75.4 F
Honolulu
Amy Fujimotohttps://alohawithlove.com
I grew up in Hawaii and when I'm not traveling the islands, I write down my Mom's recipes, hike with Daisy the waddling rescue, work on my 200+ gallon aquaponics system, and dream about my future van conversion so I can do some more traveling.

Comment below so we can discuss!

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links to buy something I may earn a commission with no additional cost to you. This helps keep Aloha With Love running, thank you! Learn More.

Oahu is the most popular Hawaiian island to visit, especially for first-time Hawaii travelers. There’s a little bit of everything here from an excellent and busy downtown to secluded hikes and pristine beaches.

Oahu can be split into 5 regions, each with their own personality, culture, and history. Use the menu below to navigate your way through this article.

North Shore

The North Shore of Oahu is famous for its beautiful beaches, snorkeling, surf, turtles, and shrimp trucks. Everyone who visits Oahu spends at last a full day in the North Shore, but you can very easily spend a lazy week here exploring all of the different beaches.

Read the guide: 20+ Things To Do In Oahu’s North Shore: The Best Of North Shore

Laniakea turtles out on the rocks. The Best Beaches In Oahu’s North Shore For Families.
Laniakea turtles out on the rocks.

A few of my favorite North Shore activities are:

Read more: The Best Beaches In Oahu’s North Shore For Families

Windward Oahu

Drive north on the H3 and you’ll be taken through the Koolau mountains into Windward Oahu. The beaches on this side of the island are famous for their powdery, white sand that you see in magazines.

If you like shopping local, you’ll find several boutique shops and small eateries on this side of the island to explore, too.

Oahu island tour
The sunrise view of Chinaman’s hat | Oahu island tour

Don’t miss out on these Windward Oahu highlights:

South Shore

Most tourists are familiar with Oahu’s South Shore because that’s where you’ll find Waikiki. There’s a ton of things to do here and it’s impossible to feel bored when there’s a beautiful stretch of sand and ocean views right outside your hotel.

Shopping at Waikiki Beach Walk. Photo Credit: Jeff Whyte / Shutterstock.com
Shopping at Waikiki Beach Walk. Photo Credit: Jeff Whyte / Shutterstock.com

Here’s why Oahu’s South Shore is the tourist hub of Oahu:

Central Oahu

Much of Central Oahu is dedicated to residential homes, so you won’t find that many attractions here, but there are still plenty of gems. The most famous is Pearl Harbor where the USS Arizona Memorial resides.

The first view of Kukaniloko as you enter the clearing.
Kukaniloko when you first enter the clearing.

Unique places to see in Central Oahu:

Leeward Coast (Waianae Coast)

The Waianae Coast is littered with beautiful views, pretty beaches, fun hikes, and a local, rural vibe. You won’t find many tourists here, and the local residents take advantage of it by spending their free time fishing, spearfishing, surfing, and barbecuing at their local beach parks.

If you end up staying at one of the nearby Ko Olina resorts, the Leeward side of the island will be great to get some good beach and hiking time in without the touristy crowd.

Standing at Kaena Point and facing the Waianae mountain range.
Standing at Kaena Point and facing the Waianae mountain range.

The Waianae Coast has a lot to offer. Some highlights include:

I hope these descriptions and highlights for each of the five regions in Oahu help you plan your trip to this beautiful island. I’ll be constantly adding more to this list as I explore Oahu so check back in every so often. If you have any questions, leave a comment so I can get back to you!

Aloha with love,
Amy

Related

Best Hawaiian Island To Visit And The Best Time To Go

Choosing the best Hawaiian Island to visit is so difficult, isn't it? It's tough for me, too...and I live here! I know you want an easy answer so you can start booking your tickets, but the honest answer is...

20+ Things To Do In Oahu’s North Shore: The Best Of North Shore

I've got you covered if you're looking for the best things to do in Oahu's North Shore. As one of Oahu's biggest attractions, the North Shore of Oahu has something for everyone. Gorgeous beaches, Oahu's best snorkeling spots, amazing...

Where To Swim With Turtles In Hawaii And How To Find Them

Swimming with turtles in Hawaii is amazing! My heartbeat kicks up but at the same time I feel so calm. There's a sense of peace in me when I see them drift from rock to rock, relying on the...

The Best Things To Do In Maui: 30+ Activities In Maui For Families

Family activities in Maui are not difficult to find. There are so many things to do in Maui that are family and kid-friendly, you'll run out of time before you finish your Maui bucketlist. The reason why Maui is so...

A Guide To Snorkeling in Maui And The Best Snorkeling Spots

If you're looking to snorkel in Maui, you've chosen the right island. Maui has some of the best snorkel spots in Maui packed with turtles, fish, and coral. Below I've listed some of my favorite snorkel spots in Maui...

The Best Places To Visit In Maui: 20+ Bucketlist Locations

Maui is a magical place filled with small and lively towns, waterfalls, hikes, and excellent snorkeling opportunities. You won't run out of things to do in Maui, but there are some places that you should not miss. Here's a...

Real. Local. Non-touristy.

My emails will make you smile!

I'm all about living life in Hawaii with passion, honesty, and respect. So if you like legal hikes, authentic experiences, and a kind and humble personality, I'm your local girl!

You'll love reading my fun and down-to-earth emails from a local perspective. I'll send you my personal tips, travel suggestions, and DIY project ideas that are perfect for Hawaii living.

Sign up below and you'll be added to my email list!

Aloha with love, Amy

The Different Regions Of Oahu And Things To Do