Vibrant island boasting bustling streets and an urban flair with a diverse community
The enchanting and eclectic island of Oahu is an alluring balance of lively and serene. Home to the state capital, Honolulu, and with its nickname, “The Gathering Place,” there is always something to see and do among the bright streetscape of the urban enclave. Oahu has the largest population of all the islands and is known to have the best nightlife in all of Hawaii. From the expansive, peaceful banks of the North Shore to the iconic, bustling beaches and blocks of Waikiki, there’s no shortage of natural, metropolitan, and historic sites (Pearl Harbor) that leave residents in daily awe.
Oahu is extremely diverse when it comes to scenery, lifestyle, and even people — each area with its own distinct character, spirit, and traditions. The Leeward Side is suburban and laid back with newer, larger homes, while the Windward Side is spacious and picturesque, consistently crowned with the best beaches in the world. Downtown Honolulu and Waikiki have a famed dining and nightlife scene, and a walkable, small-town feel with the benefits of a large city; the North Shore is your remote, laidback, traditional surf town that is beachy and has a slower pace of life. All of the dynamic areas are inviting and colorful, with everything you could want and need — from markets and airports to restaurants and shopping — at your fingertips.
The culinary and craft beer scene on Oahu is incredible and unforgettable. Pig & The Lady features yummy Vietnamese fare with globally accented cooking in a lively setting. It’s a unique dining experience with communal seating that locals enjoy. For an elevated meal, sit down at Senia for a delicious Hawaiian & New American menu, as well as imaginative drinks and cocktails. Lucky Belly is a hip ramen joint that intrigues all the senses with beautifully plated meals and unmatched flavors. Although busy and popular, Oahu wouldn’t be complete without the legendary Dukes Waikiki, known for its beachfront location and out-of-this-world surf 'n' turf and tasty umbrella drinks. There are also world-class shopping destinations, especially in Waikiki, with a nice contrast of small beachy boutiques in towns like Kailua.
Whether it’s day or night, weeknight or weekend, Oahu is brimming with one-of-a-kind destinations for outdoor lovers and town-wanderers alike. It’s also known for its outstanding and appealing festivals and events. Honolulu Marathon is one of the world's largest marathons, taking place annually every December and attracting dynamic and exciting crowds. The Hawaii International Film Festival is another awesome yearly event, with a focus on Asian-Pacific cinema by new and emerging filmmakers. You can’t go wrong with a ticket to the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, and the Triple Crown Surfing Event is one to remember.