Oahu Regions | Go Hawaii


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Oʻahu Regions

Home to the majority of Hawaiʻi’s population plus a wealth of activities and attractions, the island of Oʻahu is carved into five distinct and dynamic regions: Honolulu, the Windward Coast, Central Oʻahu, the Leeward Coast and the North Shore. While most visitors spend the majority of their time in Honolulu and Waikīkī, there are hidden treasures of Hawaiʻi’s past and present waiting to be discovered throughout the island. From the laid-back surfer culture of Haleʻiwa and the North Shore to the lush valleys and scenic panoramas of the Windward Coast. 

A fusion of modern and historic, and town and country, O‘ahu welcomes you with FIVE DISTINCT REGIONS that offer an endless variety of activities with the ease of connections on our public transportation system. Explore the urban excitement of Waikīkī and Downtown Honolulu, along with serene coastal towns, hidden valleys, emerald pali (cliffs), deserted shorelines, and the soaring mountain ranges that flank the Leeward and Windward Coasts. Discover how Native Hawaiians thrived sustainably at Waimea Valley and witness the planet’s best surfers compete for the sport’s ultimate championship on the legendary North Shore. Snorkel off the Leeward Coast, hike beautiful trails in Windward O‘ahu, or explore life on a historic plantation in Central O‘ahu. Wander through ‘Iolani Palace, savor local produce and artisanal foods at farmers’ markets, and dine at some of the world’s finest chef’s tables on the South Shore. World class museums, cultural festivals, and outdoor adventures also await. And since you can access O‘ahu’s cultural and scenic gems via public transportation or shuttle bus tours, you’ll enjoy our island’s riches while reducing your carbon footprint.

Regions of Oʻahu

Kaena Point
Kaʻena Point is a scenic and sacred spot where, legend says, the souls of ancient Hawaiians would jump off into the spirit world to meet the souls of their ancestors.
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Makaha Beach
The most popular beach on the Leeward Coast offers ocean-lovers a long stretch of golden sand to play or relax.
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Haleiwa Town
This laid-back surfer town offers beautiful beaches, tasty local restaurants and food trucks, cool shops and plenty of shave ice.
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Waimea Bay
This beloved beach is popular with locals and visitors alike, and was an influential surf spot during the dawn of big wave surfing in the 1950s.
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Makapuu Point Lighthouse
Hike to this scenic point on Oʻahu’s easternmost tip for incredible views and whale watching during the winter.
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Nuuanu Pali Lookout
Nuʻuanu Pali Lookout is one of Oʻahu’s most popular scenic spots, with panoramic views of the Windward Coast and the Koʻolau Mountains.
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Byodo-In Temple
Valley of the Temples Memorial Park houses Byodo-in, a stunning replica of a Japanese Buddhist Temple set in a lush forest.
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Statue of Duke Kahanamoku, father of modern surfing, on Kuhio Beach, Waikiki
The state capital and largest city in Hawaiʻi, Honolulu is a unique combination of tropical glamour and buzzing international metropolis, where sandy shores meet city streets.
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Central Oʻahu
Pearl Harbor Historic Sites on Oʻahu
Gain a unique perspective on World War II with a visit to Pearl Harbor, or explore the island's agricultural traditions at the Dole pineapple plantation.
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Leeward Coast
Leeward Coast of Oʻahu
This area on Oʻahu's west side is home to rural towns, off-the-beaten-path beaches and one luxurious resort area, Kō Olina.
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North Shore
Oʻahu's North Shore is a popular surf destination
Rub shoulders with champion surfers and laid-back locals on Oʻahu’s North Shore, the big wave surfing capital of the world.
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Windward Coast
Windward Coast of Oʻahu
It’s only a short drive from Honolulu to enjoy the highlights of Oʻahu’s lush Windward Coast, including the peaceful Byodo-in Temple and adventurous Kuaola Ranch.
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Driving Around Oʻahu

Driving Times From Waikīkī To:

  • Honolulu International Airport (HNL): 30 minutes
  • Downtown Honolulu: 15 minutes
  • Pearl Harbor: 30 minutes
  • Haleʻiwa Town: 1 hour
  • Waimea Bay: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Olina Resort: 45 minutes

View the Digital Hawaiian Islands Official Visitors’ Guide

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