Are you ready to plan a 7 day Oahu itinerary? Your one week in Oahu is going to be amazing.
In this post, we will break down a day-by-day Oahu itinerary. This will include things to do on the north shore as well as some Honolulu itinerary options. There are so many things to do on Oahu with kids or if you are planning a couples trip these activities on Oahu will work for you as well.
I will do my best to help you. I love Hawaii! This is really the best Oahu itinerary if this is your first time to Hawaii or if you just want to do the most popular activities on Oahu.
Don’t have a week? No problem. You can adapt this 7 day Oahu itinerary to a 5 day Oahu itinerary or even if you only have 3 days in Oahu this will work.
Let’s explore all the fun things to include in your 7 day Oahu itinerary!
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Tips for Visiting Oahu
Before we start our Oahu itinerary, you might have some questions about planning your Oahu trip. I am going to answer some common questions you might have.
How Many Days Should I Spend on Oahu?
I wouldn’t book a trip for fewer than 4 days on Oahu. 1 week in Oahu would really give you enough time to do almost every tourist attraction and still have some time to relax and enjoy the beaches. 10 days in Oahu may be too long unless the highlight of your trip is relaxing on the beach.
My magic number is between 5-7 days. There are so many activities to do on Oahu that you can easily fill a 7 day Oahu itinerary.
What is the Best Time to Visit Oahu?
Hawaii is wonderful all year round. There really isn’t a bad time to go to Oahu. I would suggest avoiding busy times such as holidays. The rainy season is in the Fall, but we went in October and it was fabulous.
Should I Rent a Car on Oahu?
Yes, I would recommend getting a car so that you can see Oahu. I always book through Priceline and have never had a problem.
If you want to stay in the Honolulu Waikiki Beach area and never leave you do not need a car. There are shuttle busses that will take you to different tourist attractions from Waikiki. They will even pick you up from your hotel.
You would be missing out on some of the best areas of Oahu if you only stay in Waikiki. Driving in Oahu is beautiful in my opinion worth renting a car for.
Best Places to Stay on Oahu
As you plan your Oahu itinerary accommodation locations are important. If you plan on exploring the North Shore you probably want to stay on that side of the island. Day trips from Honolulu are manageable however, I would recommend staying close to the activities on Oahu you want to do.
We have stayed in Waikiki, the North Shore, and Ko Olina. I will give you a few suggestions to get you started. There are some great family resorts on Oahu but the majority of the resorts are designed for smaller groups.
Day 1 – Oahu Itinerary – Waikiki
One week in Oahu Day -1
Let’s get started with a few Hawaii Tips and plan a 7 day Oahu itinerary for your first day!
Items on Your Agenda:
- Check in to your hotel
- Hit the beach
Do Any of the Following Activities:
You will want to check out the amenities your hotel offers. Some may include free surf lessons or equipment rentals.
Day 2 Oahu Itinerary- Waikiki and Honolulu Area
7 Day Oahu Itinerary Oahu Day – 2
Time to plan your day 2 Oahu travel itinerary. The first 2 days can be included on a Honolulu itinerary. Remember, these days can go in any order you would like them to.
Four Items on Your Agenda:
- Hike Diamond Head
- Hanauma Bay
- Tour of Iolani Palace
- Waikiki Night Life
Morning Hike – Diamond Head
Diamond Head is an extremely popular hike on Ohau. It is an extinct volcano turned into a hiking trail that ends with a panoramic view. It is the perfect activity in Oahu to add to your 7 day Oahu itinerary.
I would recommend waking up very early to hike for a couple of reasons. The parking lot fills up by 6:30 a.m. We arrived at that time and ended up having to park a mile away. Luckily, we were in incredible shape and loved running the extra mile.
The hike is pretty steep and there is a lot of stairs. Try to get in shape before Hawaii so this hike can be enjoyable or just take it really slow.
Diamond Head Fees
It does cost $5 per vehicle or $1 if you are walking in and not driving. The official parking lot fills up fast at various times during the year, so go early! Otherwise, you may need to park farther away, and have quite a hike to get to the hike!
This hike will take about 2 hours, and offers amazing views.
Hanauma Bay Snorkeling
Hanauma Bay is gorgeous! We spent an afternoon at Hanauma Bay and loved it. This beautiful snorkeling area was formed by a volcanic cone and has an amazing coral reef. The water is really shallow in this area but there are many many fish and sea life to see.
Hanauma Bay Hours and Fees
Admission – $7.50 plus $1 for parking – children under 12 are free.
Hours – 6:00 am – 7:00 pm
After, Hanauma Bay I would get lunch and relax. If you love a little historic tour my next stop on this 7 day Oahu itinerary would be the Iolani Palace.
The Iolani Palace was built in 1882 by King Kalakaua. It was the home of Hawaii’s last reigning monarchs and served as the official royal residence and the residence of the Kingdom’s political and social life until the overthrow of the monarchy in 1893.
Tour, Hours, and Admission
Tour – Lasts about an hour and a half. Allow yourself about 2 hours at the Iolani Palace
Hours – 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Mon – Sat
Admission – $20 self-guided tour $27 guided tour – children are $6 for either tour.
Waikiki Night Life
If you have time you can get dinner, do a little more shopping, or enjoy the street performers in downtown Waikiki. Or you could go back to your hotel and enjoy the pool and services provided by the hotel.
Day 3 – Oahu Itinerary – Slowly Heading to North Shore
One Week in Oahu Day 3
Now on to day 3 of the Oahu 7 day itinerary.
Three Items on Your Agenda:
- Surf at Waikiki
- Dole Pineapple Plantation
- Snorkel at Shark’s Cove
Surf At Waikiki Beach
It might be good to schedule a surf lesson in advance. If you already know how to surf but need to rent a surfboard you may want to prearrange this as well. There are surfboards and lessons available on Waikiki Beach.
Wake up really early! 5:30 – 6:00 am. This is the best time to get out on the ocean and hit the waves. You can surf later but it will be really busy!
I would plan to surf until around 10:00 am. This will give you enough time to get back to your hotel and shower before you have to check out.
I enjoyed stopping at the Dole Plantation. If you are traveling with kids then this is a perfect location! There is a corn maze, train ride, garden tour, and eatery. This is a great place to get a Dole Whip in Hawaii.
Train – $12
Garden – $7.50
Maze – $8.25
You can decide if this is something you would like to do or head on to the North Shore.
Snorkel at Shark’s Cove
Shark’s Cove is a free place to snorkel. You can rent snorkeling equipment nearby as well. There are public bathrooms to change and shower at as well. We loved snorkeling in Oahu and hit many spots as we explored the island.
It would be good to go check in to your new hotel located on this side of the island. We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott because it was located right next to the Polynesian Culture Center. If I had to do it over I would stay at Turtle Bay Resort. We explored this hotel and loved the snorkeling available at Turtle Bay Resort.
Day 4 – Oahu Itinerary – Polynesian Culture Center
7 Day Oahu Itinerary – Day 4
Only one item on your Oahu itinerary today. If you want a 4 day Oahu itinerary this is a good start. But keep looking at the next few days and see if there is anything you want to put on the top of your Oahu itinerary.
One Item on Your Agenda:
Polynesian Culture Center
This is an all-day event. Even before PCC opens there are shops and restaurants located outside of the center. The Polynesian Culture Center is a really cool experience.
There are representatives from all of the pacific islands (Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa,….etc.) Each island is represented with a live interactive show to display the culture of the people of that island. There are also several crafts and exhibits in each station. There is an amazing show on the water (think Disneyland Fantasmic).
You can include dinner in your admission ticket. There is a luau available or 2 different buffets. I thought the buffet was a luau and was very sad when I learned it was different!
But even though I did not purchase the luau there is an amazing show that is included in the ticket price after dinner. The center closes and everyone comes into a huge auditorium. This show included over 15 fire twirlers. It was really fun!
Admission and Hours
Price is $95 for adults $75 for kids and up depending on what package you want.
Coupons are usually available.
The Marketplace 11:00 am – 9:30 pm
The Center 11:45 am – 9:00 pm
5 – Oahu Itinerary – Hike Waimea Falls and Turtle Beach
One Week in Oahu Day 5
Explore the North Shore on day 5 of your Oahu itinerary.
Three Items on Your Agenda:
- Waimea Falls
- Waimea Bay Beach Park
- Turtle Beach
- Turtle Bay Snorkeling
Waimea Valley is located on the North Shore. We initially thought that this was just a hike but we were wrong. This is another Polynesian experience. There is a 3/4 of a mile hike to a waterfall where you can actually swim. A botanical garden is also on the property to explore.
Classes are offered throughout the day that includes lei making, hula lessons, Hawaiian games, history walks, as well as a class on all the flowers that grow in Hawaii.
I would plan to spend about 3 hours at Waimea Valley depending on whether you are planning to swim at the waterfall.
After you have explored Waimea Valley head across the street and get some beach time at Waimea Valley Beach Park.
Laniakea Beach also Known as Turtle Beach
This beach is not a swimming hang out and relax type of place. There are huge sea turtles everywhere! This is a really fun place to observe the sea turtles and get some really good pictures.
I would say most people stay for around 30 minutes and then go on to your next destination.
Parking is a little tricky as you have to park on the side of the street. You may have to park farther away and walk back to Turtle Beach.
Turtle Bay Resort Snorkeling
Turtle Bay Resort is really nice. If you are not staying on the property don’t worry. The beach is free. There is even some parking spaces available for beach access.
I will say of all the snorkeling in Oahu that we did, this was my favorite place. There were so many fish in this cove. We didn’t have many crowds, and we had comfortable space between us and the ocean floor (you will know what I mean if you go to Hanauma Bay.) I highly recommend checking it out.
If you are staying at the resort then that is even better because you can enjoy more of the amenities offered at the resort.
This would be a perfect 5 day Oahu itinerary unless you want to add a little more to your trip.
Day 6 – Oahu Itinerary – Kualoa Ranch and Food Trucks
One Week in Oahu Day 6
Day 6 on the Oahu itinerary is continuing activities on the North Shore.
Two Items on Your Agenda:
- Kualoa Ranch
- Food Trucks
These tours are extremely popular and book out 2-3 weeks in advance. So make sure you book ahead of time.
Admission and Hours
Each tour costs a different amount starting at $36.
Hours – 7:00 am – 5:30 pm
Food trucks are everywhere on the North Shore. Nearby the Kauloa Ranch there is a food truck park. There are many different choices. This is a great spot if you want to try a variety of food.
If you are staying on the North Shore one more night, then enjoy your time at the resort or a new snorkeling spot. Or if you are headed to another part of the island then take the time to travel and relax in your new hotel room.
Day 7 – Oahu Itinerary – Hike hike to Kaena Point and Ala Moana
7 Day Oahu Itinerary – Day 7
Enjoy your last day of Oahu.
Four Items on Your Agenda:
- Hike to Kaena Point
- The Aloha Stadium Swap Meet
- Catamaran Fun Sail
- Relax and enjoy the beach
Hike to Kaena Point
Distance – 5 miles round trip
This hike is on the west side of the island. It will take about 3 hours to complete. I suggest you go early in the morning because there is very little shade on this trail.
Aloha Swap Meet
The Aloha Swap Meet is a big flea market. There are vendors that sell many Hawaii souvenirs. You will also find normal flea market booths selling used items.
We were able to go and look around for a little while. It is huge! Vendors wrap around a huge stadium. There is plenty of parking.
Remember Sunscreen. It is hot and there is no shade!
Days and Hours
Wednesday and Saturday 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
Sunday 6:30 am – 3:00 pm
The swap meet was not my thing. I prefer the indoor stores to buy souvenirs. To each his own!
Catamaran Fun Sail
On this day, spend one last afternoon on the water. A catamaran ride on the ocean would be a great way to wrap up your trip. Or maybe you would like to parasail or just hang out on the beach. No matter how you spend the final hours of your one week in Oahu, you won’t be disappointed.
Beach Time To End Your Oahu Itinerary
7 days in Oahu is the perfect amount of time to spend in Hawaii. If you feel like you missed something you can always come back!
Tours in Oahu
Go, Oahu Card
After doing a lot of research, I think the Go Oahu Card is worth it. Most of the things in this Oahu itinerary are available on the card for a much lower price.
For example, the Kauloa Ranch has 5 different tours that are included on this card, and some cost up to $130. The Polynesian Cultural Center, Hanauma Bay, and Diamond Head are included as well.
On my next family trip to Hawaii, I am going to buy this pass because I think it will help with budgeting as well. I like the fact that everything can be pre-purchased and we won’t be spending lots of extra money once we arrive.
Oahu Helicopter Tour
The Oahu Helicopter Tour is an unbelievable experience! This 45-minute tour will take you all around Oahu. The views are incredible and if you have ever wanted to go on a helicopter ride, Hawaii is the place to do it!
Hiking in Paradise Tour
The Hiking in Paradise Tour is for someone who did not want to rent a car but still wanted to experience the amazing waterfalls and hikes in the area.
The tour guide picks you up from your hotel. You will have two choices a hike to a waterfall or a hike to a volcanic rain forest. The waterfall hike is 3.5 hours and the volcanic rain forest hike is 4 hours. Both tours start at 9:00 am.
Jurassic Park Waterfall Tour
Oahu Waterfall Hike will take you to the location Jurassic Park was filmed. It is about a 4-hour hike with starting times at both 9:00 am and 2:00 pm. Didn’t rent a car? No problem! This tour will also pick you up from your hotel in Waikiki.
Luaus in Oahu
Here are some options for Luaus in Oahu. There are many to choose from.
Polynesian Culture Center
The Polynesian Culture Center is more than just a Luau. You will want to plan to spend the entire day from about lunch to close here.
The Paradise Cove Luau is a 4-hour experience. They will pick you up from your hotel in Waikiki. I have heard really good reviews from this Luau.
What to Pack for Oahu
Plan the Best Oahu Itinerary
Hawaii is for everyone! Plan your budget for Hawaii and decide what activities you want to do!
Also, do not forget to get your Hawaii Souvenirs!
If you have any questions be sure to comment down below!
Also, be sure to join my Facebook Travel Community This great community can help answer any questions you may have about your upcoming trips. Plus, I try to add any great deals or promotions that companies send me!
Top 20 Places To Eat in Oahu
I put together this awesome Free food guide of the best places to eat on Oahu. You have to eat while you are on vacation right?!! I will email you a copy. Click – Free Oahu Eating Guide