Whether it’s your first visit to the islands, or your fiftieth, most travelers come to (or through) the island of Oahu, and some never leave, and it’s easy to see why. Honolulu is a city full of contrasts, home to almost a million people. Even after years of living here, locals will tell you that there are still neighborhoods, parks, restaurants, and beaches to explore or revisit. There is always something to do – round the clock, so you’ll never get bored. And if you long for an escape from the hustle and bustle, simply drive a few minutes out into the “country” to settle back into a more relaxed pace and onto island time.
Honolulu is the main point of entry for the State of Hawaii, whether you are staying put in Honolulu or island-hopping, so this itinerary assumes you’ll be arriving via Honolulu International Airport (HNL). Begin your search here for cheap flights to Honolulu, keeping in mind that you may also use the widget at the top and bottom of this post.
Quick search for flights to Honolulu, Oahu (HNL) from Seattle (SEA), San Francisco (SFO), and Los Angeles (LAX):
Where to Stay & How to Get Around
Most who visit Oahu choose to stay in Waikiki on the south shore of the island. The largest concentration of hotels, condos, and hostels exist on this two mile strip fronting world-famous Waikiki Beach. Transportation options are plentiful, including tours and the public bus, so renting a car may not even be necessary depending on your plans for getting out and exploring the island.
For this itinerary, I would suggest a car rental or a vacation package which includes rental car. To save on parking (check with your hotel for rates) and rental fees, you may also opt to rent a car for the days you’ll be driving out of Waikiki and not participating in a tour.
There are also a growing number of accommodation options outside of Waikiki, particularly in the Ko Olina area on the west side of the island. This itinerary is tailored towards those staying in Waikiki, although you can make it work from elsewhere on the island provided you’ve chosen to rent a car.
Oahu Itinerary Days 1-3
Oahu Itinerary Days 4 & 5
Oahu Itinerary Days 6 & 7
Photo by: Irma