View from Diamond Head Crater Hike in Oahu Hawaii
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The Perfect One Week in Oahu 7 Day Oahu Itinerary

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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7 day Oahu Itineary pin for Pinterest

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Contents hide

Tips for Visiting Oahu

Airport near Aulani

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

Best Family resort in Oahu - Disney Aulani Resort

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. 

Waikiki 

North Shore

Ko Olina

Day 1 – Oahu Itinerary – WaikikiOahu 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 AreaOne Week Oahu Itinerary

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 Hike Oahu Itinerary

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

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.

Iolani Palace

Iolani Palace 1 week in Oahu Itinerary
Image courtesy of National Parks

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 ShoreOne week in Oahu - snorkel

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 Beach

Surf at Waikiki Oahu Hawaii Itineary

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.

Dole Plantation

Dole Pineapple Plantation Oahu Itinerary

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.

Admission

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

Sharks Cove Oahu Hawaii

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 ResortWe explored this hotel and loved the snorkeling available at Turtle Bay Resort.

Turtle Bay Resort
Turtle Bay Resort

Courtyard Marriott
Courtyard by Marriott Oahu North Shore

Day 4 – Oahu Itinerary – Polynesian Culture CenterPolynesian Fire Twirler

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

Polynesian cultural center Oahu Hawaii

5 – Oahu Itinerary – Hike Waimea Falls and Turtle Beach

Turtle Beach hawaii

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 Falls

Waimea Valley Oahu HAwaii

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.  

Admission

$20 Adults

$12 Children

Laniakea Beach also Known as Turtle Beach  

Turtle Beach Oahu Hawaii

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

Snore

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 TrucksFood Trucks in Hawaii

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

Kualoa Ranch

Kualoa Ranch is where Jurassic Park was filmed.  There is so much to do: movie tours, horseback riding, ATV rides, zipline, Jeep tours, electric bikes, and kayaking.

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

Food Trucks in Oahu

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.

Relax

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 MoanaSailing on Waikiki

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

Hike to Kaena Point
Image Courtesy of Best of Oahu

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

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.

Pro-Tip

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

Personal Opinion

The swap meet was not my thing.  I prefer the indoor stores to buy souvenirs.  To each his own!

Catamaran Fun Sail

Catamaran ride Oahu Hawaii

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

Beach in Oahu Hawaii

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

Pillbox Hike Oahu Hawaii

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

Makapuu Hike Oahu Hawaii

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

cook islands at PCC

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.

Paradise Cove

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

What to pack for Cancun - Water Shoes

Now that you have a few ideas for your Oahu itinerary, you will want to prepare for your trips.  You might be wondering what to pack for Hawaii, and I have you covered there.  There are a few things I would recommend before going. 

Pack for Hawaii

Plan the Best Oahu Itinerary

Water fall in Hawaii

We split our trip between Oahu and had one day in Maui We had some fun experiences driving in Maui to see a really cool blowhole.  Maui was so gorgeous we wish we had more time to explore it.

We focused on hiking in Oahu and snorkeling in Oahu but also did most of the touristy stuff as well.  We had so much fun and I know you will too!

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!

Facebook Community

 

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

Top Restaurants 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 

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115 Comments

  1. So many amazing adventures here! I’ve pinned the post for when we finally make it to Hawaii! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love the wild side of Hawaii so much. It’s simply breathtaking. However, going to visit Pearl Harbor was very moving and I’m glad I went there as well. Hawaii has so much to see and do.

  3. So many amazing things to see and do. Thanks for providing such a great itinerary. I would definitely need to snorkel at Turtle Bay

  4. We took a day trip from Kauai to visit Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial and toured the Dole Plantation. Would love to return for a longer period to take on some of the day hikes and waterfalls. This post will be perfect to create that itinerary.

  5. I’ve been to Oahu many times and this is a pretty complete guide book you’re giving! My favorites places were the north shore, sunset beach and snorkeling at the shark cove and turtle bay resort. I love also waimanalo beach and Kailua beach. Definitely recommend a Luau.

  6. Wow you did so many things!! Looks like an amazing trip! I have only been to Maui, but hope to go back to experience more of the islands!

  7. What an excellent itinerary! I spent a week on the Big Island and LOVED IT! We are planning on traveling back to all the islands. I will pin this for later for Oahu!

  8. Thanks for taking the guesswork out of traveling to Oahu. There are a lot of great tips and plans you’ve shared!

  9. Wow, this place looks so beautiful! We were trying to go here for our honeymoon but the flights are quite expensive but hoping we can make it there one day ❤

  10. What an AMAZING trip! I’ve been to Hawaii a few times, but this trip itinerary is making want to go back! So many cool things to do on Oahu!!

  11. GREAT job!! We did almost everything on your list! The only other thing that I would add is hiking Koko Crater Trail (not for the faint of heart, but the MOST extraordinary views)!! Nice looking website too!

  12. Brings back memories! We went for our 25th anniversary. This is a wonderful itinerary with good detailed info.

  13. We are going this summer and pinned to read again right before we go. Dole Plantation was one of my favs as a kid and you CANNOT miss Hanauma Bay

  14. What a busy week! I think my list would begin and end with finding every hidden beach on the island 🙂

      1. This is an awesome itinerary! So many places I would go like to go…the pineapple plantation, luau, castle and definitely the Jurassic park excursions!

  15. I live on Oahu for a few years! It sure has changed since I was there! I do not think I could only do 1 week…but you have a great itinerary!

  16. Great itinerary – sometimes I need to see someone else’s to get ideas for my own! There are several items on your list that my sister did when she was there on her honeymoon! She talks about the hikes and Pearl Harbor all of the time!

  17. Traveling to Hawaii is definitely on my bucket list! I have saved your post so that I can refer back to it one day when we have an opportunity to travel there! Thank you fro all of the great info!!

  18. Our Hawaii trip is a few years off, but every time I read up on it I want to make it happen sooner! Looks amazing!

  19. Sounds like you got a lot done in a week! I think scheduling your events gives you something to do, and something to look forward to. Great post!

  20. Wow, it looks like an amazing trip with so many things to do and see! Thanks for the tips about Diamond Head.

  21. Totally comprehensive planning guide for Oahu! Bookmarked, thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  22. We only spent 4 days in Oahu, but we did a lot in those days. I fell in love with HI there! I definitely want to go back and if we do, I’ll be looking back at this post for some fun ideas!

  23. Thank you for such a detailed look at a week in Oahu, there are some great options here that can hopefully help me plan for my trip to Hawaii someday!

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  25. Looks absolutely heavenly! We are hoping to reschedule our Hawaii trip for next year. The are several things on this list that I hope we will have time for! Our trip is a guided tour, but we will definitely be booking a few extra days on our own to explore.

  26. I love how you have an Oahu Itinerary planned out day by day. That will save people so much time and research. I think I would really enjoy the Hanauma Bay Snorkeling.

  27. I did a short trip to Oahu once when my husband had a meeting there. I wish I explored more as these are awesome ideas for a week in Oahu, but I was away from the kids and just wanted to sit and soak in the alone time.

  28. Aw… love this! Looks like a great one week Oahu itinerary! We did just the opposite as you spent our time in Maui and a one day trip to Oahu to visit Pearl Harbor. I hope to get back to explore more cuz I REALLY want to visit the Jurassic Park sites! Thanks so much for sharing!

  29. Wow, you packed a lot into this week in Oahu. The itinerary is super organized so that makes it easy to get all these wonderful activities in. I wouldn’t want to miss one. The snorkeling, hiking Diamond Head, Pearl Harbor, and Dole Plantation are always top on our list.

  30. There’s so much to see and do in Oahu! My hubby and son have always wanted to tour Pearl Harbor. I would love the nature activities, snorkeling, Kualoa Ranch, and of course sampling the yummy food truck fare!

    1. I think Hawaii is wonderful all year long. We went in the summer and it was perfect. They say in the winter the Northshore has big waves and in the summer it is calm.

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