Some would think that all Hawaii has to offer are gorgeous sandy beaches and clear azure seas. They wouldn’t be that far from the truth, though there is so much more to see and do on the Hawaiian Islands. Come along with us on a visit to the most populous Hawaiian island Oahu, where, other than swimming, you can also visit the famous Pearl Harbor, the capital Honolulu, surfing towns or the breathtaking countryside and waterfalls. 

The Hawaiian Islands were created by volcanic activity not too long ago – only a few million years back. The Islands are also the most remote U.S. state, located in the middle of the ocean. Which is why staying in Hawaii is so expensive. Everything has to be transferred to the islands from far away and that costs money. Nevertheless, the Hawaiian Islands are an extraordinary destination and a real paradise on Earth.

Výhled z Diamond Head, Oahu, Havaj

Wonderful view of the endless ocean

A little about the history

The first inhabitants of the islands were the Polynesians, who settled in Hawaii in 1000 AD. The first European to visit the islands was James Cook in the 18th century, who died on the islands during the fights with the natives. For long decades, there have been clashes between Western civilization and the Polynesians, before the United States succeeded in adding the Hawaiian Islands to its territory in 1898.

Practical advice

It’s important to know that the only way to get around the island is by car. Since Hawaii is one of the U.S. states and Americans are famous for their car culture, don’t count on being able to move a finger without a car. Fortunately, you can rent a car right at the airport (we recommend  or and honestly, public transport works quite well in Honolulu. In terms of accommodation, staying in hotels (even the cheapest ones) is still pretty expensive, but we luckily found a hotel for the good price – Ala Moana Hotel by Mantra. If you are thinking about reducing your budget, there is a possibility of camping and cooking. And because you are actually still on the U.S. territory, you can still enjoy your meals in various fast food restaurants.

Noční Waikiki, Oahu, Havaj

Our view from the balcony – night Honolulu

During a visit to Hawaii, it would be a shame to see only one island, as each one is completely different. We have decided to not only visit Oahu but also Big Island, which is completely unique because of its countryside. In this article, we’ll however only focus on Oahu and its beauty.

1. Waikiki beach 

When visiting the capital city – Honolulu – you’ll experience the atmosphere of the real Hawaii. Even though the city is modern and full of glass skyscrapers, you are still going to be feeling somewhat exotic. And what kind of tourist would you be if you didn’t visit the famous Waikiki beach, located directly in the city. The beach, which is known for its azure sea and nearby high-rise skyscrapers, is also full of surfers. Groups of passers-by surround the piers and admire the new tricks of youngsters playing in the waves. The white sand is actually brought to the beach from far-away California because it is often washed away by the sea. Originally, very sharp volcanic rocks covered the beach, which is why the city government tries to deliver the soft white sand from other locations.

Check the Best hotel offer for Honolulu or use our Free travel credit at Airbnb.

Pláž Waikiki v Honolulu na Oahu, Havaj

Waikiki Beach is the most famous beach in all of Hawaii

Surfování na Havaji

In good weather Waikiki beach is full of surfers

2. Pearl Harbor 

The harbour is being used as a base of the United States Navy. It is known especially for the events that happened in 1941 and thanks to which the Americans entered World War II. Because of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, many lost their lives and the incident has become an infamous part of American History. The visit to the harbour will take you an entire day, so make sure you have enough time for the excursion. There is also a short video about the events of 1941 available, as well as the opportunity to visit the sunken ship Arizona, which is still underwater to this day. You can also visit the war submarine Bowfin, or the warship Missouri or the Combat Aircraft Museum – all of World War II. Tickets for the individual attractions are purchased separately, so you can choose what you want to see – depending on your time.  Alternatively, you can buy an official full-day ticket to all parts of the museum, which is the cheapest option.

Ponorka Bowfin, Pearl Harbour, Oahu, Havaj

Pearl Harbor – A retired Bowfin submarine from the 2nd War World

Pearl Harbour, Oahu, Havaj

Memorial for death on Pearl Harbor port

eva_profilPrepare to encounter “vog”, which is a Hawaiian name for volcanic fog. The word was created by combining the words fog and volcanic. We were able to experience the mist during the rainy weather when it was impossible to see a step ahead of us. Thanks to the volcanic gases mixed with the gases in the atmosphere, my head hurt very badly for several days. So more sensitive people are possibly having problems.

3. Diamond head 

Diamond Head is an extinct cone-shaped volcano, located near the capital Honolulu. The name “diamond head” was given to it by the English sailors. Shimmering stones used to be often found on its slopes mistakenly thought to be diamonds. The stone was actually calcite. The extinct volcano also used to serve the army, who made it into Fort Ruger. Currently, the volcano offers visitors absolutely unique views of the surrounding countryside – you can enjoy the spectacular views of the city of Honolulu and overlook the open sea. Stairs lead to the mountaintop and you can visit the deserted military shelters that served as cover for soldiers. Today, it is one of the best Oahu Instagram spots.

How to get to the top of Diamond Head? The trail starts from the visitor centre at the bottom of the crater, which can be reached on foot from the nearest bus stop at Kapiolani Community College, but the easiest way to do this is to find a tour around Honolulu, which includes a stop at Diamond Head.

Celé Honolulu

View of Honolulu from the nearby volcano Diamond Head

Schody na Diamond Head

Stairs leading to the top of the Diamond Head volcano

4. Manoa Falls

An amazing waterfall, inviting visitors to take a dip, is located in the middle of a tropical rainforest – getting there takes about an hour. Along the road, the visitors can admire the gorgeous plants and trees, which grow all the way to the waterfall. Footage from these locations was actually used for films such as the Jurassic Park or the show Lost. The waterfall creates a small pond around itself where you can take a dip, but only at your own risk.

Vodopád Manoa Falls

High waterfall Manoa Falls

5. Haleiwa 

You certainly shouldn’t miss a visit to the north coast of the island where Haleiwa is located. As soon as you leave the bustling city of Honolulu, the real exotic atmosphere overtakes you. Haleiwa is a place where the Hawaiian culture mixes with a passion for surfing. The local stores, specialities and little boutiques with souvenirs offer you the opportunity to take a small piece of Hawaii home with you. Small American-style historic houses won’t leave you hanging and will get you in the right mood. The best way to get to Haleiwa is by car. But if you do not have it, another option to visit the famous North Shore is to pay for a day tour from Honolulu.

If you don’t know where you should stay on Ohau, check out these tips for Honolulu, Ko Olina, and the North Shore.


Historická Havaj - Haleiwa

Historic Center Haleiwa

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