The Hawaiian islands are so incredibly beautiful and diverse that it makes it difficult to choose just one to call home. Oahu, though, has the ultimate blend of town and country - access to the benefits of city life while sweeping valleys and wide-open spaces are still close by. In a matter of minutes you can transport yourself from a 46-story highrise to a beach with only a few other sunbathers or a hike that makes you feel like you’re the only human left on the island. Oahu is the right place for you.
5. The Food. My Heavens, the Food.
Whether you are planning to grab a plate lunch at Helena’s Hawaiian Food or are dressed to the nines to dine at Alan Wong’s, there is no shortage of fabulous restaurant options on Oahu. Seafood, of course, is freshly caught and prepared expertly at Nico’s Pier 38, Asian favorites can’t be beat at Ethel’s Grill, and ethnic foods can be found in many places on the island, from Vietnamese at The Pig and the Lady to Indian at Cafe Maharani. New restaurants like Mud Hen Water are bringing in crowds with their unique menus, too. And please don’t miss Leonard’s Bakery!
4. Paradise - Complete With Top-of-the-Line Healthcare Facilities
Let’s be honest, we could all see ourselves living out our retirement years on a beautiful, secluded, tropical island. It sounds divine, until you realize there would be no place to refill that prescription and no one to care for emergent medical needs.
Here on Oahu, we have three major medical facilities, staffed by professionals at the top of their fields:
Kapiolani Medical Center is a not-for-profit teaching hospital that provides exceptional care for Hawaii’s women, infants, and children while also engaging in extensive community outreach programs.
Queens Medical Center, a non-profit acute medical care facility, is the leading medical referral center in the Pacific Basin.
Oahu is also home to the Pacific Region’s only multi-disciplinary burn treatment center at Straub Medical Center, another not-for-profit facility that provides healthcare in over 32 different medical specialties. With a strong history of backing by the Hawaiian monarchy and those who care deeply for Hawaii’s people, these facilities provide peace of mind for Oahu’s residents.
3. The Economy is Thriving!
With over 600,000 people employed on Oahu and a lower unemployment rate than the national average, Oahu’s economic situation is doing well, and is projected to continue to prosper. Tourism is the top industry in the state, with the service industry boasting 90% of the state’s gross product.
Agriculture is also a strong presence. Oahu is the second largest producer of sugar cane in the U.S. and the top producer of pineapples. Flowers, coffee, and macadamia nuts add to the almost $3 billion industry, which is responsible for over 42,000 jobs state-wide.
Aside from the comfort factor of having all branches of the military represented here on Oahu, the military contributes greatly to Hawaii’s economy as well, averaging about $6.5 billion a year in expenditures in Hawaii and totaling almost 20% of Hawaii’s Gross Domestic Product.
As the seat of Hawaii’s state government, Oahu offers many opportunities for those who are interested in being involved in the legislative process to campaign, lobby, give testimony, and otherwise participate in our active democratic society. There are even many ways for teens to be involved - from interning with senators and congressmen to participating in intensive workshops, like Teen Pact, held right in the state government facilities.
2. The Local Arts Scene Has Something For Everyone
World-class music performed live by the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra is always a treat. The Honolulu Museum of Art and Spaulding House have unique and varied exhibits that rotate regularly and can always promise an interesting visit.
The Bishop Museum, our local natural history/science museum with its own planetarium, is a hit with children and adults alike, and features a world-class exhibit on the history of the Hawaiian islands. First Fridays and Third Thursdays in Chinatown and a host of local galleries really spice up life here on Oahu as well.
Kaka’ako is home to Art + Flea, a monthly market that hosts over 60 local and independent artists, designers, and collectors, and has a strong focus on connecting the community with the creativity of the vendors. If you’re looking for a place you can pop into on a regular basis, Paiko is a unique shop that incorporates both live and artistic botanical creations with educational opportunities about sustainability, local sourcing, and design.
1. The Great Outdoors Has Never Looked Greater - Endless Hiking, Secluded Beaches, & Epic Surf Spots Abound!
Hiking on Oahu is a different experience than anywhere else in the world. From the tallest point on island at Mount Ka’ala, you can see from the North Shore to Pearl Harbor. Spend an afternoon traversing up Moanalua Middle Ridge to the Ko’olau Ridge Trail, or pop up Pu’u Ma’ele’ele for a quick overlook of Kaneohe Bay. On a hot day, you can hike out to any number of waterfalls, from Likeke Falls to Manoa Falls to Maunawili Falls, all on different parts of the island.
If the rush of hiking isn’t up your alley, you can easily spend a day at any of the beautiful botanical gardens on island. Lyon Arboretum has friendly and informative guides available daily, you can find a lovely pond and many native plant species at Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens, and Foster Botanical Gardens is a gem tucked right into downtown Honolulu.
Oahu boasts beautiful beaches also, and still has a few that are tucked away. Kawela Bay, Yokohama Bay, Pokai Beach, Makua Beach, and Halona Beach Cove are some of my favorites.
Looking for a spot to catch a wave, though? No short supply of surfing beaches here! The South Shore enjoys great summer surfing, especially at beaches like Cliffs, Concessions and Big Rights, and Courts. And everyone’s heard of the famous North Shore winter breaks - Pipeline, Laniakea, Sunset. Even if you don’t intend to set foot on a surfboard, you can sit for hours and watch the experts hang ten.
Ready to Live the Hawaii Life?
Oahu is a dream come true, and where I make my home with my family. Contact me today and let me help you begin to live your Hawaii Life!