Culture Lover’s Guide to Oahu
Oahu may be best known for its sunshine and beaches, but the island also has plenty of cultural offerings. Whether you’re a passionate food lover or more into art and museums, here’s how to soak up some of Oahu’s culture.
Attend a Luau
To truly experience Hawaiian culture, attend a luau, a traditional feast that combines dishes such as Kalua pork and poi (taro root paste) with fire-knife dancing and hula. Luaus can be found all over the island, including at the Polynesian Cultural Center and Polynesia, which is also home to cultural exhibits and interactive activities.
Check out the Museums
Oahu is home to a number of interesting museums and galleries. Must-visits include the Bishop Museum, noted for its colossal collection of artefacts, photos, and documents about Hawaii; Iolani Palace, the former residence of the last two monarchs of the Hawaiian Kingdom; and the Honolulu Museum of Art, with more than 30,000 works of art.
Learn to Surf
Surfing was said to have originated on Oahu. Today, it’s still plays a big part in local culture and is a way of life for many residents. Learn to surf on beginner waves at Waikiki and then learn more about surfing history and Duke Kahanamoku, the father of modern surfing, at Duke’s Waikiki. Alternatively, stay dry and watch the pros tackle huge waves on the North Shore.
Go on a Food Tour
Oahu’s cuisine is a rich and diverse blend of flavors, with influences from Polynesia, the Philippines, Portugal, China, and Japan. Take a food tasting tour to sample the range of flavors and learn more about the island’s culinary history. Or, sample local fruits such as pineapple and mango at their source on a plantation tour.