Top 5 Things to Do in Oahu
The Hawaiian Island of Oahu is a popular vacation destination and if you have an up and coming visit planned these are 5 things you shouldn't miss...
1. Visit Pearl Harbour
Not to start off on a sombre note but to travel to Oahu and not visit the setting for one of the most famous and tragic events in history I believe would be a waste. The best way to visit Pearl Harbour would be to advance book your tickets as there is only a certain amount issued for each day. There are various types of tickets to purchase depending on how much you’d like to see. Most tickets will give you access to the Pearl Harbour visitors centre and the USS Arizona Memorial. When you arrive at Pearl Harbour you will be given a time for your boat transfer over to the USS Arizona Memorial. In the time you have till then you are able to roam around the visitors centre. You will also be shown a video narrating the history of the event, which was honestly very emotional.
On the USS Arizona Memorial is actually built over the sunken ship and you have the Assembly room where it is still possible to see the remains of the ship below. The USS Arizona still leaks oil and you are also able to see the visible oil slicks which if you listen any of the tales it’s said the oil will leak until the last survivor of the ship has passed on. The second room on the memorial is the Shrine room where you have a massive marble wall which holds all the names of the sailors and marines who were killed on the USS Arizona. There is also a separate memorial in the room for the survivors from the ship who have made the decision that after they have died their remains should be placed back into the ship. It’s definitely a very humbling and saddening experience but one that shouldn’t be missed.
2. Attend a Laua
A Laua is a traditional Hawaiian gathering were you have food and drinks with Hawaiian music and dancing. The types of foods you are given to eat are things like pork, fish, rice and tropical fruits. All guests at a Laua will wear a lei, which is a garland of flowers or beads worn round the neck, flowers for ladies and beads for men. The music at a Laua will be with the help of traditional drums and the ukulele which is a small type of guitar accompanied by Hawaiian Hula dancing. Attending these events is a fantastic way to get an authentic feel of the culture on the island, which is a world away of mainland USA.
3. Visit the Dole Plantation
This is where all the Dole pineapples are grown and is an amazing place to spend an afternoon. There is so much to do for adults and kids alike. There is a train tour which will take you through the plantation and listen to the founder James Dole as he takes you through the Dole story. You’ll see the plantation in action in various stages of production. The Dole’s Pineapple Garden maze is in the Guinness World Records in 2008 as the world’s largest maze. I didn’t get the chance to attempt it as I was on an organised day tour so didn’t have the time but if you have a hire car and plenty of time it looks like great fun.
There is a gift shop which sells all manner of dried fruits, pineapples and branded goods. Everything is so fresh. You have to try the Dole Whip which is pineapple ice cream with small pineapple pieces in it. One of the things it is most famous for and tastes absolutely delicious. The Plantation Grille also offers many traditional Hawaiian dishes. There is so much to learn here that I guarantee you will not be bored.
4. Visit the North Shore
The North Shore was one of the most beautiful places I came across on Oahu. That was what my impression of Hawaii was; beautiful scenery and beautiful beaches. The North shore of the island is famous for its great surfing, with three of the world’s biggest surfing competitions being held here.
5. Visit the Halona Blowhole
The Halona Blowhole is located at Hanauma Bay and is part of a rock formation that when the tide is high and is windy, shoots sea spray through the air via a cave which then acts as a geyser. It is a beautiful sight. Also you get to see some of the great sea life around the area, such as the Hawaiian green sea turtles.
By Karyn Hicks