Sightseeing And Activities in Oahu!
Reviewing Surf and Snorkle Spots And Pearl Harbor
Hanauma Bay is the most popular snorkeling spot on Oahu.
Watersports enthusiasts love Hawaii. They love it so much, in fact, that many of them live here. For them, it's an endless paradise, a huge playground provided by nature.
Visitors can experience the same aquatic adventures. And you don't have to be a complete enthusiast to do so. How many squids have had their first – and only – surfing experience at the slow-rolling waves of Waikiki Beach?
(Hard core wave riders head to the North Shore, but only experts should venture into the water in the winter, when waves can reach the size of those shown on Hawaii Five-0. Still, it makes for great viewing).
Other surf spots are at Diamond Head, Koko Head and Waimea Bay.
Those not quite daring enough to try surfing may find boogie boarding more to their liking.
Hawaii is famous for its outrigger canoes, and riding a ride off Waikiki Beach is as easy as approaching a beach stand.
Snorkeling is a plentiful, with the best spot being Hanauma Bay (just past Diamond Head). And if the snorkeling is good, the scuba diving is even better, with the best spots at Manana (Rabbit) Island, The Waianae Coast beaches and the North Shore in the summer.
But you can also go in front of Queen's Beach. That's walking distance from the center of Waikiki Beach near the zoo. The spot is in front of the jetty.
The best body surfing spot is at Sandy Beach Park, just past Hanauma Bay and the Halona Blowhole, where natural water sprouts create an interesting, if briefly entertaining, sight. Sailing, windsurfing and swimming are other aquatic activities.
Beach-seekers need only to go as far as Waikiki, but there are other spectacular beaches on Oahu. Some are filled with locals, others almost completely isolated.
A visit to the Pearl Harbor Naval Base is a sure way to shake off any hangover from the previous night. The museum recounts the infamous morning of Dec. 7, 1941, but it is the USS Arizona Memorial that provides the most stirring moments. A quiet boat ride out to the sunken ship where 1,177 men lie buried in a permanent grave is a moving experience. Run by the National Park Service it includes a film and time at the memorial. This is a free tour (donations accepted); the last begins at 3 p.m.
USS Arizona Memorial,1 Arizona Memorial Place. (808) 422-0561
This marks the beginning of World War II and the end is also here. The battleship USS Missouri is where the Japanese surrender signing took place. it is anchored in Pearl Harbor and offers tours ($16 for GA ticket).
Visitor Information: 1-877-MIGHTYMO
Next to the Pearl Harbor entrance, there's a WWII submarine tour, but it's nothing extraordinary. Tour vans and buses can be arranged from any hotel.
For history from a different view, hike to the top of Diamond Head and sit atop a pillbox installed by the Americans prior to World War II. This is a free activity and provides a beautiful, panoramic view of Honolulu that few visitors bother to see. That's changing somewhat as trolleys now deliver loads of tourists, much to the dismay of locals. They don't mind sharing their secrets with visitors but detest having it served by tourist buses.
Or, just jump in the rental car on the Kalaniana Ole Highway and drive along the coastline. Along the way is Hanauma Bay, the Halona Blowhole, Sandy Beach Park, beautiful Lanikai and the Moku Lua Islands and, eventually, the North Shore and the appropriately-named Sunset Beach (about a 3-hour drive on this scenic route).