Hawaiian Islands

Oahu Overview

Nickname: "The Gathering Place"
Size: 3rd Largest

Oahu is home to the capital of the state of Hawaii, Honolulu which means the "The Gathering Place". Oahu is the 3rd largest of the Hawaiian islands in land mass but is the largest in population and is the main commerce port for all of Hawaii. Formed by two volcanic domes, Oahu is diverse in both agriculture and tourism.Oahu

Located on the south side of Oahu is probably the most well known city in Hawaii, Honolulu and home to one of the most photographed beaches, Waikiki. With it's populated city and downtown atmosphere, Waikiki offers everything from high rise hotels to popular beaches. The city is also entrenched with Hawaiian history and is the site of a famous battle fought by King Kamehameha and his warriors who came from the island of Hawaii. In 1795, they defeated the king of Oahu and added Oahu to the then kingdom of Hawaii.

The city of Honolulu is home to the business district, international airport, major sea ports, military bases and all the government offices for Hawaii. The city also is home to the Iolani Palace. The palace was built in the late 1800`s by King Kalakaua who lived in the palace until his death. Queen Liliuokalani, the sister of King Kalakaua took residency in the palace until the monarchy ended. The palace grounds are very special to the Hawaiian people, as the grounds and the contents within it are sacred and dear to their hearts. The city is also home to one of the most famous harbors and battle sites that led the American people into World War II, Pearl Harbor. The most famous of Honolulu's landmarks is Diamond Head and is seen from almost any vantage point in Honolulu.

Located on the North side of Oahu are the world famous surfing locations, Sunset beach and Waimea Bay. The area is also home to the Waimea Falls Park and the quiet community of Haleiwa.

Traveling along the windward coast will bring you to the towns of Kailua, Kaneohe, Kahaluu, Kahana and Laie, home of the Polynesian Cultural Center.

West of the Waianae range is the scenic and historic rich Waianae Coast. Although less traveled than other parts of the island, the coast is home to ancient ruins, plantation homes and the Ki`ili`o`loa Heiau, a Hawaiian Temple. The towns of Makaha, Wainae, Maili, Lualualei, Nanakuli and Makakilo all call the Waianae coast their home.

Traveling through the Hawaiian islands allows a variety of options from sightseeing to relaxing but the treasures of Oahu should certainly be scheduled when making your travel plans.