"the trusted voice of teens who travel"
July 12th, 2009
Aloha! Feel free to hang ten, grab a pineapple, and don a hula skirt because the island of Oahu is the place to be. Relax and take in the breathtaking views, perfect waves, and interesting and exciting culture. My family and I took two trips to Hawaii in the past six years and stayed in Oahu two nights each time before embarking on our “Island Hopping” Cruise. Frankly, those collective four days on Oahu were not enough for me and I am hoping we’ll get a chance to re-visit the most well-known island of Hawaii.
I know it may seem insignificant but the airport in Honolulu was incredibly cool and worthy of a brief reference. First of all, it’s open-air so almost as soon we stepped off the plane, we were in Honolulu, looking at the city and sneaking glances of the ocean. The first time we traveled to Oahu, I was so excited to be there I started hula-dancing in the terminal (don’t worry… I was ten so side effects such as that were expected). Next, we were greeted by some friendly locals, in hula skirts of course, and given real leis! I would have taken mine home with me, but after keeping it in a cruise ship fridge for a week to keep the flowers in tact…it didn’t really possess the same charm as when I had originally gotten it.
Our arrival day was quite the busy one. After plopping our stuff down in the Hilton Hawaiian Village, (which is the iconic resort on Waikiki beach with the Rainbow tower…I’m sure you’ve seen it before) we headed down to the beautiful Waikiki beach. (I highly recommend the Hilton at Waikiki. Not only is it beautiful but it’s pretty central and offers easy ways to get around Honolulu.) The beach is probably one of the most photographed beaches in America and I definitely saw why. With its clean white sand, crystal clear turquoise water, and Diamond Head volcano (which is a great spot for hiking) in the periphery, Waikiki is truly the beach of all beaches.
Another Honolulu attraction which I wish we’d had time to see (both times) is Pearl Harbor. There are museums, memorials (such as the Arizona), and tours throughout this historical area. The fun part is that there are still “war veterans” on site. A battle ship that was around during the bombing is open to public as well as a restored WWII submarine and an aviation museum—equipped with fighter jets and all.
Although it’s on the other side of the island, seeing the Polynesian cultural center is well worth the trek. The Cultural Center includes seven native villages which show visitors hands-on the culture of different Hawaiian Islands as well as other islands in the South Pacific. You can witness demonstrations, see dances and shows, make arts and crafts, view art and collections, and even play games. My particular favorite game was with “poi balls”. My brother, who was only two at the time, and I had a lot of fun twirling the devices around and making up a lot of cool tricks. There are activities going on all day long in each village so you’ll never get bored. When the sun goes down, the entertainment still doesn’t stop. Attend a luau or a night show. Either way, you won’t be disappointed. I’ll have to say, this was without doubt my favorite part of Oahu.
As you can see, there is plenty to do (and still a lot more) on the island of Oahu. If you’re planning a trip there soon make sure you stay for more than two nights so you can fit in absolutely everything you want to do. Hawaii is surely an experience and you don’t want to miss out. For more information check out http://www.visit-oahu.com/. Mahalo!