Destination guide

Say aloha to your vacation rental on Hawaii's O'ahu Island

Whether you want to be in a smart condo at the centre of the action in Waikiki, or hole up in a big old rental house with your friends on the quieter North Shore – within easy reach of epic waves – there's a vacation rental waiting for you on O'ahu. Set down your suitcases, change into a floral shirt, and get exploring! O'ahu, nicknamed "The Gathering Place," features vibrant urban areas, sprawling pineapple plantations, and of course, golden sandy beaches that are a winner with families and couples alike.


The most visited historical site on O'ahu, the sobering USS Arizona Memorial marks the final resting place of over 1,100 Marines and sailors who died in the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Built in 1962, the memorial can only be reached by boat. The serene Valley of the Temples Memorial Park on the eastern side of O'ahu features both a Buddhist temple and Catholic statues, while in downtown Honolulu, tours let you peek inside the ʻIolani Palace, the former royal residence of Kingdom of Hawaii rulers.

Things to do

Top activities for your O'ahu vacation rental

Summer is a state of mind in O'ahu, and even in winter, you might find daredevils taking on the monstrous waves on the North Shore. See what the fuss is about in bustling Waikiki, a beachfront strip in Honolulu where travellers congregate for water sports and nightlife. Luaus and evening shows are on offer at the Polynesian Cultural Center, where you can also watch live performances and arts and crafts demonstrations. If you'd rather go on a historical field trip, head for Pearl Harbor and visit the USS Arizona Memorial. Of course, you can always get off the beaten track and make for the quiet, secluded beaches.


Sightseeing in and around Oahu

Do you want to find attractions to visit while you're in town? Venture out of your vacation home and experience everything that makes Oahu a fun place to get away. Here are some of the major attractions to see, all within 30 miles (48.2 km) of the city center:

  • Wet'n'Wild Hawaii (11.9 mi / 19.1 km)
  • Honolulu Zoo (15.8 mi / 25.5 km)
  • Waikiki Aquarium (16.1 mi / 25.9 km)
  • Sea Life Park (21.6 mi / 34.8 km)
  • Mililani Golf Club (3.9 mi / 6.3 km)
  • Waikele Golf Club (4.7 mi / 7.5 km)

Seasonal weather averages in Oahu

Travelers speak highly of Oahu for its surfing. If warm-weather activities are high on your list, September, August, October and July are the hottest months to visit, when temperatures average 83°F.

Natural features

Exploring the beaches and other natural features in Oahu

Oahu is famous for its beautiful ocean views and breathtaking sunsets. Whether you're looking for fun outdoor activities or just want to spend some time taking in the scenery, you'll be sure to find the perfect setting for your vacation in Oahu. Here are a few of the area's most eye-catching sights, all within 30 miles (48.2 km) of the city center:

  • Diamond Head (16.9 mi / 27.1 km)
  • Banzai Pipeline (15.4 mi / 24.8 km)
  • Kailua Beach (15.8 mi / 25.4 km)
  • Lanikai Beach (16.6 mi / 26.6 km)
  • Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve (21.4 mi / 34.4 km)
  • Wahiawa Freshwater State Recreation Area (4.7 mi / 7.5 km)
How to get there

Traveling to and around Oahu

The nearest airport is in Honolulu, HI (HNL-Daniel K. Inouye Intl.), located 9.1 mi (14.7 km) from the city center. If you can't find a flight that works for your travel itinerary, you might consider flying into Kapolei, HI (JRF-Kalaeloa), which is 12.3 mi (19.8 km) away.

How to get around

Navigating public transit from O'ahu vacation rentals

If you're travelling to Hawaii, you'll most likely touch down at Honolulu's Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, the main international gateway to the Aloha State. You can rent a car to get around O'ahu, particularly if the North Shore is on your itinerary or if you're staying in a remote place outside the cities. Otherwise, the island's TheBus network will take you to most towns and points of interest. There's a trolley system and a bikeshare program, too.

Food & drink 

Eat like a local during your O'ahu vacation rental stay

A plate lunch is a quintessential Hawaiian meal; it features 2 scoops of white rice, a side of macaroni salad, and an entree. Try the "loco moco" variant, which has a fried egg and a burger patty drenched in brown gravy. Poke is a raw fish salad with chopped onions and seasoning, while Spam musubi is simpler and more kid-friendly: it's rice and a Spam slice, wrapped in nori. You can try several Hawaiian dishes at once at a luau, which typically also features hula dances and other cultural entertainment.

Essential info

Facts to remember when staying in O'ahu vacation rentals

O'ahu is the third largest island in Hawaii, and you'll find the state capital, Honolulu, on its southeast coast. A pair of shield volcanoes, the Wai‘anae and Ko‘olau Ranges, make up the island, which is 71 km long and 48 km wide. O'ahu's population is around 980,000, and the official languages spoken are Hawaiian and English. Local etiquette dictates that you take off your footwear when entering an islander's home, and don't take or even move rocks from the national parks. As in the continental US, tipping is customary.

How many vacation rentals are available around O'ahu?

Our 2020 vacation rental listings offer a large selection of 4,775 house rentals around O'ahu. From 902 Houses to 2,650 Condos/Apartments, find unique vacation rental for you to enjoy a memorable holiday or a weekend with your family and friends. The best place to stay around O'ahu is on HomeAway.

What are the most popular destinations to visit in O'ahu?

There are many lovely places to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in O'ahu. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular destinations to visit are:

  • Waikiki: 2,361 vacation rentals
  • Honolulu: 3,246 vacation rentals
  • Ko Olina: 532 vacation rentals
  • Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort: 98 vacation rentals
  • Turtle Bay Resort: 152 vacation rentals

And HomeAway offers you the chance to discover many other popular destinations in O'ahu! Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available in other popular destinations.

What are the main cities to discover in O'ahu?

Whether you're travelling with family or friends, here are the cities with the largest selection of vacation rentals for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in O'ahu:

  • Honolulu: 3,246 rentals
  • Kapolei: 847 rentals
  • Haleiwa: 771 rentals
  • Kahuku: 632 rentals
  • Laie: 613 rentals

For other cities, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

Near which points of interest can I spend my holiday in O'ahu?

HomeAway offers a large selection of lodging choices near lovely places in O'ahu. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Diamond Head State Monument: 2,627 vacation homes
  • Fort DeRussy: 3,888 vacation homes
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa: 3,347 vacation homes
  • Ala Moana Center: 3,919 vacation homes
  • Hickam Air Force Base: 4,162 vacation homes

But there are many other points of interest around O'ahu listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Just write your wanted destination in our search bar and have a look at our selection.

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