Beautiful beaches, epic waves and ancient architecture are just a few of the selling points that have tourists of all ages and interests making their way to Oahu. Nicknamed “The Gathering Place,” this vibrant Hawaiian island emulates its name with a melting pot of inviting cultures and lifestyles. Whether you’re making your way to hang ten or searching for some tropical tranquility, experience it to the fullest while staying on budget with Vacations by Marriott’s travel packages to Oahu that include airfare, car rentals and hotel stays.
Heading to Oahu for the first time? Prepare for an unforgettable vacation with some fun facts about the island:
1. First and foremost, you’ll want to know what cities and towns actually occupy the island of Oahu. These include Aiea, Ewa Beach, Haleiwa, Hauula, Hawaii Kai, Honolulu, Kaaawa, Kahala, Kahuku, Kailua, Kaneohe, Kapolei, Laie, Lanikai, Maili, Makaha, Manoa, Mililani, Nanakuli, Pearl City, Wahiawa, Waialua, Waianae, Waikiki, Waimanalo and Waipahu. Luckily for you, properly pronouncing the names is not a prerequisite for visiting.
2. While you’re probably not going to explore every town and city listed above, you’ll want to spend a good amount of time in Waikiki. Situated on the south shore of Honolulu, Waikiki is one of the most popular places to visit in Hawaii, attracting nearly half of the state’s tourists each year. In addition to its history of being a playground for Hawaiian royalty, the vibrant beach town is also known as the birthplace of modern surfing thanks to its hometown hero, Duke Kahanamoku, a legendary swimmer, Olympic gold medalist and surf instructor later nicknamed “The Father of Modern Surfing.”
3. Oahu encompasses two mountain ranges that run from north to south. While similar in height, the two mountain ranges are significantly different in age. Geologists believe that the Waianae Range in West Oahu is 3.9 million years old, while the Ko’olau Range behind Honolulu is only 2.7 million years old.
4. Experienced surfers looking to catch the wave of a lifetime will need to make the trip to North Shore, specifically during the winter months. With waves of up to 30 feet, this legendary surf spot attracts the best surfers from all over the world and hosts the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, aka the Super Bowl for surfers. The waves typically calm down May through September, offering a more relaxed atmosphere for families looking to make a splash.
5. Notice any pretty yellow or gold hibiscus-like flowers in bloom? Pua ‘llima is the official flower of Oahu, used by many early Hawaiians as a cure for general illnesses. It’s also the symbol of love.
6. Gorgeous beaches are not the only reason tourists from around the world flock to Hawaii every year. Some of the most popular attractions include the USS Arizona Memorial – Pearl Harbor (Honolulu), Diamond Head State Monument (Honolulu), Polynesian Cultural Center (Laie) and ‘Lolani Palace (Honolulu).