OAHU "THE GATHERING PLACE"

Oahu is the third largest island in the Hawaiian chain, encompassing 597 square miles. This is, by far, Hawaii's most populous island, with more than 875,000 people (75 percent) of the state's total population calling Oahu home.

Oahu is where visitors come when they want it all: Aloha spirit and an Aloha Tower. A "Diamond" Head and a "Pearl" Harbor. A luau poi bowl and the NFL Pro Bowl. Five-star restaurants and a million-star skyline. Kitsch and Cartier. Big waves and "Tiny Bubbles."

Honolulu ("sheltered bay"), Hawaii's capital and largest city, is where you'll find the state's principal port, major airport, and business and financial center. From herbal remedies in Chinatown and historical artifacts at the Bishop Museum to paying homage to our war heroes at the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial, there is much to do and see in Honolulu.

For a taste of Oahu at its rugged best, head to the North Shore, a 20-mile stretch of coastline from Ka‘ena Point to Turtle Bay. Stroll through the funky town of Hale‘iwa and its colorful assortment of surf shops, boutiques, art galleries and eateries. A favorite stop here is Matsumoto's Shave Ice, a venerable landmark that serves the icy treat in a glorious rainbow of flavors. Each winter, the North Shore becomes the center of the surfing universe, with up to 25-foot waves challenging the sport's best and bravest.

Heading east, pristine Hanauma Bay remains one of the state's most popular and widely photographed attractions. And just minutes away are other perennial favorites such as Sandy Beach, the Blow Hole and Sea Life Park.

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