For many travelers, their introduction to Hawaii and the start of a great vacation begins on Oahu. You'll probably spend most of your time along Waikiki Beach, but beyond the beach you'll discover much more to do-deep-sea fishing for mahi or marlin; hunting for souvenirs in open-air markets and high-rise shopping centers; and dining at a wide variety of excellent restaurants. Be sure to experience a traditional luau with Polynesian dance performances and dinner buffet, or take a sail while enjoying dinner off the shore of Waikiki. Visit the inspirational and emotional Arizona Memorial. Snorkel in Hanauma Bay. Take a lazy stroll in one of the tropical parks or hike the crater's interior at Diamond Head State Monument. Or, do as many others do, and make Oahu the first stop on your Hawaiian vacation before heading off to Kauai, Lanai, Maui, or Hawaii's Big Island.Package Includes:
Honolulu/Waikiki packages also include:
- Choice of accommodations
- Assistance of a local destination representative (located in Honolulu)
- Hotel taxes
- Fresh lei greeting upon arrival
- Roundtrip transfers and luggage handling between airport and hotel
- Orientation breakfast
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should go?
From the Honolulu Zoo to Sea Life Park, history lessons, aquariums, hula lessons, and the world-famous Waikiki Beach, families will love Oahu.
Singles and Couples
Romantic beach settings, pulsating nightlife, dining options galore, and endless activities make Oahu a fantastic destination for singles and couples.
Numerous golf courses await to challenge the avid golfer.
What's the climate like?
Oahu offers pleasant weather year-round.
How do I get around town?
Roundtrip transfers between the airport and hotels in Honolulu/Waikiki are included with your vacation package. For hotels outside Honolulu/Waikiki, transfers are available for purchase.
If staying in the Waikiki area, a car rental is not necessary, as the area is only 2-1/2 miles long and a half-mile wide. You can easily get to most places by walking or calling a taxi.
Buses are convenient and can get you to almost any point on the island. Board at the front with the exact change. Multi-day passes are also available.
Biking is safer and more convenient than in the past, due to the many miles of bicycle paths on the island’s roads.
Taxis must be called for, as there are no taxi stands. They are good for short trips between hotels and restaurants.
What kinds of dining and nightlife are available?
No matter if your idea of nightlife is a moonlit stroll on the beach or a Las Vegas-style revue, you can find both in Waikiki. Dining is just as varied and includes familiar chains and one-of-a-kind eateries.
3660 on the Rise
Great Pacific Rim cuisine in Kaimuki, away from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki. Inspiring specialties, great wine list, and decadent desserts. Kaimuki.
Tucked behind the Ala Moana Hotel, this tiny sushi bar serves award-winning dishes. Ala Moana.
Very popular sandwich and burger restaurant on the North Shore. The dining area frequently runs out of tables, but that's the perfect excuse to get your burgers to go and have lunch on the beach. Haleiwa.
Fantastic Japanese cuisine in a contemporary teahouse atmosphere. Enjoy sushi, noodles, grilled dishes, and hot pots prepared tableside. Waikiki.
One of the best special occasion dining spots in the Hawaiian Islands, La Mer is refined and elegant and serves wonderful French cuisine with Hawaiian ingredients such as duck, veal, lamb, Angus beef, and lobster. Waikiki.
Ono Hawaiian Foods
Boasting a traditional Hawaiian menu consisting of poi, salmon, and pork, Ono Hawaiian Foods is a favorite of the local crowd. But bring cash, credit cards are not accepted. Kapahulu.
Where should I go shopping?
For famous names in fashion, head over to the Ala Moana Center or Royal Hawaiian Mall. Chinatown is a great place to buy souvenirs, including leis. And for the bargain hunter, check out the Aloha Flea Market every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at Aloha Stadium.
Another great place to find souvenirs is the International Marketplace. You can barter for everything from jewelry to trinkets to t-shirts. Special treasures of the island include bowls made of koa wood and jewelry fashioned from rare shells from the island of Niihau.
For all your necessities and souvenirs, check out the ever-present ABC Stores located, it seems, around every corner.
When are the local events?
Check the local newspapers — the morning Honolulu Advertiser, the afternoon Honolulu Star-Bulletin, or the Honolulu Weekly — to find current events.
Chinese New Year
January or February. Entertainment, lion dances, food booths, pageants, cultural events, and much more at different venues throughout the island.
Annual King Kamehameha Hula Competition
June. An international cultural event featuring dance troupes from the mainland, Japan, and Hawaii. Both traditional and contemporary styles of hula are performed.
Taste of Honolulu
June. Hawaii’s largest outdoor food, wine, and entertainment festival. Many of Hawaii’s top restaurants participate and feature fun and educational activities, cooking demonstrations, and nonstop local entertainment.
Annual Hawaii International Jazz Festival
July. Two nights of vocal and Latin jazz.
Monthly except January, May, and December. Two-day artfest featuring products "made in Hawaii" from more than 75 local artists and handicraft artisans. Features music, wonderful food, and snacks.
September. A 10-day event and Hawaii's largest multicultural festival, featuring Hawaiian music and dance as well as a variety of cultural exhibits and performances. Enjoy concerts, street parties, children's events, contests, and more.
What are my golf and recreation options?
Hawaii Prince Golf Club
Situated on the sunny Ewa Plain, offering long fairways, 90 white-sand bunkers, and 27 holes of golf with manicured greens. Designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay. The Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki hotel has use of this course.
Ko'Olina Golf Club
Features spectacular water treatments of cascading waterfalls and incredible ocean views. Designed by Ted Robinson.
Koolau Golf Club
Offers breathtaking views of the windward side of Oahu. Designed by Dick Nugent.
Luana Hills Country Club
A unique and breathtaking golf course nestled between Mount Olomana and the towering Koolaus. Designed by Pete Dye.
Turtle Bay Resort Golf Club
- The Palmer Course — Back nine is tropical in nature, meandering through jungle forest and a wetlands bird sanctuary. Designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay.
- The George Fazio Course — Features generous fairways, deep bunkers, and immaculate, sculpted greens. Designed by George Fazio.
Areas to the east of the island, such as the Penguin Banks, HH Pinnacle in the south, and the Waianae Trolling Alley in the west have consistently produced multitudes of fish, both large and small, including amberjack, Hawaiian dolphinfish (mahi-mahi), marlin, and ahi tuna. Full-day and half-day fishing excursions and night shark fishing can be arranged at most hotels.
Snorkeling + Scuba Diving
Beautiful Hanauma Bay with its calm waters is a great spot for snorkeling and diving. An extinct volcanic crater and a federally protected wildlife preserve, it is home to more than 450 species of tropical fish as well as turtles, eels, octopuses, hermit crabs, and lobsters. Other exciting dive sites include Turtle Canyons and Koko Craters, where endangered green sea turtles can be spotted; Fantasy Reef, great for night diving; Angler’s Reef, known for its coral formations; and 100 Foot Hole, with its interesting lava formations.
November through April is whale watching season in Oahu, with the peak season for sighting humpback whales in January - March.
First Time to Oahu
For people visiting Oahu for the first time, there are several "must-do" activities and attractions. First, spend part of a day at the USS Arizona Memorial and remember "a date which will live in infamy." Next, relax or frolic in the tranquil waves lapping the shores of Waikiki Beach. Other must-do activities include hiking to Diamond Head Crater, watching the surfers at the Bonzai Pipeline, gazing upon a sunset at Sunset Beach, and enjoying the spectacular entertainment and cultural history of a luau.
America's Only Royal Palace
Visit the only royal palace on American soil. Iolani Palace was the home to Queen Lili'uokalani and the place where she spent her imprisonment following the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. Visit the beautifully restored state apartments, including the Blue Room, State Dining Room, and Throne Room. Guided and audio tours of the official residence are available. There is a museum and galleries, but know that children under 5 are admitted to the galleries only.
See Hawaii's State Fish
Even if you don't dive or snorkel, you'll still have the chance to see Hawaii's state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapuaa, up close at the Waikiki Aquarium.
Driving on Oahu
To get off the beaten path, a rental car is the way to go. Remember to choose the car that best fits your lifestyle. A minivan or SUV has the storage room you need if traveling with your family or a group of friends, while a convertible or sport utility specialty are perfect for top-down driving in the idyllic Hawaiian sunshine. When driving someplace you're unfamiliar with, pay close attention to the street names on the map you are using, as some of the Hawaiian street names can look very similar.
Good to Know:
|April – November
|Spring and Autumn
|Oahu is 4 hours behind Central Standard Time and 5 hours behind Central Daylight Time
|A car really isn't needed if you're staying along
Waikiki Beach, since just about everything is within walking distance.
For travel outside the main hotel area, a rental car is a good idea. Roads are much like the mainland U.S.A. with familiar signage to help you find
Taxis must be called for, as there are no taxi stands. They are good for
short trips between hotels and restaurants.
|None needed for U.S. citizens
|Leave 15% or 20% if the service was excellent.
|Hawaii is very casual. Shorts are allowed at most restaurants, except fine dining establishments.