Oahu Tours – Top 10 places to see

Oahu, which means “The Gathering Place”, is often the first stop for vacationers in Hawaii, below is a list of the top 10 places to see on a tour of Oahu: 1.  Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head Waikiki is probably the best known beach in the world, and definitely the most popular beach in Hawaii.Waikiki was the favorite playground of Hawaiian royalty in the 19th century. At the time, Waikiki, which literally means “spouting waters”, was once an area of wetlands fed by streams from the valleys above Honolulu.This changed in the 1920s when the government built what would become the Ala Wai Canal, which drained the wetlands and paved the way for later development.This is how Waikiki looks today:

 

2.  Pearl Harborand the USS Arizona Memorial

Pearl Harbor was a naval base that was attacked by the Japanese navy on December 7, 1941, which became known as a “Date which will live in infamy” when then US President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the nation with the news.The attack sank 4 US Naval battleships, most notably the USS Arizona which is where the Pearl Harbor memorial now resides.Today there are many ways to remember one of the most historic days in US and World history by taking Pearl Harbor Tours.

3.  Dole Plantation

Originally operated as a fruit stand in the 1950’s the Dole Plantation is now one of the most visited attractions during Hawaii Tours.The Pineapple maze at Dole Plantation is home to the World’s largest maze, which winds through the Pineapple fields.Can you solve the maze?

4.  North shore beaches (Waimea Bay, Pipeline, Sunset Beach)

The North Shore of Oahu is one of the most famous surfing destinations in the World, particularly in the winter which is when you will see some of the largest waves in the World.A short drive from Honolulu (Town), the North Shore is considered “The Country” by Oahu locals.The North Shore of Oahu is also where the Triple Crown of Surfing is held, where 3 Professional Surfing events take place during a six week stretch in the winter.
5.  Laie Point

Located in the Northeast corner of Oahu, Laie Point offers spectacular views of rock formations, mountains, and beaches.Only the most comprehensive Oahu Tours will stop at this location, it is a little off the beaten path and a difficult road to navigate, but well worth the effort.The coolest rock formation at Laie Point is an arch that was created by a tsunami wave that struck the island in 1960.

6. Chinaman’s Hat Island (Mokoli’i)

Chinaman’s Hat (Mokoli’i Island) is a famous island on the Windward side of Oahu in Kane’ohe Bay, due to its distinct shape similar to that of the chapeau straw hat worn by farmers throughout China.You can walk out to Chinaman’s Hat Island on the reef during low tide, but it is best to take a kayak or paddle board.Once on the island you can explore the little beach carved out of the lava, check out a cave, or climb to the peak – about a 20 minute climb.

7.  Koolau Mountains and Valley – Film locations of Jurassic Park, Godzilla, Pearl Harbor and Lost

The Koolau Mountains and Valley might be familiar to you if you have seen the movies Jurassic Park, Pearl Harbor, Godzilla or the TV show Lost.This is a great filming location because of the stunning views of lush green mountains, open plain areas, and the beach and ocean below.The Koolau Mountain range is actually the eastern side of the shield volcano that helped form the island of Oahu.If you have the time you can take a tour of the ranch on ATVs.

8.  Byodo-In Buddhist Temple

This Buddhist Temple located on the Windward side of Oahu is a tranquil stop and a must see during a Hawaii Tour.The temple is actually a replica of the Byodo-in Temple in Uji, Japan.There are koi ponds, gardens, a 3 ton brass bell, and a 9 foot lotus Buddha statue inside.

9.  Polynesian Cultural Center

If you want to learn about some of the most influential cultures in the Polynesian Islands then the Polynesian Cultural Center is a great place to stop.The cultural center has separate villages dedicated to teaching visitors about each unique culture.The villages represent the different islands of Polynesia: Hawaii, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, and Tahiti.While you are at the Polynesian Cultural Center you can enjoy a buffet lunch with foods from the various islands.

10.  Sunset

All tours of Hawaii must end with a good sunset at the end of the day.Some of the best places to see a great Hawaii sunset are Waikiki beach, Diamond Head, and Sunset Beach.

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