian Islands are a dream come true for its inhabitants and its numerous incoming visitors looking for a vacation from their everyday life year in and year out. Whether you are a new resident, a brief traveler, or a lifetime local, Hawaii offers something for everyone in the way of a stunning backdrop to delve into and embrace the surrounding beauty. Oahu, one of the six major islands, is renowned as the epitome of paradise with its distinct charm of alluring sights, activities, and adventures awaiting you around every corner. Known as "The Gathering Place," Oahu has the perfect mix of getaway options when exploring the island's different regions.

Heavenly Hiking Trails 

If panoramic ocean views combined with lush mountain landscapes are what you crave, Oahu has plenty of appealing options at your disposal. 

  • Leahi (Diamond Head) - The iconic and most famous hike on the island is up the slope of Leahi (Diamond Head), where you'll receive sweeping views of the Honolulu skyline, complete with the archetypal Diamond Head State Monument.

  • Lanikai Pillbox Hike - This easily moderate hike leads to a pillbox (concrete guard post) that offers majestic views of Lanikai beach, and it is the perfect spot to watch the sunrise. Follow the path down to the awe-inspiring white sand beach, where you can rent a kayak and paddle out to the two smaller Moku islands and find bird sanctuaries.

  • Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail - This trail is a nice and easy 30-minute hike with dazzling coastal views of Koko Head and Koko Crater as you make your way towards the historic red-roofed lighthouse. During February and March, it makes a stunning spot for whale watching.

  • Ehukai Pillbox Hike - Make your way through a majestic forest of covered trees towards the pillbox on top, which will give you a glorious view of the Banzai Pipeline, where surfers find perfect barreling waves daily.

  • Maunawli Falls Trail - Surrounded by jungle, this hike offers views of Kailua Bay and a 15-30 ft. waterfall where you can take a refreshing plunge in the cool waters below.

  • Koko Head Railway Trail - If you're feeling more adventurous, climb these steep railway tracks to the very top of the crater for some of the most spellbinding views in Oahu.

Beach Blanket Babylon

Hawaii has become synonymous with the term "beautiful beaches." Oahu is no exception and offers individuals stunning coastlines to bask in the beauty of crashing waves and a vast ocean to explore as you see fit. 

  • Waikiki Beach - There is a reason this beach is world-famous with its picturesque views spanning a two-mile stretch. With its long-lasting wave break, this beach offers the best place to learn how to surf, bodyboard, or paddle a canoe. A statue of "the father of modern surfing," Duke Kahanamoku, welcomes you with open arms on your quest for the perfect wave.

  • Eternity Beach - This small, secluded beach is where the famous rolling beach kiss took place from the film, "From Here To Eternity." Once you navigate down towards the rocks to this little gem, let the sand between your toes guide you and a loved one into the turquoise bliss of the shallow water.

  • Makapu'u Tide Pools - Relax, take a deep breath, and soak in the black, lava rock tide pools with epic views as far as the eye can see.

  • Electric Beach - Grab some snorkeling gear and head into the water in Kahe Point Beach Park. The warm waters generated by the nearby electric power plant attract an abundance of assorted ocean life, making it one of the best places to snorkel on the island.

A Moment Of Zen

If you're looking for a change of pace from an exhilarating hike or a day at the beach, Oahu has other excellent leisurely options for you to explore.

  • Byodo-In Temple - Located at the base of Ko'olau Mountains in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park, this temple is a smaller replica of the one originating in Japan. The temple was established to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii, and it is the perfect place to visit, meditate, and appreciate the surrounding beauty.

  • Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden - With breathtaking mountainous views, this garden has plants from tropical regions all over the world, and it is an ideal place to relax and decompress.

  • Dole Plantation - What better place to get acquainted with the most delectable tropical fruit of Hawaii, the pineapple, than at the Dole Plantation. Hop on the Pineapple Express Train Tour to explore the grounds while enjoying a refreshing soft-serve Dolewhip dessert.

Nightlife Dreamscapes

Once the sun sets on the horizon and you freshen up from your daytime activities at your abode, it's time to explore the local nightlife scene. Whether it's spectacular food, cocktails, live music, or popular nightclubs, Oahu has your pick of the litter when it comes to an exciting nighttime atmosphere.  

  • Kaka'ako - This bustling new, hip area in downtown Honolulu is known for its vibrant scene of farm fare eateries and tasty craft beers. Visually stunning street art and murals line the neighborhoods from local artists as you explore the various shops within the area.

  • First Friday - Every first Friday of the month, the Honolulu Arts District and Chinatown hosts a street festival featuring an impressive array of street vendors, art galleries, restaurants, and live entertainment. With plenty of dancing, drinking, and music around every corner, it's hard not to have a good time.

  • Arnolds Beach Bar - Known as one of the last real tiki bars, this Honolulu establishment offers affordable drinks such as the classic Mai Tai in a traditional tiki totem environment.

  • District - Dance the night away at this newer nightclub, where you will hear the island's hottest DJs spin the latest tunes as local go-go girls bring the house down.