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On this episode of Hawaii’s Best, Bryan talks with the co-founder and CEO of Shaka Guide, Andrew Fowers. The conversation is a comprehensive Oahu travel guide with some history, highlights, and well-informed travel tips.

With Honolulu as the capital, Oahu has over a million locals and the most visitors every year. It’s the perfect combination of epic surfing, beautiful beaches, and rainforest hikes, all within close distance to each other.

Oahu has so much to offer visitors. The main hub is Honolulu and Waikiki, which are very close together. There is a ton of shopping, numerous hotels, and a ton to do.

East Oahu has Diamond Head (a volcanic tuff cone) which includes a hiking trail and many beautiful natural wonders. On the windward side (rainy side) of the mountains, you’ll find Kailua, a beachy hub with cool cafes, and plenty of green everywhere you look. On the famous North Shore, you’ll find amazing surf competitions, plus epic food trucks, and fun beach towns. On the west side of Oahu, you’ll discover the Kapolei, and in central Oahu where a lot of locals live, you’ll find Pearl Harbor. Each region is incredibly unique.

One spot not everyone knows about is Kaka’ako Chinatown Arts District near downtown Honolulu, which has art murals, new incredible restaurants, and other hidden gems.

Vacation rentals are legal in Waikiki and some parts of Turtle Bay, if you’re looking for more of the condo vibe, and need a kitchen during your stay.

If you’re a first-time visitor to Oahu, check out Pearl Harbor Memorial and nearby Aviation Museum, get the Dole Whip at the Dole Plantation, and drive to the North Shore and stop in as many spots as possible – including legendary beaches like Bonsai Pipeline where you’ll probably catch surfers catching waves us regular people can only dream about.

Visit the Polynesian Culture Center and consider viewing their park; they have a luau and night show that you don’t want to miss. Check out Kualoa Ranch where they filmed Jurassic Park, and tour Iolani Palace to.

Make sure to check out Shaka Guide’s Circle Island tour for the best way to get the most out of your trip to Oahu!

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Bryan Murphy
Bryan Murphy

Bryan Murphy, owner of Hawaii’s Best Travel, is a certified Hawaii destination expert from the Hawaii Visitors Bureau. He actively participates in the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau as a member and has a strong educational background focused on local culture and sustainability. As the host of “Hawaii’s Best Travel,” a top-30 US travel podcast, Bryan combines his years of experience with valuable insights. He connects with a broad online community, reaching nearly half a million people, and offers a richer, more responsible way to experience Hawaii.