Oahu/Waikiki

Oahu draws people from around the globe for its world-renowned Waikiki Beach and monster waves that pound the North Shore in the winter. That's why it's known as the "Gathering Place." Oahu is not the largest of the Hawaiian Islands, but it is home to Honolulu International Airport and the state capitol.  We like to describe Oahu as the "sweet-hot" of Hawaii; a pinch of this and a smidgeon of that. Urban, yet organic. Bustling, yet laid back. Slick, but still natural.

Arts & Local Culture

Taro patch in Keanae, Maui

From contemporary art to Hawaiian traditional arts, the restoration of ancient fish ponds and building-size murals of whales.
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Beaches

waikiki beach and diamond head at sunset

You'll start with Waikiki Beach. Probably hit the North Shore, home to surfing's iconic beaches. But don't stop there.
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Food & Drink

crispy tofu at hula grill waikiki

Spam musubi. Ahi poke. Shave ice. Hawaii Regional Cuisine. Plate lunch specials. Restaurants, festivals and farmers markets.
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Hiking & Land Activities

Hikers on Sleeping Giant trail, Kauai

Hiking Diamond Head. Golfing. ATV adventures. Horseback riding. Birdwatching. A zoo. Plenty to do around Oahu.
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Music & Entertainment

Close up of koa ukulele

See how an ukulele is made. Attend a slack key guitar festival. Try a luau. Hit a nightclub. No end to entertainment here.
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Romance & Honeymoons

Vow renewal ceremony at Waikiki Beach

A wedding in paradise. Hawaii honeymoon. Special anniversary. Vow renewal. Romance abounds.
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Sightseeing & Shopping

The great King Kamehameha statue in front of Aliiolani Hale in Honolulu

Scenic vistas, historic sites, pineapple plantation, Pearl Harbor. Shopping, too--from swap meets and crafts fairs to high fashion.
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Snorkeling & Water Adventures

couple carry stand up paddling surfing board on beach in hawaii

Take a surf lesson. Then, go snorkeling, swimming, scuba diving, kayaking, and the latest craze--stand up paddling.
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Spa & Massage

green leafy plant at national tropical botanical garden, kauai

Experience massage the Hawaiian way--with lomilomi. Schedule a spa treatment. Unwind from the day's activities with a yoga session.
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Featured Articles

  • The Music Men: The Ohana Pahinui

    Destination: Oahu/Waikiki   Article Type: Profiles & Interviews   Article Source: Islands of Outrigger

    Close up of koa ukuleleLike bulls in the musical china shop, the Pahinuis have, in turn, defined, thrilled and confounded the Hawaiian music scene with their raw talent, blue-collar approach, and legendary antics. Headed by patriarch Charles Phillip Kunia "Gabby" Pahinui, this family's knowledge and practice of music was fostered in classic "kanikapila" (freeform, backyard jam) environment. Gabby himself began his career as a self-taught guitarist sitting in with other bands in the rough environs of 1920s Kaka'ako. This was Hawaii music finding itself, fusing decades of backyard luau rifs and South Sea classics with the new Big Band sounds of Artie Shaw and Tommy Dorsey.

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  • Indigenous Soap Can Change Your Life

    Destination: Oahu/Waikiki   Article Type: Profiles & Interviews   Article Source: Outrigger

    Close up of Love Chance, owner of Indigenous Soap, and her young daughterLove Chance was a sophomore at the University of Hawaii when she got into soap. Really got into it. She says she was going through her hippie phase at the time, studying lomilomi massage and Hawaiian medicinal plants. She wasn’t looking to start up a business. Soap would be fun to make soap, she thought, and mixed up her first batch with a friend on top of a washing machine in her home. They named their soap Aina. That was almost 10 years ago.

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  • Diversity in Islamic Art at Shangri La

    Destination: Oahu/Waikiki   Article Type: Feature Stories   Article Source: Outrigger

    shangri la artwork“Islamic art dates from the 8th century to present day and pretty much encompasses the countries from southern Spain all the way to India, so Islamic art is very diverse,” said Barbara Buchman, taking cover from the bright sun in the shade of an 80-year-old banyan tree. “If you take away anything from my tour, that’s it. That Islamic art is very diverse.”

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  • Get to Know Your Local Farmer: Ed Otsuji

    Destination: Oahu/Waikiki   Article Type: Feature Stories   Article Source: Outrigger

    otsuji beet saladOtsuji Farms may be known for its beets and lettuce greens and kale and spinach and daikon and turnips and cilantro and green onions and a variety of other fresh farm produce, but the most important item on the Oahu farm to Ed Otsuji is his hat.

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  • From Catching Fish to Providing Electricity

    Destination: Oahu/Waikiki   Article Type: Feature Stories   Article Source: Outrigger

    cutting nets at schnitzer steel as part of nets to energy programBut there is another kind of marine debris, one that hasn’t received quite the attention that plastic has but one that is just as harmful to our oceans, coastal ecosystems and the animals that live in them: Ghost nets. Also called derelict fishing nets. They are like giant balls of spaghetti swirling through out oceans and washing ashore, and endangered Hawaiian monk seals, sea turtles and humpback whales, among a variety of other marine animals big and small, can and do get trapped in them and die.

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  • Lomi Pohaku Massage Melts Stress

    Destination: Oahu/Waikiki   Article Type: Feature Stories   Article Source: Outrigger

    Flower floating in lily pond, close upI walk away from some massages feeling light and lively, like I’ve finally dropped a super-size suitcase, one that any airlines would slap me with an overweight baggage charge. Other times, massages leave me in a deep slumber, and when I do come to my senses, I slink off the table and speak gibberish for the remainder of the day. I left the Lomi Pohaku at Serenity Spa at Outrigger Reef on the Beach feeling like an ice cube that had just melted.

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  • Not Your Grandmother's Muumuu

    Destination: Oahu/Waikiki   Article Type: Feature Stories   Article Source: Outrigger

    muumuu heaven label on bagWhen you think of a muumuu, you probably think of a heavy cotton dress with puffy sleeves and a shapeless tunic that falls to the floor, maybe with a ruffle around the bottom. You probably think of Hawaii and big, colorful floral prints. And you definitely think of your grandmother. Am I right? Well, Deb Mascia is here to show how wrong we both are. Because I’m pretty sure Cameron Diaz, Cate Blanchett, Michelle Obama and Susan Sarandon wouldn’t be caught dead wearing their grandmother’s muumuu.

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  • Learning to Surf

    Destination: Oahu/Waikiki   Article Type: Feature Stories   Article Source: Outrigger

    Learning to surf on Waikiki BeachGrowing up, Oregon native Neil Kopp swore to all of his surfer buddies that riding the waves was one thing he'd never do. But then he visited Hawaii and guess what happened?

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  • The Be-All, End-All Guide to Where to Do What on Waikiki Beach

    Destination: Oahu/Waikiki   Article Type: Reviews   Article Source: Outrigger

    waikiki beach and diamond head at sunset

    Waikiki Beach contains a world of beach adventures to keep you exploring for days and weeks on end. So here's what you need:  the be-all, end-all, grandaddy list of all lists for the best spot along Waikiki Beach to do just about whatever it is you could imagine doing.

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  • Come. Join Donna Kahakui.

    Destination: Oahu/Waikiki   Article Type: Profiles & Interviews   Article Source: Outrigger

    donna kahakui on outrigger canoe, kai makanaWhen you ask Donna Kahakui where she comes from, she answers, the ocean. “I come from a family of fishermen. To me, the ocean is my best friend,” she says. “I am more coordinated in the ocean than I am on land.”

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