Almost three quarters of Hawaii’s population live on OAHU, which has monopolized the islands’ trade and tourism since European sailors realized that Honolulu offered the safest in-shore anchorage for thousands of miles. Well over half of all visitors to Hawaii arrive in Honolulu, and many remain for their entire vacation. Oahu effectively confines tourists to the tower-block enclave of Waikiki, just east of downtown Honolulu; there are few rooms anywhere else.

While over-development makes it hard to recommend Oahu over its neighbours, it can still give a real flavour of Hawaii. Oahu has some excellent beaches, with those on the North Shore a haven for surfers and campers, and the cliffs of the windward side are awesome.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

USA features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Weird America: 9 of the USA's most bizarre traditions

Weird America: 9 of the USA's most bizarre traditions

Despite being a relatively young nation – at just 240 years old – America has developed its fair share of traditions. Most of us are familiar with the big h…

24 Nov 2017 • Helen Abramson insert_drive_file Article
King of the road: on the Civil Rights Trail through America’s south

King of the road: on the Civil Rights Trail through America’s south

Next year marks 50 years since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr and also the launch of a new Civil Rights Trail through the USA's south. On a road …

16 Nov 2017 • Ella Buchan local_activity Special feature
Video: a brief history of the American road trip

Video: a brief history of the American road trip

We dug into the visual archives of yore to bring you a brief history of the American road trip. From the first coast-to-coast car voyage in the USA to today…

10 Nov 2017 • Colt St. George videocam Video
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook