A plate of ahi poke.

The Best of O‘ahu in 7 Days

The average stay on O‘ahu is about seven days. With sights and activities on all sides of the island, planning your days will help you take full advantage of your holiday. Let this suggested itinerary to the must-see locales and establishments be a jumping-off point for your travels.

Surfboards for rent on Waikiki Beach.

Best Surf Spots in Waikiki

Synonymous with surfing, Waikiki is home to a host of excellent surf spots. Whether you are a longboarder, shortboarder, experienced, novice, or first-timer, there’s a number of breaks that suit all abilities. Here are the best of the best for everyone.

Outdoor seating at the Mai Tai Bar on Waikiki Beach.

The Best of Waikiki Nightlife

Waikiki nightlife is wonderfully varied—you’ll find bars and clubs, fine dining and live music, ultra-casual hangouts and high-class venues, so no matter your mood, there’s always somewhere to go. Many of these locations are popular with visitors and locals alike.

cover Moon Honolulu & O'ahu

Moon Honolulu & O’ahu

O’ahu resident Kevin Whitton provides a fresh look at one of America’s most beloved vacation spots in Moon Honolulu & O’ahu. Whitton knows the best way to experience the island, from taking surf lessons at Kuhio Beach to bird-watching in Kawainui Marsh. He includes trip ideas like “Best of O’ahu in Seven Days,” as well […]

Kayaks on the beach of Moku Nui, with the ocean and O‘ahu in the background.

Best Kayaking in Kailua

Beautiful views and calm waters make for excellent kayaking in Kailua; you’ll want to make sure you have your camera along in a dry sack. Along with outfitters, guided excursions, and lesson providers, here’s where to go for the best day on the water.

Ulua Lagoon, the first of the four Ko Olina Lagoons. Photo © Leigh Meeks/123rf.

O‘ahu’s Leeward Beaches

If you’re feeling adventurous and don’t mind an hour’s drive across the island, the beaches of leeward O‘ahu offer wide swaths of white sand under clear, sunny skies. As the trade winds blow across the island from east to west, the leeward coast’s waters remain calm and protected. Here are beach highlights, amenities, and the best activities for each.

Surfboard rack on the ocean shore in Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Surfing Lessons and Outfitters in Waikiki

You’ll find surfing is a way of life in Waikiki. There’s a long history here of welcoming visitors to learn how to catch a break and ride the big one that continues on today with several surf schools offering private, group, and customized surf tours for reasonable prices, as well as boards and gear.

A surfer shoots the curl on the North Shore.

Best North Shore O‘ahu Surf Spots

From surf spots best suited to kids and novices to waves best left to experienced locals, here are all the best surf spots on O‘ahu’s North Shore, along with how to get there, hazards to watch out for, and the breaks you’ll find.

Waves lap against the sand at Poka‘i Bay in Wai‘anae, Oahu.

O‘ahu Leeward Surf Spots

Much of the surf on the leeward side breaks over sharp and shallow reef, making it best suited for expert surfers. Scaling rocks and reef to enter and exit the water can be a challenge for newcomers, and the locals are quite territorial when it comes to their surf breaks. Still, with the right attitude, there’s definitely a wave to be had on the leeward coast.