With so much to like about living on the Hawaiian island of Oahu it can be tough narrowing it down to just 10 things. However, having spent years living and visiting Oahu I think I have the experience to point out the things about this island that truly make it such a great place to live and visit.
1. Weather: I never tire of the weather on Oahu. It rarely is too hot and never cold on Oahu. Besides the occasional rainy day the weather for most of Oahu is almost always near perfect. It is the type of weather that makes you feel guilty if you don’t get outside and enjoy it every chance you get.
2. The Mountains: The Ko’olau Range provides the famous mountain backdrop many people see in pictures of Oahu. Every time I take visitors on a drive on the H-3 through the Ko’olaus they are always amazed by the beautiful “Pali’s” otherwise known as cliffs on Windward Coast. The lesser known Waianae Range on the island’s West Coast is stunning in its own right where Oahu’s highest point, Mt. Ka’ala is located.
3. Beaches: This is what Hawaii is most known for and it is for good reason because the beaches on Oahu are stunning. All around the island some insanely beautiful beaches can be found to include some that have few people on them.
4. Hiking: With all the beautiful mountains and beaches this means there are plenty of great hiking trails to explore on Oahu. I always find it amazing how such a populated place like Oahu can have incredible hiking literally a very short distance from downtown. Hikes for all experience levels can be found on all around Oahu from beginner to experts only.
5. Great Restaurants: With a large population and an economy catering to tourism it should be no surprise that Honolulu has a variety of great restaurants to check out, particularly for Asian and local Hawaiian cuisine. There is still one area the Oahu restaurant scene is lacking which is a quality Mexican restaurant. If anyone has any good recommendations please let me know!
6. Farmer Markets: 90% of the food is imported into Hawaii, but for those that don’t want to depend on mainland imports there is plenty of fruits and vegetables that can be bought at local farmer markets. These markets can be found all around Oahu on different days of the week. Best of all is that some of the farmers will cook up food with their fresh ingredients right there on the spot!
7. Laid-Back Lifestyle: At times the laid-back lifestyle can be frustrating when you are in a hurry to get something done, but over time you get used to it and appreciate it.
8. Fascinating History: Hawaii has a long Polynesian history and a fascinating modern history. Few people know that the only state to once have a monarchy was Hawaii when King Kamehameha conquered all the other islands in the early 1800s to establish his kingdom. This eventually led to his successors to eventually build the only palace in the United States Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu.
9. Museums: For those looking for more than beautiful beaches when visiting Oahu I highly recommend checking out Bishop Museum, Pearl Harbor Historic Site, the USS Missouri Memorial and the Pacific Aviation Museum. All these locations definitely provide a deeper appreciation of the cultural and military history of the islands. Heck even the Dole Plantation is an interesting place to visit to learn more about the island’s pineapple history. The Bishop Museum even has an annual membership program that allows my family and I to visit whenever we want for free which is one of things my kids love doing here on Oahu.
10. Rainbows: There are rainbows on Hawaii’s license plates for good reason, because I have not been anywhere else in the world with more rainbows than Hawaii. It is hard to not see a beautiful rainbow just about every day on Oahu.
Like I said before this was a hard list to put together because of all the great things that make life on Oahu so great. Did I miss something that you think should be in the Top 10 Best Things About Oahu? If so please share your thoughts in the comments section.