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Oahu | Top Scenic Spots

Oahu is everything. It doesn't have the complete calmness you'll find on Molokai or in some parts of Kauai but it has a mix of the old Hawaii in its small towns and beaches and even the ancient Hawaii in its sacred valleys and temples.

Recognized for its' surfing, Oahu itself has over 125 beaches and 100 designated surf spots. Honolulu, the capital with a population of almost 400,000, the Pacific's financial centre, and famous surf spot, is on the south side just west of Pearl Harbor. On the west side of Honolulu is Diamond Head, part of a series of volcanic cones and home to a National Guard facility that resides within the crater. Diamond Head is a noted place to hike and surf. Tucked in behind Diamond Head in the Honolulu Watershed Forest, then further north is the Koolau Mountain Range with the Nu'uanu Pali Lookout overlooking the 985-foot cliffs. At Nu'uanu Pali on the wayside, above the tunnels, is a panoramic view of the Oahu Coast and on the windward side is a view of Kanohe and Kailua. Nu'unau Pali is perhaps more famous for the superstitious beliefs it's associated with. Two large stones at Hapu'u and Ka-lae-hau-old represent the two goddesses who guard the passage, it's commonplace to present them with different offerings. Kaniakapupu, the summer palace of King Kamehameha III, although now in ruins is historic site to see.

Along the coast, to the west of Diamond Head is Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, both a nature preserve and marine conservation district that attracts over 3 million visitors each year. Hanauma's protected environment offers some of the best snorkeling and diving you can find on the island, it's your opportunity to explore some of the same beauty that you may find in less populated spots such as Molokai or along the Na Pali Coast in Kauai directly on Oahu.