N. Wall

One Week in Oahu Hawaii

Itinerary for one week in Oahu, Hawaii

I recently visited Hawaii for the first time.  It has been on my list for years but for one reason or another, it was a trip that just kept getting put off.  When we finally decided that this was the year we were going to do it we then were faced with the decision of what Island to visit.  We had one week to spend in Hawaii, so the decision had to be made if those 7 days would all be spent on one Island or if we should split it up over two or 3 islands.  After reading about a thousand blog posts and searching Pinterest for ideas I decided that we should concentrate on Oahu and Maui.  We chose Oahu because it seemed to offer both the big city and the tropical island feel I love.  Our initial plan was still to start off with 4 days in Oahu and then possibly catch a flight over to Maui for 2 days.  My plan was to book an island tour early on to get a feel for the island and then make our final decision.  I am so glad we did this because that tour opened our eyes to all the beauty and adventures this one island had to offer.  For those of you facing this same decision I thought I would post our 5 day itinerary below, we left the other two days for simply lounging by the pool and beach.

We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort.  This is a huge complex with so much going on that I decided to do a separate post detailing it all.  You can read more about the Hilton Hawaiian Village here.

Hilton Village

Day One

What we did:

We woke up early and decided to look for one of Hawaii’s famous Malasada doughnuts and explore the area.  We headed out of the Hilton Hawaiian Village and towards Kalakaua Ave.  We were told this road was the main drag in the resort area of Waikiki.   The area was very nice to walk through but did not feel like we were on a tropical island, more like a busy shopping district in a major city (which it was!).  We stopped in at one of the hotels and asked if they could recommend anywhere to find a malasada and we were told to look for a place called Dukes Marketplace near the International Market.  This area was loaded with open-air shopping centers.  Walking through a few of these shopping malls was pretty cool since several of them had lush gardens or trees growing in the center of the mall. We finally located Duke’s Market and we were not disappointed.

Dukes Market

Dukes market menu

The flavor of the day was Vanilla cream.  It was coated in cinnamon sugar and the light fluffy texture was delicious.  Duke’s also has a restaurant and bar inside as well as a market and liquor shop.  Once we finished looking around we wound our way back towards the beach.  14,539 steps later we made it back to our resort.  After relaxing by the pool we headed to a local diner called Wailama Diner.  It was near the resort and we were told that it is a local landmark with really good food.  The Wailana Coffee House and Diner started in 1949 and sadly this was its last day of business, so we thought we should try it before it was gone.

Where we ate:

Dukes Marketplace; Malasadas $1.50 each

Wailama Coffee House and Diner: 38.95 plus tip

Highlights or tips:

Kalakaua Ave is a main shopping district.  It has a lot of high-end stores like Jimmy Choo, Coach, and Christian Dior.  It is also sprinkled with more affordable shopping like Macys and Victoria Secret.  Hard Rock Café was on this strip as well as about a thousand ABC stores, which seem to be the areas tourist souvenir stops.  They sold T shirts 2 for $22.00 plus a wide variety of beach toys and trinkets.  Don’t worry about finding one, they seem to be on every corner.


Day Two

What we did:

We wanted to get a feel for the island.  Staying in Waikiki is beautiful, but we were not getting that tropical island feel you see on the postcards.  We wanted to see “the real” Hawaii and we thought the best way to do that was on this tour.  You can read my full review of the Tour here.  We were picked up at our hotel at 7 am.  We made stops at many gorgeous scenic areas where we were able to exit the bus and take photos.  Our tour guide, Corey, was very entertaining and told us all about the history of the island and local culture.  He even taught us several Hawaiian words.  My favorite part of this tour was snorkeling with the Sea Turtles.  We were able to see several of them.

Oahu sea turtle

Oahu sea turtle

For lunch, we stopped at one of the areas famous shrimp stops, Fumis Kahuku Shrimp Farm

Fumis shrimp

The garlic shrimp was delicious and was served with 2 scoops of rice, corn, and a slice of sweet Hawaiian pineapple.  Yummmm!

Corey dropped us back off around 4:30 pm.  After such a fun filled day we were exhausted so after changing clothes and a brief stop to relax on our balcony and enjoy the view we decided to just walk down to a local pizza place and get some carry out to bring back.  We went to Round Table Pizza, which was located in the Hilton Hawaiian Village complex.  I am sure the price was higher due to the location, a medium Hawaiian pizza (Maui Zaui) was $27.00.  It was really good pizza though and we had enough left over for lunch the next day.

Where we ate:

Fumis Kahuku Shrimp Farm. 2 orders of garlic Shrimp $28.00

Dole Plantation, Dole whip with topping $6.95

Round Table Pizza, one medium Hawaiian specialty pizza $29.43

Highlights or tips:

The Aloha Circle Island tour llc was definitely a highlight of our entire trip.

Day Three

What we did:

We got up early because I really wanted to see a Hawaiian sunrise. We went out to the beach around 6 am and walked down to a pier that had a great view of Diamond Head.  As expected the sunrise was beautiful and the colors in the sky just blew me away.

oahu sunrise

We also took the time to look for shells as we walked the peaceful early morning beach.  If you love hunting for sea shells Waikiki beach is probably going to be a bit of a disappointment, as we could not find many at all.  After a long walk on the beach, we went back to the Hilton Village and got an Acai bowl for breakfast at Lanikai Juice

Hilton Juice bar

This was another food on my list of things to try while in Hawaii and it was delicious.  If you have never heard of an Acai bowl (I hadn’t) it is made of frozen and mashed açaí palm fruit.  They then top it with (in my case) banana, strawberry, blueberry, and granola.  It was very good, but not sweet.  After that, we headed back to the room and got ready for a relaxing day spent on the beach.  The Hilton Waikiki Village also has a lagoon just off the beach.  I believe this is open to the public, as all beaches on Oahu are public beaches. If you are staying somewhere else in Waikiki, you might want to visit the lagoon.  They have paddle boards, kayak, and water bike rentals.  You can also bring floats and relax in the ocean water without worry of any sea creatures bumping into you.  We grabbed lunch at a food truck parked very near the lagoon called Gilligan’s.  They had several options to choose from and you can read more about it on my Hilton Hawaiian Village post here.

Hilton Village Lagoon

For dinner, we walked over to a place called Buho Cantina, on Kalakaua Avenue.  This was a rooftop Mexican restaurant with a very festive fun vibe.  The food was excellent and the view of the street below was pretty cool at night.

Where we ate:

Hilton Village Acai bowl $11.95

Gilligans food truck $30.21

Buho Cantina $69.78 plus tip

Highlights or tips:

Sunrise on the beach, if you go all the way to Hawaii you have to watch at least one.


Priceline Flights, Hotels, Rental Cars & More!

Day Four

What we did:

We decided to rent a car so that we could go back to some of the spots we saw on our Circle Island Tour.  Our first stop was the Makapu’u Lighthouse trail.  They have a parking lot at the base of the trail.  The hike is 2 miles round trip.  This is rated as an easy hike but even though the trail is paved and easy to follow, it is uphill for one mile.  It took us 45 minutes to walk to the top.  The trail offers several stopping points to take in the amazing views and take some photos. You can see so much of the eastern shore from the lookout spots, such as Koko Head and Koko Crater.  On clear days you can even see Moloka’i and Lana’I in the distance.

lighthouse

Mokapuu lighthuse trail

After our hike we slowly made our way down the coast, stopping at several scenic lookouts,  to the Kualoa Ranch.

Kualoa Ranch sign

This is a working cattle farm that is also home to more famous movie scenes that I can remember.  We did the movie tour and boarded a bus that drove us through landscapes that looked like they were from another world.

 

kualoa ranch jumanjiYou might recognize it from Jurassic world, the TV show LOST, or the most recent Jumanji movie.  The ranch also offers ATV, bike, jeep, and horseback tours.  They also have a zip line course and a secret beach.

kualoa ranch bones

kualoa ranch

Once back in Waikiki we felt like staying close to the resort for dinner, so we walked about 2 blocks to a place we had passed earlier in the week, Cheeseburger Paradise.  The food was great and so were the Mai Tais.

Where we ate:

Kualoa Ranch Grill: $38.00

Cheeseburger Paradise: $58.73 plus tip

Highlights or tips:

The Kualoa Ranch is a must see.   They offer so many tours that you are bound to find one that is right for you.  The scenery is out of this world and if you are a movie lover it was pretty cool to see where so many things have been filmed.

DAY 5

What we did:

We still had the car rental so we decided to go back and explore some of the beaches we had passed earlier in the week on our Aloha Circle Island Tour.  We stopped at the Halona Blowhole again since it was rainy the first time. From here you can see the Halona beach cove where they filmed scenes for the movie “From Here To Eternity”

oahu beach

After that, we made our way back up the East shore to Kualoa County regional park.

lualoa beach park

kualoa beach

This is a nice beach to visit because it does have public restrooms, changing areas, and showers.  They have plenty of picnic tables and the views here are stunning with the mountains on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other.  This was also the beach we had the most luck at looking for those elusive seashells.

It was time to return the car so we drove back down the east coast to Waikiki beach.  We wanted to view the sunset again from the beach.  The views are stunning from the beach and the Hawaiian sunset must be the prettiest I have ever seen.

sunset waikiki beach

sunset wikiki beach

After that, we went back out to Kalakaua Ave for some shopping and dinner on the beach at Dukes located at the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort.  Dukes was highly recommended by several people and they serve everything from fresh seafood to steaks and ribs.

I wanted to give a break down on prices, as we had been told that the cost of everything in Hawaii was very expensive.  While I did find this to be true for the restaurants I did not think that everything was priced out of the ordinary.  We found bottled water for .99 at the ABC stores and single drinks like pop (soda) and juice around $1.49 – $2.00 each.  The average cost of lunch and dinner no matter where we went seemed to be between $15.00 – $23.00 per person for burgers, sandwiches, shrimp, and chicken dishes and $20.00 – $35.00 per person for more specialty dining.  The restaurants in the resorts were much higher than places not located on a hotel property.

Car rental- booked through Expedia- $62.00 for 24 hours

Aloha Circle Island Tour – $65.00 per person booked through Groupon

Kualoa Ranch Movie tour- $49.95 per person

Lighthouse hike and beaches were free

Most of the ABC stores also sold liquor in case you are someone that likes to make cocktails in your room and take down to the beach.  On average the liquor was only about $2.00 more than I see it sold for in my home state.  They also sold the airline size bottles from .99 – 5.99 on average.

If you found this post helpful, please share.  I would also love to hear from you in the comments below.  Have you been to Oahu or are you planning a trip?  What are some of your favorite places?



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About

Travel enthusiast, mother, dog owner. I am passionate about the world around me and discovering new places to visit.

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One thought on “One Week in Oahu Hawaii

  1. Joanne

    October 26, 2018 at 10:53pm

    I’ve always wanted to visit Hawaii! I love that you provide locations and prices for meals as I’ve often heard that Hawaii can be very expensive. I’d love to swim with the sea turtles one day.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      N. Wall

      October 28, 2018 at 7:02pm

      Thanks, that is why I included the cost of things. We had no idea what to expect. People told us it would be expensive but we had no idea how to budget for it. I hoped my sharing our costs could help others plan. I hope you get to swim with the turtles some day.

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  2. arv

    October 27, 2018 at 10:55am

    I love some of the pictures on your blog. They are so tempting. I wish I could visit Hawaii this very minute. Maybe someday!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  3. Chandni

    October 28, 2018 at 3:58am

    Great informative post! Pinning it for when I plan a trip to Hawaii

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  4. Yukti

    October 28, 2018 at 4:31am

    Thanks for sharing a wonderful one-week itinerary for Oahu. As I always thought of from where to start but your post is very helpful to plan everything. The Kualoa Ranch looks stunning and photogenic. I would love to do a movie tour where I can see the sets of Jurassic world.

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    • Author

      N. Wall

      October 28, 2018 at 7:00pm

      I only wish Chris Pratt was still filming while we were there. LOL Yes, it is a truly beautiful location.

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  5. Alexine

    October 28, 2018 at 10:07am

    Wow! Hawaiii looks magnificent! Would love to visit all these amazing places you have been to especially that one of Makapu’u Lighthouse trail and Kuaola Trail perfect places for activities!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      N. Wall

      October 28, 2018 at 6:59pm

      Thanks, it really is amazing. Yes, if you go you have to visit the Makapu’u lighthouse trail. The views are out of this world.

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  6. Daniel

    October 28, 2018 at 12:01pm

    Oahu is such an amazing place! I visited three years ago and had an amazing time. I wish I would have read your article before visiting though. You covered practically everything we need to know before visiting.

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    • Author

      N. Wall

      October 28, 2018 at 6:58pm

      Hope you make it back someday. it is an amazing island. 🙂

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  7. anshul

    October 28, 2018 at 11:33pm

    Thanks for such amazing tips. Ohau and Hawaii are on my bucket list for a while and I am just waiting for that day when I can go see this majestic destination by myself. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. stacey

    October 29, 2018 at 1:06pm

    I am so lad I went to visit my girlfriend who is a native. I stayed for a month and she really took care of me. And yes we ent to Waikiki and she showed me all the tourists lying on that icky sand. She then took me on some of the most fabulous beaches up north where we were the only ones there– spicy shrimp, sashimi, shave ice, forests, dinner on the beach. If you know where to go, its definitely paradise.

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    • Author

      N. Wall

      October 29, 2018 at 5:10pm

      Yes, we went to some of the beaches on the North shore too. We were the only ones there! It was paradise for sure. You are so lucky that you had a month! I would have happily stayed that long if I could have. Thanks for the comment.

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