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The Wild and Natural: O’ahu

Landing at Honolulu’s airport plunges you into an adventurous jungle, but relax, it’s still Polynesia. By day, inspect royal feathered capes and ancient temple fine carvings, then swizzle mai tais while slack key guitars play at Waikiki Beach after dark.

There’s another side of the island: the ‘country,’ where farms and dirt roads lead deep into a Hawaiian heartland. On some wild, rugged and nearly deserted beaches, sea turtles still outnumber surfers. Set your watch to island time as you cruise past the Windward Coast’s emerald valleys, rustic ranches and roadside shrimp trucks, or lose yourself on the rural Wai’anae Coast.

Don’t dismiss Oʻahu as a transit point en route to the Neighbor Islands. Take a closer look and you’ll uncover a lifetime of adventures. Surf the Banzai Pipeline’s giant waves, hike atop knife-edged pali (cliffs), dive in Hanauma Bay’s giant fishbowl, windsurf or kayak to uninhabited islands off Kailua Bay, and be back in Waikiki for sunset hula. No worries, brah.

Nature, culture and adventure abound on the island of Oahu with an array of beautiful sea, land and air activities, as well as art and cultural museums and attractions. Oahu offers beauty and excitement that is easily accessible and suits all levels, ages and interests. Our top 5 are: 

 

1) Wild Side Specialty Tours – swim with wild dolphins on the Leeward Coast of Oahu.

2) Hawaiian Fire Surf School – surf lessons with off-duty Honolulu firefighters on secluded beach.

3) Shangri La – Doris Duke’s 1937 Hawaii home filled with Islamic art.

4) Island Seaplane – Hawaii’s only seaplane offers a bird’s eye view of the island with a water takeoff and landing.

5) Bike Hawaii – mountain biking through lush Kaaawa Valley.

Explore Oahu’s lush valleys, cascading waterfalls and far-reaching coastlines by mountain bike, foot and boat with Bike Hawaii. The “From the Rainforest to the Reef” full-day adventure begins with a stream and waterfall hike through a privately owned tropical rainforest. 

 

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