7-DAY Honolulu, Hawaii | Oahu ITINERARY
Honolulu, on the island of Oahu's south shore, is capital of Hawaii and gateway to the U.S. island chain. The Waikiki neighborhood is its center for dining, nightlight and shopping, famed for its iconic crescent beach backed by palms and high-rise hotels, with volcanic Diamond Head crater looming in the distance. Sites relating to the World War II attack on Pearl Harbor include the USS Arizona Memorial, per Google.
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Must do, must see, must try:
OG OF SHAVED ICE
Shaved ice began on Oahu so make this a priority treat in the sunny afternoons. Can you handle all flavors combined?
Oahu offers amazing bays to see schools of colorful fish, but there are also sea turtles and sharks!
The Pearl Harbor memorial is powerful. Stop and listen to a veteran tell his story.
The Perfect 7-Day Honolulu Itinerary
Plan on visiting from mid-April to early June or September to December. You'll have plenty of sunshine and room rates are not high due to a festival. Rain happens from November to March.
The island is spread out so you'll be able to walk around the tourist spots, but Lyft to the outskirts of the town. As you venture around the island, rent a car. It's worth it.
Language is English
Currency: US Dollar
It rains everyday for one hour, but just go with the flow. Everything is relaxed and easy here but be respectful of the land.
Honolulu and the island of Oahu attract thousands of visitors each year. Besides the historical significance, Oahu offers stunning attractions, beautiful beaches with colorful fish and a relaxation found no where else.
Honolulu has zones set to protect the fish and coral, please be respectful of this.
Late afternoon flight; long day of traveling, bring snacks for the flight. Check-in and drop off bags.
5:30 PM - Sunset Dinner Cruise; 2 hours, $120 USD
Wonder along the beach and check out the neighborhood
8 AM Breakfast: Leonard's Bakery ($, Donuts) - make sure to grab pineapple shortcake cookies
Rented a car for this day but transportation is available. Pack a bag for your whole day.
9:30 AM - Visit the Dole Plantation and have an ice cream with fresh pineapple chunks on top; time spent is 1-2 hours
12 PM - North Shore beach day with exploring and laziness
Venture down to Waimea Bay and if you're brave enough, jump off of the large rock or head over for cliff jumping at La'ie Point; other beaches to check out - here
1:30 PM Lunch at Kau 'Aina Sandwich ($$, Sandwiches) for a burger; USD cash only
Options and Food Trucks: Pupukea Grill, try the spicy tuna bowl ($$, Hawaiian Food Truck); Giovanni's, try something with shrimp ($$, Seafood Food Truck); North Shore Tacos, get some juice with your taco ($$, Taco Food Truck)
After lunch dessert at Matsumoto's Shave Ice ($, Ice Cream) - this is a MUST for the best shaved ice; bring cash
There will be a line because this place is popular, but it moves fast
Stick around Haleiwa for shopping, find some great souveniors
5 PM Tour, Dinner & Show at Ali'i Luau Buffet at the Polynesian Cultural Center; time spent is 4 hours, $85 USD
Head home from the full day of activities
7 AM Breakfast - grab something small, like a granola bar
Pack a bag for the day: beach stuff, water bottle, change of clothes, etc.
8 AM - Morning hike at Diamond Head, morning are cooler; time spent is 2 - 3 hours, $5 USD per vehicle (bring cash)
There's different levels of difficulty. You can start at the very bottom or you can drive half way up to a huge parking lot and start from there. Most people start from half way point.
11 AM - Snorkeling and fun in the sun at Hanauma Bay
Must take surfing lessons from a local, look for sea turtles but do not touch the fish or coral life
Other Beach Options: Waikiki Beach, Lanikai Beach, Kailua Beach, Waimanalo Beach, and more
Flea Market is awesome with great prices and you can bargain. Unique finds compared to the chain stores of the mall. Pearls, pearls and more pearls - get yourself a souvenir from the land of pearls.
7 PM Dinner at Duke's ($$, Local & American), make a reservation in advance and ask for a table near outside patio for a good spot to watch fireworks.
Really interesting history of this restaurant, read the front of the menu
10 PM - Nightclub & Drinks: Above Ultra Lounge ($$, Dance Club); Ginza Night Club ($$, Dance Club); or Creekside ($, Dive Bar)
8 AM Breakfast: Leonard's Bakery ($, Donuts) again, cause it's that good
10:30 AM - Cage Diving with Sharks; 2 hours not including travel time to the location, $95 USD
1 PM Lunch: Helena's Hawaiian Food ($$, Hawaiian)
Relax at the Secret Island Beach; time spent is 2.5 hours, $50 USD
4 PM - Explore the Kualoa Ranch and if you're feeling extra adventurous, try the Kualoa Ranch Zipline Tour; 2.5 hours, $160 USD
Head back and clean up for dinner
7 PM Dinner: Tonkatsu Tamafuji ($$, Japanese)
Drinks: Bar 35 ($$, Bar)
7 AM Breakfast: grab coffee and a breakfast item, there's an early flight to catch
8 AM - Set off for a day-trip to the Big Island in One Day; 11 hours, $175 USD
Sights include: volcanoes, waterfalls, sightseeing, history and more; this tour company is great because they handle all the pick-ups and drop-off on both islands.
Bring a backpack of items for the day, but you'll be flying and airline bag restrictions do apply.
8 AM Breakfast: find a local market for grab coffee and a breakfast item; don't forget lunch items
Waterfall Hike to Maunawili Falls; 2.5 miles round trip - wear your bathing suit under your clothes and tennis shoes
Pack a backpack with towels, bug spray, sunscreen, water and lunch
Clean-up at the hotel and rest up
4 PM - Pearl Harbor visitation; time spent is 2 hours, $45 - take the boat ride to see the USS Arizona Memorial
Veterans volunteer here, so stop and honor the story they tell you
Can you find the oil stain that is still leaking?
Head out for drinks again in Waikiki or stop on a beach and dig your toes in the sand
Travel a GO-Go
Use the Google map on the left to get a lay of the land and see all the fun spots that you'll visit. Download the free PDF by clicking the icon below to have this itinerary at your finger-tips.
How to Use the Map: Click the tab in the top left hand corner to view the layers (days, points of interest, route).
If you click the star, this map will be added to your Google Map account. To view, open your Google Maps, click the menu button "Your Places", select the map and it will open.
Early flight, check-out
Goodbye Honolulu. Head home.
Oahu island was a wonderful place for a girls trip. We all just wanted to get away, drink and relax and that's exactly what we did. And the city wants you to; they want you to relax and enjoy life and take it easy. Locals are very nice, but you may not see them because this is a hot tourist location.
Favorite food was the shortbread pineapple cookies. You'll find them generally everywhere and they make the best souvenir gift for friends and family. Only problem you'll have is not eating it all yourself. Speaking of pineapple, I've never been a fan until the Dole Plantation. honestly though pineapples came from a tree, like coconuts, learn something new at the plantation. And try the ice cream, even if you're picky like me. You're in Hawaii, when are you going to have this chance again?!
Hawaii is an island, which means everything has to be imported. While it's beautiful and a great experience, it is expensive - like very expensive. I should have been more mindful in my daily budget cause I definitely went over.
Favorite experience was cage diving with sharks. If you're daring, this is definitely need too. #LifetimeMoment All of my friends were too scared to do this, so I went by myself. And I'm glad I did. To this day I talk about how this was a top 5 coolest moment of my life.
This whole island is gorgeous and you will have a great adventure everyday. Walk around, get lost, talk to locals and eat something weird.