Oahu, known as "the gathering place" is the seat of the state government as well as the headquarters of most of its large companies. The vibe on this island is distinctly cosmopolitan with racial intermixing and the resulting "local" style is a unique melding of cultures, cuisine and customs. This is easily observable in a restaurant or home setting at mealtime or a party. It is never unusual to see a plate of the finest sashimi served alongside a platter of mein nooldes, crispy lumpia, spicy kal bi and prime rib.
Oahu and the rest of Hawaii as well, was often the last place a trend, music artist or clothing style would catch on- but not today. With the profusion of technology, Iphones, Internet and the Asian market influences, Hawaii is often one of the first test spots for product.
Oahu is the island that hosts the Triple Crown of Surfing contests and many others along its North Shore. There is not a surfer around that does not wish to visit to ride a wave at Sunset, Pipeline, Velsyland, Waimea, Haleiwa, Laniakea, Log cabins, Backdoors or on one of the west shore's finest waves at Makaha.
The North Shore, Makaha and the gentle waves of Waikiki are the Holy Grail for the surf culture. Ditto Waikiki's influence on the rapidly expanding Polynesian canoe racing renaissance that has spread worldwide. Ppopularity is also due in part to the Molokai Hoe, the Molokai- to- Oahu canoe race held each year.
Most lodging is in Wakiki. There is a hotel at Turtle Bay on the North Shore, B & Bs and cottages in Kailua to rent for a more local experience but with fewer amenities and nightlife at nil.