Detailed Oahu sightseeing plans for a day trip island hop


A visit to the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor is high on the bucket list for many first-time Hawaii visitors. As you probably know, Pearl Harbor is on Oahu, but you don’t have plan your entire Hawaii vacation on Oahu in order to see Pearl Harbor. You can easily see Pearl Harbor, plus a whole lot more, on a day trip to Oahu.

We’ve recently created two, Oahu sightseeing plans designed for a day trip island hop from one of the other Hawaiian Islands. With the many direct flights between Kauai, Maui and the Island of Hawaii (Big Island) to Oahu, day trips are relatively easy to do. Especially when you have detailed plans like we’ve created.

USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor is the first stop in our Oahu sightseeing plan.

USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor is the first stop in our Oahu sightseeing plan.

Both of our Oahu sightseeing guides include Pearl Harbor plus a whole lot more! Both plans include beautiful beaches and amazing views.

Both plans provide Google Map directions that you can print and/or download. You can also customize the directions to your interests by removing or adding more stops.

The main difference between the two guides is the route from Honolulu over towards the north shore of Oahu. One guide leads you into the green mountains via the Pali Lookout and the other offers more coastal views with stops at Halona Blowhole and Makapuu Point. All the other stops are the same.

Here are links to the two Oahu sightseeing plans:

Oahu sightseeing tour and drive map via the Pali Lookout

Oahu sightseeing tour and drive map via Halona Blowhole and Makapuu Point

So, what’s the main difference between the two plans? It’s simply a matter of which way you go. The following photos show the different options.

The Pali Lookout version takes you from Honolulu to this view and then onwards:

A view from the Pali Lookout

A view from the Pali Lookout

The other driving plan via the Halona Blowhole and Makapuu Lookout takes you to these views:

Halona Blowhole Lookout

Halona Blowhole


This view of east Oahu can be enjoyed by a stop at Makapu'u just off Highway 72.

This view of east Oahu can be enjoyed by a stop at Makapu’u just off Highway 72.

Another key difference in the two sightseeing plans is that the version via the Pali Lookout is 30 minutes shorter.

What other views will you see on these Oahu drive guides? Let’s take a look at just a few other scenic stops.

A quick visit to Lanikai Beach will make sure you see one of Hawaii's most beautiful beaches.

A quick visit to Lanikai Beach will make sure you see one of Hawaii’s most beautiful beaches.

Seeing "Chinaman's Hat" is part of this scenic Oahu tour.

Seeing “Chinaman’s Hat” is part of this scenic Oahu tour.


Laie Point on the North Shore

There is much more to see on our island hop guides to Oahu. So be sure to check them out!

About Sheila Beal

Sheila Beal is the founder and editor of Go Visit Hawaii. You can connect with Sheila Beal on Twitter, Go Visit Hawaii on Facebook, or Sheila Beal on Google+.


  1. Im curious about visiting the West side, a day trip. Things to do, see, eat.
    Any thoughts??

  2. Do you have a circle island tour? Can you tell me the stops that it makes,how many hours and the price? Thank you

  3. I feel so stupid. How do I download the itineraries to Google Maps? I open the link in maps, but can’t find any download options for saving the itinerary. Do I have to do it with each stop as a separate entry? Thanks.

    • You have to go to the google map links that are indicated on the individual itineraries. Open the link for each of the two portions. Within Google Maps, there are 3 symbols to the right of the total drive times. The first one is to download. The second one is to share and the third is to print.

  4. Can these tours be completed with the use of a moped?

    • They’re all on paved highways. We don’t know the laws or limitations for mopeds, but if they’re allowed on the main highways, I would guess that they’re ok, but that’s just a guess.

  5. Planning a day trip from Maui to Oahu in July —

    When visiting Pearl Harbor do you have to make reservations in advance and is there a charge to enter?? I’ve seen on some sites there is a charge and other sites there is no charge

    Also, car rental agencies, any recommendations?

    • It’s a confusing process.

      No – you don’t have to pay to enter. Tickets are free. When you arrive, if tickets are still available for that day, you are given tickets for the next available time slot to see the film and take the boat ride over to the USS Arizona Memorial.

      The fee that you’d probably read about is a reservation fee of $1.50 per person. It is optional. That being said, if you are planning a day trip and your day hinges on a visit to Pearl Harbor to see the USS Arizona Memorial, it would be beneficial to secure a reservation time that’s early in the morning.

      At the moment, reservations become available for booking 60 days in advance. Then another batch of reservations are released the day before.

      If you click on one or both of the drive plans in this article, you’ll find links in them that provide more info on the process.

      • thank you, that’s helpful — could you provide me with the site to make reservations for the USS Arizona Memorial??

        • If you follow the links to one or both of the individual drive plans and continue to follow the link related tips for visiting the USS Arizona, it’s there.

  6. Hello, I will be visiting next month and is curious as to what is the cheapest way to travel to different attractions. And we were planning to use the Go Card for the different attractions, do you recommend that and again are the attractions kind of close to each other on there. Thank you!!

  7. Hi Sheila,

    I couldn’t believe my luck when I came across your blog, and it still amazes me every time I go further & further into your many posts! Thank you so much for having created this, it’s such a big help.
    I’m arriving in Honolulu in Feb next year and have already started looking at itinerary options, this was a godsend.
    Just wondering, I noticed your reply to Carm C said rent a small car – is this because a smaller car is easier to travel in due to the roads, or is it just because it’s more economical? I was planning on renting an SUV.

    • Glad to hear you’re finding Go Visit Hawaii to be helpful. We’ve literally written thousands of articles with helpful Hawaii travel advice. 🙂

      We recommend a small car for economical purposes only. The roads are in great shape…just like any road you’d find on the US Mainland.

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