Oahu has a balance of the things that Hawaii does best. From surfing, to nightlife, to amazing meals, to tropical surroundings, Oahu offers a little bit of everything, earning it the title, “The Heart of Hawaii.” It’s a place filled with culture and history, with just enough of the modern, and plenty of beauty.
Oahu is of course home to Hawaii’s capital city, Honolulu, but it is also home to some of the top beaches in the world. Waikiki Beach is a surfer’s paradise due to its near-constant sun and warmth, as well as its surf break, which creates ideal waves for beginners and veterans alike. Haleiwa and Waimea are a couple other spots worth trying if water sports are your thing.
If you want to take a look back in America’s history, then Oahu is the perfect place, as well. The island where Pearl Harbor, location of the 1941 attacks that prompted U.S. involvement in World War II, is situated. Here, you can visit the USS Arizona Memorial, which lies over the sunken remains of the USS Arizona; the USS Missouri, where Japan surrendered to the Allied Forces in 1945; and the National Cemetery of the Pacific.
In addition to American history, you can relive much of Hawaii’s past with visits to places like Iolani Palace, King Kamehameha Statue, and Kawaiahao Church. Situated in downtown Honolulu, these sites pay homage to notable 19th century members of the Hawaiian Kingdom, as well as describing major developments that took place during that era.