Nickname: The Gathering Place
Home of iconic Waikiki Beach, famous surfer Duke Kahanamoku, Pearl Harbor, and North Shore’s Banzai Pipeline surf spot
The island of Oahu is a premier vacation destination, with its rich culture, history, and iconic landmarks that people travel far and wide to experience. It is known as “The Gathering Place” and rightfully so. The capital city of Honolulu, located on the South end of the island, is the site of the historic Hawaiian Royal Monarch and present day government for the State of Hawaii. But beyond the tourist traps and guided tours lies adventures that offer a deeper look into what makes this beautiful island different from the rest.
Kayaking to the Mokuluas:
On the windward (East) side of the island is the town of Kailua. It is an area with quaint neighborhoods, scenic mountain cliffs, and one of the world’s top ranked beaches-Lanikai. Just off the coast sits two triangle shaped islands known as the Mokes. Their official name is Na Mokulua, meaning “the two islands” in Hawaiian. For the adventurer, these pristine, uninhabited islands are just a kayak away. You can rent a kayak in Kailua and wheel it down to the beach park. As you paddle across the open water, sea turtles and other marine life float by carefree, greeting you with their presence. Once you make it to land, the destination is magical and the journey is memorable.
North Shore, Oahu is synonymous with big wave surfers and adrenaline junkies. During the winter months, spectators and surfers flock to the area to feel the power of the ocean and ride the monster waves but the water isn’t the only thing calling your name. Nearby are several food trucks, dishing up hot plates of ono’licious garlic shrimp. Served up with a side of freshly steamed rice, a visit to the famous shrimp trucks will definitely hit the spot!
Hiking Stairway to Heaven:
Officially known as the Haiku Stairs, these metal ladder-like steps line the mountainside from its base at the Valley of Haiku in Kaneohe all the way up to an old World War II radio tower that sits 2,800 feet in the air. Constructed in 1942, the stairs have since been closed to the public and currently await the decision of lawmakers to reopen the nearly 4,000 step hiking adventure. Although “No Trespassing” signs are mounted all around the site, daring hikers continue to climb the Haiku Stairs for a chance to experience its unimaginable views, sheer drop offs, and true beauty.