History, Culture, Beaches and Adventure – A guide to Oahu, Hawaii

guide to Oahu

The third largest Hawaiian island, Oahu certainly lives up to its name, as it is sometimes referred to as “The Gathering Place.” The diverse population of Oahu is rooted to its values and traditions as it takes on the fusion of east and west cultures.What makes Oahu so enjoyable and a unique place in all of the world is the vital contrast between the ancient and the modern culture.This makes it a popular tourist destination with several amazing vacation rentals in Oahu to choose from. Just booking a nice beach house can make you revel in the beauty of this island. Here is a guide to Oahu which gives you an overview of history and culture.

guide to Oahu

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Historical significance and vivacious culture of Oahu

Hawaii’s ancient history carries an amazing beauty and a bounty of historical significance. Visitors and residents get aware of the different attractions in the Islands teeming with ancient history, prevalent in its temple, statues, and ruins. The legendary Battle of Nuuanu of 1810 unified the Hawaiian Islands and conquered Oahu. King Kamehameha established the Hawaiian Kingdom’s government on Oahu. Later, Hawaii became a colony of the United States in 1898. Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States in 1959.

The 1800 period was a great change for Hawaii and those years saw Christian missionaries getting more influential than before. There are several historic churches on Oahu that were a place of worship for Hawaiian kings and remind one of Christianity’s influence. Soon, with the Christianity’s influence, sugar and pineapple industries settled in. Hawaii’s visitor industry began to thrive during the early 1900’s, and many popular motels and hotels came up such as the Moana Hotel, Halekulani Hotel, and the Westin Moana Surfrider. The iconic Royal Hawaiian Hotel earned the nickname “Pink Palace ” and is one of the recommended places to see in this guide to Oahu.

guide to Oahu

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One will come across diverse cultures and ethnicities as one explores Oahu and meets the local people.  The place is truly a melting pot of diverse lifestyles that are bound together by the spirit of aloha. Those diverse cultures have blended in and transformed the traditions, festival, and foods of Oahu. All one has to do is take a tour through the fine museums and historical venues to learn e about Hawaii’s multicultural roots. One comes face to face with a fascinating mix of the past and the present as the Eastern philosophies meet western technology.

Oahu is home to different landmarks and significant points that offer one a peek into Hawaii’s past. Waipahu’s Plantation Village can take one back in history as one drives toward historic Haleiwa town. Major landmarks such Iolani Palace, the statue of King Kamehameha I and the Bishop Museum sheds light on the history and majesty of the Native Hawaiian people.The dance, theater, and music are looked upon as community treasures and reflect upon Hawaiian traditions and customs. The rich legacy of Hawaiian culture and the spirit of Aloha is still evident in the 21st century.

The ukulele is everyone’s instrument and has a long history in Oahu. The traditional dance of Hawaii represents its spirit in the graceful movements and captivating music. The hula is a local dance theta is rooted deep in religion. Dance is not just a sacred ritual but a form of entertainment in Oahu. Various festivals depict Hawaiians’ love for their art, tradition, and culture and some of the famous celebrations are Merrie Monarch Hula Festival, Lei Day, Kamehameha Festival and Aloha Festival that go on for days and comprise of craft fairs, food, and cultural presentations, performances, competitions, and parades.

guide to Oahu

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The land of Oahu
Those hundreds of square miles of Oahu is rife with culture and scenic spots.  Well famous as the “Heart of Hawaii,” it is home to famous sights and a range of popular activities. Some of the favorite spots are Pearl Harbor. Bishop Museum, Waikiki. The North Shore or the lesser-known attractions like the Makapuu Lighthouse or the Valley of the Temples in the local neighborhoods.

Nuuanu Pali, located 3,000 feet above the coastline of the island draws visitors from all across the world, not just because of its rich scenic location but also as a historic site of the Battle of Nuuanu. The Ulupo Heiau, is another historic site, having a massive amount of dismantled rocks that were used to build the sacred temple built by the Menehunes. Kualoa Ranch nature, about ten miles from the Ulupo Heiau captivates the visitors with its beauty. One is awestruck by the colors of the electric-blue sky, the rugged brown mountains and the aquamarine waters of Kaneohe Bay. Kualoa is looked upon as one of the most sacred places in Oahu and site of war and history. The clear blue waters of Kailua Beach merge with the metropolitan cityscapes of Honolulu.

guide to Oahu

Pic Courtesy – Pavel Tvrdy, Shutterstock

Oahu is home to some of largest museums and collections, and some good examples are Bishop Museum, Honolulu Museum of Art, Hawaii State Art Museum and Honolulu Museum of Art. Visitors discover more about Hawaiian history and cultures through the exhibit tours and interactive presentations.

If you want to experience the evolving expression of the spirit of aloha, then head towards Waikiki where one finds new ideas and old traditions meeting in unexpected ways. Go beyond to explore the Downtown Honolulu, Windward Coast, Hanauma Bay and the North Shore. Pearl Harbor remains of the most famous landmarks of Hawaii. Kailua Beach is perfect for swimming, kayaking and snorkeling and other water adventures. North Shore is famous as the birthplace of big wave surfing. Hikers atop iconic Leahi will come across island’s beautiful beaches as well as enjoy the best shopping experience. Foodies can get plenty of options in the oyster farm, shrimp, and tilapia ponds and tropical fruit gardens. There is a huge variety of surprises at every turn and corner of on Oahu.

This is just a ready reckoner and a short guide to Oahu. Is there anything that you would recommend to this guide to Oahu ? Do leave in the comments below.

This post is written in partnership with Hawaii Vacation Rentals and Luxury Retreat.



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