4 Days in Oahu
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Let me start this off by saying if you have more than 4 days to spend in Oahu definitely do it! There is tons of stuff to do and see it is absolutely beautiful. However, if you’re on a time constraint like we were, this itinerary will help you plan your Oahu getaway and see as much as you possibly can in your 4 days! (I’ll also share some suggestions of things you can do if you have a little more time we did!)
Day 1- Arrive in Honolulu and get to our Air BnB
We arrived in Honolulu around 11 Pm, got to car rental, and then drove our Air BnB arriving around 12:30 Am. I’ll start off by saying that our Air BnB was perfect. Decently priced, clean, great location and our host Michael was very hospitable. It was located just outside the city on Mauna Lani Heights overlooking Diamond Head and Waikiki, and it is just a few miles away from beaches, shopping, restaurants, or anything else you might need!
Day 2- Waimea Bay
We woke up around 10am and headed for breakfast at Koko Head Café. After breakfast we started our drive to the north side of the island to go to the Waimea Bay Beach Park. This beach has a little bit of a stronger current, but there are life guards present. The beach is beautiful! We took it easy and relaxed there most of the day and then headed back to our place. We decided to drive back the other side of the island. (Total trip around the island is about 3 ½ hours.) On the way back we stopped for dinner at the Turtle Bay Resort for dinner. This was our most expensive meal of the week, but it is located on a golf course and the scenery is beautiful.
Day 3- Hanauma Bay, Halona Blowhole, and Kailua Beach
We started off day 3 by going to the pancake house for breakfast. Their Strawberry Cheesecake pancakes are so good! After that we started our day at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. This is the only beach on our entire trip that we paid for but it was absolutely worth it!! It cost $1.50 for parking, $7.00 each to get into the preserve and then $48.00 for Snorkeling equipment. They did have cheaper packages available, but honestly I recommend buying and taking your own snorkeling equipment. Seeing the reef and all the different kinds of fish was so much fun and we didn’t even have to go out to far.
Note: There is a pretty big hill to get to the bay you can walk which is what we did, but they do offer a shuttle which I believe was $1.50 per person each way.
After leaving the Bay we got sushi for lunch and the next stop was the Halona Blowhole Lookout. The lookout offers a beautiful view but if you’re up for it there is a trail that is off to the right that leads down to a beach where you can hang out and swim. You can also keep walking around on the rocks to see the blowhole up close.
After taking some photos we hopped back in the car and the next stop was Kailua Beach. This beach was a lot more laid back than the others. We arrived pretty late so we just laid on the beach until the sun went down and then headed to dinner across the street at Buzz’s Steakhouse. It wasn’t a very big restaurant, but the food and dessert was great! ;)
Day 4 Back to Kailua Beach
We got a little bit of a late start so we went to the Big City Diner for lunch for burgers. After we finished eating we decided to head back to Kailua Beach to swim and hang out for the day. When it started to get late we headed back closer to home and went to a nearby Ramen place to get dinner then to the nearby Walmart to get some snacks and drinks so we could relax before our last day. If you ever get the chance to get authentic ramen…Do it!! It was so good and I wish I had a place I could go all the time)
Day 5 Pearl Harbor, Dole Plantation, Paradise Cove, and Zablan Beach
We definitely got an early rise for our last day. We woke up at 530 Am packed up our things and got ready. We stopped for a quick breakfast at the pancake house again and headed straight for the Pearl Harbor Memorial which we arrived at between 7:30 – 8:00. There we took the Ferry ride around the memorial. There has been damage done to the dock so we were not able to go inside the memorial but even just the ferry ride around it was pretty incredible. We then went through the aviation museum which was incredibly interesting to see. They also have a submarine museum and Navy Ship museum that we did not have enough time to see.
(To see the memorial and two small museums is free of charge, the Aviation, Submarine, and Navy Ship Museums do have a fee in order to get in.)
I think going to see Pearl Harbor and learning the history behind it and seeing the museums was definitely my favorite part of the trip. I highly recommend making time to visit this memorial.
Next, we headed to the Dole Plantation. We did not take a tour of the entire plantation but we did get to try the famous pineapple whip and do the pineapple maze. It is definitely worth checking into and trying out!
To finish up our day we wanted to get to see just a couple more beaches so we took a ride out to Paradise Cove which is more of a public resort beach. It was pretty busy so we didn’t really stay there to long, and to finish the day off before heading to the airport. We stopped at Zablan Beach. This is a beach were the locals hang out. It was laid back, beautiful and here is where we finally got to see a Hawaiian sunset, although we did leave a little early because the crabs started to come out to play.
Oahu is a beautiful island and we enjoyed it very much. It is definitely touristy, but there is so much do 4 days is not enough. We came on this trip to try to relax and just get away for a few days which is why we just went to as many beaches as we could, but we did not even come close to seeing them all! We never really made it into the city to see what it had to offer other than a quick drive through. There is tons of shopping and restaurants. There is an insane amount of hiking around the island and so much more! Oahu seriously has something for everyone to do. One thing I really wish we would have had a chance to check out is the Polynesian Cultural Centre. I’ve heard only good things and it is on my list next time if we go back!
Food will be the most expensive part. We went to Walmart and bought a case of water to keep in the car with us. There are cheap options available its best to kind of plan out where you’re going to eat ahead of time.
Have change on you- Most places we went we did not have to worry but there are parking meters near some of the restaurants.
Even though most of it is free tickets for Pearl Harbor are first come first serve for the ferry to the memorial so get there relatively early.
Take your own snorkel equipment. That way you can always have it with you. Only Hanauma Bay had rentals out of all the beaches we went too plus it would be cheaper.