Hawaii - Oahu

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Oahu  is "The Gathering Place." It has more hotels, more restaurants, and more major attractions than all of the other islands put together. Our major city, Honolulu, is here. So is the "World's Best Beach" at Waikiki. Honolulu is sophisticated, lively, and breathtaking. It has more in the way of arts, culture, and entertainment. It has an abundance of galleries, nightclubs, and museums, a major zoo, aquarium, Iolani Palace (the only royal palace on U.S. soil), Pearl Harbor, the Arizona Memorial... the list goes on and on.

The day-time high temperatures in Honolulu during the summer range from an average of 85 to 87 degrees F (29.4-30.6 C) with night-time lows of 70 to 74 (21.1-23.3 C). Winter day-time high temperatures in the city are 70 to 74 degrees F (21.1-23.3 C) and night-time lows are 65 to 69 degrees (18.3-20.6 C). Travelers may want to pack a light jacket and pants for strolling on the cooler winter evenings. Hikers planning to trek through some of Oahu's higher elevations should be aware that there is a 3.5 degree drop in temperature for every thousand foot rise above sea level. Its a good idea then to carry along a couple of layers of light clothing for these higher elevations, especially in the winter months.

No other American city could offer you the opportunity to surf the world's biggest waves, snorkel a lagoon, hike into a dormant volcano, golf at a dozen championship courses, and catch the sunset from a five-star restaurant. All within an hours drive of your hotel room.

The key to enjoying Oahu, as with most of the islands, is mobility. The Bus circles the island for only a dollar. Or rent a car and get out to see the 'real' Hawaii... the gentle waterfalls, and the craggy peaks. Discover the 'undiscovered' beaches. Boogey board at Makapuu. Ride a horse at Turtle Bay. Watch the surfers at the Pipeline. Or sample a little fresh pineapple juice. Have fun! Get wet! This is Hawaii. It's an adventure!

OAHU Points of Interest:

  • ALOHA TOWER - Honolulu's familiar landmark is open to visitors and offers an excellent view of the harbor area.
  • AQUARIUM - on Kalakaua Avenue across from Kapiolani Park at Waikiki, the Aquarium contains a world-famous collection of brilliantly colored tropical fish.
  • BEACHES - beautiful beaches, wherever you go, for swimming, surfing, fishing or a picnic.
  • BISHOP MUSEUM AND PLANETARIUM - at 1525 Bernice Street, the Museum houses the world's foremost collection of Hawaiiana and Polynesian antiquities.
  • BLOW HOLE - near Koko Head, playful Mother Nature forces the mighty sea through a tiny hole in a lava ledge and blows miniature geysers high into the air.
  • BYODO-IN TEMPLE - Japan's 900-year-old architectural treasure is duplicated in exact detail at the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park, beneath the majestic cliffs of the Koolau mountains. The beautiful Oriental garden setting also has a carp pool, massive nine-foot Buddha statue, and tea house.
  • CHINATOWN - unlike the Chinatowns in other American cities this section of downtown Honolulu is an exciting blend of shops, restaurants and markets displaying not only Chinese goods but wares and foods typical of the countries of origin of Hawaii's early-day immigrants.
  • DIAMOND HEAD- this world renowned landmark bounds Waikiki Beach on the south. An extinct volcano, it is said to have once been the home of Pele, the Fire Goddess.
  • EAST-WEST CENTER - a center for cultural and academic interchange between the peoples of Asia, the Pacific and United States. Established by the U.S Congress in 1960, the center has since become a public, nonprofit educational corporation with offices and facilities adjacent to the University of Hawaii campus.
  • FOSTER BOTANICAL GARDEN - remarkable botanic displays including photogenic orchid section, in a 20 acre setting in downtown Honolulu.
  • HANAUMA BAY - a delightful sea cove in Koko Head Park, its rugged grandeur was created by volcanic action 10,000 years ago when Pele made her last attempt to find home on Oahu, as legend tells. A favorite spot for swimming, picnicking, and snorkeling.
  • HAWAII MARITIME CENTER - includes a museum. Aloha Tower plus the square-rigged Falls of Clyde and the Hokule'a Polynesian sailing canoe.
  • HONOLULU ACADEMY OF ARTS - a registered national and state historic place, renowned for an extensive collection of Asian and Western art and the beauty of its grounds and buildings.
  • HONOLULU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - nine miles west of Waikiki, the Honolulu Airport is the hub of the Pacific for transpacific airlines as well as several interisland airlines.
  • IOLANI PALACE - only throne room under the American flag, where Hawaii's last two monarchs lived and ruled. Completed in 1882, the building has been entirely renovated, displaying a magnificent interior.
  • KAMEHAMEHA SCHOOLS - established by a member of Hawaii's royal family for boys and girls of Hawaiian ancestry.
  • KANEANA CAVE - near Mauka just before the end of Farrington Highway, Kaneana, the sharkman deity, is supposed to have made his home in this cave which is volcanic and coral in formation.
  • KAWAIAHAO CHURCH - dedicated in 1842, the "Westminster Abbey" of Hawaii offers Sunday services in Hawaiian and English.
  • KEWALO BASIN - sampans and other fishing boats moor in this small boat harbor which is also the departure point for Pearl Harbor cruises.
  • MISSION HOUSES - the oldest existing buildings erected by the first missionary contingent to Honolulu are in the civic center area, which is also locale of many other historic sites.
  • MORMON TEMPLE - built in beautiful Laie in 1920, it was the first Mormon Temple to be constructed outside of Utah.
  • NATIONAL MEMORIAL CEMETERY OF THE PACIFIC - Punchbowl or Puowaina, literally translated "Hill of Sacrifice" is the final resting place of thousands of World War II, Korean and Vietnam war veterans. Open seven days a week, it overlooks the vast expanse of Pearl Harbor, Honolulu and Waikiki.
  • NUUANU PALI - Oahu's scenic masterpiece, at the head of Nuuanu Valley, is where Kamehameha the Great defeated the Oahuans in a bloody battle in 1795, by forcing thousands of warriors over the precipice, to meet death on the jagged rocks below, thus adding Oahu to his realm.
  • OLD SUGAR MILL - near Kaaawa are the stone ruins of the first sugar mill on Oahu erected in 1864.
  • PEARL HARBOR - the USS Arizona Memorial, above the sunken battleship, is a tribute to American fighting men killed during the attack on December 7, 1941. The USS Bowfin, a restored World War II submarine, is on exhibit next to the Arizona Memorial ground facility.
  • POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER AT LAIE - located on the north shore of Oahu, the center is made up of native villages representative of those in Fiji, Tonga, New Zealand, Tahiti, Samoa, Marquesas, and Hawaii. QUEEN EMMA SUMMER
  • PALACE - a charming home, located in Nuuanu Valley, the former summer palace has been restored to its original appearance and houses a fine collection of Hawaiiana.
  • RABBIT ISLAND - near Waimanalo, this is one of the many interesting islets that border Oahu. It looks like the head of a rabbit and was once overrun by them.
  • ROYAL MAUSOLEUM - resting place of Hawaii's former rulers, with well-informed guide-custodian.
  • SACRED FALLS PARK - off the highway near Hauula is this clear stream leaping out of sheer cliffs to the cool pool below. Lower falls drop over an 87-foot cliff. (NOTE: Due to unstable geology in the area, Sacred Falls Park is temporarily closed to the public).
  • SEA LIFE PARK - located at Makapuu Point. Sea Life Park features an outstanding display of Hawaii's exotic marine life in a truly beautiful ocean side setting. The 300,000 gallon Hawaiian Reef Tank is one of America's finest aquariums, housing 2,000 island specimens: sharks, rays, moray eels, turtles, and exotic reef fish. Giant whales, dolphins, sea lions, penguins and a variety of sea birds can also be enjoyed.
  • WAIMEA BAY - between Haleiwa and Kahuku, the beach is fine for picnicking but the bay is dangerous for swimming when surf is six feet or more.
  • WAIMEA FALLS PARK - this narrow canyon extending into the Koolau mountains was once a heavily populated Hawaiian village. Today the 1,800 acre site between Haleiwa and Kahuku, is a dwelling for Nature's lovely, unspoiled environment of tropical plant life, birds, hiking trails and a truly beautiful waterfall. 

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