Entrance, Turtle Bay Resort
Oahu Island Drive
A rental car is an easy way to take an Oahu Island Drive day trip around the island of Oahu when you visit Waikiki. The southeast corner of Oahu is one of the nicest areas in the Hawaiian Islands. The beaches are so distinctive here: Hanauma Bay for snorkelers, Sandy Beach for surf and sun or Makapu’u for body surfing. You can walk along Waimanalo Beach against the backdrop of mountains so close you wonder how the beach fits in. Check out the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail. Hike the World War II railway tie staircase of over 1,000 steps at Koko Crater. The Haiku Stairs (Stairway to Heaven) is officially closed, but many adventurous hikers still find ways to risk climbing the steps.
The drive around the Oahu Island had some other lovely spots, including Lanikai Beach, Turtle Bay Resort and Sunset Beach. Other popular stops include the Polynesian Cultural Center, the Dole Pineapple Plantation for pineapple ice cream, Sea Life Park, Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden and Byodo-In Temple.
Savor the Tastes of Waikiki
- Spam – introduced by the American Army during World War II and still popular today in Hawaii. It’s on the menu at McDonald’s. Try spam musubi – grilled spam on rice.
- Shave ice – a Hawaiian variation on the snow cone. The slivers of ice hold more flavor. Try some sweet and sour on top.
- The famous Luau with pork, sweet potato and taro slow cooked in an earth oven.
- Huli Huli Chicken – huli means “turn” and refers to the repeated turning of chicken on a barbecue.
- DoleWhip – the popular pineapple ice cream served at the Dole Plantation.
- Ahi – yellow fin tuna.
- Poke – cubed raw fish preserved in salt. The term is now applied to any cubed meat.
- Pupu – appetizers or just a very funny word.
- Marlin, swordfish, groupers, snappers, mahi-mahi (dolphinfish)
Hanauma Bay, Oahu
Whenever you visit Waikiki weather is fairly consistent on a year round basis. Permanent residents will think winter is significantly cooler. In the summer months from June – October expect Waikiki weather to have average highs around 88 F (31 C) and average lows are about 75 F (24 C). In January and February, average highs are about 81 F (27 C) and lows are roughly 66 F (19 C). The summer months are dry. From October – March about 2 inches (60 mm) of rain falls each month. Summer is a popular vacation time for Hawaiians, but most visitors choose winter and spring break for their visits.
Waimanalo Beach, Oahu
Get to Waikiki
A rental car obtained from the Honolulu International Airport is the best transporation option for Oahu. Without a rental car, an aiport transfer is great way to save on transportation from the airport to the hotels in Waikiki or to arrange a lei greeting:
- Cab fare in 2015 to Waikiki without tip was about $45, which makes cab a reasonable choice for 2 or 3 passengers.
- Speedi Shuttle – friendly customer service that ranks Speedi Shuttle as our number one recommendation for Honolulu airport transfers. Prices in 2015 without tip were $15.50 per person.
- Take the #19 or #20 Honolulu City Bus between the airport and Waikiki. The price of $2.50 per person can’t be beat, but this is local transit with no luggage storage. Luggage must fit on your lap or under the seat. Expect to spend about an hour on the bus.
Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon, Hilton Hawaiian Village
Get Around Waikiki
For visitor transportation to get around Waikiki, the Waikiki Trolley operates several routes. The Honolulu City Bus is a great method to get to Diamond Head State Monument, Hanauma Bay or Sea Life Park. Bus fares in 2015 were $2.50 one way and exact change is required. The Honolulu bus system announces the attractions at each stop, so it’s easy to find your way around.