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Best of Oahu on a budget!

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Found this guide helpful

There is so much to see and do in Oahu. Depending on your preferences, you can shop, sightsee, explore or act like a local. I had a friend who lived on the windward side so she helped us find our way around and act like Kamaaina (locals), even when in Waikiki.

Good for
  • Friends
  • Thrill Seeker
  • Nature Lover
  • Like a Local

15 Places

1 City Tip

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Map

15 Places

CLIMB Works Keana Farms

Zipline & Aerial Adventure Parks

Kualoa

Horseback Riding Tours, 4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Movie & TV Tours, Zipline & Aerial Adventure Parks

Haleiwa Joe's

Restaurants

Top of Waikiki

Restaurants

Waikiki Beach

Beaches

Honolulu Zoo

Zoos

Kailua Beach Park

Beaches

Paradise Cove Luau

Luaus

Ka'ena Point State Park

Geologic Formations

Buzz's Original Steak House

Restaurants

Lanikai Pillboxes

Parks, Hiking Trails

Maita'i Catamaran

Boat Tours

North Shore

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Ola at Turtle Bay Resort

Restaurants

Turtle Bay Resort

Hotels

luxlisa's City Tips

  • Hotels and places in Waikiki come with a steep tourist tax and resort fees. Always drive with "aloha". Remember, you are visiting, and respect the locals and their culture.
  • Save
    CLIMB Works Keana Farms
    Zipline & Aerial Adventure Parks
    See more photos
    luxlisa Says:

    Climb Works is a good way to see the farming history of Oahu, cruising on ziplines high above the North Shore. The staff makes you feel safe and is there to help every step of the way. The property is beautiful, and the tour both on the ATV's and the zipllnes is worth every penny.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Wear comfy clothes and sneakers. I wouldn't recommend short shorts.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 19 things to do in Kahuku
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Zip Line 08/19/2018
    • Exhilarating adventure with spactacular views 08/17/2018
    • CLIMB Works Keana Farms
    Address:
    1 Enos Rd.
    Kahuku, Oahu, HI 96731
    Phone:
    +1 808-200-7906
    Hours:
    Mon - Sat
    7:00 AM - 8:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Kualoa
    Horseback Riding Tours, 4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Movie & TV Tours, Zipline & Aerial Adventure Parks
    See more photos
    luxlisa Says:

    Kualoa Ranch is a multi-adventure park. They film movies and TV shows here. The day we were there, they were actively filming Hawaii 5-0. We did the 2-hour ATV tour, and it was a blast! You can also tour via a special vintage bus or horseback. The ATVs are fast, and you are allowed to have fun. It's good for everyone!

    Good for
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • If ATV'ing - wear long pants and a bandana.. You WILL get dusty. (The gift shop sells them).
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 21 Outdoor Activities in Kaneohe
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Ranch E-bike tour - Definately worth doing! 08/20/2018
    • Fun times 08/16/2018
    • Kualoa
    Address:
    49-560 Kamehameha Hwy
    Kaneohe, Oahu, HI 96744-5152
    Phone:
    +1 808-202-2246
    Price range:
    $45 - $45
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Haleiwa Joe's
    Restaurants (American, Seafood, Hawaiian)
    See more photos
    luxlisa Says:

    This is hands-down my favorite restaurant that isn't in Waikiki. It's where the locals go. The restaurant is simply beautiful and is mostly open air, and the happy hour specials are not to be missed. The drinks are large and strong, and the staff is super friendly. It's hip and fun without being too upscale. The parking lot will tell you it is always busy.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Friends
    • Couples
    Tips
    • Reservations are good. Try the mango-rita.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #26 of 2,956 restaurants in Oahu
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Hawaii Anniversary vacation 08/14/2018
    • Great Food! Awesome View! 08/12/2018
    • Haleiwa Joe's
    Address:
    46-336 Haiku Rd
    Kaneohe, Oahu, HI 96744-3537
    Phone:
    +1 808-247-6671
    Price range:
    $10 - $35
    Hours:
    Sun
    9:30 AM - 9:00 PM
    Mon - Thu
    4:30 PM - 9:00 PM
    Fri - Sat
    4:30 PM - 10:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Top of Waikiki
    Restaurants (American, Fusion)
    See more photos
    luxlisa Says:

    This is the "touristy" restaurant that revolves - but the view is killer and the food is pretty awesome. You're going to spend money, but it is worth it. Make reservations and go at or just before sunset. You'll get panoramic 360 views of the city and Waikiki that are just spectacular. It's a very nice experience.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Friends
    • Couples
    Tips
    • Reservations! They validate parking.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #179 of 2,956 restaurants in Oahu
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Overpriced 08/19/2018
    • Beautiful View 08/17/2018
    • Top of Waikiki
    Address:
    2270 Kalakaua Ave
    Ste 1800
    Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815-2519
    Phone:
    +1 808-923-3877
    Price range:
    $25 - $40
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    5:00 PM - 9:30 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Waikiki Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    luxlisa Says:

    This is just a must-do of Waikiki/Oahu. The beach itself is small, but it is where all the people are - and it's beautiful. (Secret tip - visit the barefoot bar at the Hale Koa - the hotel is military, but the bar is not - and the drinks are good and the cheapest in Waikiki). Also visit Duke's at the Outrigger Waikiki. Make sure to walk along the beach at sunrise or sunset for beautiful views of diamond head.

    Good for
    • Family
    • Friends
    • Beach Goer
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 350 things to do in Honolulu
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Bustling beach, but laid back & gorgeous views. 08/21/2018
    • the best place in the city free and safe ! 08/21/2018
    • Waikiki Beach
    Address:
    Kalakaua Avenuue
    Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815
    Other:
  • Save
    Honolulu Zoo
    Zoos
    See more photos
    luxlisa Says:

    The Honolulu Zoo is a nice side excursion. It is smack on the edge of Waikiki beach and easy walking from all the beach hotels. If you have some spare time, I'd recommend. You can see the Nene (state bird of Hawaii) here.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #71 of 350 things to do in Honolulu
    • Fun time at a small zoo 08/20/2018
    • The little zoo that could 08/15/2018
    • Honolulu Zoo
    Address:
    151 Kapahulu Ave
    Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815-4096
    Phone:
    +1 808-971-7171
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Kailua Beach Park
    Beaches
    See more photos
    luxlisa Says:

    Kailua is the local hotspot on the windward side of the island. The water is spectacularly blue and you can see the Mokalua islands offshore. You can rent kayaks and paddle out to them if you want. It's just a nice spot to hang out for an afternoon at the beach.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Beach Goer
    • Family
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 41 things to do in Kailua
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Spectacular beach 08/20/2018
    • Relaxed attitude 08/20/2018
    • Kailua Beach Park
    Address:
    526 Kawailoa Road
    Kailua, Oahu, HI 96734
    Other:
  • Save
    Paradise Cove Luau
    Luaus
    See more photos
    luxlisa Says:

    Paradise Cove is a really nice luau. You get the whole "tourist" experience at a private venue with spectacular scenery. It is just a fun night learning about the culture.

    Good for
    • Family
    • Friends
    • Couples
    Tips
    • Get the tickets with the drink packages! Just enjoy being a tourist.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 5 Concerts & Shows in Kapolei
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A fantastic experience! 08/20/2018
    • Hawaiian luau 08/19/2018
    • Paradise Cove Luau
    Address:
    92-1089 Aliinui Dr
    Kapolei, Oahu, HI 96707-2210
    Phone:
    +1 808-842-5911
    Other:
  • Save
    Ka'ena Point State Park
    Geologic Formations
    See more photos
    luxlisa Says:

    Ka'ena is a drive, and a hike at the far North end of Oahu. It is worth it for nature lovers, as it is one of the few places left to see Monk seals. The drive out takes 1-2 hours from Waikiki, and then you have to park and walk (unless you have 4WD) about 3.5 miles on foot on a bumpy trail/road. However, it is worth it once you get to the end and the private reserve. It is gorgeous and the protected species (Albatross and Monk Seals) are there!

    Good for
    • Friends
    • Beach Goer
    • Family
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Don't leave valuables in the car. Wear hiking shoes and prepare to get dusty/dirty. It's a hike.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 27 things to do in Waianae
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful landscape 08/16/2018
    • Ka’ena Point Visit 08/12/2018
    • Ka'ena Point State Park
    Address:
    End of Farrington Highway
    Waianae, Oahu, HI
    Phone:
    +1 808-464-0840
    Other:
  • Save
    Buzz's Original Steak House
    Restaurants (American, Bar, Seafood, Hawaiian)
    See more photos
    luxlisa Says:

    Buzz's is THE place to go in Kailua. The building looks like a shack, but it is amazing. The menu is served on a cutting board, and the food is incredible. This is a local gem that is a tradition.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #244 of 2,956 restaurants in Oahu
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Excelent food, great service 08/12/2018
    • Nice, friendly lunch stop 08/08/2018
    • Buzz's Original Steak House
    Address:
    413 Kawailoa Rd
    Kailua, Oahu, HI 96734-3134
    Phone:
    +1 808-261-4661
    Price range:
    $0 - $40
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    4:30 PM - 9:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Lanikai Pillboxes
    Parks, Hiking Trails
    See more photos
    luxlisa Says:

    The pillbox hike is great for doing something the locals do, as well as seeing some sights that most people don't do. It is a hike, so be prepared. It can be steep and dirty, but if you are in moderate shape, you'll do fine. The view from the top is fantastic of the Mokes - go to the 2nd pillbox for bragging rights!

    Good for
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 41 things to do in Kailua
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Easy hike, very cool view. 08/19/2018
    • Great place to hike and see Honolulu from the sky 08/14/2018
    • Lanikai Pillboxes
    Address:
    382 Kaelepulu Dr
    Aalapapa Drive
    Kailua, Oahu, HI 96734-3312
    Phone:
    +1 808-261-2727
    Other:
  • Save
    Maita'i Catamaran
    Boat Tours
    See more photos
    luxlisa Says:

    When in Waikiki, make sure to take a catamaran tour - it's a great way to see Waikiki from the water, and have fun. We went out on the snorkel/cruise and had a great time. We saw sea turtles from right offshore and then on the cruise, we saw spinner dolphins. The crew are fun and make sure you are safe - and there's lots of mai tais to go around!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Beach Goer
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Do a snorkel/sail if you can! Make reservations - and don't choose the one your hotel promotes. Go by the stands on the beach! Maita'i is great.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #40 of 204 Boat Tours & Water Sports in Honolulu
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A Blast and Relaxing 08/04/2018
    • The Best Boat Adventure Above Water :) 08/02/2018
    • Maita'i Catamaran
    Phone:
    +1 808-922-5665
    Hours:
    Tue
    10:00 AM - 7:30 PM
    Wed - Thu
    10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
    Fri
    10:00 AM - 7:30 PM
    Sat - Mon
    10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    North Shore
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    luxlisa Says:

    The North Shore is a great place to drive through and visit. In the big wave season it's a madhouse, but in the offseason, the beach is beautiful and the shopping is fun. There's a bunch to see and do, and it's worth the drive.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Beach Goer
    • Family
    • Hidden Gems
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Be prepared for a long slow drive.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #32 of 571 things to do in Oahu
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Amazing place for both fun and relaxation 08/20/2018
    • Love [Aloha Abundance] North Shore of Oahu Hawaii 08/15/2018
    • North Shore
    Address:
    North Shore
    Oahu, HI 96712
    Phone:
    +1 808-637-2977
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
  • Save
    Ola at Turtle Bay Resort
    Restaurants (International, Hawaiian)
    See more photos
    luxlisa Says:

    Ola is a great open-air restaurant at the Turtle Bay resort, right on the beach. You can go even when not a guest at the hotel and parking is free. The food is great.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Beach Goer
    • Family
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #0 of 0 restaurants in
    • Out of Nearly Everything! 08/03/2018
    • Romantic 11/10/2017
    • Ola at Turtle Bay Resort
    Address:
    57-091 Kamehameha Hwy
    Kahuku, Oahu, HI 96731-2149
    Phone:
    +1 808-293-6000
    Price range:
    $13 - $26
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    5:30 PM - 10:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Turtle Bay Resort
    Hotels
    See more photos
    luxlisa Says:

    Turtle Bay is a nice change of pace from Waikiki. The beaches aren't as nice, but the resort is beautiful and secluded on the way to the North Shore. You go there to just relax and enjoy your vacation. They have activities onsite, like horseback riding and golf and segway tours, plus surfing lessons. You can go and just hang by their pool bar during the day and enjoy the scenery of the blowholes by the bay.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Beach Goer
    • Luxury Traveler
    • Family
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kahuku
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Mixed feelings-Pros and Cons. 08/21/2018
    • A week in paradise 08/20/2018
    • Turtle Bay Resort
    Address:
    57-091 Kamehameha Highway
    Kahuku, Oahu, HI 96731-2149
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