Oahu, the Hawaiian island that is home to Honolulu, the state’s capital, can seem urban to the core. But Oahu is so much more than its bustling, modern South Shore — and there’s no better way to discover its slower-paced charms than by “going holoholo,” a vintage Hawaiian-English phrase that has come to mean taking a pleasure drive.
On Oahu, locals go holoholo with a drive around the island, stopping along the way to see the sights, breathe the sea air and smell the fragrant plumeria.
Here’s a rewarding round-the-island itinerary, starting in Waikiki. Long stops will alter your timetable, but there are so many memorable places to linger that we’ve highlighted some of our favorites.
Savor a morning meal at Waikiki’s Hau Tree Lanai, an open-air terrace beneath the flowering trees that once sheltered Victorian author Robert Louis Stevenson as he lounged with Hawaiian royalty. Then, hop on the only interstate highway system in the U.S. that doesn’t cross a single state line, and head west on H-1. Near Pearl Harbor, swing north onto H-2 and watch the concrete jungle give way to green fields.
When the spiky crowns of pineapple appear, you’re getting close to Dole Plantation, which celebrates Oahu’s rich agricultural heritage with a pineapple train ride, a pineapple garden, an excellent gift shop and restaurant, and more.