Gay Guide to Oahu, Hawaii
The third largest of the Hawaiian islands, Oahu is home to more than two thirds of the state’s population as well as the capital, Honolulu. The volcanic island has almost 230 miles of shoreline, meaning it’s a great beach destination, but it’s also a lot more than that, especially if you’re looking for a gay escape! Here’s our gay guide to Oahu, Hawaii.
Where to stay
For the perfect private place to stay, check out these Oahu vacation rentals for your very own piece of the island to call home. A great option for groups, staying in a private villa is the ideal way to experience what living on Oahu is like, something that will no doubt leave you wanting more!
When to visit
Temperatures are pretty stable throughout the year, ranging from the mid 60s to the high 80s, so you’ll find pleasant, warm weather all year round on Oahu. Roughly April to September are the driest months, but of course July and August are when it’s busiest and prices are at their peak, so spring and fall are good options for when to visit in order to get the best combination of weather and affordable prices.
The pride parade takes place in Honolulu in October (in 2017, it’ll be on Saturday October 21), and it’s Hawaii’s largest LGBTQ event of the year, so timing your visit to coincide with that could also be a great idea.
Honolulu is a shopper’s paradise. Whether you’re looking for some memorable new additions to your wardrobe or a little something to spice things up in the bedroom, you don’t have to look far. Reyn Spooner in downtown Honolulu is a Hawaiian inspired menswear company that produces quality clothing for the fashion-conscious man. Rather than the typically monochrome clothing out there designed for men, here you can find bright, colorful menswear that will forever remind you of your Hawaiian vacation!
Velvet Video is perhaps the most famous adult entertainment store in Hawaii, run by Californian, Monica Aguon. It caters to all tastes, selling an impressive range of toys, lubes and accessories as well as a vast selection of DVDs with something for everyone. While not specifically a gay-only shop, it certainly gets a lot of MSM customers and provides a welcoming, safe space to anyone interested in browsing for some new bedroom accessories.
With miles and miles of beautiful coastline, it’s no surprise that Oahu has some of the best beaches in Hawaii. If you feel like letting it all out, the island doesn’t have an officially nude beach, but Diamond Head Lighthouse Beach is Waikiki’s unofficial nude beach, and it gets a mixed crowd. Just down the coast back towards downtown Honolulu is Queen’s Surf Beach, a specifically gay beach in Waikiki, which is very popular and so is often busy. Right over on the other side of the island is Banzai Pipeline, a long stretch of pristine, sandy beach which is a very popular surfing beach, but also great for people watching, especially if you like seeing ripped, tanned surfer boys!
Downtown Honolulu offers some great bars to experience the local gay scene. Bacchus is an elegant yet relaxed bar that’s a popular place to start a night out. From here, you may wish to take things elsewhere as the night starts to ramp up! Hula’s Bar and Lei Stand is a good place if you feel like dancing on the large open-air terrace to beats by some excellent DJs. It’s also a great place to cool down with some post-beach cocktails and is everything you’d hope and expect from a gay bar! In Between Waikiki is the place to come for karaoke lovers, as the artform is taken very seriously here. Somewhat hidden, but worth looking for, this is a fun place to spend a few hours with friends or making new ones.
Once you’ve had a few drinks, if you want to take the party somewhere where you can really let loose and have a good time, head to one of Honolulu’s welcoming gay clubs. Wang Chung’s is another place for karaoke fans, but with much more of a club vibe, with regular themed singalong nights ranging from Disney to power ballads. They also have some pretty wacky cocktails and excellent bar food on offer.
Fusion Waikiki regularly hosts hunky stripper, karaoke and drag performances, and is one of the latest opening clubs in Hawaii state, serving alcohol till 4am. It doesn’t really get gayer than this! Scarlet Honolulu is located in Honolulu’s Chinatown, and is a relatively new gay dance club to the Hawaiian capital’s scene, brought to the Aloha state by the owners of its sister club in the gay mecca of Chicago.
After all that partying, you deserve to pamper and rejuvenate yourself a bit. Though Oahu doesn’t have any men-only saunas, it does have one of the most luxurious Korean style spas in Hawaii, Aloha Sauna & Spa in downtown Honolulu. Get yourself and your gays down here for just $30 for a day of relaxation in the various dry and wet saunas, pools and rest areas. You can also pay extra for a range of expert massages, facials and even waxing if you want to tame that excess body hair!
Oahu really is an excellent destination for a gay getaway. Beyond all of the things mentioned in this guide, there’s also a wealth of natural beauty to explore, excellent food to eat and the people of the island are wonderfully friendly and welcoming. Whether it’s just for a weekend trip or as part of a round the world adventure, make sure to touch down in Oahu soon!