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Your 3-Day Itinerary in O‘ahu

June 7th, 2022 Attractions & Events
Your 3-Day Itinerary in O‘ahu

Only have three days in O‘ahu? Make the most of your time with our 3-day itinerary to see some of the best spots on the island. After your check-in at Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel, let the adventure begin.

Day 1

Honolulu: Pearl Harbor, Waikiki Beach, and Diamond Head

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Morning Visit to Pearl Harbor

You could easily spend the entire day at the historic, active military base that is Pearl Harbor, but if you're in a time crunch, set aside at least three hours for this outing. The most famous site is the sunken USS Arizona, the resting place of over 900 soldiers after the notorious attacks in 1941. Today, a memorial floats over the sunken vessel. It's accessed by boat from the visitor center. The USS Arizona Memorial does require a ticket, but tickets are free. Make advanced reservations online at www.recreation.gov to ensure your spot.

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Afternoon at Waikiki Beach

You'll mostly be on your feet at Pearl Harbor, so once you get back to Waikiki, rest up on the beach. We suggest you lay out your towel at Kuhio Beach, which features calm, clean waters because of the seawall. If you get hungry, head to Tiki's Grill & Bar, located right across the street at Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel. Tiki's features lanai dining high above Kalakaua Avenue, with views of the beach, Pacific Rim eats, live music, and fantastic cocktails.

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Sunset Hike up Diamond Head

Hiking an extinct volcanic crater is cause for bragging rights, but you have to earn it. Sitting prominently near the eastern edge of Waikiki’s coastline, Diamond Head is a great choice. Although it's steep, the hike up is less than a mile and typically takes an hour. The views are worth the workout! Read up on the ins and outs of Diamond Head; what you'll need, hours, and more.

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Day 2

Windward Coast: Hanauma Bay, Makapu‘u Lighthouse, and Manoa Falls

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Morning Snorkel at Hanauma Bay

The pristine waters, coral heads, and colorful marine life of Hanauma Bay Nature Reserve make it one of the most desirable snorkel spots on the island, drawing roughly 3,000 visitors daily. Reserve your spot and get tickets in advance.

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Easy Afternoon Hike to Makapu‘u Point

There’s no coastal view quite like that of Makapu‘u Point. One of the most popular hikes in O‘ahu, the moderate, paved climb to the top gives way to stunning views of the Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline, a magnificent panorama of distant islands, and migrating humpback whales during the fall, winter, and spring seasons.

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Discover Manoa Falls

So you've spent time on the coast, now it's time for the lush greenery of Hawai‘i's rainforests. A quick hike to Manoa Falls offers views of a waterfall that drops 150 feet into a shallow pool. Visitors typically spend around 1.5 hours to hike in and out of Manoa. It's best visited the day after it rains when the waterfall is most powerful. Expect a trail that’s damp, wet, and likely to leave some mud on your shoes. Remember to apply bug spray beforehand! This trail is a frequent spot for both tourists and mosquitoes.

If you want a quieter reprieve, consider the nearby 200-acre Harold L. Lyon Arboretum and botanical garden in Manoa Valley. Walk around its gardens, which have been a work in progress for over 100 years.

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Day 3

North Shore: Hale‘iwa, ‘Anahulu River, and Dole Plantation

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Relax in Hale‘iwa

If you’re going to take just one day trip in O‘ahu, let the North Shore be it. The tiny community of  Hale‘iwa is a gem, known for its surfing culture, less-developed beaches, plantation-style downtown, and world-famous shave ice at Matsumoto’s. Read up on the best beaches, best eats, shopping, and other activities on our Hale‘iwa Day Guide.

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Afternoon Paddle up the ‘Anahulu River

There's a lot to do in Hale‘iwa, so this short trip up and down the ‘Anahulu River is a great impromptu outing. It’s a favorable kayak trip in O‘ahu for its calm waters and frequent turtle sightings. Read up on kayak or SUP rentals for the river and how to get there.

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Tour the Dole Plantation

Follow your nose to the sweet smell of the Dole Plantation in Wahiawa, located just off the scenic Kamehameha Highway. It's one of the island's biggest attractions and home to Dole Pineapples. Walk around a pineapple maze, see how pineapples are harvested, and enjoy a Dole Whip right from the source.

If you haven’t yet booked your hotel stay, consider Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel, centrally-located to all the activity in Waikiki. Book a room with ocean views to enjoy stunning sunsets and views of Diamond Head, the iconic symbol of O‘ahu. Check out exclusive offers only available on our website. We hope to see you soon!

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