You’d be hard pressed to travel the world and find a destination that duplicates the climatic serenity, natural wonder and diverse cultural expression that thrives in abundance on the island of Oahu. A geographic hot spot, both literally and figuratively, Oahu is historically monikered “The Gathering Place.” Hosting a range of world-class advancements in contemporary hospitality, it’s easy to traverse and appreciate each aspect Oahu has to offer—from the ancient and educational, to the leisurely and recreational.
Before setting off to admire each contour and curve of Oahu, you may be best suited to dress the part. Located in the heart of Waikiki or at its newest location at Ala Moana Center, Tori Richard has been a namesake in resort lifestyle design since 1956. Growing from its trademark of artfully patterned aloha shirts, Tori Richard has been stitching new additions to its collection by the year. From cotton lawn shirts and modern swimwear to effervescent tunics and champagne dresses, Tori Richard has something for a casual day in the sun or a night out on the town.
Donned in proper island-style duds why not adventure Oahu by air? Providing spectacular aerial displays of Oahu’s treasured landmarks and hidden natural terrains, a tour with Paradise Helicopters is sure to widen the eyes and satiate the soul. Gazing at a map, Oahu may seem like a small island. Yet, with 227 miles of shorelines and mile upon mile of mountain range and farm country in-between, precisely covering the entirety of the island could take days by car.
Paradise Helicopters offers the only full circle tour of Oahu via helicopter. Before venturing east to west along Oahu’s shoreline, the Oahu Circle Island Experience yields exotic vantage points of the island’s most memorialized attractions. Peer down over Pearl Harbor where the USS Arizona Memorial and Battleship Missouri comfortably rest. Glide smoothly above Honolulu Harbor, and gain stunning panoramic views of Waikiki Beach as Diamond Head perches proudly above. Upward and onward, you’ll zip over Hanauma Bay, Makapuu Lighthouse and Mokolii (Chinaman’s Hat) before flying through the valleys of Kaaawa where some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, including “Jurassic Park” and “Jurassic World,” have been filmed.
For a more exclusive helicopter experience, Paradise Helicopters offers a number of distinguished tours including its North Shore Sunset Spectacular and a Valleys and Waterfalls Explorer package.
Safely grounded, a visit to Honolulu Museum of Art provides unique depictions of the storied natural and cultural history Oahu has boasted since the island first poked from the ocean’s surface more than 3 millions years ago.
In 1927, Anna Rice and Charles Cooke, whose personal art collection began to outgrow their Honolulu-based home, founded the then Territory of Hawai‘i’s first visual arts museum. Donating their own land for the construction of the museum, the museum is impressively architected and presently includes a myriad of courtyards, secluded walkways and a number of reticent showing rooms.
Growing in stature and art acquisition, Honolulu Museum of Art has risen as one of the finest museums in the United States, with more than 50,000 original pieces that span over 5,000 years. Dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and education of global artistic expression, Honolulu Museum of Art houses Hawaiian and Asian art, American and European paintings and decorative arts, 19th through 21st century pieces, traditional works from Oceania, Africa and the Americas, and more.
With its own artistic design—thanks to renowned golf course architect Ted Robinson—and exquisitely manicured appearance, Ko Olina Golf Club welcomes Hawai‘i visitors and residents to a day on the links that is sure to impress. Ranked by Golf Digest as one of the “Top 75 Resort Courses in the U.S.,” Ko Olina Golf Club has been the host course for many LPGA and Senior PGA events. Visually stunning, the 18-hole championship course presents unique water features, multi-tiered greens and spacious palm tree guided fairways. A legend of the course is that of the “Lucky Ladybug.” It’s been said that if she finds her way to your shoulder, it’s best to sweet talk her to your finger and with a gentle breath she’ll be on her way, guiding your ball to the cup.
After a day exploring Oahu by land, air or sea nothing beats a stay within the welcoming ambiance of Pacific Beach Hotel. Merely steps from the rolling waves off Waikiki Beach, Pacific Beach Hotel has recently undergone progressive redevelopments, transforming the hotel into a haven of tranquility. Its aesthetically enchanting remodeled rooms offer unrivaled views of Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head. An expansive pool deck greets guests to an oasis-style retreat for the mind and body. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, exclusive restaurant concepts have been coordinated by celebrity chef Masaharu Morimoto. Pacific Beach Hotel will allow you to slip into relaxation, preparing you in celestial fashion for wherever the following day may take you.
This special section can be found in our December 2016 issue.