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Island of Oahu (O'ahu)

  About Oahu:
  *  "The Gathering Place"
  *  Island color: Yellow
  *  Island flower: Ilima
  *  Area: 597 sq. miles
  *  Population: 863,100
  *  County: Honolulu
  *  Highest Point: Kaala

The Island of Oahu is the third largest in area and most populated of the islands, where approximately 75% of the state's total population lives.  It is home to the state capital, Honolulu; the world's most famous beach, Waikiki; the Pacific commands of the U.S. Military, including Pearl Harbor; and world class surf beaches along the north and west shores, in particular.

Oahu's local government is the City and County of Honolulu, which includes the island of Oahu and most of the leeward islands, making Honolulu the largest city in the world! (in area)

Waikiki and Pearl Harbor are our best known landmarks, but there are more things to see and do on Hawaii's most populated island.

Click for Honolulu, Hawaii Forecast

Oahu Island Map

Quick Links - Oahu
Articles of Interest
Capitol Tour
Honolulu Zoo 
Mark Twain's Hawaii 
Ocean Safety 
Pearl Harbor 
'Ohana Pages  Web Directory

Visitor Info:
| Getting Around | Maps & Tours | Restaurant Guides | What to see & do
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Related Information

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Beaches, Surfing and Ocean Safety

Oahu is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, with Waikiki only the most famous. The North Shore of Oahu gets some of the highest waves in the world during the winter months and is home to many surfing competitions. At any time of year, visitors and newcomers are well advised to check conditions and remain alert whenever in or near the water. Our strong currents and rogue waves claim several lives each year.  More:  Beaches/Water Activities; Ocean Safety.


Reportedly the densest population center in the US after Manhattan, this six square miles was once rich agricultural land and a popular surfing and recreation area for ali'i (Hawaiian royalty). Today it is probably the most famous beach in the world, attracting several million visitors a year in addition to its resident population of approximately 20,000. Top attractions:  Honolulu Zoo; Waikiki Aquarium; Diamond Head.


Honolulu is the state capital, housing the only capitol rotunda and dome open to the sky, as well as the only royal palace in the United States. Hawaii's population is concentrated here, and it is the economic, political, health and education center of the islands, also home to the Pacific Commands of the US Military.  More:  Tour the Capitol; Government Info; Economic Info; Military Info.

Pearl Harbor

The attack on the U.S. military installations on the island of Oahu in 1941 brought the United States into World War II. In addition to many war memorials, including our most visited attraction, the Arizona Memorial, Honolulu is now the home of the USS Missouri, the battleship on which the Japanese surrender was accepted to end the war.  More: Pearl Harbor.

Visitor Industry

Tourism is the largest industry in Hawaii accounting for about 25% of gross state product and 30% of jobs. As much as 90% of our annual visitors spend at least some time on Oahu. Our first travel writer was probably Mark Twain, who visited the islands in 1866. His word pictures provide a rare first-hand view of island life at the time and his writings sparked the initial interest in visiting the islands. Early visitors came to the islands on cruise ships, which remain a vital part of our visitor industry.  More: Visitor Info; Mark Twain's Hawaii.


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