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How to Spend 2 Weeks Adventuring in Oahu

How to Spend 2 Weeks Adventuring in Oahu

Ah, Hawaii—simply the identify summons visions of abandoned seashores, cascading waterfalls, palm timber, rainforested valleys and volcanoes oozing lava. It’s a dream vacation spot, and there’s no higher place to kickstart your dream island journey than Oahu.

It is chock filled with pure goodness and a world away from the mainland, which suggests it’s a secluded slice of paradise. There’s no scarcity of adventures in Oahu, that are what appeal to the rising tens of millions of tourists annually.

And, critically, there’s a lot to pack into an Oahu itinerary that your solely drawback might be determining what not to do.

Hawaii mountain views
Hawaii beach aerial

As a result of it’s so well-liked, Oahu is the costliest island to grasp on, however there are a great deal of choices when it comes to consuming, consuming and lodging, so that you’ll have the ability to store round and discover the right locations and pads in your price range.

Plus, the general public transportation is straightforward to use, although I like to recommend hiring a rental automotive to discover the island and get to a few of its lesser-known gems. Then you may as well take your personal candy time.

In truth, take your candy time on a regular basis—there’s a lot to do right here that you can simply spend months exploring. However in case you’ve solely received two weeks in Oahu, then this itinerary will assist you verify off one of the best highlights.

Days 1-Three: Prime Issues to Do in Waikiki

You in all probability need to begin off your Oahu journey in Waikiki. It’s probably the most cosmopolitan a part of the island and the right place for an intro to Hawaii on your two weeks in Oahu.

Worldwide vacationers, honeymooners, seashore lovers and social gathering animals alike collect in flocks right here as a result of Waikiki is house to most of the island’s best-known websites and points of interest. Ensure that to examine these should do’s off your Oahu itinerary.

Hit the Diamond Head Path

The Diamond Head path on Oahu’s South Shore is the island’s hottest hike. That’s as a result of the 1.5-mile round-trip hike, which summits on prime of a volcanic cone, leads you on a merry path throughout unfastened gravel and dust paths. Then it kicks you in the intestine with some steep units of stairs 560 ft up to the highest.

When you get your breath again, it’ll be taken away once more by the jaw-dropping 360-degree views out over Waikiki. You possibly can see all of it—towering excessive rises, the glittering Pacific Ocean and the volcano’s historic crater that shaped 300,000 years in the past.

The Diamond Head hike time is between 40 and 60 minutes. It is thought-about straightforward and protected for younger hikers, the golden-aged and everybody in between, so there’s no excuse to not rise up and provides it a go and have a bash at it.

Hike to the Manoa Falls Waterfall

As a result of the Manoa Falls waterfall is Oahu’s most accessible waterfall, the Manoa Falls path is a busy one.

Dawn is arguably one of the best time of day in Oahu, and if you would like this gem all to your self, I like to recommend an early morning rise. Nothing spoils a stupendous location like 100 different vacationers.

A 1.6-mile journey up and again, the path takes you thru thick bamboo and dense eucalyptus forests, and throughout gravel paths and boardwalks earlier than touchdown in entrance of Manoa Falls.

The waterfall isn’t the most important one on the market, however it does dramatically cascade down 150 ft right into a pool surrounded by ferns and timber.

The sweet-smelling guava timber and wild gingers make the Manoa Falls path much more enchanting. It’s no marvel the unique Jurassic Park film and the TV collection, Misplaced, shot scenes right here.

Surf at Waikiki Seashore

This internationally famed, two-mile strip of glowing white sand is the island’s most well-known seashore and undoubtedly deserves a go to throughout your two weeks in Oahu.

Surfers at Waikiki

Surfs up at Waikiki

Surrounded by fancy, world-class resorts, you’ll by no means have to wander far out of your room in search of the right wave. The water right here is calm, making it a fantastic spot for learners to join some surf and paddle board classes.

When you’d somewhat individuals watch and take in all the motion of Waikiki Seashore from afar, wander alongside the close by Waikiki Seashore Promenade.

Be sure to are on the seashore in the night to witness the beautiful seashore sundown. Waikiki Seashore deserves a spot in your Oahu itinerary.

Fly Over Oahu in a Robinson R-44 Helicopter

When you’re a baller, or simply need to really feel like one for a short while, deal with your self to a helicopter experience with Novictor Helicopters. It’s some of the adventurous issues to do in Waikiki.

Marvel on the turquoise water and glistening white sand; zoom previous Diamond Head’s historic crater and zip over to view Waikiki’s skyline.

You’ll all have two-way intercom headsets so you’ll be able to talk together with your pilot about what you’re seeing, and most excursions will give you skilled aerial images and videography to take house.

Diamond Head Oahu aerial shot
Helicopter ride over Oahu
Helicopter view in Oahu

Hike the Pali Notches

This can be a path for the badasses—seasoned hikers and climbers solely. The Pali Notches is a hike that consists of two deep, slender mountain passes. These have been carved into its ridge by badass historic Hawaiian warriors to place cannons right here in the 1700s to shield Nu’uanu Valley.

The hike is famed for its problem, so that you’ll earn full bragging rights for finishing it—particularly the second notch, which requires a vertical climb down with few sturdy handholds.

This brief however extremely intense path that requires you to clamber throughout slender ridges sandwiched between sheer cliff drops is exhilarating—or terrifying, relying in your angle.

Issues get actual quick, so don’t be an fool and do this with gusting winds, which may knock you proper off the cliff. Equip your self with a pair of sturdy climbing footwear that is obtained numerous grip.

Pali Notches

Staring in awe at Pali Notches.

When you make it previous the second notch and onwards to the Chimney, sick views over the blue waters of Kaneohe and its lush greenery will probably be ready for you.

For an adrenaline-pumping expertise in your two weeks in Oahu, take a hike to the Pali Notches.

Lodging Choices

Should you’re in search of a spot to keep close to or in the middle the motion in Oahu, mere steps away from the seashore and its nightlife, then Waikiki is it. However be warned, a keep in this area of the island doesn’t come low cost.

The property’s rooms are air-conditioned for these sweltering scorching summer time days and outfitted with furnished kitchens so you might have the choice of saving a couple of bucks by cooking at residence. A reception is held each Monday and friends are inspired to come mingle with fellow vacationers whereas munching on free appetizers.

Finances Seaside Hawaiian Hostel Waikiki This hostel is a favourite amongst backpackers who’re seashore bums by day and party-goers by night time, because it’s situated in the guts of Waikiki. The property is surrounded by outlets and eating places, so that you’re spoiled for selection. Seaside Hawaiian Hostel Waikiki gives free espresso, tea and toast to begin your time without work with, in addition to boogie boards and snorkel gear to take to the seashore. Additionally they have low cost surfboards for lease, in case browsing is in your Oahu itinerary. Mid Vary Aqua Ohia Waikiki This lodge is an off-the-cuff four-minute stroll from the seashore, so you will by no means have to go far to bake in the solar. Luxurious Moana Surfrider Simply steps away from Waikiki Seashore is the posh resort of Moana Surfrider. It has its very personal personal seashore space in addition to a freshwater pool. Dine at one of many many onsite eating places for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner, and guide your self in for a spa or customized facial at their Moana Lani Spa.

Day four: Hanauma Bay: Greatest Snorkeling in Oahu

For hundreds of years, Hanauma Bay was the place Hawaiian royalty went to celebration and fish. This crescent-shaped bay was shaped inside a volcanic crater because of explosions tens of hundreds of years in the past. “Hana” means bay, and “uma” means curved.

The volcanic eruptions finally shaped the crater on the seafloor, after which the ocean ultimately crammed the round bay with water and life. That’s why you’ll discover a number of the greatest snorkeling in Oahu right here in Hanauma Bay, on the southeast coast of the island.

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The underwater wonderland is a protected marine life conservation space that boasts colourful coral reefs, turtles and over 400 species of fish, together with Hawaii’s state fish the humuhumunukunukuapua‘a!

Plus, Hanauma Bay limits guests to protect the world, and it focuses its efforts on educating vacationers on the pure wildlife of the world.

Hanauma Bay snorkeling is a should in your Oahu itinerary.

Day 5-6: Koko Head: One of many Greatest Hikes in Oahu

With miles of rugged terrain and full areas devoted to dense forests and plush valleys, there’s no scarcity of climbing trails in Oahu. There’s one thing for everybody right here.

Whether or not you’re a novice hiker who’s a little bit of a sofa potato at residence, or a seasoned professional wanting to pack in as many trails as you’ll be able to in your two weeks in Oahu, you’re doubtless to discover one on this island that fits your talents.

There’s a heated debate amongst locals about that are the most effective hikes in Oahu. However the Koko Crater Path tops the listing.

The Koko Crater Path, higher often known as the Koko Head Stairs, is a pure stairmaster exercise. It’s going to check your power and endurance. The 1,048 steps to the highest are literally previous railroad ties that have been mounted to the aspect of the volcanic cone. The army in World Struggle II mounted them to haul provides up and down.

These steps are uneven and virtually double the width of a traditional stair. This implies you’re going to have to work twice as onerous to make it to the highest. However, locals will inform you that the Koko Head path makes for probably the greatest hikes in Oahu.

It boasts views of Hanauma Bay, Hawaii Kai and the Makapu’u Lighthouse Path. By the point you make your method down the Koko Head mountaineering path, you’ll be drenched in sweat, and your legs will really feel like Jell-O. After this, you greatest head off to a seashore in search of a well-deserved chilly beer.

Day 7-Eight: Hop Round on the Greatest Seashores in Oahu

It will be completely impolite to journey to Hawaii with out spending copious quantities of time laying on its greatest seashores. As an island, Oahu is (clearly) blessed with countless miles of shoreline, the place the waters of the Pacific Ocean meet its mushy golden sands.

Dive into your favourite learn, hit the waves or simply drift into seashore bum paradise. You’ll want you had extra than simply two days for seashore time in your two weeks in Oahu, however there are too many adventures awaiting.

Go to Kailua Seashore

Image turquoise-blue water and powdery white sand. When individuals ask about the most effective seashores in Oahu, locals and common guests alike all the time advocate Kailua Seashore.

This 2.5-mile stretch on the easterly shores of the island has obtained lovely waters for swimming and browsing, and hovering ironwood timber to give you some shade.

Downtown Kailua can also be a simple five-minutes stroll away, so cease by and decide up some plate lunches earlier than hanging out for the afternoon on Kailua Seashore.

This spot is particularly well-liked for boogie boarding and kayaking, with a whole lot of rental outlets round. And Kailua Seashore is the place you’ll discover locals barbecuing till sunset.

Take a look at Lanikai Seashore

Fittingly named, “lanikai” means “heavenly sea” in the Hawaiian language. Its crystal clear, azure waters and delicate waves make this an ideal spot for swimming or displaying off your greatest underwater handstands.

With half a mile of golden sand, Lanikai seashore is a favourite for dawn viewing—so decide a morning to drag your self away from bed early. You gained’t remorse it; Lanikai is ceaselessly ranked as top-of-the-line seashores in Oahu—and the world, in accordance to Forbes.

Lodging Choices

For absolute rest in your two weeks in Oahu, keep inside strolling distance of the island’s greatest seashores. All you’ll have to do is get up to the sounds of the ocean and drag your self throughout the road earlier than flopping onto the golden sands for the day.

On the property is a barbecue for you to use, and a terrace on which to benefit from the surrounding views. You may also play tennis on website.

Mid Vary Paradise Palms B&B Located in Kailua, this 5-star mattress and breakfast is simply two minutes from the seashore. All rooms have a kitchenette, so you’ll be able to take pleasure in home-cooked meals on the terrace. For those who’re fortunate, you’ll even rating a room with mountain views. Mid Vary Kailua Guesthouse A breezy 10-minute stroll to the seashore, Kailua Guesthouse additionally presents bicycles for lease should you’d somewhat journey as an alternative.

Day 9-10: Go to the Actual Life Jurassic Park

With impossibly lush valleys, rugged mountains and spectacular coastlines, it’s straightforward to see why Hollywood retains coming again to Oahu to movie blockbusters. The island’s beautiful pure magnificence has set the scene for various films—most notably Jurassic Park.

Different timeless favorites that have been made on the island are Jumanji and Godzilla. Finances a pair days into your Oahu itinerary to discover the pure units of those main movies. Spend a while filming your personal mini-recreation of Jurassic Park—simply because you’ll be able to!

Wander the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens

Featured in Jurassic World, the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens is a 400-acre rainforest that the US Military Corps of Engineers designed for flood safety. It opened its leafy doorways in 1982.

Sitting on the foot of the Koolau mountain vary, this assortment of tropical timber represents nations from around the globe. This consists of Malaysia, the Philippines, India and Sri Lanka, giving the gardens an unique vibe.

Botanical Gardens Oahu

Botanical Gardens or Jurassic Park?

The open inexperienced areas and lake filled with geese, geese and piglets are good for biking, tenting, mountaineering and fishing.

A day on the botanical gardens makes for a chill addition to your Oahu itinerary. It is also a pleasant break from all of the mountaineering and seashore time.

Go ATVing or Ziplining at Kualoa Ranch

Kualoa Ranch is a must-visit throughout your two weeks in Oahu for a gamut of causes.

For film buffs, stepping foot on this ranch will hit you with a wave of nostalgia, from Godzilla to 50 First Dates. You’ll see that fallen tree that was featured in the unique 1993 Jurassic Park, when three characters hid underneath it to flee from racing Gallimimus.

This family-owned, 4000-acre nature reserve goals to educate guests on environmental conservation, in addition to conventional Hawaiian values and respect for the tradition via sustainable recreation.

Their concept of instructional enjoyable consists of nature walks, horseback driving, jungle expeditions, ATVing and zip lining.

You’ll discover the scenic valleys and distant corners of this working cattle ranch in the good of the way.

Energy throughout streams and thru the filth on one and two-hour guided ATV excursions, or zip line throughout the treetops for superb views of the dense rainforest (assume: native wildlife) and majestic Koolau Vary.

There are seven tandem zip strains on this three-hour tour, ranging in size from 200 ft all the best way to 1/four mile, in order a part of your two weeks in Oahu, tag a buddy and race them throughout Kualoa Ranch.

Day 10-14: Haleʻiwa: 4 Days Uncovering North Shore Oahu

It’s time for an entire change of tempo in your Oahu itinerary. After the buzzing exercise of Waikiki, there are the laid-back communities of North Shore Oahu. They’re dedicated to retaining life mellow, dude.

The North Shore is house to the Seven Mile Miracle. It is a (unusually sufficient) seven-mile stretch of sand well-known for epic waves and sun-drenched seashores. That is the place Hawaii’s browsing magic actually occurs.

You also needs to make a cease in the artsy surf city of Haleʻiwa. It sits up alongside the coast from Waikiki, on the opposite aspect of the island.

Finances 4 days of your two weeks in Oahu to uncover the North Shore.

Drive the Windward Coast from Kailua

Oahu’s Windward Coast is the island’s lushest area. As you allow vibrant Waikiki behind and head northwest alongside the coast, you commerce clusters of high-rises for inexperienced valleys and beautiful pure magnificence.

The hustle and bustle of metropolis life will shortly give method to extra laid again and relaxed vibes. It’s going to be splendid for the remainder of your two weeks in Oahu.

Journey all the best way to the North Shore, cruising previous the lofty peaks of the Koolau Vary. Additionally make sure to cease in at Valley of the Temples. There, a reproduction of a Japanese Buddhist temple stands to have fun the primary Japanese immigrants to Hawaii.

Drive previous the Kualoa Ranch and maintain your eyes peeled for Chinaman’s Hat. It is a tiny island of Mokolii simply offshore from Kualoa Level.

Take a Surf Lesson

Hardcore surfers love the Oahu North Shore. That is due to the monster waves that roll in through the wintertime, between November and April.

The enormous barreling waves typically attain a whopping 30 ft and convey in surfers from around the globe. This units the stage for worldwide browsing competitions from The Vans Triple Crown of Browsing and The Eddie (in reminiscence of surfer and lifeguard Eddie Aikau), to the Da Hui Backdoor Shootout and the Da Hui Pipeline Warriors invitation-only North Shore surf competitions.

Banzai Pipeline

Would you surf right here?

Within the summertime, the waves are extra mild. Rookies can take surf classes with out risking embarrassment or damage on the huge rollers. It’s a mint place to study to surf, away from the crowds of Waikiki.

However surf classes aren’t only for novices. There are instructors all alongside North Shore Oahu who’ve coached and traveled alongside world-class surfers. For those who’re a complicated surfer wanting to problem your self in your two weeks in Oahu, nice. These gurus can give you personalised steerage and even work on contest methods.

Have Some Enjoyable on the Seashore

It wouldn’t be a real Hawaiian expertise should you didn’t price range time in your itinerary to simply laze and play on the seashore.

With seven miles of superb solar and sand, it’s straightforward to spend days hopping from seashore to seashore. And there’s a spot to go well with all North Shore Oahu actions.

For a laid-back afternoon of Frisbee tossing and swimming, take a look at Pupukea and Haleʻiwa Seashore Parks. In case you’re wanting to catch some extra waves, nevertheless, head to Waimea Bay and Ali’i Seashore Parks or Pipeline Seashore.

If turtle viewing is in your Oahu itinerary, don’t miss out on Turtle Seashore. Guests camp out for the afternoon and watch sea turtles hatch, scurry and relaxation on the island’s shore.

Dive Cageless with Sharks

Overlook every thing you’ve ever discovered about sharks from watching Jaws for this journey. As a part of your two weeks in Oahu, you’re going shark diving—with out the cage.

One Ocean Diving runs Hawaii’s first and solely cageless shark diving program. They need to change the best way individuals take into consideration these marine animals. They’re so generally, wrongly portrayed as terrifying monsters in the films and media.

You will study concerning the conduct, physiology and biology on a face-to-face encounter with sharks. One Ocean Diving needs you to dive confidently and fearlessly into the ocean to swim with these majestic creatures.

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Go well with up, throw your flippers on and bounce into the chilliness of the deep ocean. Observe the grace and intelligence of dozens of tiger, nice white, sandbar and hammerhead sharks in the wild.

Although One Ocean Diving additionally presents sea turtle snorkel journeys, this cageless dive is by far their hottest program. Don’t fear, the corporate holds a 100 % security document.

For a daring change of tempo in your time on the island, work shark diving onto your record. Problem you to not hear the Jaws theme music as you plunge into the water.

Hike the Ehukai Pillbox for Sundown

In your Oahu itinerary, hike by way of the forest on this brief however steep 1.6-mile round-trip path. It leads to a historic World Struggle II bunker.

Situated close to the hip city of Haleʻiwa, the path begins subsequent to Sundown Seashore Elementary faculty. It has been an area favourite for a few years.

Ehukai Pillbox

Ehukai Pillbox Hike

On the finish of the hike, you’ll attain a pillbox, a concrete guardhouse with home windows by way of which to hearth weapons. It’s going to be coated in eclectic graffiti on the within. Stand on prime of it to take in the fowl’s-eye view of the Oahu North Shore. It’s nothing however blue skies towards bluer waters.

Notice that a signal warning towards trespassing is posted simply after the primary bunker. For those who determine to cross, you probability being hit with a high-quality, so trespass at your personal danger.

From the second bunker, should you do dare to trespass, you’ll spot Sundown and Pipeline Seashores under. Time your hike for sunset and watch the solar descend into the glittering waters. Until you’re eager on a fast, painful descent, convey a headlamp for climbing down after darkish.

Watch the Sundown at Sundown Seashore

Sundown Seashore’s long-standing fame for beautiful island sunsets is written in its identify. On any given day in the winter months, it’s a best choice for surfers wanting to catch an enormous break.

Sunset beach
Sunset Oahu

Simply off the seashore, the world-renowned Banzai Pipeline is a favourite surf break for professional surfers around the globe. In the summertime, when waters are calm, the crowds skinny out and households and first-time surfers benefit from the clear waters.

This two-mile stretch of effective sand accounts for an all-day seashore affair on this Oahu itinerary. It is a favourite spot to see the sky flip shades of pink and orange at sunset.

Lodging Choices

Price range in a couple of night time’s keep in Hale‘iwa to enable you to examine off the record of actions.

This property options an outside pool and onsite restaurant for max consolation. You’ll additionally discover a health middle right here. Go to work off all of the plate lunches you’ll be undoubtedly consuming in your two weeks in Oahu.

Finances Sharks Cove Leases This property is situated smack in the center of the seven-mile miracle, inside straightforward strolling distance to three of one of the best seashores on North Shore Oahu- Sundown, Pipeline, and Waimea Seashores. It’s proper throughout from Sharks Cove—a well-liked vacation spot for snorkeling in summer time. Their snorkel gear is free to use. And bikes are up for rent if you would like to cycle between the seashores. Mid Vary Courtyard by Marriott North Shore Oahu For those who’re driving alongside Oahu’s Windward Coast to the North Shore from Kailua, a keep on the Courtyard by Marriott in Laie will break up your journey properly. Luxurious Turtle Bay Resort Each room at Turtle Bay Resort presents an ocean view. Spend your days right here golfing on considered one of two 18-hole programs, or take a five-minute wander over to the seashore. Once you’re hungry, go to one of many on-site eateries for some trendy Hawaiian fare. Then unwind with a therapeutic massage or facial on the finish of the day.

To Sum up Your Two Weeks in Oahu

A playground for outside adventurers, a haven for surf bums and a paradise for beachgoers, Oahu really provides a lot.

The alternatives for eating, sleeping, and purchasing are dizzying. Repeat guests to the island will discover that they uncover one thing new each time to add to their Oahu itinerary.

The laid-back tempo of the island is ideal to discover at your leisure. And you may cease in for longer in any respect the locations that you simply actually vibe with. But when the infinite summer time continues to be a factor of goals, all good. It’s nonetheless potential to blitz via the island’s highlights for those who solely have a couple of weeks to discover.

With this itinerary for 2 weeks in Oahu, you will hit the island’s greatest seashores, hikes and points of interest. And go residence with an epic tan and much more epic tales.


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This publish, How to Spend 2 Weeks Adventuring in Oahu, initially appeared on travelFREAK.

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