Oahu—Tropical Oasis with an Urban Heart

BE THERE

Properties for sale in Honolulu, HI, USA

ESSENTIALS

Population:953,300
Language:English, Hawaiian
Currency:U.S. Dollar.

DOWNTIME

Gorgeous enough to stun even the most seasoned traveler, Oahu is a captivating mixture of famous hot spots and well-kept secrets.


Lined by beaches that look even better in real life than they do on postcards, embraced by lush tropical forests stretching up to impressive mountains, and bursting with flowers, Oahu is a virtual cornucopia of natural beauty. Often dubbed “The Gathering Place,” Oahu is the gregarious socialite of the Hawaiian islands, the most popular tourist destination, and home to the capital city—Honolulu.

Accessibly sized, 44 miles long by 30 miles across, the island is small enough to be navigated with ease, but large enough to maintain unspoiled areas ripe for peaceful reflection. On the North Shore, days are filled wild solitude, legendary waves, whale watching, and spectacular diving. Nearby, the Polynesian Cultural Center and the cozy town of Haleiwa, with its excellent eateries, unique shops, and art galleries, provide a welcome respite. On the eastern side, about 30 minutes from Waikiki, the quaint beachfront community of Kailua has become an attractive blend of remarkable waterfront estates, delightful shopping, and effortless access to two of the top beaches in the world. Graced by steady trade winds and glinting turquoise waters, Kailua Beach and Lanikai Beach, otherwise known as “Heaven by the Sea,” are famous as prime venues for swimming, beachcombing, kayaking, wind or kite surfing, or wildlife watching. Not to be outdone, the Waianae Coast on the west side of Oahu experiences some of the greatest sunsets on earth, gloriously framed by the Pacific and the Waianae Mountains on each side.

Then, of course, there is Honolulu. Rising above the shimmering bay, this thrilling metropolis is home to a vibrant arts scene, enthrallingly diverse population, unusual history and architecture, and world-class hospitality providing endless entertainment. The boundless nightlight delivers dinners at Five Diamond Hawaii Regional Cuisine restaurants, Luaus, hulu shows, a dynamic theater scene headed by “The Broadway of the Pacific,” and chic clubs. A gentle climate means the temperatures rarely wander outside a high of 80–90 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 65–75 degrees Fahrenheit all year, meaning the air is perfumed by hundreds of brilliant flowers on any given day.

Truly eclectic cultural offerings include the largest collection of Polynesian artifacts in the world housed at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, the internationally lauded Honolulu Academy of Arts holding more than 50,000 pieces from the course of 5,000 years, and the exceptional Iolani Palace, which formally housed the last two rulers of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

The catalog of wonders goes on for days, but other outstanding aspects to Oahu are the plethora of golf courses, the largest open-air shopping center in the world, opulent neighborhoods, Diamond Head State Monument, and a little known place called Waikiki.

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