Outdoorsy adventurers and nature lovers can warm up on Oahu this winter with blood-pumping activities, sporting events and sweat-stimulating packages in one of the most scenic destinations in the world. Oahu’s vibrant outdoor culture is perfect for runners, hikers, bikers, swimmers, surfers, paddlers, sky divers, yogis, or anyone that enjoys being outdoors, but appreciates still having access to urban amenities.
With temperatures around 70 to 80 degrees, outdoorsmen and women don’t need to let their fitness routine freeze over during the winter months on Oahu. Take a look.
Runners can avoid winter training setbacks by retreating to Oahu for a races than range from fun to challenging, and all without the added 10 pounds of cold-weather gear. Races include:
- Honolulu Marathon (December 8) – Now in its 41st year, the scenic course includes spectacular views alongside world-famous Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head.
- Great Aloha Run (February 17, 2014) – An 8.15-mile race that starts at Aloha Tower in Honolulu and ends at Aloha Stadium in Halawa. Families, friends and groups often dress up and run as teams making for a fun event.
Winter marks the kick off to big wave surf season on Oahu when the world’s best surfers flock to Oahu’s fabled North Shore to take on winter swells that reach up to 30 feet.
- Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (November 12-December 20) – The Super Bowl of wave riding, the series starts with the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa then continues with the Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach. The event culminates with the Billabong Pipe Masters at the famous Banzai Pipeline.
- The Quicksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau – “The Eddie” (Waiting period: December 1-February 28, 2014) – Held only if the waves exceed 20 feet at Waimea Bay, The Eddie brings together 28 selected surfers from around the world for a competition honoring the late Eddie Aikau, respected North Shore lifeguard and big wave surfer.
Where the Pros Play
In addition to surfing, Oahu welcomes other professional athletes to the island during winter. Hawaii’s governor also recently announced a sports development initiative that will allocate funds to improve existing sporting facilities positioning Oahu to host an even wider array of sporting events.
- Sony Open in Hawaii (January 6-12, 2014) – The Sony Open in Hawaii kicks off the PGA Tour by bringing 144 of the world’s best professional golfers to Oahu’s exclusive Waialae Country Club. The six-day event is one of the largest charity events in Hawaii.
- NFL Pro Bowl (January 26, 2014) – One week before the Super Bowl, the biggest names and hardest hitters in the National Football League (NFL) travel to Oahu for the NFL Pro Bowl, where all-star professional football players from the AFC and NFC battle for conference bragging rights at Aloha Stadium.
Sweat-Stimulating Packages and Events
- Wanderlust Yoga and Music Festival Turtle Bay (February 28 – March 3, 2014) – Enjoy the ultimate mind, body and soul wellness festival on Oahu. The Wanderlust Yoga and Music Festival is a one-of-a-kind gathering of yoga masters, musical performers, top chefs, and winemakers, along with the world’s leading wellness speakers.
- SUP Yoga Classes The Kahala – Perform yoga poses while on a stand up paddle board. The challenging class helps tone muscles and refine balance.
- Surf Waikiki Package Vive Hotel Waikiki – Includes suite accommodations, a private two-hour surf lesson, complementary breakfast for two, and a bottle of coconut water to hydrate (starting at $249 per night).
- Stay and Play Golf Package Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki and Golf Club – Includes three-night, oceanfront accommodations; four rounds of golf at Hawaii Prince Golf Club; and transportation to and from the golf course (starting at $810; $270/night). Valid January 3-December 22, 2014.
Photo credit: Mary Jo Manzanares