Oahu, “The Gathering Place,” is the perfect destination for a Hawaiian getaway with the girls. Beaches, boutiques, and lots of lounging opportunities abound in this island paradise.
Getting here will be part of the fun. Most U.S. flights to Oahu originate from the West Coast, so nab a nice hotel in San Francisco and enjoy a pre-trip night out before embarking on your girls’ trip to Hawaii. Need to lighten the load a little before you go? Find a luggage storage service in San Francisco and stash your gear until you return.
Lodging on Oahu
Once you’ve arrived, it’s time to settle into one of the fantastic hotels on Oahu. Plant the party at the famed Pagoda Hotel, and you’ll be within walking distance of some of Honolulu’s best attractions. Beachfront accommodations more your thing? Grab an oceanfront condo on Waikiki Beach or retreat to a beach cottage near Ewa Beach, on the island’s southwestern edge.
Head north to Turtle Bay to experience some different island vibes. Rent a house in Haleiwa and you’ll be within a quick drive of the Turtle Bay Resort and Golf Club and the sprawling sand of Sunset Beach. Snorkeling and surfing are popular pastimes here, and bonus: parking spots are right next to the sand so you won’t have to haul the drink cooler very far.
Plan a lady day in Downtown Honolulu, and everyone in your crew will find something fun. Kick off the day in Chinatown, where you can pick up some festive leis. Stop at a tea shop and create your own blend, and then…hit the streets.
The historic Hawaiian Theatre is worth a stop, whether it’s for a show or a tour of the elaborate structure. If shopping is on the docket, hit the Ala Moana mall for some breezy, open-air perusing.
For some super-satisfying entertainment, focus on the food. Downtown Honolulu dining options are nearly endless, from Thai-themed cuisines and tavern food with a Hawaiian twist to steaks and seafood, you’ve got choices. Once the meals have been boxed, plot the course to your next destination. Which is a tiki bar for beachfront Mai Tais at sunset – it wouldn’t be a girlfriend getaway in Oahu without one.
After the sun sinks below the horizon, hit up a hula show or take in the magic of a Hawaiian fire show; darkness required for best results.
Hone in on some of the best Hawaiian-themed activities while you’re here. Ladies, it’s luau time. Lunch luaus are available, though the dinner shows probably offer the most authentic experiences. Luau sites are sprinkled throughout the island, so you should be able to find one regardless of where your daily explorations take you.
Ladies looking for some outdoor fun will have a lot of options in Oahu. Whether it’s a team-building activity or a solo session, both land and sea are packed with adventure potential.
The warm waters of the Pacific are perfect for water activities in Oahu. Snorkeling in the northern region’s Shark’s Cove is excellent in the summer (sharks are scarce here – don’t let the name throw you off), or head to the west coast and slap fins with some dolphins.
Stay dry during your water explorations with a submarine tour in Honolulu. Keep some glass between you and the fishes while you explore underwater wonders in an air-conditioned cabin. Kayaking is another way to put a little distance between you and the waves. Paddle along ocean coastlines or around the river bends in the Kahana Valley.
Guided tours are offered throughout the island, or go it alone on a self-guided adventure with some rented gear.
Fun on Dry Land
The outdoor recreation opportunities don’t stop on this Hawaiian island. Hiking offers unique access to some of the island’s best scenes. Whatever you do in Oahu, make sure you visit the Makapuu Lighthouse. The trail to this towering vantage point is easy to traverse and offers views of surrounding islands along the way.
Waimea Valley is a fantastic place to spend a day. This meticulously-manicured botanical garden blends a trademark Hawaiian atmosphere with some culture and a waterfall mixed in.
Amp up your land explorations with an aerial tour of the terrain. Paragliding’s a perfect way to witness the island in all of its glory. Several outfitters on the island offer the service, so pick an awesome spot, clip on the Go-Pro, and launch into the island’s airspace. Want to kick it up a few notches? Get the group together for a helicopter tour of Honolulu.
And finally, relax. It’s probably one of the top reasons to head to Oahu with the girls in the first place. The good news is that you won’t have to try to find places to lounge in Oahu.
Beaches are abundant on this island geared around gatherings, so pack a picnic, post up under an umbrella, and let it all go for a while. Waikiki Beach is a place to experience at least once during your Hawaii vacation. The setting’s stunning, the water’s calm, and tons of dining options and city attractions are nearby. If you’re ready for a little tranquility, head for Yokohama Beach on the island’s west coast.
Beach yoga’s probably something to experience if this form of relaxation is your thing. Gather the like-minded ladies and spread out on the sand for a sunset yoga class in Honolulu. Or, advance your skills with a stand-up-paddleboard class and practice your poses on the water.
Launch your next Oahu vacation with the girls; island vibes, beach-bopping, and outdoor adventures await in this Pacific paradise.