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Oahu Botanical Garden and mountains on a rainy day, Hawaii

Itineraries for Your Trip to Oahu

Oahu locals share their perfect days.
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2 Days in Oahu for First Timers

Curated by Leah Still Jolla freelancer with a specialty in travel writing.

With two full days on Oahu, you can spend one day discovering the natural and cultural attractions of the greater Hawaiian island, and another day taking part in island activities in and around Honolulu and Waikiki. Here are some suggestions for an unforgettable 48-hour itinerary that suits your—and your family’s—interests.

Day 1: Morning

To see as much of Oahu as possible in one day with the least amount of hassle, embark on a full-day circle island tour, which provides an island overview and covers top attractions including the North Shore beaches, Diamond Head, the Dole Plantation, and Hanauma Bay. Alternatively, rise early to dive with sharks off the North Shore.

Day 1: Afternoon

If you’re not on a circle island tour, opt for a helicopter tour and get the ultimate perspective on Oahu’s beaches, bays, and mountains. Or check out one of the island’s most scenic locations—Kualoa Ranch—where you can ride ATVs, zipline, and see Jurassic Park filming locations.

Day 1: Night

Enjoy a traditional luau and other Polynesian activities with an evening visit to the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu’s northeast coast. The luau package includes dinner and a captivating hula, music, and fire-knives performance.

Day 2: Morning

Before the heat sets in, see the sights of Honolulu on a bike tour or head up to Diamond Head State Monument on a guided walking tour of the crater. To visit Pearl Harbor as efficiently as possible, opt for a half-day tour.

Day 2: Afternoon

For independent sightseeing with convenient transportation, book a ticket on the Waikiki hop-on hop-off trolley or check out Honolulu’s culinary scene on a foodie bike tour. If you prefer to be in the water, a snorkeling catamaran cruise can’t be beat.

Day 2: Night

Head out to sea on a dinner cruise to enjoy the evening air, watch the sunset, and look back at Oahu from the boat deck. Music lovers might want to check out the Rock-a-Hula show for a Vegas–style performance.

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