The third largest island is home to the majority of Hawaii’s diverse population, a fusion of East and West cultures rooted in the values and traditions of the native Hawaiian people.
This is an island of activity. Whether you’re learning to surf in legendary Waikiki, hiking through the rich rainforests of Waimea Valley, or watching the brilliant pastels of dusk fade off of Sunset Beach, you’ll find variety at every turn on Oahu.
Hawaii’s state fish is the humuhumunukunukuapuaa.
Duke Kahanamoku surfed here. Royal Hawaiian estates stood here. King Kamehameha himself once lived here. Today, this world famous stretch of beach is an exhilarating gathering place for visitors from around the world.
Home to the State Capitol, Honolulu is the vibrant epicenter of Hawaii. Here you’ll find everything from historic buildings and treasured monuments to world-class shopping and a flourishing arts and culture scene.
Set beneath the towering green slopes of the Koolau mountains, the Windward side offers a scenic alternative to Waikiki, with it’s dramatic ocean views, quiet beaches, and lush vistas. Watch acrobatic dolphins and clever penguins (yes, penguins) at Sea Life Park.
This fabled coast is legendary for its perfect winter waves and professional surf competitions. When the waves are tamer during the summer, the beaches offer peaceful places to swim and sunbathe. You can see seven authentically recreated South Pacific islands at the Polynesian Cultural Center or watch pro surfers charge 20 to 30 foot winter waves at Waimea Bay, Banzai Pipeline, and Sunset Beach .
The fertile central valley between the Waianae mountains and Koolau range offers a peak into Oahu’s plantation past. Historic Pearl Harbor, the largest natural harbor in Hawaii, sits to the south.
O'ahu's largest city, Honolulu ("protected bay" in Hawaiian), is also the largest city in Hawai‘i, the county seat, the state capital, and the center of business and industry in the Islands
Average temperatures on O'ahu range from 68 to 89 degrees Fahrenheit, year-round. Coastal rainfall averages 23 inches per year.
O'ahu hosts several major festivals throughout the year, which fully illustrate Hawaii's famed ethnic diversity: Chinese New Year is celebrated on the lunar new year, usually in late January or early February; the Honolulu Festival, which celebrates Hawaii's ties with Japan, takes place in March; the week-long "We Are Samoa" celebration is in May; the King Kamehameha Day Floral Parade takes to the streets in June, and the month-long Aloha Festivals celebration kicks off in September.
Medically Underserved Areas
Of all of the islands, O'ahu has the best access to health care. It does however have Medically Underserved Areas. These areas include Waianae, Koolau Loa, Waimanalo, the Kalihi-Palama section of Honolulu, and Waikiki.
This island is served by a Critical Access Hospital and five Community Health Centers that are elligible to recruit NHSC clinicians and J-1 Visa health professionals.