Whether you have 24 hours or two whole weeks, with so much to see and do on Oahu you'll want to cram every minute with the best shopping, dining and activities the island has to offer. Thanks to our insider scoop from tried-and-true kama'ainas(locals).you'll know where to find the best parking,what the best time of day(and week) is to take a hike,what to order at the top eateries and more!
Brought to you by the Waikiki Parc Hotel unrivaled as the chicest new address in waikiki
Once a playground for Hawaiian ali‘i (royalty), today Waikiki is a mecca for visitors from around the world to stay and play. In Hawaiian, Waikiki translates to “spouting waters” and this world-famous beach along O‘ahu’s south shore has some serious star power.
The name Kailua – which translates to “two seas”– distinguishes this O‘ahu neighborhood for its world-famous beaches. This laid-back beach community is just a 30-minute drive from Waikiki and transports visitors to a quieter, more scenic slice of Hawaiian heaven.
Making waves, O‘ahu’s North Shore is considered by many as the seven-mile miracle of Hawai‘i surfing and includes a stretch of renowned beaches and surf breaks. The ride here is worth the wait -- it’s about an hour’s drive from Waikiki -- for a nostalgic trip down old Hawai‘i lane.
Meaning “sheltered bay” or “place of shelter” in Hawaiian, the state’s capital is the core for business, tourism, shopping and dining activity for the island of O‘ahu. If you’re looking to go where the action is, Honolulu is the place to see and be seen.
Once you’ve exited the tunnels crossing to the Windward side you’ll find yourself entering another (wetter and more verdant) world. In fact a visit here guarantees a forecast of rainbows and waterfalls – in other words, everything you’ve read about Hawai‘i and then some.
More than just O‘ahu’s main hub for business, Downtown Honolulu encompasses some of the best of the island, all within comfortable walking distance. Navigate this concrete jungle and you’ll be rewarded with some of the best boutiques, eateries and a bouquet of lei shops.
Largely undiscovered by visitors, West Oahu is not as well-known or traveled, which means that you are more likely to experience the “real Hawaii” here. If you’ve got a free day, rent a car and drive over to explore some of the uncharted wild west.
Stretching from Kaimuki to Makapu‘u, set aside a day to explore East Honolulu, home to some of O‘ahu’s hidden hotspots. These nondescript shops and delectable dives are typically not found in Hawai‘i guidebooks because they’re so good even the experts don’t want to share.