Oahu, Hawaii in One Weekend?

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Ala Moana Beach & Highrises from Magic Island, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii


Ala Moana beach at night by Kyle Nishioka is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Image may have been resized or cropped from original

I saw a great post by a guy that told what he did over one weekend on Oahu, so, just briefly I wanted to write up what I’d do if I found myself on the island of Oahu with just one weekend to see as much as I could.

Friday night – assuming I arrive in Honolulu then.

  • Rental car – Jeep preferably down to the hotel in downtown Waikiki
  • Unpack and grab everything I don’t want stolen and put it in a backpack
  • Head out to walk the streets and find Waikiki Beach
  • Walk to “Walls” Waikiki and walk back toward the hotel
  • Find a bar to sit around and drink something and talk to people at
  • Stop off at the Hilton or somewhere there on Waikiki Beach where I could listen to live Hawaiian music and sit and drink $10 Blue Hawaiians or something else Hawaiian.
  • Walk back to hotel at a decent hour and sleep

Saturday

  • Drive out to Diamond Head Volcano and hike the trail to the top about 6am. I don’t like to sleep on vacation unless I’m on the beach at midday.
  • Finish about 7:45, grab a Hawaiian Shave Ice at the bottom
  • Drive to Hanauma Bay where I’d snorkel until lunchtime
  • For lunch I’d find a grocery store and head for their deli and grab some ahi poke limu and shoyu – 1/4 lb each and some frozen coconut juice in a plastic can and head back up to Sandy Beach, Makapu’u, Chinaman’s Hat and the whole northeast side, stopping at beaches and scenic spots along the way for video and photos. If I saw some huli huli chicken on the grill – that’s a MUST stop, and I’d buy half or 1/4 chicken with some rice and shoyu (awesome soy sauce). At the entrance to Bellows Air Force Station north of Waimanolo Beach Park there used to be some killer huli huli chicken – not sure it’s still there.
  • Past Kaneohe, past Kahana, and almost at the northern most tip of the island -up around Polynesian Cultural Center you’ll see God’s own kitchen. It’s other name is “Kahuku Superette”. This place has the freshest, most unbelievable ahi poke shoyu by the pound and I’d need to buy 1/2 lb there too. Get extra chili water for a treat. Nice poke there – best on Oahu usually.
  • Rounding the northernmost part of Oahu bend you’ll be coming into Haleiwa and many picturesque places. I’d spend the next couple hours wandering around here- doing nothing in particular. Shave ice at Matsumotos is a must, as is 3 Turtles bay. I like checking out the Heiaus so I’d do a walk up the one that overlooks the beach – I can’t remember the name of it for anything right now.
  • Dinner somewhere on Waikiki Beach where I could find some ONO ono. Wahoo fish – great eating fish. Great fighting fish too – can catch them in Florida. I digress. Eat some ono and other ono grinds. I digress.
  • For the evening, when I could – I’d jog the Alawai canal from the start to the finish near Diamond Head (Kapiolani Park) and then go find another place on the beach to sit and listen to a live band or uke player and drink foreign beer for $6 a bottle.

Sunday

  • Wake up bright and early, eat pancakes anywhere I can. Ihop is always good. I then drive to Kuli’ou’ou mountain trail where I hike for a few hours to reach the top of the Ko’olau mountains -the range that separates the windward and leeward sides of Oahu. The view is spectacular up there, the air cool and fresh. Sometimes the clouds rush over you… a nice experience.
  • I’d get back down the mountain and head over to Bellows AFS where I’d spend the day bodyboarding and eating. Dinner might be anywhere but would probably include seared ahi. Probably I’d find the Roy’s since I like it so much in Maui.

That’d be my weekend. Lots of beach, lots of eating the foods I love, and lots of photos and videos.

Here’s a video of me bodyboarding after a night of camping out in tents on the beach at Bellows AFS on windward Oahu, Hawaii…

For more about what you can do on a weekend “stuck” on Oahu island check out Mike Seller’s description of what he did for his weekend on Oahu – it’s full of good ideas.

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2018-12-18T07:40:33+00:00

About the Author:

I’ve lived Hawaii since the mid ‘80s when I moved here at the age of 21. I arrived site-unseen in Honolulu with zero contacts and about $5k in savings. I worked from nearly zero and today Hawaii has given me the greatest gifts in the world in all aspects: spiritually, financially, romantically (married since early ‘90s w/ 2 children), and most important, peace. My goal with this site is to share the magic of this Land of Aloha and help others who are on a similar quest.

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