Know Before You Go

Oahu, formed by the volcanoes Waianae and Koolau, is the third largest of the islands, with 597 square miles of land and a population of about 900,000. Needless to say there is a lot to do here!

So Many Things to Do on Oahu

Oahu offers plenty of adventure and cultural options. Choose from the most beautiful beaches in the country, the three-acre (give or take an acre, depending on the tide) sandbar in Kaneohe Bay on the windward side of the island is a world away from the hassles of life (except for the droning of the airplanes from a nearby military base). Look closely and you’ll spot camouflaged flounders undulating in the currents, translucent pencil-like cornet fish, or even a juvenile blacktip reef shark swimming in the distance. Green sea turtles are a common sight, too; more than 500 are said to live in the protected bay. It’s not a surprise that this pristine stretch of sand is on the preservationist radar and soon might be designated kapu (forbidden), which nowadays means “keep out” in Hawaiian.

Hiking is a year-round event on Oahu. Certain trails, however, especially those that run along the jagged volcanic cliffs, are best saved for the dry summer months. The Pali Lookout trail is safe year-round because it is paved. This approximately two-mile trail leads through the rain-forest environs of windward Oahu and includes waterfalls and amazing views. For more than 80 trails with descriptions and photos, visit and choose according to season and level of difficulty.

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