Tips for Traveling to Oahu for the First Time
By: Leah Shoup
You'll probably stay in Waikiki.
78% of all Oahu hotels are in the Waikiki Beach and Honolulu area. You can also find Oahu vacation rentals on the North Shore and the Windward Side.
Don’t spend all your time in Waikiki.
One of our best Oahu travel tips is to explore other regions. Hanauma Bay, Lanikai Beach, and Kualoa Regional Park on Oahu's east side are worth a visit.
You will need to reserve a rental car.
Although renting a car on Oahu can be pricey, we think it's necessary. Explore the North Shore beaches and take one of the famous tours at Kualoa Ranch.
No passport or currency exchange is needed for United States citizens.
Sites like The Byodo-In Temple in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park will make you feel like you're abroad, though.
Don’t forget your hiking shoes.
One of the best activities on this island is to go for a hike! We suggest adding the Diamond Head Crater or Manoa Falls hiking trails to your Oahu itinerary.
Make a reservation for Pearl Harbor.
You'll need a timed ticket to go out to the USS Arizona Memorial in Central Oahu. You can only make official reservations via the Recreation.gov website.
All beaches on Oahu are public land.
You read that right; there are no private beaches on Oahu or any of the Hawaiian Islands for that matter.
Have some cash on hand.
You'll need a small amount of cash during your trip for beach parking lots, mom-and-pop shops, and farmers' markets.
Be respectful of the land at all times.
One of the most important things to remember when visiting Oahu is to be mindful of the wildlife. Do not touch or go near any animals and respect posted signs.
Read our complete Oahu travel guide here!