Since getting married I’ve been wanting to take my wife on a Hawaii vacation. Back in 2003 I lived in Hawaii as a student at Brigham Young University-Hawaii (BYU-H). So I’m familiar with the island of Oahu. But I’ve never been to Hawaii as a tourist. So I did a little bit of research to learn where to stay and what to see during a week long vacation.
Where To Stay On The North Shore of Oahu
When it comes to enjoying Hawaii my preference is to experience the slow pace island life. The best place for this is the North Shore. The North Shore, unlike Honolulu or Waikiki, has that small town island feel. There are two places to stay when staying on this part of Oahu. The most popular place to stay is Turtle Bay Resort. At Turtle Bay Resort there is a spa, golfing, and access to many of the activities that makes the North Shore of Hawaii famous. However, my preference of places to stay is the Courtyard by Marriott Oahu North Shore. It costs less than Turtle Bay Resort. Also, it is right next to the main attraction on the North Shore which is The Polynesian Culture Center (PCC). Staying at this Marriot you will find that the beach is right across the street where you will often have the beach to yourself (unlike Waikiki Beach). A third option for a place to stay is to look up what Airbnb offers. Currently, Airbnb lists various accommodations that range from small rooms starting at $60 a night to homes that accommodate big groups starting at $3,000 a night.
What To Do On Oahu
The main tourist attraction on the North Shore is The Polynesian Culture Center (PCC). It’s easy to spend an entire day at the PCC. The PCC offers the opportunity to visit cultural villages where you can experience the different cultures of Polynesia. The PCC’s Breath of Life Show is not to be missed. It has over 100 live Polynesian dancers performing and telling a Pacific isle saga of birth and death, love and family, tragedy and triumph. As a student at BYU-H I attended this show with low expectations, but was over whelmed by how good it was.
On the south end of Oahu I would strongly recommend visiting Hanauma Bay. Hanauma Bay is the next most popular beach outside of Waikiki. Here you will find an amazing snorkeling experience being able to see marine life in their habitat. If you’re staying on the North Shore it’s about an hour and twenty minute drive. Perfect for a day trip. If your staying around Waikiki it’s about a 25 minute drive.
Pearl Harbor is an important place to visit when on Oahu. Located here is The USS Arizona Memorial. “The USS Arizona Memorial is built over the remains of the sunken battleship USS Arizona, the final resting place for many of the 1,177 crewmen killed on December 7, 1941 when their ship was bombed by the Japanese Naval Forces.” When coming to Oahu this is an important place to visit to be reminded of the sacrifices that were made for the freedoms we enjoy. If you have children with you during your trip to Hawaii, this is an excellent place to go to teach them about the history of WWII.
Oahu is a great place for your first time to Hawaii. The PCC on the North Shore will give you an overview of what Polynesia is all about. For subsequent visits to Hawaii you can then explore other islands such as the Big Island (Hawaii), Maui, and Kauai.
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