Destination of the Week – Oahu, Hawaii [Article]

oahu-hawaii-map | Have2Travel | Helen Brahms | Cruise PlannersDid you know that Oahu means “the gathering place”? When most people think of Hawaii, they think sun, sand, surf, and romance. What comes to mind when you think of Oahu? Is it just the hustle and bustle of Honolulu and the beaches of Waikiki? Believe it or not some people think that is all there is to Oahu. Well today we are going to open your eyes to the other parts of Oahu and show you that it is more than just a city and the tourist area of Waikiki.

Oahu is the vibrant hub of the Pacific. It’s meaning of the gathering place fits it perfectly. On Oahu not only do you have the capital of Honolulu, the beautiful beaches of Waikiki, but you have the soaring mountains of two extinct volcanoes, Wai’anae in the west and Ko’olau in the east. With volcanoes you get mineral rich, fertile soil that is great for growing just about anything. On Oahu you will see and experience beautiful lush green forests, gorgeous vibrant flowers, and amazing waterfalls. There are some great hiking trails on Oahu that will take you to beautiful beaches or waterfalls and pools, or the soaring peaks of the mountains. There are trails all around the island to suit just about every fitness level. There are many places around the island where you can have breath-taking views over Oahu and see some of the other Hawaiian Islands.

From-Here-To-Eternity-Poster | Have2Travel | Helen Brahms | Cruise PlannersOahu is home to some beautiful beaches, not just the ones of Waikiki. Once you get out of the city and drive along the scenic highways you will be able to park in places and walk to some beautiful beaches including the famous Halona Beach. Why is is famous? Great question! Ever seen the movie “From Here to Eternity”? This is where the famous steamy love scene between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr’s characters was filmed.

Surfing Oahu | Have2Travel | Cruise Planners | Helen BrahmsOahu is home of surfing. It is where it was invented. The North Shore has some of the best surfing in the world. If you are wanting to learn to surf then Waikiki Beach is where you will find some good instructors to help you catch your first wave. Always check the conditions before you go surfing. Surfline is one of the websites you can go to for up-to-date surf conditions around the world.

Love to shop? Then you will want to check out the largest open-air shopping center in the world, Ala Moana. It sits on 50 acres and you can get everything from cheap souvenirs to designer clothes and jewelry.

USS Arizona Memorial | Have2Travel | Cruise Planners | Helen Brahms

USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor

Honolulu is home to WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument. This national monument includes USS Arizona Memorial, USS Missouri Battleship, USS Bowfin Submarine and Park, and Pacific Aviation Museum. The best way to visit all these amazing Memorials is with the Passport to Pearl Harbor. This Passport will include the USS Arizona Narrated Tour, admission to the USS Missouri, USS Bowfin Submarine & Pacific Aviation Museum. The 75-minute NON-narrated tour of USS Arizona is free but there are only 1,300 walk up tickets given out each day starting at 7am. When planning a visit here it is best to plan in advance and check the updates on the websites (click the links above for the memorials) as to what the latest need to know info is for visiting the park. Remember the park is located on an active military base and certain protocols must be observed.

Leaving Honolulu and heading to the far side of Oahu as far as you can get from Honolulu without leaving the island you will find the Polynesian Cultural Center. This center will give you a glimpse into the culture of the Polynesian people. You will tour villages from not only Hawaii, but also Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, Tahiti, Marquesas, and Aotearoa (New Zealand). There are shows, presentations, and you can even enjoy a Luau.

Have you been to Oahu? What are some of your favorite places on Oahu to visit? What were some of your favorite experiences? Please share them in the comments below. If you would like more information about visiting Oahu, please go to and set up a time for us to chat.

About Helen Brahms

World globetrotter, Helen Brahms, is your Luxury Travel Concierge. She specializes in creating unique once-in-a-lifetime travel memories and charity fundraising trips. Whether your travel dreams include exotic locations or time with your family, you can have it all. Helen loves to help people cross destinations off their travel bucket list before they take a dirt nap! Helen is the host of the Have2Travel Radio Show ( and is the author of the book "Congratulations, You're Going On a Cruise! Now What?" and the co-author of the book "Passionistas Talk!: The Best of the Passion Point Interviews (Vol. 1)"
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