While it may be a small island, Oahu is full of amazing things to do and you can spend many days exploring and still not be done. However, 5 days in Oahu is a good length of time to get a feel for the island. If you are looking for inspiration on what to do, here is a detailed itinerary for you!
Where to stay:
We stayed at the Waikiki Beach Marriott, and did not have a single complaint. The rooms were spacious and comfortable, and the ocean views certainly were a bonus. However, I think the star of the show was definitely the buffet breakfast. From your regular continental choices to noodles and kimchi, there is something for everyone. We filled up at breakfast everyday, and didn’t get hungry until dinner time!
Renting a car and driving around is the best way to get around. This way, you have the flexibility of spending as much time as you want in a certain place while skipping attractions that don’t interest you. However, if you don’t want the hassle of driving, there are plenty of tours that depart from Honolulu.
Day 1 Explore Honolulu:
The capital and the largest city in Hawai’i has about half of the population of the Hawaiian islands living here. The city also has a very rich history that is not to be missed on your visit. A visit to the Iolani palace is a way to get a glimpse into the fascinating history of the Hawaiian islands. Learn about the unification of the islands by King Kamehameha as well as the annexation of Hawai’i by the United States. Also, don’t forget to try some malasadas, a Portuguese sweet that is popular here.
Day 2 Polynesian Cultural Centre:
Get a crash course in the culture of all the Polynesian Islands in one spot at the Polynesian Cultural Centre (PCC for short). Plan to spend a whole day here, as there are plenty of activities and shows to keep you entertained. Some of my favourites include a live enactment of a Tahitian wedding ceremony and a detailed explanation of the Maori Haka.
We also stayed for the dinner and show at night, which we thoroughly enjoyed.
Day 3 Pearl harbour:
The events that occurred on the morning of December 7th, 1941 undeniably shaped much of modern history. Even if you’re not a history buff, I highly recommend visiting Pearl Harbour to learn all about the lead up to the event and what happened after. Be sure to book your tickets in advance and avoid waiting in line.
While you are there, consider visiting the USS Missouri. Here you can stand in the exact spot where the papers of surrender were signed, ending World War II.
Day 4 Oahu Grand Circle:
As the name indicates, this is a tour of around the entire island which can be done in one (albeit hectic) day. This was one of my absolute favourite things we did on Oahu, as it really highlights how beautiful and varied the landscape of the island is. On this tour, you can check out some amazing spots like blowholes and pineapple plantations.
Check out my post on the spots you should not miss on Oahu Grand Circle here.
Day 5 Beach day:
It would be a shame to come all the way to Oahu and not appreciate the beauty of the beaches here. We only spent 4 days here, and it would have been really nice to have an extra day to do a few things we didn’t get around to. Take advantage of your final day to laze on the beach, snorkel in some world famous snorkelling spots, or maybe even do a hike such as the one to Diamond Head crater.
Check out some of the amazing hikes you can do on Oahu here.
And there you have it, a complete guide to seeing Oahu in 5 days! If you have any favourite spots in Oahu, let me know!
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