Berkeley, California (EastBayDaily) — O‘ahu is a popular winter vacation destination for a handful of reasons. Whether travelers are looking to take advantage of winter breaks or just opting to ditch a cold and snowy locale for a tropical paradise, they will be graced with comfortable weather and warm water in O‘ahu. Award-winning travel writer and O‘ahu resident Kevin Whitton—author of Moon O‘ahu: Including Honolulu & Waikiki—says: “A last minute decision to make a break for the endless summer is still doable!” For travelers making spur-of-the-moment plans to visit Hawai‘i’s Gathering Place, check out these top tips:
1. Take Advantage of Package Deals
Winter is high season for tourism in Hawai‘i, so stretch the dollar by booking a flight directly with an airline through their website. Then take advantage of package deals on airfare, lodging, and car rental. Making the reservations and paying through one site saves time and money.
2. Fly Local
Hawaiian Airlines continues to prove itself as one of the most on-time, service-oriented carriers, and they still offers free meals on their flights. With a broad international and mainland reach, a host of daily flights stretch from busy hubs all the way to New York.
3. Try Something New
While most tourists are ushered directly to the iconic shores of Waikiki, consider staying in a quaint B&B in the windward seaside hamlet of Kailua. Separated from Honolulu by the towering Ko‘olau Mountains, travelers will hardly notice that about a million people live just over the hill.
4. Whale Watch
December and January are ideal months to whale watch. North Pacific humpback whales migrate from Alaska to Hawai‘i every winter, and they love to frolic in the waters around O‘ahu. Makapu‘u is one of the best vantage points for whale watching.
5. Surf’s Up
Winter is the best season to witness world-class waves that break along the reefs of O‘ahu’s North Shore. The Seven Mile Miracle is home to iconic big wave breaks like Sunset Beach, Pipeline, and Waimea Bay. Every year, from November through December, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing brings the best of professional surfing’s elite to the North Shore to compete for the coveted crown.
6. Snorkel at Hanauma Bay
Big waves on the North Shore mean the conditions on the south shore are most likely perfect for snorkeling and diving. For shoreline snorkeling, visit the Hanauma Bay marine protected area. For those into diving, there are a host of scuba diving operators out of Hawai‘i Kai and Kewalo Basin that explore south shore dive sites.
7. Fish On
If the conditions are right for diving, that means that south shore sport fishing is in full swing. Charter a boat out of Hawai‘i Kai or Kewalo Basin for half-day or full-day fishing adventures.
8. Be Prepared for Rain
For those looking to explore O‘ahu on the cheap, take advantage of the myriad camping sites, but be prepared for rain and adverse weather. As rainfall levels spike in the winter, prepare a backup plan when a cold front with heavy rain and cool north winds crosses the island.
For more tips and information about Moon O‘ahu: Including Honolulu & Waikiki, visit Moon.com.
About Moon Travel Guides & Moon.com:
Moon Travel Guides make independent travel and outdoor exploration fun and accessible. With expert writers delivering a mix of honest insight, first-rate strategic advice, and an essential dose of humor, Moon guidebooks ensure that travelers have an uncommon and entirely satisfying travel experience. Moon not only guides, Moon inspires. Based in Berkeley, California, Moon is published by Avalon Travel, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Visit Moon online at Moon.com.