O'ahu, which stands for "The Gathering Place", is one of the major islands in the State of Hawai'i. It's a major vacation destination and there are hundreds tourist arriving daily to enjoy the magic of the Oahu. If you're planning your first trip to O'ahu but you don't know what to do or where to go, here's a list of activities that can make your trip a memorable one.
Hit the Beach
When people think of Hawai'i, one of the first things that come to mind are the beautiful beaches. With the iconic Waikiki Beach and the beautiful Hanauma Bay, Oahu has some of the most breaktaking beaches all in one location. Waikiki Beach is walking distance from many of the hotels in the Waikiki area so you may need not even need a tax to get there. Hanauma Bay is located off the Waikiki Strip but it's definitely worth a visit. The beach itself is beautiful but the main attraction is the abundance of sea life that inhabit the area. The fishes in Hanauma Bay are comfortable around people and are not scared away, allowing you to see many of the bright colored fishes close-up.
Ko'Olina, which is located on the west side of O'ahu, is another great beach to visit. This beach is unique because it's made up of several lagoons and the newly-built Disney Resort is nearby so it's a great destination for families. There's also many activities such as surf contest, catamaran cruises, and you can even take surf lessons to catch your very first wave. Plus, the weather in Hawai'i rarely fluctuates so there's no need to wait for the summer season to enjoy the beach-it's great year-round!
Hit the Trail
In addition to the beaches, Oahu also has some lush forest areas and high mountain ranges that allow visitors to experience some great hiking trails. Aiea Heights Drive is approximately 4 miles long and is a great hiking trail for beginners. It's located on a mountain but the trail itself is relatively flat so it's great for the family. If you're looking for a challenge, then you should try the Kuliouou Ridge Trail. This trail eventually ends at the top of Koolau Summit and it will definitely get your heart pumping. It's takes about two hours to complete the trail so if you start early enough you should be rewarded with a beautiful sunrise at the top of the trail. Another popular trail on Oahu is the Laie Trail. The main attraction is a waterfall at the end of the trail where you can swim and cool off.
Shop 'til you Drop
O'ahu also has some very nice malls for those who are looking to do some shopping during their vacation. The stores along the Waikiki Strip are constantly being updated and now has some well recognized brands such as Coach, Gucci, and Chanel. These shops are close to the beach so you should see a unique mix of shoppers and beach-goers that are walking around. These shops are more on the expensive side so if you're a bargain-hunter and you're looking for some great deals then the Waikele Outlet Mall is where you should go. This outlet mall is off the Waikiki Strip so you need to take a shuttle or taxi to get there, but there's a lot of great shops like Adidas, True Religion, and Coach to make the trip worthwhile.
Eat "Local Kine Grindz" (Local foods)
O'ahu has some unique local eateries that will satisfy any food cravings. What makes it even better is that these food places are located in different towns within O'ahu so it's a great excuse to take a road trip and drive around the island. One of the first places to visit is Boots and Kimo's in Kailua, which is famous for their banana pancakes with macadamia nut sauce. It can get really busy in this shop so arrive early and expect to wait 30-45 minutes to get seated. After Boots and Kimo's, the next place you should definitely visit is Giovanni's Shrimp Truck in the North Shore. The garlic shrimp with lemon butter sauce is amazing and it's even been featured in Baywatch! Lastly, you can't leave O'ahu without going to Zippy's. It's a fast-food chain that's open 24 hours and it's definitely a local favorite.