If you’re compiling an Oahu itinerary before you head to the islands, we’ve generated a comprehensive list for you to check off during your stay. From soaring in a vintage WWII aircraft to ending the day with a traditional Hawaiian luau, you’ll find everything you need below to round out your itinerary!
Oahu Itinerary: What To Eat, See & Do
Breakfast at Koko Head Cafe
Run by celeb chef Lee Anne Wong, island-style brunch house Koko Head Cafe puts their own twist on classics, like kimchi bacon cheddar scones and a miso-smoked pork and onion omelette. Eater.com couldn’t have said it better: “‘Brunch’ is an understatement for the meal served at Koko Head Cafe, which goes far beyond the typical eggs Benedict and pancakes. Chef Lee Anne Wong created a brunch wonderland with comforting, familiar dishes that pull in influences from Hawaii and Asia primarily, resulting in plates like breakfast congee with bacon, Portuguese sausage, heritage ham, soft poached egg, cheddar cheese, scallions, and a cinnamon-bacon crouton. Go very, very hungry.” Visit the Koko Head Cafe to start your Oahu itinerary off right!
Ride in a Historic WWII Plane Over Pearl Harbor
Experience history from the seat of an authentic World War II airplane over Pearl Harbor when carrying out your Oahu itinerary. Pearl Harbor Warbirds offers the best Hawaii flight adventure tours available. Be immersed in the details of the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor and soar above the important sites that played a part in the “Day of Infamy.” Relive history as you retrace the steps of the Army and Navy airmen in the days following the bombing. Fly on some of the same routes the Japanese attackers used into the airfields at Wheeler, Kāne‘ohe and Bellows. There are many air tours in Hawaii, but only one warbird airplane flight. Located in Honolulu, Hawaii, Pearl Harbor Warbirds provides a personal historical experience, making it one of the best Oahu attractions to see if you’re traveling to the islands.
Visit the Pearl Harbor Memorial
A solemn reminder and touching tribute to the 2,335 U.S. servicemen who were killed when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the historic World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument is a must-visit. At World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, learn about one of the most pivotal moments in US history: the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the subsequent entry of the U.S. into World War II.
The monument preserves as well as interprets the stories of the Pacific War, from the internment of Japanese Americans to the battles in the Aleutians. There, you will also visit the USS Arizona Memorial.
Grab Lunch at La Tour Café
Get your appetite ready. La Tour Café offers a fast casual restaurant. Founded in Hawaii in 2011, it specializes in sandwiches, burgers, flatbread pizzas and French macarons. They use fresh baked artisan breads, as well as high quality meats, cheeses and local produce. From Luis R. on Yelp: “I had the pleasure to dine here about three times and enjoyed each and every time. KOBE FRENCH DIP – Thin sliced premium American Kobe Beef, caramelized onions on Rustic bread, served au jus. Add the Havarti cheese for a little extra $. MARGHERITA – Fresh Mozzarella, basil, tomatoes and lemon zest. This is a thin-crust pizza, so for those deep-dish folks, this might not be for you. All I can say is delicious! If you haven’t had the opportunity to check this place out, make it a priority. You will be pleasantly surprised. Next up on the menu for me: Chicken Pesto sandwich.”
Wander through Waimea Valley
Experience Hawaiiʻs Living Culture in Waimea Valley, deeply rooted in authentic Hawaiian History, Culture, Spirituality and Tradition. Waimea Valley is a world apart from Waikiki. You can enjoy the quiet of nature, beautiful flowers, rare plants, cultural sites and a beautiful waterfall for swimming.
From Amelia H. on TripAdvisor: “Many films and shows have been filmed here and you can see why! It’s simply incredible. So beautiful and each section offers something different to be in awe of. The waterfall is lovely and you can swim there so take swimming gear. Genuinely felt like we were in Jurassic Park. Informative staff and a lot of parking.”
Walk Through the Iolani Palace
The Iolani Palace, the official residence of Hawaii’s monarchy, is a marvel of opulence, innovation as well as political intrigue. Meticulously restored to its former grandeur, this National Historic Landmark in downtown Honolulu tells of a time when their Majesties King Kalakaua (who constructed the palace in 1882) and his sister/successor, Queen Liliuokalani, walked its halls.
Today, visitors can enjoy one of the most incredible living restorations in all of Polynesia. You can also swing by the palace (rather than tour the inside) by purchasing a package that takes you to Pearl Harbor (including the USS Bowfin, USS Missouri, and USS Oklahoma Memorials; and also drive past the Kamehameha statue, Iolani Palace and Hawaii State Capitol in Honolulu).
Visit the Bishop Museum
The Bishop Museum was founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop in honor of his late wife, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. She was the last descendant of the royal Kamehameha family. Established to house the extensive collection of Hawaiian artifacts and royal family heirlooms of the Princess, the museum has since expanded. It now includes millions of artifacts, documents and photographs about Hawaii and other Pacific island cultures.
Today, Bishop Museum is the largest museum in the state. It’s also recognized globally for its cultural collections, research projects, consulting services and public educational programs. It also has one of the largest natural history specimen collections in the world. The Museum also operates the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden on the island of Hawaii.
Hike at Diamond Head State Monument (Lēʻahi)
The one-of-a-kind profile of Diamond Head (Lē‘ahi) sits prominently near the eastern side of Waikiki’s coastline. It’s one of Hawaii’s most recognized landmarks — known for its famous hiking trail, stunning coastal views and military history. Diamond Head State Monument encompasses more than 475 acres, including the interior and outer slopes of the crater.
The crater formed about 300,000 years ago during an eruption that sent ash and fine particles into the air. As these materials settled, they stuck together into a rock called tuff, forming the crater. Most of the vegetation and birds were introduced in the late 1800s to the early 1900s.
Check Out the Ko Olina Lagoons
Ko Olina contains 642 acres featuring a string of four stunning lagoons connected by over 1.5 miles of seaside pathways.
You’ll find public parking in designated areas available from sunrise to sunset on a first-come first-serve basis.
There are no lifeguards on duty, so guests swim at their own risk. (Also, be wary of strong ocean currents.) This offers a perfect afternoon to include in your Oahu itinerary.
End the Day with an Authentic Hawaiian Luau
The Paradise Cove Luau is your go-to way to end a perfect day on the island after completing the rest of your Oahu itinerary. The luau begins with a tropical Mai Tai greeting and traditional Hawaiian music. Casually stroll through the Hawaiian Village and learn the Arts & Crafts of the islands or test your skills at our Hawaiian Games. After the delightful Shower of Flowers, participate in the Hukilau on the Beach and learn the net fishing techniques of old Hawaii. Witness the time-honored techniques of underground oven cooking at the Imu Ceremony.
You won’t need another dinner recommendation for your Oahu itinerary. That’s because the evening continues with a feast in the company of friends at a luau! Bring your appetite to fully enjoy Paradise Cove’s extensive menu! It tastefully blends the best of traditional Hawaiian dishes, local favorites and continental cuisine. With the most spectacular Hawaiian sunset as a backdrop, performers will entertain and amaze you with an unforgettable display of songs and dances of Hawaii and Polynesian culture at the incomparable Paradise Cove Extravaganza.
What other activities would you add to this Oahu itinerary? Let us know on our social media channels — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
Pearl Harbor Warbirds offers the best Hawaii flight adventure tours available. Immerse yourself in the details of the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor. Soar above the important sites that played a part in the Day of Infamy. Relive history as you retrace the steps of the Army and Navy airmen in the days following the bombing. Furthermore, you can fly on some of the same routes the Japanese attackers used into the airfields at Wheeler, Kāne‘ohe and Bellows. Hawaii offers many air tours, but only one warbird airplane flight. Located in Honolulu, Pearl Harbor Warbirds provides a personal historical experience.
Experience an immersive two-hour adventure that allows you to relive history as a Naval Aviator and also fly Pearl Harbor like it was on December 10th, 1941. Learn more about the Admiral’s Warbird Adventure.