Oahu The Gathering Place

Posted by Christie Wanlass on 7/5/2016
If you are taking your first trip to Hawaii, you should take your time in studying each island before deciding which island to go to. Each island is unique and different from one another and it is important to find out which island suits you best.  I thought it might be fun to share some information about Oahu and the things I like to do when I visit this beautiful island.  Oahu is known as the gathering place and has the largest population of all of the islands with more than 900,000 residents.  

If you enjoy spending time in big cities and are looking for great shopping, fantastic local food, spending time people watching, riding the waves on an outrigger, or learning to surf on the gentle waves, you will have a great time visiting Waikiki.  I loved visiting the Iolani Palace.  It is now a museum and the beautiful Iolani Palace was the official residence of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s last two monarchs, King Kalakaua and his sister Queen Liliuokalani. You can actually enjoy afternoon tea here, which they have been offering since 1999.

My favorite part of the island is the North Shore.  It is famous for big wave surfing at Pipeline.  It can be really exciting watching the surfers on those huge waves.  The biggest waves are in the winter.  I remember one year when my husband and I were visiting Oahu, we watched Kelly Slater in a surfing contest at Pipe.  It was fantastic!  Haleiwa is a cool, laid back surfing town on the North Shore that I enjoy visiting.  It has cool surf shops, boutiques, great art galleries and casual local restaurants.  Don't miss out on trying shave ice.  It is nothing like a snow cone.  Try one made with a rainbow of tropical flavors on powdered ice that is more like snow and you will be in heaven:)  My favorite place to stay is at the Turtle Bay Resort.  It is a beautiful, chic ocean side resort where you can go hiking, biking, horseback riding and golfing all on the resort property.  I really enjoyed hanging out at the bar outside, drinking a Mai Tai and watching surfers at sunset, very relaxing.

If you would like to experience snorkeling for the first time in a very secure environment, be sure to visit Hanauma Bay.  Hanauma Bay is a nature preserve that sees nearly one million visitors a year.  I love going there.  Hanauma Bay formed inside an ancient volcanic cone and is now a pristine marine ecosystem.  Hanauma Bay requires first-time visitors to watch a video before entering the park so they can learn about the marine life, preservation, conservation, and safety rules for the park. All visitors are required by law to refrain from mistreating the marine animals and from touching or walking on the coral heads.  You can enjoy snorkeling with the incredible varieties of colorful fish and undersea animals in very shallow waters. 

The biggest tourist attraction in all of the Hawaiian Islands is The Polynesian Cultural Center.  If you are visiting Oahu for the first time, The Polynesian Cultural Center will provide you with an entertaining introduction to Polynesia, which includes New Zeland, Fiji, Tahiti, Hawaii, Rapa Nui, Samoa, Tonga as well as other Polynesian islands.  You can experience, shows, hula dances, luaus and shopping on 42 acres of land.  I enjoyed it when I went there with my mom and youngest son many years ago.  

Have a great time in Oahu and let us know what you did on your vacation.  I would love to share it with our readers!  Mahalo.

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