Every tourist destination has its attractions. However, because every tourist is different, these attractions have greater or lesser value. In this series Gary gives his reasons for traveling to a particular place. Hopefully some of his thoughts will entice you to consider adding this particular location to your itinerary. The entire series is being categorized under the heading, “Spotlights.” However, you may find more about these locations in the archives of this website, under headings such as, “Great Places,” “Things to Do in,” “Best of,” “Top 10” and “Places of a Lifetime.” In addition, “Walking Tours” of many of these destinations may be available for purchase on the website for the low price of $1.49 each.
The Hawaiian islands are often visualized as a paradise, because of their scenic beauty, their isolation, and their incredible weather. The island of Oahu, the most populated and the typical entry point for tourists is often crowded and busy with travelers and locals, however, there are several marquis attractions which cannot be missed. Be sure to stop in Oahu for at least the following reasons:
1. Travel to Oahu centers around Waikiki Beach, the state’s most popular beach and a perennial member of the “World’s Best Beaches” club. Perhaps the most memorable aspect of Waikiki is its setting, in the shadow of Diamond Head, an extinct volcano just east of downtown Honolulu.
2. The islands are fringed with coral reefs which attract divers from all over the world. For those who are not trained in scuba diving, there are several locations where snorkeling is encouraged. Imagine seeing colorful fish of many different varieties swimming just out of reach below you. This experience is offered at Hanauma Bay Beach Park and should not be missed.
3. In an effort to educate visitors and also to preserve aspects of South Pacific native cultures, the Polynesian Cultural Center opened in 1963 and has been entertaining audiences since then.
4. The most moving experience on Oahu is a visit to Pearl Harbor and a boat ride to the USS Arizona Memorial, which commemorates and memorializes the sinking of the battleship during America’s “Day of Infamy,” December 7, 1941, when the Japanese launched an air attack on the US Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor. Over 900 men are still entombed within the battleship, and oil still oozes from the sunken hull. All Americans should experience the reverence and solemnity of a visit to the memorial.