Oahu Itinerary: The Top 10 Things To Do In Hawaii

Hawaii

The list of things to do on Oahu is seemingly endless. There are countless beautiful beaches, jaw-droppingly gorgeous hikes, and tons of amazing restaurants making it hard for visitors to narrow down their itinerary for Oahu to the most important things.

As the daughter of someone born and raised in Hawaii, I am a self-proclaimed expert. I have visited over 50 times, most of my family still lives there today, and I even have the geo coordinates of Honolulu tattooed on my arm (the ultimate sign of love, no?).

Over the course of my life, while on my 50+ Oahu trips, I have done just about everything the island has to offer. As such, I have come up with a long list of do’s and don’ts.

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Below are my top 10 Oahu itinerary recommendations for those looking to have the trip of a lifetime!

WAIKIKI

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Whenever my friends or people I know go to Oahu and stay in Waikiki the entire time they all end up hating it. Because of that, let me start out by saying do not spend all of your time in Waikiki. Waikiki is a great place to stay but if you do stay there make sure you rent a car so that you are able to get to items 1-9 below!

My local’s guide to the best places to eat on Oahu has a lot of Waikiki spots I recommend stopping by.

If you have free time at night, walk up and down Waikiki. There are street performers, parrots, and other fun things to check out!

I also recommend doing a sunset cruise. The views are absolutely stunning and it’s always lovely to be out on the water at sunset. Click here if you’re interested in booking one with a live dj or here for a more chill sunset cocktail cruise.

If you are new to surfing and want to give that a go, Waikiki is a fantastic place to do it! Unlike many other parts of the island, the waves there are (almost) never too crazy, nor are they non-existent. It’s the only spot we take people to surf when we have friends visiting with us.

Scuba diving is another great option, even if you’re a beginner!

And of course snorkeling! My personal recommendation is to skip Hanauma Bay which has become an absolute tourist nightmare. A highly rated Waikiki snorkel and sailing adventure!

It’s also a great place to whale watch.

KUALOA RANCH

Trang trại Kualoa cung cấp nhiều tour du lịch và các cuộc phiêu lưu khác nhau - đừng bỏ lỡ nếu bạn có kế hoạch đến thăm Oahu Cảnh đẹp từ chuyến tham quan tại Kualoa Ranch

If you want to spend the day (or two!) feeling like you’re in the real life Jurassic Park or need a fun break between restless beach days, look no further. Kualoa Ranch is a beautiful ranch between Honolulu and the North Shore where many famous movies were filmed – Jurassic Park, 50 First Dates, Pearl Harbor to name a few. It is a must on your Oahu itinerary.

They offer countless different tours and adventures, everything from horseback rides to ATV tours to their new treetop canopy zipline tour! I have done most and would highly recommend them all. Click here to see all the different options.

HIKING

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One of the best things you can do while visiting Oahu is to take advantage of the beautiful hiking options. There are trails for hikers of all experience levels and the photo opps you’ll get can only be captured on foot so get out there and explore! I would recommend making at least one of the below hikes part of your Hawaii itinerary.

For a quick and easy hike with a beautiful view check out Diamond Head.

Also with beautiful views and still fairly easy is Lanikai Pillboxes.

For a moderate jungle hike try Tantalus.

Want something quick with an amazing view? Try Crouching Lion (note: this hike is not legal).

And, if you are in for something extra difficult, try my favorite of them all – Kokohead. Go before sunrise as there is no shade whatsoever and it gets HOT.

KAYAKING

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Kayaking anywhere in Hawaii is gorgeous (of course) but my go-to is from Lanikai beach to the mokes. Here are three highly rated options for you to book:

NORTH SHORE

Vịnh Waimea trên Bờ Bắc của Oahu Cạo đá từ Matsumoto nổi tiếng trên Bờ Bắc của Oahu

When visiting Oahu you can absolutely not miss a visit to the North Shore. The North Shore is the most remote and by far the most beautiful, in my humble opinion. Haleiwa should be your North Shore destination and I’d recommend making numerous stops on your way and while there.

If you don’t want to explore on your own or you will not be renting a car, don’t worry! You can and should still visit the North Shore, and I have three great options for you to easily do so.

HALEIWA JOE’S AT HAIKU GARDEN

ckanani-hawaii-18.jpg Haleiwa Joe's at Haiku Garden là một trong 10 điều nên làm ở Oahu

Haleiwa Joe’s at Haiku Gardens is my favorite dinner spot in all of Hawai’i – and that’s saying a lot coming from someone that has visited Hawai’i over 50 times! This is especially important if you are here because you’re looking for the perfect Hawaii honeymoon itinerary.

Dining here makes you feel like you are eating dinner in Jurassic Park and to make it even better, the food is also to die for. If you’re looking for an Oahu 3 day itinerary or even just have one day, this is a must.

Go early, put your name in (make sure you request a table on the edge so you have a clear view) then walk around the gardens below until your table is ready. It is a 15-30 min drive from Honolulu, depending on traffic.

Note: there’s also a Haleiwa Joe’s in Haleiwa, but I specifically recommend the Kaneohe location at Haiku Gardens.

SECRET ISLAND AT KUALOA RANCH

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If you are looking for a beach that is more remote, Secret Island (part of Kualoa Ranch) is my go to. If you’re looking to fill an Oahu itinerary 7 days, I would add this to the list. If you have less time than that it might not be the best use of your time depending on how much beach time you want to spend.

Although not free, buying a ticket gets you access to the beach and unlimited activities such as standup paddle boarding, kayaking, beach volleyball, etc. for 2.5 hours. I would consider doing this in the morning and then taking a tour of the ranch in the afternoon. It’s also a lovely spot to just lay in a hammock and relax without a million people around!

LANIKAI BEACH

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DO NOT MISS THIS! Lanikai Beach is my favorite beach of all time and is often listed as one of the best in the world!

Try to get there for sunrise or stay for sunset, not just for the views but also to avoid the crowds (it is quite popular these days). If you’re looking for an activity, consider kayaking to the mokes. Click here to book kayaking or, if you prefer sailing.

Alternatively you can hike to the nearby Lanikai Pillboxes when you are sick of the beach.

DOORS OFF HELICOPTER TOUR

Bãi biển Waikiki từ cửa ra vào chuyến tham quan bằng trực thăng Một trong 10 điều hàng đầu nên làm ở Hawaii - chuyến tham quan bằng máy bay trực thăng

A doors off helicopter tour is hands down THE most beautiful way to see the island. Going the doors off route makes for completely unobstructed views so if you are interested in the photo opps provided from a helicopter, there is no better option.

If you need a place to rent a good lens, Hawaii Camera Rental was very helpful. I used the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II for my trip.

SWIM WITH DOLPHINS IN THE WILD

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Swimming with dolphins in the wild is a truly magical experience that should be made top priority while visiting Oahu. I love it so much that I’ve done it a handful of times already!

Dolphin Excursions is the company I recommend using. They will provide you with you roundtrip transportation from Waikiki or Ko Olina if needed.

For more detailed information, click here to read my full review of the Dolphin Excursions tour!

Source: ckanani.com

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