A Traveler’s Guide to Oahu
Saturday, September 24, 2011 at 1:23PM
Infinity Magazine in Oahu, Robin Mahle, Travel, Traveler's Guide to Oahu

By Robin Mahle

OahuFrom the beautiful beaches of Waikiki to the inspiring memorial at Pearl Harbor, Oahu offers a world-class travel experience for the entire family or just those wanting a romantic get-a-way.

There’s no mistaking it, the salty air and the cool ocean breeze, you’ve arrived in Oahu.  Honolulu, Hawaii’s capital is a bustling metropolis whose skyline is filled with tall buildings and its streets lined with historical palaces, museums and art galleries.   But head towards the shore and it’s another scene all together.  Tourists line the beach with their hotel-provided umbrellas and lounge chairs, soaking up the warm Hawaiian sun.

But there’s much more to Oahu than just the famous Waikiki Beach.  For the adventurous, a hike along the Diamond Head trail ends with an awe-inspiring view of the island from its peak.  The trail can sometimes be dangerous if one is not prepared with plenty of water, sunscreen and a hat.  Most people don’t expect the excessive heat; however, this particular part of the island can be a scorcher.  But with plenty of places on the trail to sit in the shade and re-hydrate, the reward at the end is well worth it.

Sea Life ParkOther worthy attractions include the Sea Life Park, located north of Hanauma Bay.  A great place for kids to explore the world of sea lions, dolphins and other marine life, the Sea Life Park gives adults and kids alike an opportunity to swim with the dolphins, take in a sea lion show and feed the sea turtles.   It’s an amazing experience the whole family will enjoy.

Nightlife in Waikiki offers everything from family-friendly dining to upscale, elegant eateries along the tiki-torch lined downtown streets.   The Ala Moana Center houses an array of eclectic dining experiences whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner for two or a kid-friendly menu to satisfy little tummies.  In addition to the variety of restaurants and bars, downtown is a great place to shop or window shop, as the case may be.  Both are equally exciting as the retail shops along Kalakaua Avenue are truly a sight to behold.  Rivaling the famed Rodeo Drive, just walking down the avenue feels like a guilty pleasure.

Waimea BeachOf course, most people visit Hawaii and Waikiki, in particular, to take in the beautiful ocean view, lie on the white sandy beaches and relax with a good book.  Waikiki beach offers some of the best aquatic activities along its two-mile stretch such as snorkeling, surfing and outrigger canoeing, a Waikiki tradition.  But for a quieter, less touristy place, the North Shore of Oahu gives visitors an opportunity to experience the local culture that makes Hawaii unique.  From the beauty of Waimea Beach to the rich heritage displayed at the Polynesian Cultural Center, the North Shore offers an escape like no other.

Oahu is an exciting and vibrant island with so much to offer, a week’s vacation is scarcely enough to take it all in, but one can certainly try.

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