O`AHU; The Gathering Place. HONOLULU, the business center of paradise. Read the basic facts about Oahu (Wiki) HERE.
Consult the Oahu calendar of scheduled public events HERE
IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE. As beautiful and tranquil as Hawaii's beaches and rocky cliffs -- very tempting to would-be divers -- may be, STAY A SAFE DISTANCE AWAY FROM ALL BUT OUR DESIGNATED BEACHES WITH SWIMMING AREAS AND A LIFEGUARD TOWER! The Pacific Ocean can suddenly change from flat to deadly in the blink of an eye and many unsuspecting people are routinely swept off rocks and out to sea -- or dashed to bits on the sharp rocks. And then there are Hawaii's sharks. STAY WITHIN THE DESIGNATED SWIMMING AREAS!
A local perspective on O`ahu ...
There are only four counties in our small state; Honolulu, Hawai`i (AKA "The Big Island"), Maui and Kauai. Little Lanai is in Maui County. If you get to Maui, try take at least a day trip to Lanai and enjoy the short ferry ride past the island of Molokai, "The Friendly Island."
Don't despair about Honolulu's "butt ugly" airport as it's been described by one prominent local architect. Try ignore all the concrete and pretend you're arriving at the airport in 1956.
Honolulu Airport 1956
Because Hawaii is "the wealthiest state per capita in the US," there are some drop-dead beautiful old estates that rival anything anywhere -- such as Doris Duke's Shangri La. If you want to visit in person, book your tour WAY ahead. Or enjoy a state-of-the-art virtual tour HERE. Doris really knew how to live.
I once saw Ms. Duke in the original Hula's Bar & Lei Stand with Imelda Marcos and again with Tab Hunter together with the late Russian ballet dancerRudolph Nureyev. As I said, Doris really knew how to live.
If you want to learn about Hawaiian history, begin with the Iolani Palace tour, the formal home of Hawaii's last Queen, Liliuokalani. Her more modest and actual residence, Washington Place is nearby and open to the public. The Queen's brother, King David Kalakaua built the palace and during the course of a world tour in 1881, the King arranged to meet the inventor of the light bulb, Thomas Edison, in New York. Soon Iolani Palace had electricity and a telephone, both before the Whitehouse!
On your way to Washington place, walk through the remarkable Hawai`i State Capitol building. Don't miss the large bronze sculpture of the Queen on the Makai (towards the ocean) side and a very contemporary statue of Father Damien (now Saint Damien) of Molokai on the Mauka (towards the mountains) side.
Hawai`i State Capitol Building
Crown Princess Victoria Kaiulani was the Queen's niece and the designated heir to the throne at the time of the overthrow of the peaceful Kingdom of Hawai`i. She was sent to her father's home in Scotland to keep her out of harms way and the letters between these two strong women are a fascinating read. "The Peacock Princess" was one of the most beautiful women in the world and entertained a virtual who's who of the world at her legendary 10-acre estate in Waikiki; Āinahau. Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island) and Mark Twain enjoyed Princess Kaiulani's hospitality. Āinahau is no more, gone with the overdevelopment of old Waikiki but look for her bronze statue near the original site.