Road.Travel Road.Travel
    16 Activities

    A Two-Day Oahu Island Tour

    A Two-Day Oahu Island Tour
    Starts from

    Waikiki

    Transportation

    By Car

    Guidance

    Self-Guided

    Activities

    16

    Duration

    2 days

    Length

    105 mi

    Guide details

    Starts from

    Waikiki

    Transportation

    By Car

    Guidance

    Self-Guided

    Duration

    2 days

    Length

    105 mi

    Natural AttractionsUnusual LocationsGastronomy
    Map preview

    Created By:

    Erin Lindholm

    Erin Lindholm

    Travel Expert

    Highlights

    • Watch for whales on the hike to Makapuu Lighthouse.
    • Enjoy a proper Hawaiian "plate lunch" on a 3-mile, white sand beach.
    • Kayak to the sandbar in Hawaii's calmest ocean bay.
    • Watch the surfers at Banzai Pipeline.
    • Learn more about Polynesian wayfaring culture, and Oahu's big heart.
    The second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands, Oahu is so much more than Honolulu and Waikiki (as famous as they are, rightfully). Taking a couple of days to really explore all that Oahu has to offer — largely skipping the heavily-promoted touristic destinations and attractions in island tour brochures — you'll quickly realize that Oahu has an authentic, aloha spirit all its own. This 2-day road trip encircles the island in a counterclockwise direction, with a relaxed pace focusing on more of what it means to have an Oahu state-of-mind. From Oahu's lesser-known windward coast to the North Shore, there's a reason why Oahu has such monikers such as "The Heart of Hawaii" and "The Gathering Place." Let's go explore.

    Categories

    The second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands, Oahu is so much more than Honolulu and Waikiki (as famous as they are, rightfully). Taking a couple of days to really explore all that Oahu has to offer — largely skipping the heavily-promoted touristic destinations and attractions in island tour brochures — you'll quickly realize that Oahu has an authentic, aloha spirit all its own. This 2-day road trip encircles the island in a counterclockwise direction, with a relaxed pace focusing on more of what it means to have an Oahu state-of-mind. From Oahu's lesser-known windward coast to the North Shore, there's a reason why Oahu has such monikers such as "The Heart of Hawaii" and "The Gathering Place." Let's go explore.
    Erin Lindholm

    Erin Lindholm

    Travel Expert

    • Watch for whales on the hike to Makapuu Lighthouse.
    • Enjoy a proper Hawaiian "plate lunch" on a 3-mile, white sand beach.
    • Kayak to the sandbar in Hawaii's calmest ocean bay.
    • Watch the surfers at Banzai Pipeline.
    • Learn more about Polynesian wayfaring culture, and Oahu's big heart.

    Travel itinerary

    Heading to the North Shore, via Oahu's Windward Coast
    7 Activities

    Day 1

    55 mi0.2 mi

    Heading to the North Shore, via Oahu's Windward Coast

    While the North Shore isn't hardly an hour's drive from Honolulu, Hawaii, directly, by taking the longer, more exploratory route to get there you'll see parts of Oahu only a small percentage of the hundreds of thousands of visitors a year that the island receives ever visit. To the south beyond Diamond Head, the journey begins with stops to see the Halona Blowhole Lookout and a short, paved hike to the lookout over Makapu'u Lighthouse. Next it's lunch on the beach — plate lunch, that is, on Waimanalo Beach, one of Oahu's finest (that you've probably never heard of). The afternoon presents an opportunity to kayak and snorkel in the calmest bay in all of the Hawaiian islands, so best to wear your swimwear and sun cream from the get-go. The day winds down with checking in to a legendary North Shore resort property — with ample leisure time and prime sunset views.
    Spending a Leisurely Day Along the North Shore
    9 Activities

    Day 2

    50 mi0.3 mi

    Spending a Leisurely Day Along the North Shore

    When you've already made it to the North Shore, there's no rush to leave. Start with breakfast locally (or indulge at the resort because, why not?). The plan for this day is to simply enjoy. Check out a couple of beach parks, order a slice of pie before noon — who knows what the day will bring, in the best way possible. What is on schedule is visiting some North Shore beaches renowned for surfing and sea turtle spotting, plus, yes, some North Shore shrimp. There's a small surprise in store on the way back home, but it's well worth the hour-plus spent. Finish the day with a meal at a beloved local restaurant that is guaranteed to soften the return to reality.
    Map preview
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