ALOHA!

 

In March 2017, I spent 2 weeks on Oahu without a car, and below is basically an outline of the what I did.

I have been back to Hawaii a few times since then, which has included the Hawaiian islands of Oahu, Maui, the Big Island, and Lanai.

 

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2 weeks in Oahu Hawaii itinerary - How to spend time on Oahu without a car on a budget cost. 1 week, 7 days, 10 days. How many days on Oahu. Best things to do. Backpacking Hawaii travel blog

 

This 2 week Hawaii itinerary is kind of heavy with hiking, but they include among the best short hikes on Oahu with ocean views!

There’s also a bit of beaches and a bit of snorkeling too, along with a little bit of Hawaiian culture involved. (This includes beaches that have been previously recognized as the best beach in America according to Dr. Beach!)

 

2 weeks in Oahu Hawaii itinerary - Things to do on Oahu. Hawaii travel blog

 

Even if you have (much) less time on Oahu, hopefully you can still use this itinerary for ideas on how to spend a few days on Oahu (like for a 3 day itinerary) or how to spend 10 days or 1 week on Oahu without a car! (And on a budget!)

The thing about being in Hawaii without a car and getting around Oahu by bus is that it just takes extra time!

 

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But with the more days (weeks) you have on Oahu, time is less of an issue as you’re not trying to cram everything into one day… and you can take it more slowly to get a bit more of a feel for slow island life! 😉

 

2 weeks in Oahu Hawaii itinerary - Things to do on Oahu. Hawaii travel blog

 

And if you want to do the more touristy things on Oahu… well, there’s more time for that too.

 

2 weeks in Oahu Hawaii itinerary - Things to do on Oahu. Hawaii travel blog

 

And with more time in Hawaii, you have more chances to see turtles!

 

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Hawaii without a car

Generally speaking, the best Hawaiian island to visit without a car is Oahu. This is because the bus system goes throughout much of the island and it’s convenient enough to take the bus from Waikiki to different places, and there’s also a bus from the Honolulu airport. It might take time, but if you don’t mind that, then it can be fine.

That said, I think it’s possible to do Maui without a car too… IF you don’t mind staying at hostels. That’s because even though you can’t get to THE best places to visit on Maui without a car, there are free group tours available to the best spots if you stay at some of Maui’s hostels. Or, IF you just mostly want to have some beach time and can do without going to the most well-known spots, then I also think Maui could be fine without a car. Or if you do stay around a beach town (take a look at West Maui) and want to do the top spots without a car, you’ll want to book a tour for the top Maui experiences. See more about getting around Maui without a car.

It would also be possible to do Lanai without a car since there is a “shuttle” but that also comes with a big IF. Lanai is not a budget-friendly island in terms of accommodation, and assuming you don’t want to spend $$$ on a hotel, then it’s only possible to stay on Lanai IF you don’t mind camping. There’s a beach park campground. And that is a 3 night maximum. And you need to fly with your camping gear. If you stay there and don’t mind taking the shuttle, then there are things to do in Lanai without a car. You can fly into Lanai, or you can take the Lanai ferry from Maui.

And then also, if you don’t mind tours, that’s something else you can do in Hawaii without a car. For example see the best Maui tours for an epic Hawaii experience.

 

Explore more of Hawaii without a car:

 

Explore Hawaii WITH a rental car:

 

 

Hawaii tours

And then, if you are in Hawaii without a car, you can also take a tour for an amazing Hawaii experience!

For Oahu, because Waikiki is a popular resort area, there are a number of amazing tours that you can take directly from Waikiki Beach. So if you are staying in Waikiki, it can be convenient to do a tour even without a car. Get out on the water to sail the ocean off the shores of Waikiki! These are tours that start in Waikiki:

Look for the tour reviews!

Plus, you can make it an Oahu circle island tour with pick-up from Waikiki included:

 

More below on ideas on how to spend 2 weeks in Hawaii when you’re flying into Honolulu!

 

 

🌴

 
More photos/info below, but first...
Side note!
Here's some info on Hawaii trip prep!




PLUS... Oahu tour, or on your own: Can you visit Pearl Harbor without a tour?

 

 

Now…

Is 2 weeks too much time on Oahu?!

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Well, if you decide to stay 2 weeks in Hawaii and stick to Oahu only without venturing out to the other Hawaiian islands…

Then here are some ideas of things to do to fill your days for the time you’re in Hawaii!

Having a limited amount of activities per day meant that I was able to take things more slowly and I generally didn’t feel exhausted after the 2 weeks was over!

 

 

Now…

What to do with 2 weeks on Oahu

 

 

Day 1: Waikiki

 

Waikiki historic trail

Cost: FREE

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Waikiki Beach

Cost: FREE

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Diamond Head Hike

Cost: $1-5

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Waikiki hula show

Cost: FREE

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How to get around

All walking around Waikiki!

 

 

Day 2: Snorkeling

 

Hanauma Bay

Cost: $8

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How to get around

It’s an easy bus ride from Waikiki to Hanauma Bay.

 

 

Day 3: Hawaiian culture

 

Polynesian Cultural Center

Cost: $90-130

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How to get around

I booked a shuttle through the Polynesian Cultural Center when I booked my ticket online.

 

 

Day 4: Downtown Honolulu and botanical gardens

  • Iolani Palace
  • King Kamehameha Statue
  • Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden

 

Iolani Palace

Cost: $20

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King Kamehameha Statue

Cost: FREE

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Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden

Cost: FREE

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How to get around

I got around by bus.

But now there’s a bike sharing program in Waikiki and Honolulu, so you can ride a bike from Waikiki to Honolulu!

You can pick up a bike in Waikiki…

 

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And then drop it off in Honolulu.

 

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Bike rides are paid on a 30-minute basis, at $3.50 each half hour. Confirm the prices.

From Honolulu to near Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden I took a bus. The bus stop was not that close to the entrance of the botanical garden park! I stopped by a grocery store afterwards that was in the area.

 

 

Day 5: Hikes on east side of Oahu

  • Koko Crater Railway Trail (aka Koko Head Hike)
  • Makapuu Point Lighthouse Trail
  • Makapuu Beach

 

Koko Head Hike

Cost: FREE

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Makapuu Point Lighthouse Trail

Cost: FREE

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Makapuu Beach

Cost: FREE

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How to get around

Bus from Waikiki to Koko Crater, which is the bus stop in front of Hanauma Bay.

Bus from Koko Crater to near Makapuu Lighthouse Trail.

Bus from near Makapuu Lighthouse Trail to Waikiki.

 

 

Day 6: Waikiki

 

Queen’s Beach

Cost: FREE

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Kalakaua Avenue

Cost: FREE

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Waikiki Friday night fireworks

Cost: FREE

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Okay, so I saw the fireworks from the place I was staying. 😉

 

How to get around

This sticks to Waikiki, so…

Walking!

 

 

Day 7: Hiking trails

  • Manoa Falls Trail
  • Waahila Ridge Trail (state park)

 

Manoa Falls Trail

Cost: FREE

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Waahila Ridge Trail

Cost: FREE

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How to get around

Bus from Waikiki to near Manoa Falls Trail.

Bus from near Manoa Falls Trail to near Waahila Ridge Trail.

Bus from near Waahila Ridge Trail to Waikiki.

“Near” in these instances might be a bit generous! There was a lot of extra walking involved since the bus stops were not all that close to these trailheads!

Also the bus in these areas is less frequent since they are basically located in an area of residential neighborhoods which meant a lot of wait time.

But, it is possible!

 

 

Day 8: REST DAY

I moved from spending 1 week at an airbnb near Waikiki…

 

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To spending 1 week at an airbnb in Pearl City, closer to central Oahu. This is also more near the airport, and more near Pearl Harbor.

 

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Other than that…

REST!

 

Staying at an airbnb can be a good way to save on money – both on accommodation and on food!

If you’re new to airbnb, search for places to stay here and use this referral link for a discount when you sign up.

 

 

Day 9: State park

  • Keaiwa Heiau (state park)
  • Aiea Loop Trail (within same state park)

 

Keaiwa Heiau

Cost: FREE

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Aiea Loop Trail

Cost: FREE

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How to get around

Bus to near Keaiwa Heiau State Park.

Again, “near” might be generous.

 

 

Day 10: Dole Plantation

 

Kukaniloko Birthstones

Cost: FREE

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Dole Plantation

Cost: $8-25

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How to get around

Bus to near Kukaniloko Birthstones.

Walk from Kukaniloko Birthstones to Dole Plantation.

There is also a bus stop near Dole Plantation. (It is actually near!)

 

 

Day 11: North Shore

 

Shark’s Cove

Cost: FREE

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Puu o Mahuka Heiau

Cost: FREE

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Waimea Falls

Cost: $20

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Waimea Bay

Cost: FREE

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Laniakea Beach

Cost: FREE

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How to get around

Bus to the North Shore.

I started this day trip to the North Shore at Shark’s Cove.

I walked the rest of it.

It was a lot of walking!

 

See more on turtles at Laniakea Beach.

 

 

Day 12: Pearl Harbor

 

Pearl Harbor

Cost: $0-30+

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How to get around

Bus to Pearl Harbor

 

See more on things to do for free at Pearl Harbor.

 

And for another activity on your Pearl Harbor day, you can make it a military day by also going to the Punchbowl national cemetery aka National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. It’s about a 20 minute drive from Pearl Harbor to the Punchbowl crater. The bus stop near the Punchbowl is about a 45 minute walk.

 

 

Day 13: Windward Oahu hike and temples

 

Puu Maelieli Trail

Cost: FREE

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Valley of Temples

Cost: FREE

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Byodo-in Temple

Cost: $5

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How to get around

Bus to near Puu Maelieli Trail.

Walk from Puu Maelieli Trail to temples.

 

 

Day 14: Windward Oahu hike and beaches

  • Kaiwa Ridge Trail (aka Lanikai Pillbox Hike)
  • Lanikai Beach
  • Kailua Beach

 

Lanikai Pillbox Hike

Cost: FREE

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Lanikai Beach

Cost: FREE

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Kailua Beach

Cost: FREE

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How to get around

I took a bus to near the non-beach side start of the Kaiwa Ridge Trail.

Most people start the Lanikai Pillbox Hike on the beach-side, go up to the pillbox, and then go back down the same way they came up.

But if you want a longer hike, you can hike the whole Kaiwa Ridge Trail. (And back instead of just one way if you want to make it even longer!)

I started on the “inland” or mountain side, and then did a one-way hike to the beach-side.

Then…

Walk from Lanikai Pillbox Hike to Lanikai Beach.

Walk from Lanikai Beach to Kailua Beach.

 

 

And there’s a plan for 2 weeks on Oahu!

 

Explore other Hawaiian islands:

 

List of things to do in Hawaii:

 

List of the best hikes in Hawaii:

 

The national parks in Hawaii:

 

HAPPY 2 WEEKS IN HAWAII!

 

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There are affiliate links on this page. Among other partners, as an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission from this.

Top things to pack for your Hawaii vacation!

The ultimate beach towel for travel?!
Turkish towels are considered to be more absorbent and lightweight than your average beach towel. Be sure to check out turkish towels like these!
Possibly among the best Oahu maps for tourists!
The Franko maps of Hawaii have a high level of detail for activities and it's beachproof aka waterproof. There's an "adventure" guide map and a "snorkel/dive" guide map. Plus a wall map for home to get you excited for your upcoming trip to Honolulu!
The cheapo way to waterproof your phone
You can take underwater pictures with a simple waterproof phone case like this. Touch screen may not work well underwater - try the volume button to snap the pic instead!
Get your suitcase more organized!
Packing cubes can make it so you're spending less time on your vacation looking for things! They are basically a form of drawers in your suitcase. Take a look at these packing cubes.
Wear less sunscreen by wearing a UPF swim shirt!
Wearing a swim shirt means less skin that's exposed to the sun which means less sunscreen you need to apply! See about wearing swim shirts with UV protection like these when you're snorkeling.

PLUS...
Be sure to take a look at the reviews of these amazing tours on the Oahu:


ALOHA!