Pedal Goa

DIY Oahu Circle Island Tour MAP + LIST :: Scenic self-drive around Oahu

If you’re short on time and looking to circle the island of Oahu for a day as part of a self-guided driving tour, there are definitely enough places to visit and things to do on Oahu to fill up your whole day!

Oahu circle island driving tour

Scenic driving on Oahu

This is an abbreviated version of things to do in Oahu  for your Oahu tour.

If you won’t be renting a car, here’s one of the best circle island tours on Oahu .

All the planning is done for you, and you will learn a lot!

Island driving = slow driving

Keep in mind that driving around the island takes time.

The time can be due to traffic, and it can also just generally be due to maximum speed on the island.

The highest speed limit you’ll find anywhere on Oahu is 55mph, and often you will be going below that.

So take it slow and take it all in!

And the earlier in the day you start, the more you can experience!

Your GPS device can also be cause for delay.

You can use the GPS on your phone as a guide, but it’s not definitive. Sometimes it might get confused and send you in the wrong direction.

But don’t get stressed!

You’re in Hawaii!

It’s all in the experience!

Just another reason to make sure you aren’t on a specific time table when you’re planning for an island road trip!

Now here first is a quick list.

Oahu circle island tour driving map

  • Diamond Head Crater
  • Hanauma Bay
  • Koko Head Hike
  • Makapuu Lighthouse Trail
  • Lanikai Pillboxes
  • Mokulua Islands
  • Pearl Harbor
  • Dole Pineapple Plantation
  • Laniakea Beach
  • Sharks Cove

Paid circle island tours

It’s definitely possible to rent a car and have a great day driving yourself around Oahu!

But if you want to get even more out of your trip around the island, you may also consider taking an organized tour. This can be a good way to learn more about Oahu and Hawaiian culture too.

Interactive map of Oahu

Now here is an interactive Oahu circle island tour map with points of interest.

Do you like maps? Also see the Oahu snorkeling map and  Oahu hikes map .

Oahu circle island tour map with scenic driving around Oahu, Hawaii

OAHU CIRCLE ISLAND TOUR

Oahu circle island tour: Diamond Head Trail, Hawaii

OAHU TOUR: Diamond Head Hike

Oahu circle island tour: Hanauma Bay snorkeling, Hawaii

OAHU TOUR: Hanauma Bay snorkeling

Oahu circle island tour: Koko Head hike, Hawaii

OAHU TOUR: Koko Head Hike

Oahu circle island tour: Makapuu Lighthouse Trail, Hawaii

OAHU TOUR: Makapuu Lighthouse Trail

Oahu circle island tour: Lanikai pillboxes, Hawaii

OAHU TOUR: Lanikai Pillbox Hike

Oahu circle island tour: Mokulua islands, Mokes, at Lanikai Beach, Hawaii

OAHU TOUR: Mokulua Islands

Oahu circle island tour: Pearl Harbor historic sites and USS Arizona Memorial, Hawaii

OAHU TOUR: Pearl Harbor

Oahu circle island tour: Dole pineapple plantation, Hawaii

OAHU TOUR: Dole Plantation

Oahu circle island tour: Waimea Bay on the North Shore, Hawaii

OAHU TOUR: Waimea Bay

Oahu circle island tour: Laniakea Beach or Turtle Beach to see turtles on the North Shore, Hawaii

OAHU TOUR: Turtle Beach

Oahu circle island tour: Sharks Cove snorkeling on the North Shore, Hawaii

OAHU TOUR: Sharks Cove snorkeling

HAPPY OAHU ISLAND DRIVING!

Best shoes for your active vacation, swimwear for snorkeling and beach.

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The Epicurean Traveler

Inspiring Cultural Exploration Through Culinary Travel

Aerial view of Waikiki Beach iwith Diamond Head in the distance in Honolulu, Hawaii, on the Hawaiian island Oahu

Oahu Road Trip Guide: 7 Places You Shouldn’t Miss

Venture beyond Honolulu to experience more of the most-visited island in Hawaii by taking an Oahu road trip!

Our one-day Oahu road trip itinerary begins and ends at the iconic Waikiki Beach. From your Honolulu hotel , set off on a scenic drive around Oahu to the famous North Shore.

Along the way, snorkel, hike, eat, or take in stunning ocean views at any or all of these must-visit places on Oahu!

Disclosure: This Oahu road trip guide contains affiliate links. I may earn a commission if you click on and make a purchase from one of these partner links. 

Oahu road trip: One-day itinerary from Honolulu to North Shore with map to 7 stops including Hanauma Bay and Dole Plantation (as pictured here)

Hawaiian tourism has increased since pre-pandemic times, with more than 700,000 people visiting Hawaii in November 2022 and visitors spending 9% more at $17.4 billion. Specifically, Oahu has seen the largest increase in average visitor spending, up to 10.5% more from nearly 94,000 daily visitors.

Given the plethora of activities present on the island, it’s no surprise that tourists are spending more on their Oahu vacations.

Compared to other Hawaiian islands, Oahu is an excellent place for first-time Hawaii vacationers as it has plenty of established roads that are easy to navigate. You can easily get to the best stops on the island by following the Oahu circle drive .

On average, a day trip from Waikiki in Honolulu to the North Shore and back can take around 8 hours without significant rushing. There are many stops along the way, such as Diamond Head and the Dole Plantation . Just start early to get the full day in to enjoy the vast landscape of Oahu to its fullest!

One-Day Oahu Road Trip Itinerary Stops

Before you leave for your trip, prepare a list of places you plan to visit to avoid wasting precious daylight. Below are seven places you shouldn’t miss on your Oahu road trip.

Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii

Hanauma Bay is a scenic marine life sanctuary located only a 30-mile (48 km) drive away from Honolulu.

It’s a prime spot for seeing hundreds of different species of fish and coral reefs, but you may also catch a glimpse of green sea turtles that swim close to the bay.

Do note that to enter Hanauma Bay, tourists must make a reservation online on the official state park website, and even then, parking is on a first-come, first-serve basis. To make it on time for your reservation, booking it first thing in the morning is best.

If you want to spend more time snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, you might save this stop for another day of your Oahu vacation. On a Hanauma Bay snorkeling tour , you’ll be picked up from your hotel to snorkel at sunrise. Snorkeling gear will be provided, but you should bring your own snacks, reef-safe sunscreen , and a fast-drying beach towel .

Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail

Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail on Oahu in Hawaii

If you’re looking for adventure and a workout, we recommend visiting the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail along Route 72.

The hike is moderately easy, taking around 30 minutes to an hour before rewarding you with a gorgeous view of Oahu’s Windward Coast, where you can see the Koko Head and Koko Crater.

During the whale watching season between December and May, you may want to prepare your own pair of binoculars to catch any passing animals at the Molokaʻi Channel.

Kailua Beach Park

Kailua Beach Park, Oahu, Hawaii, USA

Ranked as one of the most beautiful beaches in Oahu, Kailua Beach Park should be one of your longest stops for a one-day road trip.

This beach is the best place for big groups and families, especially with its sprawling land area stretching approximately 2 miles (3.2km).

Unlike other beaches, there are several amenities, such as rentals for kitesurfing and windsurfing, bathroom facilities, beach showers, and picnic tables.

Downtown Kailua is also just five minutes from the main beach area, allowing you to pick up any snacks or necessities before heading out.

Don’t forget to pack your beach essentials , including reef-safe sunscreen , water shoes , towels , and sunglasses !

Kahuku Roadside Food Court

Oahu food truck shrimp plate

For food lovers, you shouldn’t miss a lunch stop at the Kahuku Roadside Food Court.

Located on the North Shore of Oahu, the food court features a large open-air pavilion with various food vendors offering their own take on traditional Hawaiian dishes and more.

Here are some of the food vendors you should try on your visit to Kahuku:

  • Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck
  • Famous Kahuku Shrimp Truck
  • Fasay Thai Wagon
  • Seven Brothers at the Mill
  • Mike’s Huli Chicken
  • Marie’s Baja Fish Tacos

Banzai Pipeline

Surfer rides a rainbow wave at the Banzai Pipeline at Ehukai Beach on Oahu in Hawaii

For professional surfers and surfing enthusiasts, the Banzai Pipeline at Ehukai Beach offers perfect waves for training and watching surfing competitions.

The name comes from the barreling waves that curl like a pipe.

In December, these waves reach their peak, allowing winter surfers to test their might during the annual Pipeline Masters competition . Recent management changes are shifting the event towards inclusivity, allowing women to participate.

Considering how dangerous the waves can be, amateur surfers should consider coming during the summertime when the waves aren’t as strong.

Shark’s Cove

Shark's Cove, Oahu, Hawaii

Another part of the famous North Shore is Shark’s Cove, famous for its blue waters, large reef, and impressive sea life.

Compared to Hanauma Bay, this area tends to attract a smaller crowd and is a free Oahu attraction, making it a great snorkeling alternative.

If you are visiting Oahu with kids, you can take them to eastern tide pools to wade in.

You should prepare to protect yourself from the sharp lava rocks by wearing water shoes , and be careful when you enter and exit the water.

Dole Plantation

Young pineapples growing in the field at the Dole Plantation on Oahu in Hawaii

Starting as a fruit stand in the 1950s, the Dole Plantation has since grown to be one of Oahu’s most visited family-friendly spots. In fact, residents are  outnumbered by visitors at Dole Plantation , alongside other popular spots like Pearl Harbor National Memorial .

There are three main activities you can do: a self-guided garden tour, a train ride through the pineapple fields and farmland, and the pineapple maze, which spans over three acres.

Like most places in Hawaii, most of the Dole Plantation is outside and under the hot sun, so keep yourself hydrated and seek shade when it gets too hot. You can also get the famous Dole Whip pineapple soft-serve ice cream to cool off!

Map Out Your Oahu Road Trip Itinerary

Before you set out on your one-day Oahu road trip from Honolulu to the North Shore, you should map your driving route and plan your itinerary. To do this, you can use the Google map below that pinpoints the seven destinations we’ve discussed.

Additionally, we recommend following a GPS-guided audio driving tour. To do this, download GuideAlong’s Oahu Tours to your mobile phone. Then, select the 90-mile North Shore Loop or the 105-mile Island Circle as you set off from Honolulu.

With GuideAlong as your tour guide, you’ll be given driving directions to follow as the narrator points out scenic viewpoints, shares advice for your road trip, and tells stories about the island.

With these suggestions, we hope your Oahu road trip goes more smoothly. There are plenty of other points of interest on the island, such as the Diamond Head crater and Pearl Harbor National Memorial , but we recommend visiting these places on other days since they’re closer to the main city.  — Written by Harrison Stewart

Looking for more things to do during your Oahu vacation? Check out Viator and GetYourGuide !

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Planning a trip to Oahu? Save the pin below to your Hawaii or Oahu travel board to easily refer back to later!

Seven must-visit spots on an Oahu circle drive from Honolulu to the North Shore on Oahu in Hawaii

Editor’s Note:  Credit for the lead photo of Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii: © Okimo /Adobe Stock.

Aerial view of Waikiki Beach iwith Diamond Head in the distance in Honolulu, Hawaii, on the Hawaiian island Oahu

About Erin Klema

Erin Klema is the founder and editor of The Epicurean Traveler, combining her journalism background with her passion for culinary travel. When she isn't exploring the world through unique, local culinary experiences, she enjoys cooking with her husband, planning her next trip, and reading or watching a good rom com.

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Road Trip: Drive Around Oahu in a Day

By Hawaii.com Team

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A beautiful rainbow over the Oahu skyline. (Photo: Getty Images)

There are many ways to see the island of Oʻahu—take a guided tour, hitch a ride on a helicopter, or explore the coast by boat.  These are all exciting options, but we prefer sightseeing by car. The reason?  Well, you choose the route, you can linger as long as you want, and you can eat and shop along the way.

The island of Oʻahu is just the right size for taking a drive. It’s large enough that you will not run out of things to do and sights to see yet small enough that you can complete the drive in one day.

Chances are that although it’s possible to see all of the island’s postcard-worthy sights in one day, you won’t want to. You’ll meet a  honu  (turtle) and want to stay to play. You’ll discover a waterfall and decide to go for a swim. You’ll hike a mountain and find the view is a perfect background for a photoshoot of you and your someone special, and you’ll linger much longer than you intended. Nevertheless, here are our recommended stops for driving around Oʻahu in day.

View of Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head on Oahu.

Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head on Oahu. (Photo: Getty Images)

Most visitors to Hawaiʻi stay in Waikīkī. This is most likely where you’ll be starting your day. Watch surfers paddling out for their morning session or catch a wave yourself at Waikīkī beach. You can also make the short, but the steep 0.8-mile hike up Diamond Head. The trail will lead you to old military bunkers, a lighthouse, and summit views of the ocean and Oʻahu’s Southern coast. Getting outdoors and into nature is a great way to start the day!

2. Hawaiʻi Kai and Waimānalo

driving tour oahu map

View of Waimanalo Beach and a lifeguard tower through ironwood trees on the windward side of Oahu. (Photo: Getty Images)

The East side of the island is an outdoor lover’s playground with Sea Life Park and Hanauma Bay being two great options for those wanting to see, swim, and play with Hawaiian marine life. If this is a priority for you, plan on spending lots of time in East Oʻahu. There will be so much to see.

Another great way to start your road trip is with a short two-mile hike up to Makapu‘u Point lighthouse. You can save Waikīkī and Diamond Head for another day and head out early for a sunrise hike. From the vantage point at Makapuʻu, you’ll gain gorgeous views of the sun coming up over the blue horizon, the coastline, Rabbit Island, Molokaʻi, and even whales if you’re there between December and May.

The drive up the coast from Makapuʻu will take you through the town of Waimānalo. Roadside cafes and eateries make this a convenient and delicious place to stop for a bite to eat. Waimānalo is a hidden treasure. Many people don’t get the opportunity to experience this local haunt, but you can.

driving tour oahu map

Tempting and alluring scenic ocean view at Lanikai Beach looking out towards Na Mokulua aka the Mokulua Islands in Kailua on Oahu. (Photo: Getty Images)

Not too far up the coast from Waimānalo is the trendy beach town of Kailua. If you want to see what everybody’s been talking about, venture through Kailua to check out Lanikai beach, hike up Lanikai pillboxes for a whimsical view of the offshore Mokulua Islands or sunbathe at Kailua beach. Both Lanikai and Kailua beaches have been winners of the prestigious #1 Beach in America title.

With many restaurants to choose from and lots of healthy options, Kailua is a great place to get a good meal.  We recommend eating here before continuing your road trip, as dining options are limited along the stretch of road from Kailua to the North Shore.

4. Pali Lookout

driving tour oahu map

(Photo: Kevin Allen)

Located just  mauka  (mountainside) of Kailua, there are two main reasons why you should check out Pali Lookout. One, you’ll see amazing views of the Koʻolau Mountain Range. Two, this  pali  (cliff) is the site of a major battle that took place in 1795. You’ll be able to stand where King Kamehameha I and his army defeated the Oʻahu forces before going on to unite all of the islands into one kingdom. The strong winds and crisp air here are refreshing.

5. Kāneʻohe

driving tour oahu map

View of the entrance and Ko’olau Mountains as one drives through the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Park. Strolling or driving through these lush 400 acres in windward Oʻahu, you will truly agree that Hoʻomaluhia is rightfully named “a peaceful refuge.” Opened in 1982, this garden in Kāneʻohe features plantings from major tropical regions around the world. (Photo: Getty Images)

Kāneʻohe, the next stop on our drive around Oʻahu, is known for its rich, lush green landscapes. These two gorgeous stops prove it. You may have caught glimpses of the Byodo-In Temple in various shows like Hawaii Five-O and Magnum P.I. But even if you have, you’ll still be in awe when you gaze upon the Japanese temple replica and its verdant surroundings. Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Gardens is another tropical treasure with acres of Native Hawaiian plants and jaw-dropping Koʻolau mountain views.

6. North Shore

driving tour oahu map

(Photo: Getty Images)

Leaving Kāneʻohe destined for Oʻahu’s epic North Shore, you’re in for a scenic one-hour drive. You’ll see lush forests, beautiful bay views, and Oʻahu’s “country” side. You will pass the small offshore island called Chinaman’s Hat as well as Kualoa Ranch where many movies have been filmed. (We highly recommend you come back to spend a day here.) You will also pass the Polynesian Cultural Center. (This is a great place to experience a lūʻau . Maybe after your day at Kualoa?)

When you see the shrimp trucks serving up yummy plates of garlic shrimp, you’ve reached the North Shore country town of Kahuku. Travel a bit more and you’ll hit Haleʻiwa and the famous 7-mile miracle which is home to several white-sand beaches of miraculous beauty, starting with Sunset Beach and ending with Haleʻiwa Beach Park. Laniakea Beach where the honu are known to rest is located here. You can swim near the honu or watch them rest on the sandy shores but please don’t touch. Honu are endangered species. During the summer, the 7-mile miracle beaches are picture-perfect for sunbathing or sunset walks. During the winter, big swells roll in, and the dangerous surf becomes a playground for the world’s best watermen. Also along this 7-mile stretch is Waimea Valley where you can walk through a botanical garden, swim at a waterfall and participate in cultural activities.

Cool off with Matsumoto Shave Ice’s rainbow of tropical shave ice flavors. Matsumoto’s is “the shave ice place” on the North Shore. They do their toppings right and now they even have an edible cracker bowl imported from Japan. Mmm!

7. Ko ʻOlina

driving tour oahu map

View of Ko Olina beach and the Kohola lagoon from the hotel room. (Photo: Getty Images)

The North Shore of Oʻahu is a beautiful place to end the day, and the sunsets are just stunning. If you’ve made it this far, rest assured you’ve seen the best of Oʻahu. However, if you’ve made good time during your drive around Oʻahu, our last suggestion will be the icing on the cake. Ko ʻOlina on Oʻahu’s Westside is wild and gorgeous. An area boasting breathtaking beaches, golf, and water activities, some of Hawaiʻi’s best resorts are located here, like Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, and Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko ʻOlina. You can swim in one of the area’s four manmade lagoons, catch a traditional Hawaiian lūʻau at Paradise Cove or simply enjoy the sunset over the endless blue sea.

Your drive time back into Waikīkī from Ko ʻOlina will be about 45 minutes.  From Haleʻiwa, the drive time back into Waikīkī is just under an hour.

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The Ultimate Road Trip around Oahu, Hawaii

by Emily Cass | Oct 19, 2017 | North America | 8 comments

The Ultimate Road Trip around Oahu, Hawaii

Hawaii is one of our all-time favourite destinations. It’s the perfect mix of island living with the attractions of a city. You have the option to relax, explore, shop, eat, drink and cruise the entire island in just a day.

There are many ways to get around Oahu. Guided tours, public buses or mopeds but we strongly, strongly suggest renting a Mustang convertible or a Jeep Wrangler for a self-guided, hair down, music-pumping road trip along the scenic Kalaniana’ole and Kamehameha highways.

If you prefer to be on a tour and have someone else drive, check out the Oahu Majestic Full-Day Circle Island Tour .

Oahu is small enough you can get around in one day, but large enough to have plenty of things to see and do. It is possible to do all of these suggested stops in a day, but keep in mind it would involve jumping in and out of the car all day, without a lot of relaxing, so pick and choose based on your interests.

Below you can see an interactive map of the spots outlined below. We suggest driving anti-clockwise to hug the coast.

Coastal Drive of Oahu

Go at your own pace, stop when something beautiful pops up (there’s a lot!) and follow no set plan. Freedom at its finest.

Here are our recommended stops!

Waikiki Beach

You’re bound to start your day at this world-renowned beach. 80% of tourists are based in this area and it is where the most action/ hotels /restaurants and of course, people are. It’s not for everyone but in our opinion, it’s still a very buzzing, beautiful place to spend at least a day, especially for sunset.

View Hotels in Honolulu.

Booking.com

  • Budget: Waikiki Beachside Hostel
  • Mid Range: The Modern Honolulu
  • Luxury: Halekulani

A Day in Waikiki

Hawaii Sunset

Start the morning off with a long stroll along Waikiki Beach,  starting at the lagoons in front of the Hilton Hawaiian Village and continuing down the beach towards the Honolulu Zoo (or vice versa). The earlier you go, the fewer people to navigate. Take a break halfway to relax on the golden sand, people watch (very fun & funny!) and then grab a surf or paddleboard from one of the rentals and head out to catch some waves. There are tonnes of people (mainly beginners) in the water so be careful.

Surf Board Rentals

Sit down for lunch at the Cheesecake Factory (the portions are out of this world huge, so get sharing or come starving) and don’t forget to try one of their outrageously delicious cheesecakes. Caramel Turtle flavour for the win. Stretch your bank account with the endless shopping or duck into the Honolulu Cookie Company for some free samples. As the sun starts to set, sip a cocktail at the Ala Moana Hotel , the oldest hotel in Waikiki or at  Dukes, a staple tiki bar with live music. For dinner, head to Lulu’s for the best coconut shrimp & more live entertainment from 6:30 pm. Looking for something a little more upscale?  Roys Waikiki  will do the trick with high-end Hawaiian fare.

Dukes Waikiki

Waikiki Sunset Boat Cruise

Who doesn’t love drinking in the sun on a boat? In Hawaii! Yes, please!

Sunset Boat Cruise

If you have more time, we’d recommend going out on one of the many boat tours leaving from Waikiki Beach. For 2 hours and only $40 USD or $45 during sunset. They give you unlimited booze (beer, spirits, soft drinks, water) combined with an awesome boat ride. If you’re lucky you can see whales and dolphins. You can’t miss the bright yellow boats docked right out the front of Dukes. They leave every couple of hours.

If you prefer certainty,  book a sunset cruise !

Hike Diamond Head

Diamond Head

Hiking Diamond Head is definitely a must do when visiting Oahu, especially first thing in the morning. In the early 1900’s, the military claimed Diamond Head as a site for code defence, creating the paths, tunnels and stairs that still today are part of the terrain. The 1.5-mile hike which takes anywhere from 1.5 2 hours can be tackled by almost anyone. I couldn’t help but sing “the ants go marching one by one hurrah hurrah” as we hiked up the windy, steep hill alongside the hoards of other tourists. See here for more of the  best Hikes in Oahu .

Diamond Head

There are viewpoints the whole way up but the best, most incredible view lies at the very top after you’ve climbed up 74 stairs, followed by 99 extremely steep stairs, through a relatively dark tunnel. Bring water and avoid doing this in the middle of the day!

Gates are locked at 6:00 pm daily and the last entrance in is at 4:30 pm. $5.00 per car or $1 per person for pedestrians.

Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay

The first stop after Diamond Head will be Hanauma Bay   which is snorkel heaven on the southwest coast of Oahu. This bay is formed within a volcanic cone and has more than 400 species of Hawaiian marine life. You can choose to cool off here after you’ve hiked Diamond Head or just stop here for the view. Entrance to the park is $7.50 per person but for parking is only $1. If you leave within 15 minutes, they will give your $1 back ;). If you’re feeling extra energized before or after your snorkelling at Hanauma Bay you can hike Koko Crater Trail   (shown below). We’ve never done it but we’ve heard it’s rather tough!

KoKo Crater Trail

Please note Hanauma Bay is closed on Tuesdays!

The Lava Tube

This is one of Oahu’s “secrets”. Thanks to our local friends Mike and Lara, we were introduced to the Lava Tube. You can find this just past the Lanai Lookout (park in that car park). Take the road to the right and go over the barricade on the left side. It looks as though there’s nothing there but just keep going. Walk 10m down a small hill, most likely covered in rubbish, then turn to your left and you should find a small narrow hole leading right out to the ocean. Ssssh, it’s a secret, don’t tell anyone!

Lava Tube

Sandy Beach Park

As soon as you turn the corner from the Lava Tube, it’ll be hard to keep your jaw off the floor of the car. The views were immediately stunning and on a clear day, you can see the neighbouring island of Moloka’i.

Sandy Beach Park

Not only can you enjoy the fine sand between your toes and the incredibly blue water at Sandy Beach Park , you can also grab a bite to eat at one of the food trucks parked in the car park. If you love Mexican, Leilani’s Island Tacos   should be your next stop. 2 HUGE tacos full of flavour for only $10!

Be careful though, this beach is known to have dangerous shore breaks that only locals dare to tackle.

Sandy Beach Park

Lanikai Beach 

You know when someone says “take me to my happy place”? For me, that is  Lanikai Beach , one of, if not my favourite beach in Oahu.

Lanikai Beach

The water is always perfect, it’s never too crowded (although it is becoming a little more popular than it was last time we visited) and it seems like a world away from it all. Bring yourself a ‘lilo’ aka pool float and enjoy the moment & sunshine. There’s little beach parking so you’ll have to drive the backstreets to find parking. If the weather is clear, take the short hike up to Pillbox Hike to overlook the beaches below.

Kailua Beach Park

Kailua Beach Park

1 mile on from Lanikai is Kailua Beach Park . A popular calm beach 2.5 miles long. Kailua has picnic tables, large grassy areas, showers and bathrooms and free parking making it a perfect place for a family day out. Stop by Kailua town, just 5 minutes from the beach to grab yourself some things for a picnic.

Tropical Farms

Tropical Farms

Who doesn’t love a free sample? Just when you’re starting to get peckish, stop into Tropical Farms . A macadamia nut farm selling a gigantic variety of nuts and a whole lot of free samples! They also have free Kuna Coffee to try which Jacob greatly appreciated. It’s tough staying awake in Hawaii ;). Just be aware, ALL the tour buses come here so you will have to share those samples with a few others! You don’t need longer than 10-15 minutes in here, get in, get fed and get out 🙂

North Shore

Oahu North Shore

North Shore = Blue Crush   (the 2002 movie). At least that’s what I think about when the North Shore comes to mind but there’s plenty more to the North Shore than the waves of Pipeline.

Getting to the North Shore along the Kamehameha requires driving along both the coast and the countryside of Oahu. You’ll pass by Kualoa Ranch  where many movies have been filmed and continue along the roads surrounded by stunning mountain backdrops that make you feel you’re living in the world of Jurassic Park. If you have more time  The Polynesian Cultural Centre is a great place to experience a typical a Lūʻau  – a typical Hawaiian feast but you’ll need more time for this.

Oahu

Stop in for a cocktail and/or lunch at Turtle Bay Resort,  a secluded resort on the tip of Oahu. This resort is one of the few hotels in the North Shore and due to its remoteness, it can be very relaxing but also rather far away from anything else. If you’ve got a spare $400 a night, why not treat yourself to a night or two. Take us too! (But take note that helicopters fly over every 10minutes!)

Continuing on you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches along the North Shore. For 5 mi/8km beginning at Sunset Beach , there is no shortage of places to stop.  Banzai Pipeline is one of North Shore’s most famous beaches and is well known for its ridiculously large waves and surf competitions during the winter months. So impressive! During the rest of the year, the waves are at a “normal” level but the currents can be strong.

Pipeline - North Shore

Further on past pipeline is  Shark’s Cove (opposite this beach is a small carpark with food trucks),  Waimea Bay (rock jumping has become a popular activity) and  Laniakea Beach also known as “Turtle Beach” where turtles make a regular appearance on the sand to lay eggs. It’s impossible to miss this as you’ll notice the cars all gathered around.

Waimea Bay

Haleiwa is the place to spend the afternoon after a day at one of many surrounding North Shore beaches. This old historic town has a relaxed local ambience which is a far cry from Waikiki. There are a lot of surf shops, boutique stores, restaurants & art galleries. Grab a meal at   Haleiwa Beach House or shrimp from the famous  Giovani’s Shrimp Truck .

Giovanis Shrimp Truck

Next up?  Shave Ice ! No trip to Hawaii is complete without at least one shave ice. Matsumoto’s Shave Ice first opened its doors in 1951 and since then has been serving exotically flavoured shave ice to people from all around the world. For something so simple, it tastes so delicious and highly refreshing. Frozen ice covered in sugary flavours. Mmm.

Shave Ice

The thing that makes Shave Ice so different in Hawaii is the option to add ice cream on top? Like it isn’t cold enough already! I hate to say it, but this is definitely one of those essential stops and a great way to cool down.  Warning: Don’t ever call it a snow cone! Those Hawaiian locals will have something to say about that ;).

Shave Ice

Dole Plantation

As nighttime soon approaches it’s time to make your way through central Oahu down the Kamehameha HWY towards Waikiki but not without one last stop at the Dole Plantation . I mean, sure some may say this is a “tourist” trap but it was still worth the stop if anything just for the Dole Whip Icecream! Did you know… In 2008, Guinness World Records named Dole’s Pineapple Garden Maze the world’s largest maze made up of 14,000 colourful Hawaiian plants. Operating hours are 9:30 am – 5:30 pm.

Dole Plantation

Pearl Harbour

Pearl Harbour

Photo credit: Wikipedia

The infamous Pearl Harbour  is a place to remember, honour and understand the heroes of Pearl Harbour – the site of the WWII surprise attack by the Japanese. You can visit the Pearl Harbor Museums, the USS Arizona Memorial, USS Bowfin Submarine, USS Missouri Battleship, Pacific Aviation Museum and plenty more. It was a very moving experience and definitely worth the visit.

Top Pearl Harbour Tours

Now head back to Waikiki and tomorrow, maybe you could go surfing or scuba diving. See Expedia for hotels for scuba divers .

Top Tips

  • Don’t leave anything valuable in your car at any time.
  • Car rentals are reasonably priced (considering) but we found Alamo to have the cheapest car rentals of all the companies. We’ve used them on every occasion we’ve been in Hawaii, picking up & dropping off at the airport.
  • One-way drop off fees are pretty steep and begin at $50 USD. Try rent the car from the same place that you wish to drop it off (ie. the airport or in Waikiki).
  • Drive anti-clockwise to have the ocean always on the right side of you.
  • Don’t forget to use sunscreen when you’re driving. It’s a killer with the roof down.

Hawaii, this is not the first and it will definitely not be the last time we see you! Mahalo!

Married Days Survived; 935

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Sarah

Girl you need to gate this content and sell it!

Emily Cass

Thanks Sarah! I’ll look into it 🙂

Lauren

Hey! Loved your post. My name is Lauren and my friend and I will be in Oahu from 8/18-8/25. How long did this road trip take you? Any recommondation on accomodation in Oahu (wakiki, lani kai, north shore, etc)? We are looking for a younger crowd. Also any hole in the wall restaurants or bars??

Hey Lauren! Thanks for reading! The road trip was done in a day, it’s not that big. Of course, if you want to spend longer at each place it can be broken up into 2 days but we did it all in a day. Not including the time we spent in Waikiki of course.

As for accommodation, it really depends on what you want. If you stay on the North Shore you are far away from the hub of Waikiki for bars, restaurants and shopping, however, some people find Waikiki to be too busy. Lanikai is beautiful but again, it’s more residental so if you have car then it’s fine but if you’re after nightlife and a bustling atmopshere then we would suggest staying in Waikiki. Do you have a budget in mind?

Eric Wilson

Yes you are right plenty of more things are pending to see there. Nice Guide.

Leon

Oahu blends cosmopolitan luxury and breathtaking scenery more than any other Hawaiian island. The state’s capital city, Honolulu, showcases the island’s urban appeal. Nearby you’ll find a host of cultural and historic sites, from the ornate Iolani Palace to the austere USS Arizona Memorial at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial. In the nearby Waikiki neighborhood, a skyline of high-rises and resorts contrasts with sprawling white sand beaches. For a taste of rural Hawaii, visit the North Shore. Here, you’ll find the most brilliant blue waters and meandering hikes. But those three spots aren’t Oahu’s only must-see locales. Its top-notch restaurants, vibrant cultural events and wild nightlife further showcase this island as a “Gathering Place” of Hawaiian culture. https://e-web.top/best-hawaiian-islands/

vorbelutr ioperbir

Amazing! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a completely different subject but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Wonderful choice of colors!

zoritoler imol

Way cool, some valid points! I appreciate you making this article available, the rest of the site is also high quality. Have a fun.

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Oahu Scenic Drive: Ultimate One-Day Itinerary in Hawaii

By: Author Dave Lee

Posted on Last updated: March 20, 2024

Are you planning a trip to the Aloha state? If your vacation to Hawaii includes Honolulu, give yourself a full day for a scenic drive through Oahu. I did this upon returning to Oahu for the first time in 30 years, having previously visited as a 13-year-old with family.

I traveled with my girlfriend this time, and we made the most of our week on the island. What follows is our one-day itinerary for a self-guided scenic drive around Oahu. It was one of the best drives of my life.

At the end of the article, I'll share a few alternative ideas to swap in if you prefer. A word of warning, though, before we continue.

Dave on his one-day Oahu scenic drive in Hawaii

Table of Contents

Rental Car Logistics

Kona coffee purveyors / b patissiere, hanauma bay, halona beach cove and blowhole, makapu'u point lighthouse trail, nu'uanu pali lookout, tropical farms macadamia nuts, kualoa ranch, hukilau cafe, giovanni's shrimp truck, dole plantation, waimea valley and waterfall, matsumoto shave ice, sunset at haleiwa beach park, alternative places to go.

While we had no trouble reserving a rental car a few days in advance, the pick-up times in Waikiki Beach were limited to 8 a.m. or later. This was the case for all the companies. I would've preferred to hit the road an hour earlier.

However, it wouldn't have been worth our time to take an Uber to the airport to get a car there, only to backtrack through downtown Honolulu to reach the east side of Oahu.

Instead, we did our best to work with this limitation. Ultimately, we saw everything we wanted on our Oahu road trip and were quite tired when we returned to our Waikiki Beach hotel. So, even if we had gotten the car earlier than 8 a.m., I don't think it would've made a big difference.

Picking up the Rental Car

Ford Fusion rental car

Our Ford Fusion rental car was both economical and comfortable. The cost for a 24-hour rental, including insurance, fees, and taxes, was about $150.

The 24-hour rental is important because Budget doesn't accept returned cars after 3 p.m., which is odd because they don't let you pick them up before 8 a.m. Seven hours won't buy you much in the way of stops on a drive around Oahu.

To get the most out of your day and car rental, return it to the garage whenever you get back to Waikiki and then return to the Budget kiosk to drop off the keys the next day before 8 a.m. The cost would've been less had we booked the rental a few weeks earlier.

Direction of Travel

Everything I read about taking an Oahu scenic drive suggested traveling east of Honolulu and going counter-clockwise around the island. I suspect this is because it allows you to see the sunrise on the East Coast and sunset on the West Coast if you're up early.

If this is your first time driving around Oahu, drive safely . There's no rush; you're on island time, and getting in an accident would be a surefire way to ruin the trip.

Budget Tip: Save money in Oahu with Go City. Buy a 1, 2, 3, or 5-day all-inclusive pass to enjoy tours, surf lessons, and access to parks like Waimea Valley at a discounted rate. Get your Go City pass here .

Top Oahu Attractions

Kona Coffee Purveyors in Waikiki Beach, Oahu

Since the rental car wasn't available until 8 a.m., we got breakfast at Kona Coffee Purveyors, which opens at 7 a.m. daily. This shop offers Hawaiian coffee and fresh pastries by b Patissiere, one of the best bakeries in San Francisco .

We were in Waikiki Beach for a week and saw a line outside the cafe every morning. I'm pretty sure it was for the pastries because they were incredible! My favorite was the chocolate banana almond croissant.

Kona Coffee is conveniently located in the International Market Place, the indoor/outdoor shopping mall where we picked up the rental car.

Once we'd eaten and got our car for the day, I drove east of Honolulu on Route 72 to Hanauma Bay , our first stop. This stunning nature preserve with a sandy beach offers some of Oahu's best snorkeling. I remember swimming here as a teen.

The clarity of the water and the quantity of colorful fish and coral set a high bar by which I judged all future snorkeling experiences . Unfortunately, the bay and beach were closed to visitors *unless* you had booked a snorkeling tour .

While we hadn't planned to snorkel that day, we had at least wanted to get some photos from an observation deck above the beach. Thankfully, we didn't have to wait long for a beautiful beach view.

The beautiful Halona Beach Cove is worth a stop on your Oahu scenic drive.

Our Oahu scenic drive continued a few minutes east on Route 72, which led us to the lookout points for Halona Beach Cove and Blowhole on the side of Koko Crater.

The beach is not easily accessible. If you're willing to climb down steep volcanic terrain, you may have it to yourself. We were satisfied with the view from above.

The Halona Blowhole is a popular stop for tourists on scenic drives around Oahu.

When a strong enough wave hits the rocks, the Halona Blowhole spouts water up like a geyser . It was anti-climatic but still worth a quick stop on your day trip around Oahu.

Related: Planning for Hawaii on a Budget

Hike to the Makapu'u Point lighthouse on an Oahu scenic drive

Driving another few minutes east on Route 72 will bring you to the Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail parking lot. This trail is a relatively easy uphill walk on a paved path. We took about 30 minutes to reach the top, including a few stops for photos. We saw one pair of parents carrying their baby in a harness and another pushing a stroller.

Oahu's east coast as seen from Makapu‘u Point

Once you reach the top, you will see gorgeous views of Oahu's Windward Coast. On a clear day, look east, and you might see Moloka'i, another Hawaiian island. This is one of the best spots on the island to spot humpback whales . Whale-watching season in Hawaii runs from December to April.

They may have come early, but the views of turquoise waters from  Makapu'u Point  were some of my favorites that day. The walk down was faster, about 15 minutes, and we were at this stop for about 75 minutes.

View from Nu'uanu Pali lookout, a recommended stop on any scenic drive of Oahu.

Our next photo-op on the Oahu scenic drive was the stunning Nu'uanu Pali lookout, a 30-minute drive from the lighthouse trail. (Take Route 71 North to 61 South, the Pali Highway.) The scenic road takes you 1,200 feet up into the Ko'olau Range, giving you a different perspective on the lush vegetation of Oahu's windward side.

To the northeast, you can see the azure waters off Kailua Beach. Equally pretty, Lanikai Beach, south of Kailua, is hidden by green hills. Give yourself 10-15 minutes in this remarkable place. The Nu'uanu Pali scenic view is included on many of Get Your Guide's most popular half-day and full-day Oahu tours .

Tropical Farms macadamia nut coffee samples

My girlfriend, Kel, was keen to stop at a macadamia nut farm, and I'm glad we did. Tropical Farms is a great place about 30 minutes up the coast from the Nu'uanu Pali lookout. Take Route 61 North to 83 North (part of the Kamehameha Highway).

While they weren't offering tours when we visited, they had free samples of their nuts and macadamia nut coffee. My favorite was the onion and garlic.

Dramatic view of the Kualoa Ranch and surrounding mountains

Go a few minutes north on Route 83, and you'll see the dramatic entrance to Kualoa Ranch . This Hawaiian ranch is world-famous for being the site where scenes from Hollywood films such as Jurassic Park, Jumanji, and 50 First Dates were shot.

Tours are costly and sell out well in advance. For example, the 2.5-hour Jurassic Adventure tour, which takes guests to the Hakipu'u and Ka'a'awa Valleys, is $140. Other activities include horseback riding , electric mountain bikes , and ATVs. Even though we stopped to look, I already knew no tours were available that day.

If you want to incorporate a tour at Kualoa Ranch during your scenic drive around Oahu, you may need to book weeks ahead. Given the time required, I suggest going on a standalone day trip. The Ranch offers roundtrip transportation from Waikiki hotels for $30 per person, so you don't need a rental car to get there.

Hukilau Cafe

Speaking of 50 First Dates, a romantic comedy starring Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler, many scenes are shot in a fictional Hukilau Cafe.

There's a cafe by the same name in Laie, a 25-minute drive north of Kualoa Ranch (on Route 83 North). However, this isn't the location where the scenes were filmed.

Despite that fact, or regardless of it, former Go Backpacking contributor and food blogger superstar Mark Wiens (and I) still went in the hopes of enjoying a typical Hawaiian meal.

You can read about Mark's experience at Hukilau Cafe here . On my drive around Oahu, the restaurant was closed for lunch that day, so I missed out on trying their food.

Giovanni's shrimp truck attracts vacationers out for an Oahu scenic drive.

That was fine since I also had eyes on Giovanni's Shrimp Truck a few minutes north on Route 83. Giovanni's was one of the first shrimp food trucks on Oahu's North Shore to make a name for itself. There's a lunch line every day, year after year, and that was certainly the case when we stopped by around noon.

Giovanni's shrimp plates

It took about 15-20 minutes to get our food. I ordered shrimp with butter and lemon while Kel got their signature shrimp scampi (i.e., garlic shrimp).

A third option is the hot and spicy shrimp plate. All three are the same size, come with white rice, and cost $15. By this point in the trip, I felt hungry, so I quickly worked on the dozen medium-sized shrimp.

Related: Best Places to Eat in Oahu

Stopping for a Dole pineapple whip dessert is a must on any Oahu scenic drive

One of the places I remember best from visiting Oahu as a teen was the Dole Plantation . Tasting the fresh-picked pineapple was unforgettable. I can also remember seeing the inside of a canning facility and the shape of machines used to remove pineapple cores.

Thirty years later, the Dole Plantation became a much bigger tourist attraction, and a stop is included on many Oahu island tours . You can ride a train around the plantation to learn about pineapples and navigate a giant maze on foot. However, we were more interested in dessert—the Dole pineapple whip dessert, to be specific.

A Dole whip is pineapple-flavored soft-serve ice cream, and we paid one dollar extra for fresh pineapple chunks to be added. Behind the gift shop, where you can buy the dessert and all forms of pineapple paraphernalia, there's a patio and small garden that are free to enjoy.

Waimea Falls

Our daylight hours were running out by mid-afternoon, and we desperately wanted to swim under Waimea Falls . The Falls are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, and it was about 3 p.m. when we left the Dole Plantation.

We backtracked along Route 99 and Route 83 North to Waimea Bay, where we turned right on Waimea Valley Road, which provides access to Waimea Valley . From there, it was an easy 30-minute walk on paved paths through the botanical garden to reach Oahu's best-known waterfall.

There are some rustic changing rooms and bathrooms and a small hut where a gentleman handed out life jackets required to swim there. He said we'd arrived at this beautiful place at the best time of day when most visitors had already left.

Kel and I enjoyed a 15-minute swim in the freshwater pool before drying off, changing, and returning to the car for another North Shore food experience.

Tropical shave ice with mochi at Matsumoto's in Hale'iwa on Oahu's North Shore

Heading south on Route 83 for a few minutes brought us to Haleiwa town, still on Oahu's North Shore. Here, you'll find many cute shops, restaurants, and the historic Matsumoto Shave Ice.

Matsumoto has been serving their refreshing dessert since 1951. On a typical day, they'll make 1,000 for customers. President Obama has been seen getting shaved ice here, so you know it's good!

They have special machines to shave the ice and dozens of housemade flavored syrups to choose from. There are many places to buy shave ice on Oahu, but Matsumoto's is one of the best.

Related: 5 Hawaiian Fusion Foods

Sunset at Hale'iwa Beach Park, Oahu

I'd initially planned to watch the sun go down at Sunset Beach Park on the North Shore. This beach is just a minute or two up the road from the Banzai Pipeline beach, a mecca for surfers worldwide. However, upon arrival, we found parking at both beaches extremely limited, and many cars already occupied the spots.

Instead, we left the shave ice shop for nearby Haleiwa Beach Park , which has plenty of parking. A rainbow appeared inland, to the west, while we watched the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. Stand-up paddleboarders could be seen gently floating on the water in the distance.

Once the sun went down over the horizon, we hopped in the car and drove back to Waikiki Beach, marking the end of the drive. Despite an unexpected torrential downpour, it took about one hour. The day made for one of the best scenic drives I've experienced in the United States.

Related: Beauty of Oahu Island

Catching rainbows at sunset on an Oahu scenic drive

Hopefully, our Oahu scenic drive gave you some ideas to make your one-day tour of the island a reality. Follow it, and you'll see some of the most beautiful places on the island.

There are lots more interesting stops on Oahu than one day will allow; however, I thought I'd share a few alternatives to what we did.

If you prefer to try malasadas (Portuguese donuts) for breakfast, head to Leonard's Bakery instead of Kona Coffee Purveyors. Leonard's is open from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

If you come to Honolulu from the east, such as the mainland United States, Canada, or Europe, jetlag may cause you to wake up very early.

Consider taking advantage of this by doing a sunrise hike at the Diamond Head crater . We did this on a different day than our drive around Oahu and used Uber.

It was a 30-minute hike to the top of the crater; our reward was breathtaking views. Allow 15-20 minutes to get back down. Check the official website for travel advisories and hours.

The Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie is a popular destination on the eastern side of Oahu. Here, you can learn about the local cultural traditions through live shows, tours, and food.

I recommend leaving Pearl Harbor for another day, as you must reserve a time slot for the USS Arizona. Visiting the USS Missouri battleship alone can take an additional hour or two.

driving tour oahu map

Dave is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Go Backpacking and Feastio . He's been to 66 countries and lived in Colombia and Peru. Read the full story of how he became a travel blogger.

Planning a trip? Go Backpacking recommends:

  • G Adventures for small group tours.
  • Hostelworld for booking hostels.

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How to Road-Trip Around Oahu

A bright blue sky over the island of Oahu, Hawaii

I didn’t know much about Oahu before I visited. Everyone told me it was worth it for Pearl Harbor but to spend the rest of my time elsewhere in Hawaii . Maui and Kauai were where the action was, they said.

But Oahu was home to Honolulu’s international airport, from which I was catching an onward flight to Taiwan . Since I had limited time, going to multiple islands wasn’t feasible.

Fortunately, after spending a full week on Oahu, I can say this: everyone was wrong.

Maybe they just let their preconceived notions get the better of them .

Or maybe they just didn’t give the place a chance.

But whatever the reason, I’m here to tell you that Oahu has some magic. Sure, it’s quite developed, has terrible traffic, and huge crowds. And yeah, maybe it’s not as “raw” as the other islands (I assume that’s why people like them).

But there are plenty of spots in Oahu where you can live that Hawaiian dream and there are tons of things to see and do ( even if you’re visiting Oahu with kids ).

I spent a week round-tripping the island (which, given how small it is, turned out to be quite easy). My plan was simple: sit on a beach as long as I could, eat my body weight in poke (diced raw fish, pronounced “po-keh”), and hike.

Along the way, I also binged on shrimp, drank the best piña colada of my life, and took notes so you can do even better when you visit!  

Driving Oahu: A Road-Trip Itinerary

Driving on the highway in Oahu, Hawaii surrounded by forests and jungle

That said, I actually don’t think a traditional road trip is the best idea. Oahu is smaller than you think — you can drive end to end in under two hours — so everything listed below can really be done as a day trip from one base or another, which will save you packing and unpacking, as well moving from place to place too often (especially since the east and west coasts don’t have a lot of affordable accommodations).

Base yourself on the North Shore for a couple of days and then in Honolulu (in the south) for a couple of days (or vice versa).  

Day 1: Honolulu to Kailua (28 miles)

The skyline of Honolulu, Hawaii surrounded by lush forests and jungles

Where to Eat:

  • Teddy’s Bigger Burgers
  • Any of the food trucks on the way north
  • Buzz’s Steakhouse (for dinner)

Where to Stay: Airbnb is the best option, since there aren’t many hotels or hostels in Kailua. Book early though, as there isn’t a lot to choose from.  

Day 2: Kailua to Haleiwa (50 miles)

The beautiful coast of Kailua in Hawaii surrounded by water

If you have some time in the morning, Kailua and Lanikai beaches are both beautiful (they’re right next to each other and on the way from the pillbox hike). Not a lot of people, white sand, blue water. They’re heaven.

As you leave this area to head north, visit the Ho‘oamaluhia Botanical Garden (it’s free!), which is also home to a lake filled with tropical plants.

Afterward, drive up the east coast toward the North Shore. Along the way, you can stop at the Kualoa Ranch, where many movies have been filmed. If you do a tour, I suggest the 90-minute Hollywood Movie Sites Tour (which includes scenes from Jurassic Park !), as you don’t need much more time than that to see the ranch. (It’s expensive, though, so if you’re on a budget, I’d skip it.)

As you keep going north, you’ll find a ton of beaches and hikes (there are plenty of signs for everything). I really enjoyed the Hau‘ula Loop Trail especially, which is about 10 miles north of Kualoa. It’s really overgrown, so you’ll feel like you’re very much in the jungle (meaning you’ll also need to bring bug spray). And like most hikes here, there’s a scenic viewpoint!

Then drive around the northern tip of Oahu to Haleiwa, your base of operations while on the North Shore.

Where to Eat Along the Way:

  • Kalapawai Café and Deli
  • Fresh Catch Kaneohe
  • Shrimp Shack
  • Seven Brothers
  • Ken’s Fresh Fish
  • Fumi’s Shrimp

Where to Stay: Airbnb is again the best option, as there aren’t many hotels or hostels in Haleiwa. Book early here too.  

Days 3 & 4: North Shore (Base: Haleiwa)

A beautiful soft sunset on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii

You can learn to surf here (two-hour lessons begin at just $80 USD) or hike the Ka‘ena Point Trail (west of Haleiwa) and/or the ‘Ehukai Pillbox (east of Haleiwa). The latter is pretty muddy, so bring appropriate shoes.

Haleiwa itself is a sleepy little tourist town with a bunch of restaurants, shops, and parks. There’s not much to do in the town itself other than eat and window-shop.

If you do just one hike, though, I definitely recommend the Ka‘ena Point Trail, which was one of the best experiences I had. It’s a scenic, two-hour coastal walk to the northwestern tip of Oahu, where you will find a protected biological area with seals and native birds. At the tip, you can see all the way down the west side of the island — a magical view. Bring sunscreen and water, as the whole trail is exposed to the sun.

  • Ted’s Bakery
  • Sunrise Shack
  • Hale‘iwa Joe’s
  • Matsumoto Shave Ice
  • Ray’s Kiawe
  • Kono’s
  • Jenny’s Shrimp Truck
  • Giovanni’s Shrimp

Day 5: Dole Plantation, Oahu’s West Side, Honolulu (60 miles)

The rugged coast of Waianae on the west coast of Oahu, Hawaii

Afterward, continue south toward Honolulu and then head west on the H1 road to the west coast for some deserted local beaches, such as Ma‘ili, Ewa, Makua, or Yokohama. Stop at Countryside Café for some incredible diner food. The portions are pretty large, so you can share them.

Then head back into Honolulu, as there’s not a lot of accommodation along the west coast. If you do want to stay longer, you’ll find some listings on Airbnb and Booking.com if you book far in advance. Otherwise, there are a few hotels in Kapolei if you don’t want to drive all the way to Honolulu.  

Days 6 & 7: Honolulu

ocean view down a hillside looking at a lighthouse

Consider going on a hike on Diamond Head, a volcanic cone on the east side of town. It offers an incredible view of the city, though it’s one of the more popular trails in the area, so if you aren’t there early enough to beat the crowds, you’ll basically be walking in a slow-moving line up the mountain. If you are short on time, skip it.

Other Things to Do:

  • A free walking tour with Hawaii Free Tours (call ahead, since they only run when they have bookings).
  • Pearl Harbor – This is a must. It’s not even up for debate. You have to go.
  • Iolani Palace, the former royal residence of Hawaii’s monarchs.
  • Soak in the sun on Waikiki Beach or other nearby beaches, such as Ala Moana, which is popular with locals.

There’s also an Islamic art museum, which is supposed to be great, but I didn’t make it there.

  • The Pig and the Lady
  • Mei Sum Dim Sum
  • Shirokiya Japan Village Walk
  • Rainbow Drive-In
  • Leonard’s Bakey
  • Ono Seafood

Where to Stay:

  • The Beach – This hostel is right on the beach, includes free breakfast, and has plenty of space to relax and meet other travelers.
  • Polynesian Hostel Beach Club Waikiki – The accommodations here are basic, but the staff are super friendly and helpful, and they organize lots of events.

Additionally, head to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel for the best piña colada of your life. It’s not cheap ($15 USD a pop), but it is sooo good! Every one of my friends who didn’t order one got it as their second drink. (Fun fact: My grandfather was stationed in Oahu during WWII and went back to Oahu often. The Royal Hawaiian was his favorite hotel. It’s pretty cool that it’s still there!)  

Average costs

How much do things cost on Oahu? Here are some typical prices (in USD):

  • Hostel dorm – $27
  • Airbnb – $100+/night for a one-bedroom or studio
  • Hotel – $175–250/night for a mid-range boutique hotel
  • Car rental – as low as $20/day, plus insurance
  • Gas – $3–3.50/gallon
  • Poke bowl – $12–15
  • Takeout meal – $10–14
  • Sit-down meal at a fancy restaurant (with drinks) – $50+
  • Local lunch – $15
  • McDonalds – $6 for a value meal
  • Groceries – $75 for one person for a week
  • Beer (at a restaurant) – $8–10 ($2–3 at the Japanese Walk!)
  • Piña colada – $10-15
  • Coffee – $5
  • Surfboard rental – $25/day
  • Snorkel gear rental – $15/day
  • Scuba dive prices – $125

Budget Tips

Oahu is pretty expensive. Most everything has to be imported, so if it can’t be grown nearby or caught in the ocean, expect to pay a lot. But it’s not impossible to save money. Here are a few ways to cut your expenses:

  • Hike and enjoy the beaches. Nature is free!
  • Buy your own food from supermarkets so you can cook your own meals or have picnics. Sure, there are plenty of world-class restaurants here, but if you want to keep your food costs down, you should cook some meals. The poke at supermarkets is delicious anyway!
  • If you do eat out, hit the food trucks. Most cost around $10 USD for a meal — much cheaper than sit-down restaurants.
  • If you’re going to buy alcohol, do so at Japanese markets, where you can find beer for only $2–3 USD (compared to $8 USD at bars).
  • Skip ride-sharing websites like Getaround or Turo (where you rent cars from private owners). They are usually cheaper than the big rental companies, but on Oahu, hosts charge you an added fee for dropping the car at the airport. I found the traditional car rental companies to be much cheaper, with rates as low as $20 USD a day.
  • Get your gas at Hele stations. They were consistently the cheapest on the island.

While Oahu is often crowded and overly commercial, there were a lot of wonderful things to do and see. To me, the best parts were the food and the hiking — with so many hikes, you could spend weeks here. My favorite part of Oahu was the North Shore, so I recommend you spend a few days there at least. I certainly look forward to returning!

Book Your Trip to Hawaii: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and hotels. My favorite places to stay are:

  • Polynesian Hostel Beach Club Waikiki
  • Waikiki Beachside Hostel

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancelations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it, as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

  • Safety Wing (for everyone below 70)
  • Insure My Trip (for those 70 and over)
  • Medjet (for additional repatriation coverage)

Need a Rental Car? Discover Cars is a budget-friendly international car rental website. No matter where you’re headed, they’ll be able to find the best — and cheapest — rental for your trip!

Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money too.

Need an Affordable RV for Your Road Trip? RVshare lets you rent RVs from private individuals all around the country, saving you tons of money in the process. It’s like Airbnb for RVs.

Want More Information on Hawaii? Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on Hawaii for even more planning tips!

Got a comment on this article? Join the conversation on Facebook , Instagram , or Twitter and share your thoughts!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I recommend only products and companies I use and the income goes to keeping the site community supported and ad free.

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Oahu Circle Island Tour Map + Itinerary

Oahu Circle Island Tour Map

Here's a map of what's called the "Oahu Circle Island Tour" or "Oahu Grand Circle Island Tour."

Here are some common questions:

Q: How long is the Circle island tour?

A: Time-wise, a normal Circle Island Tour is between 6-8 hours.

If you were to just drive straight through, which you wouldn't really do, you could do this route in about 3 hours. Q: Can you circle Oahu?

A: You can half- circle the island of Oahu (see the yellow route above.)

Because the road stops at the northwest corner of Oahu, you cannot actually drive around the entire island.

Whenever you hear a tour company refer to a "circle island tour," they're always following Oahu's eastern coast (whether clockwise or counter-clockwise) and cutting through the middle of the island. Q: What is Oahu Grand Circle?

A: An Oahu "Grand" Circle is simply an Oahu circle island tour with the word "grand" in front of it, and is the same as any "circle island tour."

More often than not, it's used to refer to Oahu island tours in the larger 5 motor coaches. Q: How many miles is the circle of Oahu?

A: About 110-120 miles, starting from Waikiki.

Oahu Circle Island Tour Itinerary

Here's a general itinerary for the Oahu Circle Island Tour. Keep in mind that each company may add or skip stops, and also spend different amounts of time at each stop, but in general, this is what 90% of the tour companies use as their "Oahu Circle Island Tour Itinerary"...

1. Diamond Head Lookout : 10 min

2. Drive through Kahala : 5-10 min

3. Drive between Hanauma Bay & Koko Head Crater

4. Halona Blowhole 15 min

5. Drive by (or stop at) Sandy Beach

6. Makapu'u Lookout : 10 min

7. Waimanalo Gift Shop  (Restroom Break): 15 min

8. Pali Lookout (sometimes): 20 min

9. Byoda-In Temple (sometimes): 45+ min

10. Tropical Farms Macadamia Farm : 25 min

11. Chinaman's Hat : 5-10 min

12.  Plate Lunch at a Food Truck or Fumis: 30-45 min

13. Turtle Beach (Turtle Spotting or Snorkel): 30-1 hr

14. Dole Pineapple Plantation : 30-45 min

15. Green World Coffee Farm (sometimes) 15 min

16. Drive back to Waikik i: 50 min

Useful Links: Best North Shore Oahu Tour:  Kevo's Beach Bus Best Private Oahu Convertible Tour: Special Hawaii Tours Instant Hawaii Itinerary Generator: Hawaii Trip Planner

Driving Tour of Oahu's Southeast Shore

Take an Oahu Road Trip

Melinda Podor / Getty Images

A road trip may not be the first thing that comes to mind while planning an island getaway, but trusts us, it's one of the best ways to experience Oahu. The journey east past  Diamond Head  towards the southeast shore has continued to be the most popular driving tour on the island, and we've got all the important information to help get you there (while enjoying stops along the way, of course).

With the stops you'll be making, you'll want to allow yourself a full day to see and do everything. This Google map will help you plan your trip.

Kalaniana'ole Highway to Hawaii Kai

Whether you're staying in Honolulu or in one of the hotels, resorts or condominium properties in Waikiki, you'll want to make your way to H1 East. For a slightly more scenic beginning, you can drive down Kalakaua Avenue and make a right turn onto Diamond Head Road at the foot of the mountain.

Diamond Head Road wraps around the ocean side of Diamond Head and has some lovely viewpoints. The road changes into Kahala Avenue as it proceeds through one of the wealthiest neighborhoods on the island. Keep your eyes out for signs to H1. You'll be making a left onto Kealaolu Avenue which will take you right up to the highway.

Heading east on the H1, the highway ends and turns into the Kalaniana'ole Highway (or Route 72). This it will be your home for most of the day's trip. On this first part of your drive, you'll be driving through many of the commuter neighborhoods of Oahu. Most of the folks who live here commute to work in Honolulu or Waikiki, and many work in the hotels in which you're staying.

Just past the neighborhood of Hawaii Kai, and up the long hill with Koko Head Crater to your left, keep your eyes out for signs to our first stop at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. Depending on traffic, the route you took and where you're staying, it should have taken you about a half hour to 45 minutes to reach this stop.

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

TripSavvy / Taylor McIntyre

Located about 10 miles east of Waikiki just off the main coastal road (Kalaniana'ole Highway, Route 72), Hanauma Bay is the first Marine Life Conservation District in the State of Hawaii. It costs $1.00 per car to park and $7.50 per person to enter the Preserve.

Visitors are required to view a nine minute film before heading down to the beach, where you'll have access to some of the best snorkeling in all of Hawaii. In the video, you'll learn about the importance of preserving Hawaii's delicate marine environment and rules that must be followed when swimming near coral.

The Preserve is closed every Tuesday. In addition, admission is limited to a set number of people, so be sure to arrive early.

As you leave Hanauma Bay, make a right turn back onto the highway. Your next stop is less than two miles away.

Halona Blowhole

Just north of Hanauma Bay off the Kalaniana'ole Highway you'll find the pullout for the Halona Blowhole.

The blowhole results when waves are forced into an underwater lava tube and the pressure forces a stream of water to "blow" out of the other end shooting into the air. The Blowhole is most exciting when surf is active on this side of the island.

There are some days when it is blowing water high into the sky and other days when it is quite quiet. The viewing area and parking lot here have recently been redone.

Just to the right is the Halona Beach Cove, also known as Cockroach Cove where the famous love scene between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in the 1953 movie From Here to Eternity was filmed.

Visible from the Blowhole lookout and less than a half mile away is your next stop, Sandy Beach Park.

Sandy Beach Park

Just down the road from the Halona Blowhole is the long and often very windy Sandy Beach Park .

It's a great place to stop and watch folks fly their kites, and there are always plenty of surfers and body boarders testing the surf.

The waters off Sandy Beach produce very strong and erratic currents and undertow. It is only for very experienced surfers and body boarders. It is, however, a great place to watch the best of them do their thing in the water.

Continue heading north on the highway for a little over two miles and you'll reach our next stop.

Makapuu Point and Lighthouse

Just past the Hawaii Kai Golf Course, you'll come to Makapu'u Point . A parking area has recently been built to accommodate folks who want to take the moderate 2-mile hike up to the point and the Makapu'u Point Lighthouse. You'll see the driveway to the parking area on your right.

The hike is relatively easy, although it's best in the morning when the sun is less strong. It takes a little over an hour roundtrip.

The view of the coast in both directions is amazing. It's a great place to see whales in season. On a clear day you can see the island of Moloka'i in the distance.

If you take the hike, be sure to lock your car and remove all of your valuables.

After exiting the parking area, make a right and head up the hill. There is another pullout on your right with some great coastal views, a perfect alternative if you don't have time to do the full hike.

As the road leads back down from Makapu'u Point keep your eye out to the left for Sea Life Park.

Sea Life Park

Sea Life Park is a world-class marine attraction featuring educational displays and live entertainment with dolphins, sea lions and penguins.

You may not have time to stop here on this trip, since it is almost a full day experience in itself, but take time to pull in and check our their current hours and prices. They offer several different programs and options. For several of them advance reservations are advised.

Waimanalo Bay State Recreation Area

TripSavvy / Taylor McIntyre 

About four miles further along the highway takes you to the community of Waimanalo, home to about 4,000 people and the beautiful Waimanalo Beach.

You can park in the Waimanalo Beach parking lot, however, much of it has been taken over by homeless people who live there in tents and makeshift houses. A better bet is to drive a bit further down the highway and look for signs for the Waimanalo Bay State Recreation Area . The parking lot here is accessed off a short road into a wooded area. Don't leave any valuables in your car since you won't be able to see it from the beach.

Over 5 miles in length with lovely, soft white sand, Waimanalo Beach is rarely crowded on weekdays. It's a great place to meet and talk to a local enjoying this wonderful spot. The swimming is generally excellent since there are rarely large waves.

This beach was made famous by Hawaiian singer "IZ" or Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's music video for his classic song, White Sandy Beach.

After Waimanalo the highway bends inland. You'll pass by Bellows Air Force Station on your right. When you reach Kailua Road you can either make a left and follow the signs for the Pali Highway to return to Honolulu and Waikiki or make a right and take a detour to visit Lanikai Beach and Kailua Beach Park.

Kailua and Kailua Beach Park

Kailua and Lanikai are two, primarily residential, neighborhoods on the east side of the island. After Honolulu and Waikiki, Kailua is the next largest town on the island and it has some great shopping.

Nearby Kailua Beach Park is a very popular recreational beach with excellent swimming. You'll also likely see several windsurfers and an outrigger canoe club practicing. This beach has lifeguards, a picnic area, restrooms with showers, and concessions.

Lanikai Beach

Separated from Kailua by Alala Point, your next stop should be Lanikai Beach .

Both Kailua Beach Park and Lanikai Beach have been named Best Beach in America by Dr. Beach , aka coastal expert Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman.

Lanikai is truly a superb beach, but visiting it is often difficult since parking in Lanikai is very difficult.

Lanikai is a small, exclusive community with one looping road. Beach access is only available by a limited number of public access walkways. From the beach you'll have great views of the Mokuluas, two small islands approximately three quarters of a mile off the coast.

Heading Home

When your day is done, simply retrace your steps to Kailua Road and follow the signs to the Pali Highway which will take you back to Honolulu.

Before you go, be sure to bookmark our large Google map of this trip for your reference as you drive.

Top Things to Do on Oahu Away from Waikiki and Honolulu

12 Best Beaches on Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi

Oahu's Southeast Shore and Windward Coast

Top Driving Tours and Walking Tours on Oahu

Off the Beaten Path on Oahu

Waimanalo Beach: The Complete Guide

Driving Along the North Shore of Oahu

Honolulu, Waikiki, and Oahu Gay Guide and Photo Gallery

Best Ways to Spend Five Exciting Days on Oahu

The Top 17 Things to Do on Oahu, Hawaii

Driving West Maui's Rugged North Shore

Best Beaches in Hawaii

One Week in Hawaii: The Ultimate Itinerary

The Best Places to Go Snorkeling in Oahu

15 Best Oahu, Hawaii, Family Attractions

The Complete Guide to Visiting Hanauma Bay in Hawaii

driving tour oahu map

  • HOW IT WORKS
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Oahu with GyPSy Guide Driving Tour App

HAWAII, MAUI, OAHU, BIG ISLAND, KAUAI BUNDLE

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Hawaii GyPSy Guide Driving Tour Apps

  • Location: Hawaii, USA
  • Audio Points: 230+
  • Valid: No expiry
  • Start: Flexible
  • Direction: Multi
  • Download: ~94Mb

FLEXIBLE TOUR

This complete island tour is designed to be flexible, so you can road trip the way you want. No worrying about where to start or which portion of the island you want to see. Use our suggested itineraries in the app tour plan, or divide the commentary to create your own half, full or multi day sightseeing trips across the island.

Tour Route Map

Audio preview.

Oahu GyPSy Guide Driving Tour App

Highlights Include

  • Byodo-In Temple
  • Diamond Head
  • Dole Plantation
  • Hanauma Bay
  • Kailua & Lanikai
  • Laie Sea Arch
  • National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
  • North Shore, Sunset Beach & Banzai Pipeline
  • Pearl Harbor*
  • Punchbowl Crater
  • Shrimp Trucks
  • The Pali Lookout

What to Expect

Want to connect with Hawaii, beyond Waikiki?  Then it’s definitely worth taking a full day from sunbathing, renting a car, and driving to tour around Oahu.

There are many stories, tips and advice along the way, that will enhance your Oahu, Hawaii vacation experience.  We’ll highlight the many viewpoints, but how and how long you choose to explore is up to you.

Includes 4 suggested road trips to explore Oahu;

Have a full day to sightsee  drive the north shore loop.

The main attraction is the North Shore , and its famous big wave surfing beaches of Sunset Beach  &  Banzai Pipeline . 

Hear about the history of surfing, local legends and some overseas challengers to the throne.  Enjoy a stop for some tropical delights at the Dole Plantations on the way to the laid back North Shore town of Haleiwa , or continue on to Shrimp Truck heaven. 

We’ll point out a few of our favourites, but remember to bring mints or friends that don’t care about garlic breath. 

Continue driving along the windward side and grab a photo of the hole in the rock  Laie Sea Arch .

Looking for a cultural experience? The  Polynesian Cultural Center  is a theme park and living museum, home to the Islands biggest luau and evening show.  Or find your zen at the serene Buddhist Byodo-In Temple .

Loop back around the Pali and return to Waikiki.   You can also choose to drive this route in the opposite direction and arrive at Sunset Beach , late in the afternoon before returning to Waikiki.

Or scope out  Ko Olina , the resort area with crested shaped beach lagoons and the Disney Aulani Resort & Spa .

Only Have A Few Hours? Tour Oahu’s Beaches and Volcanoes

Oahu’s Southeast corner is an area dominated by extinct volcanoes and sandy beaches.  Get fit by hiking up the short but steep staircase at  Diamond Head , you’ll be reward with breathtaking view overlooking  Honolulu .  And one of the best, but also most popular spots to snorkel is  Hanauma Bay .  To help the reef, the bay is closed on Tuesdays, so make sure you plan around that.

Escape to the small towns of  Kailua  and  Lanikai  for pristine beaches, or take a guided kayaking tour to the twin islands, “ The Mokes ” just offshore.  It’s not hard to feel the spiritual significance at the Pali Lookout , but hang onto your hats, you’ll also feel the strong wind blowing up against these cliffs.

Continue on the Pali to finish the loop back in Waikiki, or continue driving to complete the Island Circle.

Drive all the way around the island in one day!  

If you want to have an amazing day and see everything, then all you have to do is start early and spend a full day of sunshine driving all the way around the island. Simply combine the North Shore Loop and Volcanoes & Beaches into one easy continuous tour.

You can drive either way around the island, start at the North Shore and go clockwise, or start with Diamond Head and Hanauma Bay and go counter-clockwise – it’s your choice.

If you want to make longer stops like hiking Diamond Head , snorkelling at Hanauma Bay  or visiting the Polynesian Cultural Center , then you will need to keep an eye on time to make sure you don’t run out of daylight! If going counter-clockwise, its nice to watch the sunset at Sunset Beach , have dinner at Haleiwa and then drive back to Waikiki in the dark.

You’ll be amazed by the variety of experiences, including authentic Hawaiian places of interest, once you drive away from Waikiki.

Want to Visit Pearl Harbor?

We recommend you dedicate at least a 1/2 day as its own day trip from Waikiki for the  Pearl Harbor Visitor Center  if you want to pay respects and explore this still active naval base.  

We include driving instructions on where to exit for Pearl Harbor as you are heading towards the North Shore.

Suggested Start Location

Official starts are along Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki or Ko Olina, or join and pick up commentary anywhere along the route.

Suggested Time

Island Circle  – expect to spend a full day (10+ hours) between driving and sightseeing stops

North Shore Loop – expect around 6 hours between driving and sightseeing stops

Beaches & Volcanoes – allow a half day to drive with sightseeing stops.

Pearl Harbor – Expect a half day depending on how busy the site is.

Driving Distance

Island Circle Loop – 105 miles

North Shore Loop – 90 miles

Beaches & Volcanoes – 45 miles for the loop

WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT OAHU?

Most visitors have their first experience of Hawaii on Oahu. You may love the bustling atmosphere and amenities of Waikiki, but if you venture around the island you’ll start to see the tropical scenery, turquoise waters, rich culture and history that attracts many visitors.

IS OAHU WORTH GOING TO?

Also known as ‘The Gathering Place’, Oahu is Hawaii’s third largest island but has far more activities and cultural/historical sites than any other island. From the surfing beaches on the North Shore, to snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, to historic sites like Pearl Harbor, there’s something for everyone in Oahu.

WHAT SHOULD YOU NOT MISS ON OAHU?

There are far more activities and cultural/historical sites on Oahu than any other island, but some of the top highlights include snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, watching surfers along the North Shore, hiking Diamond Head and visiting Pearl Harbor.

WHAT IS THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT OAHU?

The off-peak, shoulder seasons of April to May and September to mid-December are when you’ll find the best values in Oahu. You can expect far more crowds (and higher prices) in the winter months, with a similar, schools-out family vacation crowd in June, July and August.

HOW MANY DAYS DO I NEED IN OAHU?

Depending on your list of what you want to experience, and considering the travel time involved, one should try to stay a week on Oahu if they don’t want to feel rushed.

IS OAHU AND HONOLULU THE SAME?

Honolulu is the state capital and largest city in Hawaii, and millions of visitors arrive through Honolulu to stay on the island of Oahu.

WHEN IS HANAUMA BAY OPEN?

No trip to Oahu is complete without a trip to Hanauma Bay, consistently one of the top three attractions. As part of the conservation efforts, reservations are now required to enter the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. The nature preserve is open to the public from Wednesdays through Sundays, with entry from 6:45am to 1:30pm, and can be booked online two days in advance  or by walk-in and drive-in. A small fee applies for entry and parking to this popular spot.

Trip Planning

Reservations required.

Reservations are required to visit Hanauma Bay in Hanauma Bay State Park, visit the honolulu.gov website for reservations and further details.

Reservations are also required to visit Diamond Head State Monument, including the Diamond Head hike. Visit the hawaii.gov website for reservations and further details.

For visitors to Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona Memorial boat tour tickets must be booked in advance at recreation.gov .

Oahu with GyPSy Guide Driving Tour App

Oahu, Hawaii Trip Planner

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Oahu sightseeing tour and driving map via Halona Blowhole & Makapuu Lookout

UPDATE : Since we originally wrote the DIY day trip guides to Oahu, obtaining reservations at Pearl Harbor for the boat ride to the USS Arizona Memorial have become much more difficult to secure with a reservation time that fits within our already-ambitious plans. As such, to minimize the stress, it probably makes more sense to choose a guided, day-trip tours that includes roundtrip airfare . Here are some fully guided tours that we are aware of:

  • Day trip from Kauai including USS Arizona Memorial – Tour
  • Day trip from Big Island to Oahu, including USS Arizona Memorial – Tour
  • Day trip from Maui to Oahu, including USS Arizona Memorial – Tour

This Oahu day trip plan is designed for you to see many of Oahu’s top attractions in one day. You could use this sightseeing map if you’re staying on Oahu, but we’ve primarily designed this driving tour for people who are island hopping over to Oahu for a day trip.

This sightseeing map is is designed so that you can fly into Honolulu airport from one of the other Hawaiian Islands and spend the day discovering Oahu. Then, you’ll fly back to the island where you’re staying that same evening.

This day trip sightseeing plan starts from HNL airport in Honolulu, Oahu. From there, you go to the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument where you can visit the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. After a solemn stop at Punchbowl and a visit to one of the island’s most beloved bakeries, you’ll then head outside of the hustle and bustle of Honolulu to see amazing coastal views along the windward and north shores of Oahu.

This particular Oahu driving plan goes via the Halona Blowhole  and Makapuu Lookout then onwards . (We have a different plan that goes to via the Pali Lookout . All the other stops are the same. To help you decide which plan you prefer, see this link .)

* Due to Google Map limitations (only 10 destinations per map) we have to split the directions into two separate maps. So, consider the second portion the continuation of the first. *

First Portion of Oahu Tour Drive

Here’s the written explanation of the first half of the Oahu drive tour map:

  • Start from Honolulu (HNL) airport. Rent a car. Your actual starting location may be different depending on where your rental car company is. For simplicity, we’ve started the directions from the main airport address. You can modify the starting point to customize it to your actual starting point.
  • Go to Pearl Harbor National Memorial Park. See our article with tips for visiting Pearl Harbor also review the national park’s website . You can take in the views and snap photos from the shoreline where you can see the USS Arizona Memorial and the Battleship Missouri which are positioned near each other. The USS Bowfin submarine is also in Pearl Harbor at the northern end (towards the Ford Island Bridge) of the Pearl Harbor National Memorial Park grounds. Additionally you can tour the open air museum. Taking in the views and checking out the museum is all free and does not require a ticket. If you want to take the boat ride out to the USS Arizona Memorial, you must have a reservation with a specific time. Ticketing/reservations have become increasingly tricky since we originally wrote this article. If you are able to get an early morning reservation for the boat ride, allow 1.5 hours for your time here. If not, allow 45 minutes. Note that if you do not have a reservation, inquire upon arrival for any standby opportunities.  [If you get a reservation that keeps you here longer than 1.5 hours, bear in mind that you may have to adjust this plan to keep you on time.]
  • Punchbowl, the National Cemetery of the Pacific. From this peaceful, resting place, you can contemplate the ultimate sacrifices. From here, there’s also a sweeping view of Honolulu — including one of Oahu’s most iconic mountains — Diamond Head. See more details about visiting Punchbowl . Allow 30 minutes here.
  • A mid-morning snack may be in order, so we recommend a stop at nearby Liliha Bakery. They’re known throughout Hawaii and beyond for their Coco Puffs . Plan on 15 minutes at this bakery.
  • The next stop is at Halona Blowhole . You are now outside of the busy streets of Honolulu. Allow 15 minutes here.
  • Oahu’s easternmost point is the next scenic stop at Makapuu Point Lookout . Allow 15 minutes here.
  • Lanikai Beach is the next stop, but not the last, in our Oahu tour. With it’s powdery, white sand and turquoise waters, Lanikai is thought to be one of Hawaii’s most beautiful beaches. There’s no parking lot for Lanikai. You must find off street parking and one of the beach access paths. Make sure that you are respectful in where you park and do not trespass. The Google Map directions only get you to the general area. Allow 30 minutes to park and see Lanikai.

Note that this first portion of the drive tour will take approximately 5 hours. If your visit to Oahu is constrained by a same day arrival and departure flight, take note of how much time has actually elapsed so that you can plan accordingly.

Second Portion of Oahu Tour Drive

> From this  link to second portion of map  you can customize stops, print directions and/or download directions to your smart phone.

Now, we’ll move to the second portion of your Oahu driving tour. Note that the only reason we’ve split the drive into two halves is that Google Maps limits the number of destinations to 10 per map.

  • Starting from Lanikai Beach, we’re heading north to on Oahu’s windward side.
  • Byodo-In Temple and its setting is truly a stunning sight. There is a nominal fee to visit. As of January, 2017, the fee is $3 per adult, $2 per senior and $1 per child. See our post about Byodo-In Temple . Allow up to 30 minutes here.
  • A stop at Kualoa Beach Park will give you an opportunity to stop to view Mokoli’i, which is more commonly known as Chinaman’s Hat. It’s one of Oahu’s more iconic views. See our post about stopping at Kualoa Beach Park . Allow 15 minutes here.
  • Laie Point is next. Allow up to 15 minutes here.
  • Lunch options in Kahuku and beyond –  If you like shrimp, the North Shore Oahu shrimp truck’s are famous. As you continue north on Highway 83, you’ll see the shrimp trucks on the right.  There are several options in Kahuku as you can see from this Yelp link . As we don’t have a favorite shrimp truck, we’re just going to identify Kahuku, in general, on the map. We suggest sharing a plate as we have another food stop about 30 minutes down the road. If you don’t like shrimp, a couple more options that are close by are restaurants at Turtle Bay Resort (parking fee that might be validated is possible) on the right side of Highway 83 and Ted’s Bakery on the left side of Highway 83. Allow 30 minutes to get lunch.
  • Along the North Shore of Oahu, there are many picturesque beaches. We’ve identified Sunset Beach on the map. Stop there, if you like, or pick another one along the way. FYI – the Banzai Pipeline at Ehukai Beach Park is just a mile further down from Sunset Beach. Another potential point of interest on the North Shore is the beach where the hit television show LOST was filmed. You can find directions to the “ LOST  beach” here . Allow 30 minutes to enjoy one or two North Shore Beaches.
  • Our next stop is for Hawaii’s famous shave ice at Matsumoto’s in the surfer town of Haleiwa.
  • Alas, it’s time to make our way back to the airport. You will drive past pineapple fields, coffee and other fruit fields on the way.

Including driving time and stops and getting back to the airport, the second portion of the driving tour will take five hours.

Important Notes:

  • The combined driving time and time spent at each stop is estimated to take 10 hours.
  • Allow time to get from the gate to the rental car site. We estimate that will take roughly 30 minutes.
  • Allow at least  one hour and 30 minutes to get gas, return your rental car, take the shuttle to the airport terminal, get boarding passes, go through security and get to your gate.
  • With the tour time plus the allowances getting your rental car, returning it, etc. You should plan a minimum of 12 hours on Oahu. Adding an extra cushion of time wouldn’t hurt at all.
  • The drive times are generated by Google Maps. They do not take into account traffic jams or stoppages. As best we can, we have tried to avoid typical traffic jams. So, if you get caught in an extended delay, you may have to adjust the sightseeing plans accordingly.
  • This overall plan hinges on getting an early morning flight to Oahu and early morning tickets to the USS Arizona Memorial. For example, we have friends who are planning a day trip from the Big Island to Oahu. They’ve booked a flight that arrives at HNL at 7:05am. They’ve reserved 8am tickets to the USS Arizona Memorial. They should have just enough time to pick up their rental car and get to the memorial.
  • We’ve listed scenic stops, but the entire drive is rather scenic.
  • Don’t leave valuables unattended in your rental car.
  • Take note of what you can and can’t carry into the Pearl Harbor  monuments.
  • Bring your smart phone charger to top up battery life that navigation tends to quickly consume.
  • Don’t forget sunscreen, a hat and perhaps a light, rainproof jacket.

What about Waikiki Beach?

Why haven’t we included Waikiki Beach? There are several reasons why we’ve not included Waikiki but the most important one is that finding convenient and inexpensive parking can be a challenge.  To drive there, find parking and walk to the beach to soak in the views and snap photos will probably take 45 minutes on top our already lengthy schedule.

If you want to customize the first portion of the Oahu drive tour to include Waikiki Beach into your plans, you can do so, provided you allow enough time. There is paid parking by Fort Derussy Beach Park in Waikiki. You could insert directions for Fort Derussy in between Liliha Bakery and the Halona Blowhole.

driving tour oahu map

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Oahu

  • Driving Tours

Walking Tours

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GRAND CIRCLE ISLAND TOUR

Experience around the island in 1 fun-filled day!

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LEGENDARY NORTH SHORE LOOP

Experience the best of Oahu in one fun day!

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EAST OAHU SHORELINE DRIVE

A perfect day trip sightseeing volcanoes, beaches and rainforest!

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HONOLULU'S BACKYARD RAINFOREST TOUR

The windy road of Mt. Tantalus and Manoa

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Oahu Driving & Walking Tour Bundle

Includes 6 tours, historic downtown honolulu tour, heart of waikiki walking tour, $29.99 $59.98 50% off, oahu driving & walking tour bundle (6-tours).

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Walk and listen to immersive stories of Honolulu's past

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Explore the heart of Waikiki

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HOW IT WORKS

Explore on your terms.

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Every tour stop, story and song has been carefully curated so you can make the most of your vacation.

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Moscow walking routes – streets, boulevards and more

To feel the magic atmosphere of the ancient and, at the same time, advanced Moscow you should discover the city with your own eyes and legs. We suggest you to walk around the famous places in the center of the city.

Arbat street walking route

Arbat is considered the oldest pedestrian street in Moscow. The name of this street was first mentioned in 1475. What is so special about this place – museum, theater scenes, marketplace, and a place for walking? Arbat is a kind of a cozy world where you can immerse yourself in the amazing creative atmosphere. The street became pedestrian in 1986. Soon, the renovated street attracted artists, musicians, street performers and vendors, creating custom creative world within Arbat. Contemporary Arbat is something like the ‘Montmartre’ where you can see people draw, sing, dance, recite poetry, oratory and much more. Perceiving its noble and intellectual traditions try to feel the uniqueness and charm of this corner of Moscow.

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Restaurant «Prague»

1. Start a walk along Arbat at its eastern end – Arbatskaya Square. Here you can see a XIX century building – a famous restaurant – «Prague» . It has existed since the 1890s and always was a meeting place of the elite. The restaurant itself is now closed for a reconstruction.

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«Khudogestvenniy» Cinema

2. The restaurant overlooks «Khudogestvenniy» Cinema – one of the oldest cinemas in Moscow. It was opened in 1909. Following the Arbat Street, you will see numerous beautiful buildings that represent mostly the XIX century architecture. However, the real treasures of Arbat hides in its lanes. Old building still preserve there

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The Moscow State Museum «House of Burganov»

3. Turning to Bolshoy Afanasyevsky Lane you will find the beautiful Church of Athanasius and Cyril of Alexandria . Following the lane, go to the Moscow State Museum «House of Burganov» . A part of its exhibition, by the way, is clearly visible from the outside, so you can choose either to observe it from a distance or to visit this museum. Coincidentally, you will see many works of this artist travelling along this route. Next, go along the Sivtsev Vrazhek Lane all the way to Denezhny Lane, and from there, you will arrive to the Arbat.

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The Melnikov House

4.If you turn left to the Krivoarbatsky Lane, you will find one of the city’s most remarkable examples of Constructivist architecture, an idealistic and futuristic movement that swept the Soviet Union in the 1920s. The Melnikov House is named after the architect who designed it in 1927. An experimental design, the house is formed from two connected cylinders and dotted with hexagonal windows. Plans to create a museum here exist, but even before that happens it is worth going to peer through the fence. Continue on Kirvoarbatsky Lane and turn right to go back to the Arbat. At the end of the lane, there will be the “Victor Tsoi Wall” , a one-of-a-kind tribute to the beloved musician.

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The Vakhtangov Theater

5. At the Arbat Street you will see the Vakhtangov Theater and 6 a small fountain with golden figure of Princess Turandot, the title character of Carlo Gozzi play, and the most celebrated production of this theater.

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Statue of Bulat Okudzhava

6. At the Plotnikov Lane, you will see bronze statue of Bulat Okudzhava , a famous Russian songwriter and singer, walks sure-footed to meet you. The sculptor G.V. Frangulyan did his best to recreate the spirit of the legendary Arbat so adored by the bard around this composition.

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Church of the Savior on the Sands (Spasa-na-peskah)

7. Head straight up Spasopeskovsky Lane to see the pretty Church of the Savior on the Sands (Spasa-na-peskah) dating the 18th century. At the far end of the lane is the elegant Spaso House , home of the U.S. Ambassador to Russia. Make your way back to the Arbat, and turn right to continue walking west.

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Statue of Russian poet, Alexander Pushkin and his wife Natalia Goncharova

8. On the right, you will notice a bronze statue of Russian poet, Alexander Pushkin, and his wife Natalia Goncharova. After their wedding at the nearby Great Ascension Church, the couple lived in the blue house on the left, which is now the Pushkin House-Museum .

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

9. The Arbat ends at Smolenskaya-Sennaya Square, which is dominated by the massive Ministry of Foreign Affairs . This is one of seven skyscrapers known as the Seven Sisters, which were built in 1947 to commemorate Moscow’s 800th anniversary.

Moscow boulevards walking route

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Monument to Nikolai Gogol

1. Start the walk from Kropotkinskaya metro station and follow the boulevards clockwise. You will find yourself at Gogolevsky Boulevard , the symbolic start of the Boulevard Ring. It stretched from Prechistenskie Gate Square to Arbat Gate Square. A striking feature of this boulevard is that it is a three-tiered – external, middle and inner parts are at different heights. There are many houses and mansions of the late nineteenth century. Almost in the center of the boulevard is a monument to Mikhail Sholokhov. Two departments of Moscow Museum of Modern Art are located here. At the end of the boulevard, you can see a monument to Nikolai Gogol.

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Fountain rotunda «Natalia and Alexander»

2. Coming over the Arbat Square, you will find yourself at Nikitsky Boulevard , with lots of beautiful buildings and nice cafes. The mansion of Count Alexander Tolstoy was situated here. The Niktitsky Gate completes the Boulevard. On your left, you will see fountain rotunda «Natalia and Alexander», established in honor of the 200th anniversary of Alexander Pushkin’s birth.

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TASS Main Entrance

3. Moving forward you get to the longest boulevard of the Boulevard Ring – Tverskoy . At the beginning of the Boulevard, you will see the monument to Timiryazev. Also, note the TASS building on your right. In the center of the recently renovated Boulevard is a monument to Sergei Yesenin.

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Monument to composer Sergei Rachmaninoff

4. Crossing the Tverskaya Street, you will get to the Pushkin square where you will see the writer’s monument. Right behind the Pushkinsky Cinema begins the Strastnoy Boulevard , the widest at the Boulevard Ring. Here you will find a monument to composer Sergei Rachmaninoff and a monument to the actor and poet Vladimir Vysotsky.

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Petrovsky Boulevard

5. Strastnoy Boulevard ends by Petrovskiye Gate and Petrovsky Boulevard begins. Here you will find many architectural and historical monuments.

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Female Rogdestvensky Monastery

6. Rogestvensky Boulevard starts from the Trubnaya Square. The history of this place begins with the appearance of female Rogdestvensky and men Sretensky Monasteries in the area. In 2012, worship the cross in honor of the patroness St. Euphrosyne of Moscow was established at the boulevard.

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Monument to Nadezhda Krupskaya

7. Go further to Sretensky Boulevard , the shortest boulevard of the Boulevard Ring. In the beginning of the boulevard is a monument to Nadezhda Krupskaya.

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Chistoprudny Boulevard

8. At the entrance to Chistoprudny Boulevard , you will see a monument to Alexander Griboyedov, and later – a monument to Kazakh poet Abai Kunanbayev. Chistoprudniy Boulevard is the only one at the Boulevard Ring where you will find the pond – “Pure ponds”(Chistie Prudi).

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Pokrovsky Boulevard

9. Coming through Pokrovsky Gates Square and Khokhlovskaya Square you will appear at Pokrovsky Boulevard that flows into the Yauzsky Boulevard . They are not so well known as Tverskoy or Chistoprudniy Boulevard, but they are also quite remarkable.

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Monument to Motherland Border Guards

10. Ustyinsky drive completes the Boulevard Ring. Here, in the Yauzskie Gate park area you will find a monument to Motherland Border Guards. Perhaps we have not told you everything about the Boulevard Ring. Just have a walk right at the border of unpreserved White City and see wonderful nowadays Moscow through one of its best parts.

Kitay-gorod walking route

Kitai-gorod is one of the oldest and the most interesting areas of Moscow. It was a commercial and business district in the years before the Revolution. Here you will see traces of medieval Moscow.

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Fragments of the foundation and the base of the Varvarskaya tower

1. Start your walk right at the Kitay-gorod metro station . In the wall of the underpass, you will see fragments of the foundation and the base of the Varvarskaya tower of the Kitay-Gorod. Kitaygorodskaya Wall was built in Moscow in the 1530s by architect Petrok Maly. It had 14 towers and was more than 2.5 km length. The Wall began from the Arsenal Tower and ended at Beklemishevskaya Tower of the Kremlin. It was almost completely demolished in the 1930s – 1950s.

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Temple of St. George on Pskov Hill

2. Go to Varvarka Street , into the area of the former medieval fortress.The street is real reserve of old Moscow: ancient temple of St. George on Pskov Hill, the cathedral of the former Znamensky Monastery and Chambers of the Romanov Boyars are situated in the street.

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Temple of the Trinity in Nikitniki of XVII century

3. If you go to the Ipatievsky Lane on the opposite side of Varvarka, then at the corner of the Nikitinskiy lane you will see the beautiful temple of the Trinity in Nikitniki of XVII century.

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Gostinniy Dvor

4. Return to Varvarka and continue. To your left you will see one of the oldest buildings in Moscow – Old English Court , built in the late XV century by merchant Ivan Bobrischevym. On your right, there is Gostinniy Dvor . The first mention of it dates to the beginning of the XVI century, and at the end of XVIII century, it was rebuilt by architect Quarenghi. Now it hosts an exhibition hall, shops, restaurants and cafes. Not far from Gostinniy Dvor, Barbara the Martyr Church, which gave its name to the street, is located.

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Burse Square

5. Turn right to the Crystal Lane (as you might guess, there used to trade crystal and glass)and go on to Ilyinka Street . The street is named after the ancient Elias Monastery. It was abolished, and the Church of Elijah the Prophet was built in its place. Follow the Ilyinka Street to the Burse Square. Exchange building (now a CCI of Russia) is on your right. Like a hundred years ago, it is – one of the main business areas of the capital: ministries, banks, representative offices of various companies. Many buildings have preserved from pre-revolutionary times. Near the Burse Square a beautiful Epiphany Cathedral of the Epiphany Monastery – one of the oldest in Moscow is located.

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Nikolskaya Street

6. Reaching the Big Cherkassky Lane , turn left and walk along the early XIX century buildings to Nikolskaya Street. It is, perhaps, the busiest street of Kitay-Gorod. At all times it was one of the main streets of Moscow. There is a wide variety of shops, malls, restaurants, cafes and clubs.

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Shopping Center «Sheremetyevsky»

7. Nikolskaya Street has always been famous for many bookshops. In the beginning of the XIX century, there were 26 out of 31 Moscow bookstores!

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Tretyakovsky Passage

8. Go by the street towards the Kremlin. Right in the arch – Tretyakovsky Passage – a street with fashionable shops of famous international brands. This passage was arranged in the 1870s Tretyakov brothers. The Building in the Gothic style, with a sundial, bas-relief images of a lion and the unicorn is a former Synod printing. The house was built in the 1810s. Here, in 1564 the first Russian printed book “The Apostle» was published. Russian State Humanitarian University is now located here. Walk along the Nicholskaya Street and get to the Red Square, from where you can start a wonderful study of the Moscow Kremlin.

Zamoskvorechye walking route

The Zamoskvorechye District, located at the lower bank of the Moskva River, has almost undergone any renovation. Varied in style, Moscow churches XVII – XIX centuries, the Exchequers and the homes of famous Moscow merchants retain the image of old Moscow.

The first mention of the Zamoskvorechye in the documents refers to 1365, when first settlements began to form here. Since the second half of the XIX century, the area was popular among intellectuals. Outstanding figures of Russian culture lived and worked here. For example, young Lev Tolstoy rented an apartment in the merchant’s house in 1854-1855 in Pjatnitskaya Street. Fyodor Dostoevsky often visited his aunt in a house on Bolshaya Ordynka (known as Kumaninskoe farmstead). This area is closely associated with the names of Anna Akhmatova, the famous Russian publisher and educator Ivan Sytina. The Soviet era did not cause serious damage to Zamoskvorechye and despite modern development, here preserved historical architecture.

In 2013, a new pedestrian zone near the Tretyakovskaya Gallery, and includes Pyatnitskaya street Klimentovskiy, Ordinsky, Lavrushinsky Lanes and Kadashevskaya embankment, appeared in Zamoskvorechye.

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Pyatnitskaya Street

1. Start a walk from Novokuznetskaya metro station . Go through Pyatnitskaya Street to the vintage Klimentovskiy Lane that connects Bolshaya Tatarskaya and Bolshaya Ordynka streets.

Temple of the Holy Martyr Clement

2. Here you can see a wonderful piece of the XVIII century architecture – the Temple of the Holy Martyr Clement , Pope (1762-1774). The northern side of Klimentovskiy Lane forms a small district occupied by shops and cafes.

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Church of All the Afflicted

3. Crossing Bolshaya Ordynka not forget to look in Ordynsky dead end , located right on your way.there you can see the Church of All the Afflicted.

The State Tretyakov Gallery

The State Tretyakov Gallery

4. One of the main attractions of the pedestrian zone – The State Tretyakov Gallery is situated in Lavrushinsky Lane. The famous museum occupies the even side of the lane, called in the XVIII century by the name of the proprietor Lavrushina.

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Sculptured composition by M. Shemyakin

5. Going to the Kadasheskaya Embankment , you will cross the drainage channel by Luzhkov Bridge and find yourself on Bolotnaya embankment. Nearby, at the Bolotnaya Square, you can find sculptured composition by M. Shemyakin and monument to the great Russian artist Repin. Then you can continue your walk and visit the «Red October», there are many restaurants, cafes and Lumiere Brothers Photography Center.

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Extra Streetwise

State Historical Museum at the Red Square in Moscow.

Price of a cup of coffee

Ranging from € 1.50 to € 4

Alcohol in supermarkets

After 23h, it is not allowed to sell alcohol in supermarkets. Fortunately, there are many great cafés, often open till late.  

Public transport

The best way to move yourself across Moscow is the metro, which operates from 5:30h till 1:00h. Download the free Yandex Metro app to plan your route in the Moscow metro, as the app provides up-to-date information about all the metro lines, detailed instructions about your route, and the most efficient way to travel.

Moscow also has a ground transportation network, including buses, trolleybuses and trams, also operating from 5:30h till 1:00h.

Tickets can be bought at ticket offices and vending machines inside metro stations, and inside buses or trams. It is more convenient and more economical to travel with a Troika card (see below).

Transport at night

After the metro stops running at 1:00h in the night, night buses take over. Night buses roughly drive the same routes as the metro lines, on an interval of about 30 minutes. For more detailed information about the routes, check out the map on the official website (Ru) of the public transport in Moscow.

For further information about public transport in Moscow, download the official app for Android or IOS .

Troika card

Instead of buying separate tickets, it is more economical to buy a Troika card . The card can be used for all means of public transport, including suburban trains. A Troika card can be bought or charged at ticket offices and Mosgortrans vending machines inside metro stations.

Exploring the beautiful metro of Moscow

Moscow is known for having some incredibly beautiful metro stations. Explore the 12 most amazing stations with our self-guided 2-hour tour of the most beautiful metro stations of Moscow .  

From the airport to Moscow

The most convenient way to travel between the major Moscow airports and the city centre is the Aeroexpress train. It is quick, not expensive and runs frequently. For more info and tickets see the official website of Aeroexpress.

Aeroexpress trains run between Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO) and metro station Belorusskaya, between Domodedovo Airport (DME) and metro station Paveletskaya, and between Vnukovo Airport (VKO) and metro station Kievskaya. Note that the smaller Zhukovsky Airport (ZIA) cannot be reached with the Aeroexpress. It can be reached by train from the Kazan railway station.

Please note that the Aeroexpress trains don't operate at night. In those cases we recommend using a taxi. Taxi apps like Gett or Yandex work well in Moscow.

From Moscow to St Petersburg

The most comfortable way to get to the beautiful St Petersburg is the Sapsan high-speed train, taking you in less than 4 hours to the centre of St Petersburg. Trains leave from Leningradsky station (watch out, this railway station also goes by the name 'Oktyabrskaya', not to be confused with the metro station). There are also overnight trains, which are slower but cheaper. For tickets, use the official page of the Russian Railways .

Get a sneak preview of a ride on the Sapsan with our article High-speed from Moscow to Saint Petersburg with the Sapsan .  

Victory Day

Victory Day is celebrated in the entire country on 9 May, commemorating how the Red Army and the Soviet people defeated Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. Every year, the Red Square is the place of the biggest military parade in the country.

Afisha Picnic Festival

The Afisha Picnic Festival is the largest open-air music festival in Moscow, attracting thousands of visitors every summer. It lasts for one day and takes place on the territory of the Kolomenskoye museum-reserve. Check out the official website (Ru) to learn more or to purchase your tickets.

Spasskaya Tower Festival

The Spasskaya Tower Festival is an international military music festival which takes place on the Red Square every year in the end of summer. Dozens of military orchestras from various countries take part in the event, performing in their national uniforms. In between the acts on the Red Square, musical bands perform in parks and on squares across the city. This colorful event lasts for 9 days in total, ending with a laser show and fireworks. Learn more and book your tickets on the official website .

For more than 20 years, the Moscow City Day has been celebrated on the first or second Saturday of September. The main events and concerts take place on the Red Square, in Alexandrovsky Sad, at the VDNH, in Gorky Park and in Sokolniki Park. The day is usually ended with colorful fireworks. The metro works around the clock on this day.

Circle of Light

Since 2011 Moscow has been hosting the Circle of Light Festival (Ru), which takes place every year in autumn. Thanks to light shows with 2D and 3D effects, various sites across the city brighten up into amazing colorful objects. Learn more about this year's edition on the official website .  

Local pages

Bikesharing.

Velobike is a bikesharing network in Moscow, which is usually operational from May until November. In order to register, you'll need a phone and a bank card – learn more about registration on the official website . After paying the registration fee, trips up to 30 minutes are free of charge.

For a first look in the capital of Russia, a bus tour can be a nice option. Various operators offer tours through the city, with City Sightseeing being one of the better known international companies. Check out their official website to learn more about the tours and the route.

Culture and party guide

Find an overview of cultural events and parties in Moscow at Kudago (Ru).

Check if it will rain today in Moscow at Gismeteo .

Taxi apps like Gett or Yandex work well in Moscow.

For searching and booking train tickets in Russia, we recommend to use the official page of the Russian Railways .

© 2016 - Streetwise World B.V. All rights reserved

IMAGES

  1. Driving Map Of Oahu

    driving tour oahu map

  2. Driving Map of Oahu

    driving tour oahu map

  3. Large Oahu Island Maps for Free Download and Print

    driving tour oahu map

  4. Driving Map Of Oahu

    driving tour oahu map

  5. 8 Oahu Maps with Points of Interest

    driving tour oahu map

  6. The Ultimate Oahu Road Trip

    driving tour oahu map

VIDEO

  1. Hauula to Sunset Beach Scenic Virtual Driving Tour

  2. [4K] Driving Waikiki in Rain, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

  3. [4K] Hawaii Driving Tour of Waikiki via Kalakaua Ave & Kuhio Ave in Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

  4. Driving around Oahu pt 1

  5. Oahu Driving to work

  6. Driving around Oahu, Hawaii

COMMENTS

  1. DIY Oahu Circle Island Tour MAP + LIST :: Scenic self-drive around Oahu

    Now here first is a quick list. Oahu circle island tour driving map. Diamond Head Crater. Hanauma Bay. Koko Head Hike. Makapuu Lighthouse Trail. Lanikai Pillboxes. Mokulua Islands. Pearl Harbor.

  2. Oahu Road Trip Itinerary: One-Day Scenic Drive from Honolulu

    To do this, you can use the Google map below that pinpoints the seven destinations we've discussed. Additionally, we recommend following a GPS-guided audio driving tour. To do this, download GuideAlong's Oahu Tours to your mobile phone. Then, select the 90-mile North Shore Loop or the 105-mile Island Circle as you set off from Honolulu.

  3. Oahu sightseeing tour and driving map via the Pali Lookout

    Starting from Lanikai Beach, we're heading north to on Oahu's windward side. Byodo-In Temple and its setting is truly a stunning sight. There is a nominal fee to visit. As of January, 2017, the fee is $3 per adult, $2 per senior and $1 per child. See our post about Byodo-In Temple. Allow up to 30 minutes here.

  4. Road Trip: Drive Around Oahu in a Day

    You'll discover a waterfall and decide to go for a swim. You'll hike a mountain and find the view is a perfect background for a photoshoot of you and your someone special, and you'll linger much longer than you intended. Nevertheless, here are our recommended stops for driving around Oʻahu in day. 1. Waikīkī.

  5. Oahu Road Trip Ultimate Itinerary & Guide, Hawaii

    If you prefer to be on a tour and have someone else drive, check out the Oahu Majestic Full-Day Circle Island Tour. Oahu is small enough you can get around in one day, but large enough to have plenty of things to see and do. ... Below you can see an interactive map of the spots outlined below. We suggest driving anti-clockwise to hug the coast.

  6. Oahu Maps

    Updated with a new high-resolution map of Oahu. Includes most major attractions, all major routes, airports, and a chart with Oahu & Honolulu's estimated driving times. PDF packet now additionally includes an Oahu Beaches Map. Our 2024 Oahu Summary Guidesheet includes the top must-see & do attractions, best times to visit , where to stay ...

  7. Oahu Scenic Drive: Ultimate One-Day Itinerary in Hawaii

    Our next photo-op on the Oahu scenic drive was the stunning Nu'uanu Pali lookout, a 30-minute drive from the lighthouse trail. (Take Route 71 North to 61 South, the Pali Highway.) The scenic road takes you 1,200 feet up into the Ko'olau Range, giving you a different perspective on the lush vegetation of Oahu's windward side.

  8. How to Road Trip Around Oahu in 2024

    Day 2: Kailua to Haleiwa (50 miles) Start your morning with the famous Lanikai Pillbox hike just south of Kailua, where you can get sweeping views of the ocean and the cities and beaches on this side of the island. The hike is short (it only takes about 20-30 minutes) but steep, so wear appropriate shoes.

  9. Oahu Circle Island Tour Map + Itinerary

    A:About 110-120 miles, starting from Waikiki. Oahu Circle Island Tour Itinerary. Here's a general itinerary for the Oahu Circle Island Tour. Keep in mind that each company may add or skip stops, and also spend different amounts of time at each stop, but in general, this is what 90% of the tour companies use as their "Oahu Circle Island Tour ...

  10. 8 Oahu Maps with Points of Interest

    Check out our Oahu maps and start planning. Below you'll find 8 maps including, an island map with points of interest, one regional map that breaks down Oahu's five regions, a beaches map, a hiking map, and 4 tour maps with major stops. Oahu Island Map. Discover the island basics with our point of interest map.

  11. Top Driving Tours and Walking Tours on Oahu

    Driving Tour of the Leeward Coast. TripSavvy / Taylor McIntyre. This final driving tour on Oahu will take you to an area of the island which over 90% of travelers never visit, the Leeward or Western Coast. Depending on traffic, it's a long drive to reach the Leeward Coast, likely about an hour from Waikiki on H1 West.

  12. Driving Tour of Oahu's Southeast Shore

    Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. TripSavvy / Taylor McIntyre. Located about 10 miles east of Waikiki just off the main coastal road (Kalaniana'ole Highway, Route 72), Hanauma Bay is the first Marine Life Conservation District in the State of Hawaii. It costs $1.00 per car to park and $7.50 per person to enter the Preserve.

  13. Oahu

    View Map. × Purchase Bundle & Save Oahu Driving & Walking Tour Bundle. $29.99 $59.98 50% off. Add To Cart. GRAND CIRCLE ISLAND TOUR. EAST OAHU SHORELINE DRIVE ... Is the Oahu Grand Circle Island Tour Self-Drive: Yes, Shaka Guide's Grand Circle Island Tour is self-drive, meaning you take the tour in the comfort of your own vehicle. ...

  14. Oahu Grand Circle Island Tour Itinerary

    February 26, 2024. Shaka Guide. Oahu's Grand Circle Island Driving Tour. Watch on. On Shaka Guide's Grand Circle Island Tour, you'll make your way to Oahu's North Shore stopping at cultural sites, famous beaches, a waterfall and some of the island's most famous foodie spots along the way. This tour has a total of 21 stops with 121 audio ...

  15. Oahu Audio Driving Tour

    Suggested Time. Island Circle - expect to spend a full day (10+ hours) between driving and sightseeing stops. North Shore Loop - expect around 6 hours between driving and sightseeing stops. Beaches & Volcanoes - allow a half day to drive with sightseeing stops. Pearl Harbor - Expect a half day depending on how busy the site is.

  16. Oahu sightseeing tour and driving map via Halona Blowhole & Makapuu

    This Oahu day trip plan is designed for you to see many of Oahu's top attractions in one day. You could use this sightseeing map if you're staying on Oahu, but we've primarily designed this driving tour for people who are island hopping over to Oahu for a day trip. Seeing "Chinaman's Hat" is part of this scenic Oahu tour.

  17. Google Maps

    Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps.

  18. Official MapQuest

    Official MapQuest website, find driving directions, maps, live traffic updates and road conditions. Find nearby businesses, restaurants and hotels. Explore!

  19. Oahu Tours

    Oahu Driving & Walking Tour Bundle Includes 6 Tours. GRAND CIRCLE ISLAND TOUR; EAST OAHU SHORELINE DRIVE; HISTORIC DOWNTOWN HONOLULU TOUR; HONOLULU'S BACKYARD RAINFOREST TOUR; HEART OF WAIKIKI WALKING TOUR; LEGENDARY NORTH SHORE LOOP; $29.99 $59.98 50% off . Add to cart. Oahu Driving & Walking Tour Bundle (6-Tours) ...

  20. Moscow walking routes

    Moscow boulevards walking route. Monument to Nikolai Gogol. 1. Start the walk from Kropotkinskaya metro station and follow the boulevards clockwise. You will find yourself at Gogolevsky Boulevard, the symbolic start of the Boulevard Ring. It stretched from Prechistenskie Gate Square to Arbat Gate Square.

  21. 8 Oahu Maps with Points of Interest

    Check out our Oahu maps and start planning. Below you'll find 8 maps including, an island map with points of interest, one regional map that breaks down Oahu's five regions, a beaches map, a hiking map, and 4 tour maps with major stops. Oahu Island Map. Discover the island basics with our point of interest map.

  22. Interactive Map of Moscow

    After the metro stops running at 1:00h in the night, night buses take over. Night buses roughly drive the same routes as the metro lines, on an interval of about 30 minutes. For more detailed information about the routes, check out the map on the official website (Ru) of the public transport in Moscow.