Oahu Vacation Archives -

The most visited of the Hawaiian Islands, Oahu is a popular choice for good reason when it comes to Hawaii vacations. This beautiful island offers an abundance of activity options, from those found within the cosmopolitan city life of Waikiki to outdoor adventures that extend from the mountains to the sea. And while the bustling streets of Honolulu and the famed beaches of Waikiki have plenty to offer, the best places to stay on Oahu are often tucked away from the city center, where you can still experience the tranquil vibe island life has to offer. Visitors who come and experience only the hustle and bustle of Honolulu and Waikiki without venturing beyond the city’s reaches miss out on some of the most beautiful parts of the island. Enjoy the best of both worlds – easy access to the activities of the city as well as beaches tucked away from the crowds when you venture to West Oahu.

The western coast of the island is known for having the most sunny days per year, in addition to being home to some of the island’s most beautiful white sand beaches. From your location on the West Coast, enjoy easy day trips into the city and to the island’s surf crazed north shore. And within West Oahu itself, there are ample beaches, golf courses, shops, restaurants, and activities that are all easily accessible. Soak up the beauty of the island when you select one of the best places to stay on Oahu, all situated along the desirable west coast

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Beach Villas at Ko Olina

Bring your beach vacation dreams to life when you stay at the Beach Villas at Ko Olina. These accommodations are situated along the island’s west coast, with many offering ocean views. Most of these units range from 1-3 bedrooms, making them ideal for couples, families, and small groups alike. Embrace life along the oceanfront from the open concept great room in your beach villa, with extended living space on the outdoor lanai. For those who truly want to make the most of your island getaway, the proximity of the beach to these accommodations allows the ocean to be an integral part of everyday life.

The beaches at Ko Olina consist of four white sand lagoons, with outer rock croppings protecting the shoreline from larger waves. The tranquil waters here are ideal for swimming and stand up paddle boarding. The lagoons are connected by a 1.5-mile paved path, creating a beautiful space for walking or jogging along the waterfront. For those interested in embarking on a dolphin or whale watching excursion or a romantic sunset sail, the upscale Ko Olina Marina is located nearby, offering a wealth of adventures on the water. From your beach villa at Ko Olina, an oceanfront paradise awaits!

Beach Tower

If you’re headed to Hawaii with your sights set on soaking up as much beach time as possible, consider a stay in Ko Olina’s Beach Tower. This building is situated as close as possible to the ocean, putting the white sands of Ko Olina Lagoon 2 just steps from your door. The ocean lagoons are known for their tranquil waters and spectacular sunsets, making this a picture-perfect place to spend your beach vacation on Oahu. Wake in the morning to enjoy an oceanside stroll along the beach path that fronts the building, lounge along the sun-soaked shoreline, or swim, snorkel, or stand up paddle board in the calm waters. This is beachfront living at its finest!

Accommodations in the Beach Tower range from 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom to 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom units. These villas offer a breezy open floorplan, many with ocean views. The kitchens are designed by local celebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi, adding a distinctive touch to every space. Many of these accommodations boast glass doors that can be completely slid away, revealing an indoor-outdoor living space right along the beachfront. Guests of the Beach Tower enjoy access to freeform swimming pools and luxurious hot tubs surrounded by tropical landscaping, retaining a tropical vibe whether you’re lounging poolside or oceanside. The keiki pool keeps things family-friendly, with shallow waters and a sandy bottom perfect for families traveling with children. Grab a tropically infused drink at the Beach Tower’s oceanfront bar, conveniently located right onsite. With upscale swimming pools and a sandy ocean beach just steps from your door, a stay in the Beach Tower is ideal for any water enthusiast!

Ocean Tower

Keep the sea within sight when you stay in a condo situated in the fabulous Ocean Tower. Ranging from 4 to 10 stories tall, you’ll enjoy a bird’s eye view of paradise. Many of the condos within the Ocean Tower boast oversized glass doors that slide completely away, creating a seamless indoor-outdoor living space. Move easily throughout your chic condo, enjoying sweeping views of the ocean and palm tree groves. Many of the condos within the Ocean Tower also offer views of the complex’s large, heated lap pool.

The majority of the condos in the Ocean Tower offer 2 to 3 bedrooms, making them well suited for couples, families, or small groups. This property is situated conveniently near a calm white sand ocean lagoon. With just a short walk from your door, enjoy a refreshing swim, snorkel, or stand up paddle boarding session. These calm bays are protected from larger waves, making it a relaxing beach day for the whole family. Enjoy the stunning beauty of the coastline with a stroll down the 1.5-mile paved path that fronts the ocean, easily accessible from Ocean Tower.

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Ko Olina Fairways

With its blue skies and warm weather, West Oahu is a golfer’s paradise. Staying in the upscale Ko Olina Fairways community puts you right along the front nine holes of the Ko Olina Golf Club, putting days of golfing in paradise right at your doorstep. Most of these homes boast 2-3 bedrooms, offering plenty of square footage for families and small groups. Whether you plan to spend much of your time golfing or you simply appreciate the peacefulness that life on the green can offer, these accommodations offer a spacious and beautiful place from which to enjoy island life. With such proximity, it’s likely you’ll be drawn to spending at least some of your time perfecting your swing at the Ko Olina Golf Club. This Ted Robinson-designed course has earned many accolades and offers a variety of water features and multi-tiered greens to keep things interesting. You’ll also enjoy easy access to dining at Roy’s, which serves Hawaiian fusion cuisine and offers both lunch and dinner.

Accommodations in Ko Olina Fairways are comprised of condos and townhomes, with single story and two-story layouts available. Features such as two-car garages and private backyard spaces are common in these homes, with some yards backing right up to the golf green. Enjoy drinks on your private patio, fabulous west side sunsets, and a laid-back lifestyle from the comfort of your accommodations in Ko Olina Fairways. Guests in Ko Olina Fairways also enjoy access to community amenities such as a swimming pool, hot tub, and barbecue area.

Coconut Plantation

Step back in time to the charm that filled Hawaii’s Plantation Era at Coconut Plantation, where classic architectural elements remain alongside luxurious amenities. This gated community is for the discerning traveler who enjoys peace of mind and immaculate living. The sprawling homes in this Oahu place to stay range from 2-4 bedrooms, making them a great option for the entire family or group. Along with well-designed and spacious interior living spaces, many of these homes boast multiple outdoor lanais, where the living space is extended and you can enjoy every moment of your down time surrounded by lush tropical plant life and soft island breezes. The homes within Coconut Plantation offer a true home away from home experience, with spacious great rooms that boast comfortable living room furnishings and fully equipped kitchen that are more than ready to hold the treasured moments of daily life.

Take advantage of the well-manicured grounds of the Coconut Plantation neighborhood, where you’ll find shared amenities that will provide additional options for fun throughout your stay. This complex offers two swimming pools and three spas for relaxing days when you don’t want to venture far. While one swimming pool boasts a shallow end with a sandy bottom perfect for the kids, the other freeform pool is ideal for lounging and enjoying an afternoon poolside barbecue. Coconut Plantation is conveniently located just behind Ko Olina Station and Ko Olina Center, where you’ll find a variety of shopping and dining options. These lifestyle centers offer a dozen shops that range from surf shops to boutiques, as well as 9 dining options. From breakfast to dessert and every meal in between, the restaurants here have got you covered throughout your stay. You’ll also find multiple coffee shops and a grocery market for your daily caffeine fix and for picking up ingredients to whip up your own meal at your Coconut Plantation vacation rental.

Ko Olina Hillside Villas

Tucked away on lush, well-manicured grounds are the Ko Olina Hillside Villas. These well-appointed villas offer resort living ideal for those on a budget. Even with a budget-friendly price point, you’ll find many amenities in these condos that make them a top choice. Six to eight condos are housed in each building at Hillside Villas, creating a boutique feel. Spread out and make yourself at home in these 2- to 3-bedroom condos with a multi-level floorplan. Many of the Ko Olina Hillside Villas offer a main-level open concept living area, with the bedrooms tucked away upstairs. This layout is perfect for families traveling with children or with those who keep varied schedules, allowing plenty of space and solitude to slip away from the activity for a good night’s sleep.

Enjoy extended living space on the outdoor patio, alongside a grassy area perfect for the kids to play. Ko Olina Hillside Villas also offers community amenities, such as the spacious swimming pool surrounded by loungers. Spend the afternoon lounging poolside or unwind with a relaxing soak in the hot tub after a day of island adventuring. A barbecue area adjacent to the pool makes it easy to enjoy relaxing days without traveling far. From the Ko Olina grounds, enjoy access to a round of golf at the nearby Ko Olina Golf Club, shopping and dining in Ko Olina Center, and world class white sand beaches that front the resort. Well-maintained accommodations and easy access to resort amenities make Ko Olina Hillside Villas an economic choice!

Kai Lani

The gated Kai Lani community is situated right along the oceanfront, making it both exclusive and highly desirable. Here you’ll find luxurious 2- to 3-bedroom condominiums, many with an ocean view. The Kai Lani community is also bordered on one side by hole 12 of the Ko Olina Golf Club, making this neighborhood both an ocean lover’s and a golf enthusiast’s dream.  Choose between a first or second floor condo for your upscale getaway at Kai Lani. These condos boast an open floorplan with a kitchen, dining area, and living room that flow easily together. Tropical-inspired furnishings and a well-equipped kitchen keep the vibe laid-back and welcoming.

Pamper yourself with the many amenities that are offered at Kai Lani. Lounge alongside the freeform swimming pool or book an easily accessible round of golf. One of the resort’s ocean lagoons is just a 200-yard walk away, where you’ll find a silky white sand beach and perfectly calm aqua blue waters. From Kai Lani, you’ll also enjoy easy access to the Paradise Cove Luau for an unforgettable evening of Hawaiian food and traditional dance. The shops and restaurants of Ko Olina Center and Ko Olina Station are also located just around the corner, putting a variety of culinary experiences within easy access. From Kai Lani, enjoy a premium location surrounded by the ocean, world class golf course, white sand beaches, and shopping and dining options!

Ko Olina Kai Golf Estates

This luxurious gated community is as close as you can get to life on the golf course. Though the course also borders other communities, Ko Olina Kai Golf Estates by far puts guests in the best position for making the most of a golf getaway to Oahu. The Ko Olina Golf Club lies to one side of the neighborhood, while the fairways wrap around three sides of the community, putting Ko Olina Kai in the center of the action. Within Ko Olina Kai Golf Estates, you’ll find single family homes as well as townhomes, affording an abundance of space and privacy for guests. Most of these accommodations offer 2 to 4 bedrooms, with some homes offering up to 2,000 square feet of living space. The open concept great room offers a generous area for gathering together, while additional space abounds on the outdoor lanai.

From Ko Olina Kai Golf Estates, enjoy premium access to the Ko Olina Golf Club, consistently ranked among the top courses both in Hawaii and in the country. The Clubhouse itself features a Hawaiian pitched roof with broad verandas for taking in spectacular views of the course. Make the most of your golf getaway by booking a daily tee time, or perfect your swing by participating in the daily golf clinic or by taking a private lesson. Finish off your day on the green with a meal at Roy’s, an upscale restaurant that serves delicious Hawaiian Fusion cuisine. Aside from easy golf access, guests of Ko Olina Kai Golf Estates also enjoy amenities such as a saltwater swimming pool, hot tub, and tennis courts, among others.

Makaha

Situated along the northwestern coast of the island lies the beach town of Makaha. With long stretches of white sand beaches along one side of the road and the slopes of Mt. Ka’ala on the other, this sleepy coastal town is the perfect place to get away from it all. Many accommodations in Makaha, such as the Hawaiian Princess, are situated right along the beach, putting the ocean in your front yard. From the open concept great room in your Makaha condo, open wide the glass doors and breathe in the scents and sounds of the ocean, just steps away. Offering relaxed oceanfront living, condos such as Hawaiian Princess are ideal for couples who desire to get outside the city and resort areas and experience a different side of Oahu.

Makaha Beach is known for its good surf, though conditions here are more well-suited for intermediate and advanced surfers. The expansive stretch of white sand is also perfect for those who simply love to lounge and soak up life along the ocean. Makaha is also known for its excellent offshore dive sites. Hawaiian Princess fronts Papaoneone Beach, just down the road from Makaha Beach. Also known as Turtle Beach, green sea turtles can often be spotted along this stretch. The oceanside town of Makaha can be reached by a 50-minute drive from Honolulu, putting day trips into the city within easy reach, while still ensuring ample separation from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Exploring West Oahu

A drive up the western coast of Oahu is what road trip dreams are made of – long stretches of white sand beaches curled up against the turquoise blue ocean on one side of the road and dramatic mountain ridges on the other. With stunning scenery everywhere you look, it is well worth it to go beyond the skyline of Honolulu and Waikiki when vacationing on Oahu to experience the beauty that lies beyond. Continuing up Farrington Highway past the beautiful vacation areas of Ko Olina and Makaha, the road eventually dead ends dead ends at Ka’ena Point State Park due to sea cliffs and rugged terrain. The site of a seabird sanctuary, Ka’ena Point is a great location for a hike. Whales can often be spotted offshore here between November and March. Those who venture this far are also rewarded with the windswept and secluded Keawaula Beach, also known as Yokohama Bay. This slice of paradise is backed by spectacular mountain vistas and is likely one of the most secluded places you’ll find on the island.

On the other hand, while West Oahu is home to beautiful beaches and a more laid-back lifestyle than what you’ll find in Honolulu, there is no shortage of ways to stay entertained. The southwestern town of Kapalei offers a variety of shopping and dining, and towns all the way up the coast offer small, locally run shops and eateries. Be sure to check out Mina’s Fish House, Roy’s Ko Olina, and Kaʻahaʻaina Café for top dining options in West Oahu. Farmer’s markets and farm-to-table initiatives are also a great way to experience the local side of West Oahu. Many local products can be found at the farmer’s market in Waianae.

Water activities such as surfing, stand up paddle boarding, boogie boarding, and snorkeling are all easily accessible along Oahu’s west coast. The Ko Olina Marina offers a variety of boat excursions, including dolphin and whale watching tours, sunset sails, snorkeling expeditions, and dinner cruises. Waianae’s Dolphin Excursions and Dolphin Star are two other outfitters based along the west coast offering a variety of boating options. It is also well worth it to spend some time exploring the island’s rugged interior by embarking on a scenic hike or going horseback riding with outfitters such as Ohikilolo Adventure Park. For those looking to get off the beaten path of Honolulu and Waikiki, the west coast of Oahu is an optimal choice!

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Contact Us for the Best Places to Stay in Oahu

At Ola Properties, we live and operate out of Oahu and our professional team is available for assistance from pre-booking inquiries to post-vacation follow up. We offer a wide selection of vacation rentals on the island of Oahu, any of which are some of the best Oahu places to stay, and are here to answer any questions you may have. To learn more about any of our rental properties or to learn more about which would be the best fit for your island vacation, please reach out to our team. With years of vacation rental experience on Oahu, we are dedicated to helping you make the most of your island vacation!

If you’ve been envisioning a warm-weather getaway for the upcoming seasons, Oahu, Hawaii is a special destination unlike any other. With spectacular beaches, renowned golf courses, top-notch dining options, and a host of water- and land-based activity options, there’s something for every traveler on Oahu. And traveling to this tropical isle is especially rewarding during the winter and spring seasons, when you’ll enjoy ideal weather and a plethora of activities and events. While planning the many details of an ideal vacation can be overwhelming, this ultimate Honolulu travel guide to winter and spring on Oahu will provide comprehensive tips that are sure to get you moving in the right direction!

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Winter Weather on Oahu

Thanks to its warm weather that persists even throughout the winter months, Oahu is a top destination for those looking to escape cold weather elsewhere. While wind and snow sweep in throughout other parts of the world, Oahu remains a warm oasis. Though winter is considered the rainy season (November through March), most days still offer significant hours of sunshine. And as an added bonus, even when it’s raining on one part of the island, there’s often sunshine to be found on another beach. Throughout the winter, temperatures on Oahu remain steadily in the mid- to upper-70s during the day, with the evenings cooling off to temperatures that can often dip into the low 60s. Be sure to bring along a light jacket for cooler winter evenings, which often feel refreshing after a day in the sun!

Spring Weather on Oahu

In Hawaii, the term “April showers brings May flowers” doesn’t ring true. With the rainy season tapering off in March, the dry season begins in April and extends until October. That means that while colder regions are just beginning to thaw and the spring rains are setting in, you’ll find cloudless blue skies on Oahu. Temperatures climb more steadily into the high 70s and low 80s throughout the spring months, with evening temperatures also rising into the high 60s. Spring offers extremely pleasant weather in Hawaii, with warmer temperatures than winter but without the intensity that the summer heat can bring.

Peak Season Travel Tips

Hawaii’s peak travel season occurs from mid-December to mid-April and then again from mid-June to mid-September. If you have a flexible schedule and are able to travel outside of these busier times, you are more likely to find better deals on flights, accommodations, rental cars, and activities, not to mention fewer crowds on the beach. However, if like most other travelers, you’ll be heading to Oahu during peak travel season, there are a few things to keep in mind that will make your trip go more smoothly!

 

When traveling to Hawaii during peak travel season, be sure to book ahead. Especially in recent years, rental cars are quick to sell out, leaving travelers who didn’t plan ahead with no other option than to rely on public transportation. You’ll also want to book ahead for any activities that are high on your importance list, such as boat tours or a luau, as popular island activities are also quick to sell out in advance. And of course, with the vacation rental setting the stage for the entirety of your stay, you’ll want to plan ahead of time to snag the best Oahu vacation rental for your beach vacation!

Winter Activities

Whether you prefer lounging along a postcard-perfect beach or summiting a challenging trail, you’ll find many ways to stay entertained on a winter getaway to Oahu. Whether you’ve got your sights set on soaking up as much sun as possible or you plan to balance the itinerary with the many cultural and historic sites Oahu has to offer, there are many ways to enjoy a winter day on Oahu. Be sure to add some of these favorite Honolulu winter activities on Oahu to your itinerary.

Whale Watching

The migration season for humpback whales to Hawaii’s warm waters occurs between December and April, making winter an ideal time to take advantage of a whale watching excursion. While a keen eye can occasionally spot a whale spout from the shoreline, the only way to get a good look at these magnificent creatures is to book an Oahu whale watching excursion with a local boat tour company. A variety of outfitters operate on Oahu, offering tours that range from thrilling Zodiac rides to luxurious catamaran cruises. Onboard technology such as a hydrophone, an underwater microphone, allow passengers to hear current whale songs and for captains to easier locate nearby whales. Often sighting dolphins and sea turtles along the way, a whale watching tour is a great way to view some of Oahu’s most exciting wildlife! Check out Ko Olina Ocean Adventures for whale watching tour options.

Celebrate the Winter Holidays

Vacationing on Oahu during the winter holidays adds a host of festive holiday possibility options that are sure to brighten your stay. Christmas on Oahu brings unique island flair, such as watching Santa row his outrigger canoe ashore and getting in your holiday shopping among palm trees draped with twinkling lights. Productions of The Nutcracker, Christmas services in places of worship, and holiday parades also bring a traditional element of familiarity to celebrating the holidays in the islands. And there’s no better way to end the current year and ring in the next than with your toes in the sand and a vibrant firework display overhead!

Go for a Hike

While winter days are still plenty warm for enjoying the beach, they usually lack the intense heat and humidity that come with summer. That makes winter a great time to hit the trail, exploring some of the many miles of hiking trails that will get you away from the busyness of Honolulu and Waikiki. The Manoa Falls Trail is a favorite for its family-friendly terrain, short distance (1.6 miles round trip) and its culmination at a spectacular 150-foot waterfall. Views of the verdant green valley and groves of eucalyptus and bamboo create a lush scenery along the way. Diamond Head Trail is another favorite, summiting the Diamond Head Crater and offering sweeping views of Waikiki, Honolulu, and the surrounding area. This trek is just 1.6 miles roundtrip but also includes 560 feet of elevation gain.

Watch Surfers on the North Shore

Winter months bring a large swell to the North Shore to the extent that big wave surfing competitions draw pro surfers from around the world. While most travelers won’t be getting in the water at many North Shore beaches during the winter, taking in sights of the monster swell is worth a road trip north. Head to Waimea Bay, Ehukai Beach (Banzai Pipeline) and Sunset Beach to catch some of the big wave action, but be sure to watch from a safe distance.

Hit the Beach

If you’re heading to Hawaii to escape cold weather elsewhere, you’ll be more than ready to soak up all the sunshine possible at Oahu’s best beaches. And thanks to Oahu’s year-round warm weather, it’s easy to enjoy a winter day at the beach! The tranquil ocean lagoons at Ko Olina are ideal for lounging in the sand or swimming, snorkeling, or stand up paddle boarding in the calm waters. Surf lessons can also be booked nearby to avoid the crowds of Waikiki. The secluded stretch of sand at Yokohama Bay is a favorite for its location off the beaten path, especially during the peak tourism season of winter when other beaches may be more crowded.

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Spring Activities

With much of spring occurring during Hawaii’s dry season, a typical Oahu spring day is filled with blue skies and sunshine. Honolulu spring on Oahu is a great time to enjoy the island’s many outdoor activities!

Beach Hop Popular Beaches

The peak tourism season tapers off in April, making the middle and end of spring an ideal time to explore some of the more popular beaches that can otherwise be crowded. Explore the famed shoreline of Waikiki, trying your hand at surfing or simply taking in the views. Another popular Oahu beach is Hanauma Bay, which is well-known for its excellent snorkeling. This bay offers a snorkeling experience guaranteed to surround you with a variety of tropical fish, thanks to its status as a protected aquatic Hawaii state park. With daily attendance limited in order to continue to protect this special destination, Hanauma Bay is a great option for spring when the final tourist crowds have gone.

Enjoy Outdoor Attractions

With cloudless skies overhead, spring on Oahu is a great time to enjoy some of Oahu’s top outdoor attractions. Play a ground of golf at the Ko Olina Golf Club, head out on an excursion, go horseback riding, or fly on a zipline over a tropical canopy. There are so many ways to enjoy the great outdoors on a spring day on Oahu!

Best Oahu Restaurants to Enjoy

Without the humidity and intense heat of summer, winter and spring are ideal times to take advantage of Oahu’s al fresco dining scene. Not to mention an outdoor table often means being just steps away from the ocean with a stunning view. A good place to start for outdoor dining on Oahu is Mina’s Fish House, a Michelin-starred restaurant with a fabulous deck just steps from the aqua blue water. Dine on the fresh catch of the day alongside a cold brew or glass of wine as you take in panoramic beach views.

If you head up to the North Shore to experience the large winter swell, consider stopping in for a meal at Hale’iwa Beach House. This casual eatery is situated right on Waialua Bay, offering ocean breezes and scenic views. Snack on a bowl of edamame while you wait for your fresh catch, and be sure to save room for the warm fruity pebbles donuts!

Oahu Shopping

Whether you need to get in some holiday shopping for your winter getaway to Oahu or you simply desire to get your shopping fix, Oahu offers the most extensive shopping experience of all the Hawaiian Islands. Located in Honolulu, Ala Moana Center is the largest open-air mall in the world, offering hundreds of shops that range from local boutiques to worldwide fashion brands, not to mention the many restaurants located here. Waikele Premium Outlets offers more great finds on all the latest trends, while the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet offers a distinctly local flair. The Waikiki Beach Walk offers another distinct island shopping experience, with local boutiques and specialty shops such as the Waikiki Christmas Store and the Ukulele Shop.

Winter & Spring Events on Oahu

Be sure to check the local events calendar to see which of these Honolulu winter and spring events on Oahu coincide with your travel plans!

Surf Competitions

Generally held between December and January, there are several big wave surfing competitions held on Oahu’s North Shore that are well worth checking out if your travel dates align. The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing at Sunset Beach, Billabong Pipe Masters, and Eddie Would Go, held in honor of Eddie Aikau, all bring in big wave surfers from around the world.

Honolulu Marathon

With the marathon distance becoming increasingly popular even among casual runners, planning a destination race is one way to get and stay motivated. The Honolulu Marathon is held in January, and runners enjoy a route that takes them through Waikiki, Diamond Head, and Hawaii Kai.

May Day Lei Day

Cultural events such as May Day add an extra element of fun to the itinerary. Held at the beginning of May, you’ll find lei making and hula events popping up around the island for May Day, known as Lei Day in Hawaii!

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Accommodations for Your Honolulu Winter or Spring Getaway to Oahu

Whether you’re getting away for the entire season or staying just a few days, our winter and spring accommodations on Oahu offer an ideal place to vacation. At Ola Properties, we offer a variety of condos, villas, and private homes located on the desirable west coast of the island, just steps from beautiful white sand beaches. Equipped with everything you’ll need for your island vacation, these well-appointed Oahu vacation rentals are the perfect place to call home. Contact us at Ola Properties to learn more!

While Honolulu is often considered “Big City”, it is really only one city that consists of most of one island, which is just short of 70 square miles. The rest of Hawaii is made up of a scatter of cozy, tight-knit towns where everyone looks out for one another. Within each town lies an intimate community that grows up together, knows each other’s families, supports each other, and roots for each other. They go to the same schools, have the same circle of friends from kindergarten to graduation, and often grow up with the same, or similar, valued traditions. In fact, when local people want to get to know each other on a more personal basis one of the first questions asked is what high school was attended (the high school is an indication of what town they are from). Once the high school is revealed, both parties search their memories for a list of people that attended that high school for common people they might know, giving new meaning to “it’s not what you know, but who you know”. 

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What are the meanings of Ohana and Hanai?

Ohana is the Hawaiian word for family. There tends to be a strong sense of family when growing up in smaller towns. In the old days, families in Hawaii tended to be quite large, often four or five (or more) siblings. And when these four or five (or more) siblings have four or five (or more) children, you become the town, yet you really are family. So that could have meant that a whole town could very well have consisted of maybe just a handful of really large families. Today families have one, maybe two or three children, creating a twist to the old meaning “ohana“. While the English translation for ohana is still family we have transitioned the word to be used in a looser context to include extended family, or friends that are as close as family.

Ohana in a sentence: “My bruddah is a jock, my sista thinks she’s a princess, my maddah is super embarrassing and my faddah thinks he’s the best at everything. But it’s always good to come home because my ohana is my home” 

Ohana in the movies: Lilo & Stitch (2002) — “Ohana means ‘family.’ ‘Family’ means ‘no one gets left behind’.”

Hanai Means Adopted Family

In Hawaii, we often adopt people into our hearts and into our families. Extended families are so common in Hawaii that anyone you are close to that is close in age is considered a sister (pronounced “sis“or “sista“)or a brother (pronounced “brah or “bruddah“). Anyone you are close to that is a generation older than you is considered aunty (pronounced “antee“) or uncle (pronounced “anko“).  [Hint: if “Aunty” is followed by a name, like Aunty Helen, chances are they are related. If a person just says “Aunty” chances they are extended family. Note: Children younger than millennials tend to call everyone “Aunty” and “Uncle” regardless of family lines, making it confusing for everyone].

Hanai in a sentence: My hanai son will always take care of me.

Hanai in the movies: Money Train (1995) — John Powell (Wesley Snipes) and Charlie Kaylor (Woody Harrelson) were hanai brothers.

 

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