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|Nickname: The Gathering Place|
Satellite photo of Oʻahu
|Area||596.7 sq mi (1,545 km2)|
|Area rank||3rd largest Hawaiian Island|
|Highest elevation||4,003 ft (1,220.1 m)|
|Population||983,429 (as of 2013)|
|Density||1,636 /sq mi (631.7 /km2)|
In the greatest dimension, this volcanic island is 44 miles (71 km) long and 30 miles (48 km) across. The length of the shoreline is 227 miles (365 km). The island is the result of two separate shield volcanoes: Waiʻanae and Koʻolau, with a broad "valley" or saddle (the central Oʻahu Plain) between them. The highest point is Ka'ala in the Waiʻanae Range, rising to 4,003 feet (1,220 m) above sea level.
IntroductionThe island is home to about 976,199 people (approximately 72% of the resident population of the state, with approximately 81% of those living on the "city" side of the island). Oʻahu has for a long time been known as "The Gathering Place". However, the term Oʻahu has no confirmed meaning in Hawaiian, other than that of the place itself. Ancient Hawaiian tradition attributes the name's origin in the legend of Hawaiʻiloa, the Polynesian navigator credited with discovery of the Hawaiian Islands. The story relates that he named the island after a son.
Residents of Oʻahu refer to themselves as "locals" (as done throughout Hawaiʻi), no matter their ancestry.
The city of Honolulu—largest city, state capital, and main deepwater marine port for the State of Hawaiʻi—is located here. As a jurisdictional unit, the entire island of Oʻahu is in the City & County of Honolulu, although as a place name, Honolulu occupies only a portion of the southeast end of the island.
Well-known features found on Oʻahu include Waikīkī, Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay, Kāneʻohe Bay, Kailua Bay, North Shore.
Being roughly diamond-shaped, surrounded by ocean and divided by mountain ranges, directions on Oʻahu are not generally described with the compass directions found throughout the world. Locals instead use "ewa" (pronounced "eh-va") to mean toward the western tip of the island, "Diamond Head" to be toward the eastern tip, "mauka" (pronounced "moww-ka") is toward the mountains and "makai" toward the sea.
Locals consider the island to be divided into various areas, which may overlap. The most commonly accepted areas are the "City", "Town" or "Town side", which is the metropolitan area from Halawa to the area below Diamond Head (residents of the island north of the Koʻolau Mountains consider the Town Side to be the entire southern half); "West Oʻahu," which goes from Pearl Harbor to Kapolei, Ewa and may include the Makaha and Waianae areas; the "North Shore" (northwestern coast); the "Windward Side" (northeastern coast); the "East Side" (the eastern portion of the island, including both the Windward Side and the area east of Diamond Head; and "The Valley" or "Central Oʻahu" which runs northwest from Pearl Harbor toward Haleiwa. These terms are somewhat flexible, depending on the area in which the user lives, and are used in a mostly general way. Oahu is also known for having the longest rain shower in history with over 200 days spent with continuous rain. Kaneohe Ranch, Oahu, Hawaii reported 247 straight days with rain from August 27, 1993 to April 30, 1994. The island has many nicknames one of them being "rainbow state." This is because rainbows are a common sight in Hawaii due to the frequent rain showers. The average temperature in Oahu is around 70 to 85 degrees and the island is the warmest in June through October. The weather during the winter is cooler, but still warm with the average temperature of 68-78 degrees.
The Windward side, also called the east side, is known for some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Lani Kai meaning "heavenly sea" in Hawaiian, is characterized by the two islands directly in front of Lani Kai beach. Lani Kai Beach is located in a neighborhood within Kailua, on the windward coast of Oahu, Hawaii. This small 1/2 mile beach has been consistently ranked among the best beaches in the world.
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Oʻahu was apparently the first of the Hawaiian Islands sighted by the crew of HMS Resolution on January 19, 1776 during Captain James Cook's third Pacific expedition. Escorted by HMS Discovery, the expedition was surprised to find high islands this far north in the central Pacific. Oʻahu was not actually visited by Europeans until February 28, 1779 when Captain Charles Clerke aboard HMS Resolution stepped ashore at Waimea Bay. Clerke had taken command of the ship after Capt. Cook was killed at Kealakekua Bay (island of Hawaiʻi) on February 14, and was leaving the islands for the North Pacific.
The Imperial Japanese Navy attack on Pearl Harbor, Oʻahu on the morning of December 7, 1941 brought the United States into World War II. The surprise attack was aimed at the Pacific Fleet of the United States Navy and its defending Army Air Forces and Marine Air Forces. The attack damaged or destroyed twelve American warships, destroyed 188 aircraft, and resulted in the deaths of 2,335 American servicemen and 68 civilians (of those, 1,177 were the result of the destruction of the USS Arizona alone).
An earthquake, measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale, struck the island of Hawai'i and the surrounding islands at 07:07:49 HST on October 15, 2006, causing an island-wide power outage and over $200 million in damage.
Today, Oʻahu has become a tourism and shopping haven. Over five million visitors (mainly from the American mainland and Japan) flock there every year to enjoy the quintessential island holiday experience.
- Ala Moana Beach
- Hanauma Bay
- Kaneohe Bay
- Ko Olina Beach Park
- Lanikai Beach
- Sandy Beach
- Sunset Beach
- Waikīkī Beach
- Waimanalo Beach
- Waimea Bay
- Ala Moana
- Aloha Tower
- Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
- Banzai Pipeline
- Bernice P. Bishop Museum
- Diamond Head
- Kaena Point
- Honolulu Museum of Art
- Laie Hawaii Temple
- Mauna Ala
- Makapu'u Lighthouse
- National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific or "Punchbowl"
- North Shore
- Pali Lookout
- Pearl Harbor
- Polynesian Cultural Center
- Triple Crown of Surfing
- USS Arizona Memorial
- USS Missouri
- Valley of the Temples Memorial Park
- Waimea Valley
- Kailua Beach Adventures