We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

is a week in oahu too much?

chicago
7 posts
Save Topic
is a week in oahu too much?

I'm going to hawaii for 7 nights pretty soon, flying into honolulu. I was thinking of spending 4 nights there and 3 nights somewhere else, but I've read many comments here that say for just a week total it's not worth the hassle (is it really 3-4 hours each way with the airport hassle/overhead?)

I definitely want to experience the urban side of hawaii, but I also want to do some outdoorsy things - hike, bike, maybe kayak, atv, etc. but there's a catch - I don't know how to swim, so most water activities are out :(

so is there enough of what I want to do available in oahu for 7 days, assuming I spend very little time idle? and if I do go to a second island, is there a better choice for someone that can't swim but wants to come back tired every night?

massachusett
Destination Expert
for Turks and Caicos
Level Contributor
7,697 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: is a week in oahu too much?

The North Shore seems to have the hiking, biking and outdoorsy activities you are looking for. Doesn't seem to take to long to get from Waikiki to the North Shore, so day trips are possible. or you can stay a couple nights at the Turtle Bay resort, and the rest of your stay in Waikiki.

California
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
43,983 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: is a week in oahu too much?

You could spend a MONTH on Oahu and still find plenty of new things to do. Pick up a good travel guide or two for the island and a good map. There are plenty of draft and final itineraries on this Forum as well as trip reports. Yes, Honolulu is an urban/suburban environment, but most of Oahu is very rural. Make sure that you have a car for at least half of your days to explore. The island is pretty small ...

With 7 nights, I would not island hop. You would lose too much time in transit (airports, packing, checking in and out, getting a car, figuring out where you are...).

Where are you staying? A chat with your concierge or activity desk would be helpful. And there are lots of activity guides in the airport luggage area.

BTW - if you are on Oahu the week before or after Christmas, take care to make reservations for some actitivies. Are you coming for the marathon (Dec 12)?

Feel free to come back with questions. Check the local newspaper for special Christmas events.

chicago
7 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: is a week in oahu too much?

no, going to be gone well before Christmas. I found some interesting hikes and a couple museums, but all the top activities seem to be diving/snorkeling. I'm not really interested in any family-oriented or touristy things (I'm a guy traveling solo), so I'm not sure what remains. wasn't planning on a car, but thinking about it more it would probably be a good idea for at least a day or two.

where are the trip reports? can't find a link on the site anywhere...thanks.

Kapaa, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Hana, Oahu
Level Contributor
44,886 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: is a week in oahu too much?

There isn't a certain place for trip reports, yet. What you will need to do is search for them. Try the green search box above and type in "trip report" should take you to plenty of them.

Chicagoland
Level Contributor
20,618 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: is a week in oahu too much?

You don't have time for more than one island, and if you want to experience "urban" Hawaii, that's Honolulu/Waikiki. So...stay put on Oahu. Do rent a car for a day to tour east and north shores of Oahu. If you are coming in winter, I wouldn't recommend *staying* on the north shore, but get up there and see it. Sounds like you may be on island during the surfing championships.

Only other option would be to land HNL and hop immediately to Maui. Stay in the more heavily populated Kaanapali/Lahaina area. You'd need a car full time on Maui. Stay your week, flying out of Maui in time to catch your flight home out of HNL.

California
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
43,983 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: is a week in oahu too much?

Pearl Harbor (could take you all day, lots there), Bishop Museum, Iolani Palace (reserve a tour), Zoo/Aquarium, North Shore, Polynesian Cultural Center, Drive around the island, Chinatown, aboretums/botanical gardens ... Doris Duke's Estate Shangri La (need reservations), Byodo-in Temple, Kualoa Ranch, numerous beaches, blow holes, waterfalls ... theatre, concerts ...

The trip reports (TR) are scattered through the posts, as are draft and final itineraries.

Make sure that you reserve your car in advance.

Do you have a good travel guide or two - like Moon Handbook on Oahu and/or Oahu Revealed? And get a good map, as well.

Edited: 26 November 2010, 03:55
Saint Cloud...
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
26,625 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: is a week in oahu too much?

You won't run out of things to do on Oahu.

That said I would just go to Oahu for the entire time or just one or two nights on Oahu & the rest on Maui or Kauai.

Oahu has the most & many of the best beaches in Hawaii.

Oahu has more museums than any other island.

Oahu has better nightlife & restaurants.

Oahu has more hiking trails than any other island. But the very best hikes are on other islands.

Oahu is scenic, but not as good as Kauai or Maui.

You mention "pretty soon". Don't know what that means, but humpback whale season is upon us.

Maui is by far the best island for whale watching.

Waterfalls on Maui & Kauai are really nice in the winter. Oahu just so-so. Big Island has several nice waterfalls on the Hilo side.

Lots of info:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g29222-i37-k647862…

On the Oahu forum, on the left side of the page click on: Travel Guide

Lots of info from forUm members.

Do the same on the Maui forum, the Kauai forum & the Island of Hawaii forum.

Also on the right side of the page "Top Questions" for each forum, click on each of them.

For a free Hawaii brochure & a for brochure for each of the islands:

1-800-GOHAWAII

Edited: 26 November 2010, 06:51
oahu
Level Contributor
63 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: is a week in oahu too much?

Don't bother trying to go to an outer island. If you like urban stuff as well as outdoor stuff, there will be plenty to do.

If you plan on doing outdoor stuff and aren't renting a car---you will be exhausted by the time you reach your hotel each night. The bus is a terrible way to try to do outdoor things here. Just to get to the hiking spots will take you hours and it is frustrating tryng to get the right bus and waiting and walking---hours of that just to get to the trailhead.

Definitely go to Kualoa Ranch and do all they have to offer.

Go to Hanauma Bay even if you can't swim. You can just float around. It's beautiful and completely safe.

rhode island
Level Contributor
808 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: is a week in oahu too much?

You will have plenty to do on Oahu for 1 week. We just returned from Oahu/Maui last week. We stayed 4 days on Oahu, 11 on Maui.

We rented a car for 2 days and drove to the North Shore. Lots of beaches along the way. We also did Tantalus Drive while we had the car.

Bishop Museum is wonderful, and I truly loved Iolani Palace. Lots of history in both places.

Even if you don't rent a car, there are several tours you could take, and there are tour buses that will take you to Pearl Harbor for a small fee.

You could spend days just walking around Waikiki watching people!

Enjoy your trip and save the 2nd island for the next trip.

washington
Destination Expert
for Maui
Level Contributor
22,251 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: is a week in oahu too much?

Here's a very good TR for you to go over...well written and lots of good tips for solo travelers.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g29222-i37-k406539…