One Week in Hawaii Itinerary – 7 Days in Oahu for First Timers

Who doesn’t want to spend an entire week in Hawaii? It’s America’s very own tropical paradise, filled with beautiful vistas as diverse as majestic volcanic mountains and vibrant coral reefs.

Plus, there’s so much to see and do in this amazing destination, with attractions, tours, and activities galore.

We’ve put together a one week in Hawaii itinerary for first-timers, covering a bunch of ideas for what to do in Hawaii for a week, including fun family activities that you could choose from to craft your perfect 7 days in Oahu.

This itinerary includes popular activities grouped by certain regions of the island, including:

  • Honolulu & Waikiki: Sunset Dinner Sail, Diamond Head Hike, Waikiki Beach, & more
  • Central Oahu: Battleship Missouri, USS Arizona, Pacific Aviation Museum, & more
  • Windward Coast: Hanauma Bay Snorkeling, Sea Life Park, Kualoa Ranch & more
  • North Shore: Surf Lessons, Polynesian Cultural Center, Alii Luau, & more
  • Leeward Coast: Wet n’ Wild Hawaii, & more

Looking for some shorter itinerary ideas? Then head on over to our 2 days in Oahu, or 3 days in Oahu itinerary.

Save on Hawaiian Activity Admission

Admission to many of these top Oahu attractions and activities are included on the Go Oahu® Card.

This one week in Hawaii itinerary is just one of many ways to experience the gorgeous island of Oahu.

The Go Oahu® Card gives you the flexibility to create your own itineraries, so you can choose on the go from dozens of top attractions and things to do.

See all available passes, attractions & prices – Learn more.

Honolulu & Waikiki Options to Add to Your Itinerary:

Sunset Dinner Sail on Makani Catamaran

Sunset-Dinner-Sail-Makani-Catamaran-3Set sail in style with a dinner cruise on the sleek Makani Catamaran.

This excursion can be both romantic and relaxing, so it offers a lot of flexibility to families and couples alike. It’s also sure to provide excellent photo opportunities, as you’re treated to brilliant sunsets against the peaceful Pacific.

Throw in a free drink, and the decision to hop aboard this dinner sail is a no-brainer.

Getting In: Oahu Sunset Dinner Cruise tickets are available as a premium option on 3-, 5-, and 7-Day Go Oahu® Cards.

Makani Catamaran Sail

Makani-Catamaran-2

Or, if you’d prefer to enjoy the vivid tropical waters during the day, the Makani Catamaran offers other cruise options, too.

This leisurely two-hour cruise is the epitome of tropical luxury. Relax on a gorgeous catamaran vessel, keeping one eye out for sea life like dolphins, sea turtles, and even whales (in season).

Be sure to stop by the full bar to really make the most of this cruise.

Getting In: Makani Catamaran Sail tickets are included with the Go Oahu® Card.

Diamond Head Hike

diamond head craterHike to the top of the famed Diamond Head volcanic crater. The hike is moderate but very approachable even for newbie hikers, so don’t worry about being over your head in the hiking game.

Not only does the journey offer unbeatable views of the coastline, but the sweeping panoramic vistas of the island you’ll get from the top are out of this world.

And don’t worry – this volcano has been dormant for 150,000 years!

Bonus: You’ll get complimentary hotel pickup from Waikiki hotels. It makes it easy to avoid notoriously bad Oahu traffic.

Getting In: Diamond Head Hike Shuttle tickets are included with the Go Oahu® Card.

Waikiki Beach

Image credit: Waikiki Beach Hawaii Facebook page.

Image credit: Waikiki Beach Hawaii Facebook page.

If you’re looking for an ideal Hawaiian beach destination, Waikiki Beach is it. It’s conveniently located to a number of popular hotels, as well as plenty of shopping and dining options for when you need a break from beaching.

Whether you want to relax and sunbathe, play a little bit of beach volleyball, or maybe even take a dip into the water for a bit of snorkeling, there is no end of options for you to explore at this popular spot. 

Getting In: Waikiki beach gear rentals and snorkel gear rentals are included with the Go Oahu® Card.

Honolulu Zoo

Animal lovers will find much to love about the Honolulu Zoo. Nestled in Kapiolani Park, this gorgeous zoo is home to over 900 animals and acres of luxurious gardens.

There’s even a petting zoo for their younger guests, making a visit here a great family option. Depending on when you visit, you may also be able to take advantage of their top-notch educational programs.

Getting In: The Honolulu Zoo is separately ticketed and is not included with the Go Oahu® Card. For more information about this attraction and to purchase tickets, visit the attraction website.

Central Oahu Options to Add to Your Itinerary:

Battleship Missouri

Battleship Missouri Memorial_Photo 3Take a tour of the Battleship Missouri for a chance to roam one of the most storied battleships in history.

Having served in multiple wars and stood as the site for the official end of World War II, “Mighty Mo” is one heck of a ship.

It’s also recently been refurbished, so you’ll get a sense of what the ship was like in her glory days.

Getting In: Battleship Missouri Memorial tickets are included with the Go Oahu® Card.

USS Arizona Memorial

USS-Arizona-Memorial-Audio-Tour-3As the most-visited site in all of Hawaii, the USS Arizona Memorial should be at the top of your list.

Take a self-guided audio tour of the memorial and learn all about the tragic attack of December 7, 1941 and its aftermath.

It’s both poignant and informative and is an invaluable destination for those interested in American history. 

This is also part of the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument, so a visit here is a must for those of you with bucket list aspirations of visiting as many National Parks as possible.

Getting In: USS Arizona Memorial Narrated Tour tickets are included with the Go Oahu® Card.

USS Bowfin Submarine

uss-bowfin-submarineAnother one for the history buffs, the USS Bowfin is one of the most successful attack submarines in United States military history (just consider its nickname – “The Pearl Harbor Avenger”).

You’ll get to roam the vessel itself and see what life was like for sailors who served aboard her during combat.

Explore the museum, take a self-guided audio tour, and peruse a selection of submarine artifacts. 

Getting In: USS Bowfin Submarine Tour tickets are included with the Go Oahu® Card.

Pacific Aviation Museum

Pacific-Aviation-Museum-2This unique museum showcases vintage aircraft and artifacts in the totally original setting of authentic WWII hangars.

If the amazing sight of real WWII-era aircraft weren’t enough, interactive exhibits and state-of-the-art displays make for an immersive educational experience.

Getting In: Pacific Aviation Museum tickets are included with the Go Oahu® Card.

Local Golf Courses

It’s hard to narrow down the list of centrally located golf courses in Oahu, but there are plenty of great options to choose from.

Kapolei Golf Course, Barbers Point Golf Course, and Hawaii Prince Golf Club are just a few of the many available golf attractions in this part of Oahu.

You’d be hard pressed to find golf courses more beautiful than these in Hawaii! Want to improve your golf game? Then read up on these putting tips on how to putt better.

Getting In: Admission to local golf courses is separately ticketed and is not included with the Go Oahu® Card. For more information about individual courses and to purchase admission, please visit your selected golf course website.

Windward Coast Options to Add to Your Itinerary:

Dolphin Encounter by Sea Life Park

Dolphin-Encounter-by-Sea-Life-Park-3Have you always wanted to see a playful dolphin up close? Then the unique dolphin encounter at Sea Life Park is right up your alley.

Interact with these friendly critters and watch them perform amazing tricks and dances just for you. This is the perfect family attraction. 

Getting In: The Dolphin Encounter by Sea Life Park tickets are available as a premium option on 3-, 5-, and 7-Day Go Oahu® Cards.

Sea Life Park Hawaii

sea-life-park-sharkAnother great destination for animal lovers in Hawaii is Sea Life Park. This delightful park features a wide variety of sea creatures, from dolphins and sea lions to dozens of local tropical fish.

Encounter fascinating new creatures, enjoy educational programs, and let the kids explore the miniature play area.

There are also some dining and shopping options here, if you’re in search of a few key souvenirs.

Getting In: Sea Life Park Hawaii tickets are included with the Go Oahu® Card.

Hanauma Bay Snorkeling

Kaimana-Hanauma-Bay-Snorkeling-Adventures-1Snorkel one of the most beautiful stretches of water in the entire world with a journey under the sea in Hanauma Bay.

You’ll get the opportunity to swim through a gorgeous reef filled with turtles, rays, fish, and more.

It’s an easy snorkeling excursion, too, suitable for amateurs and experienced snorkelers alike.

Getting In: Hanauma Bay Snorkel gear rentals are included with the Go Oahu® Card.

Makapu’u Lighthouse Hike

Makapuu-Hike-1This two-mile round-trip excursion is a great opportunity to roam the stunning southeastern coastline of Oahu.

The Makapu’u Point Trail takes you up to a grand old historic lighthouse, with a hyper-radiant light that’s over 100 years old! A fun activity for active travelers who appreciate history.

Getting In: Makapu’u Lighthouse Hike shuttle tickets are included with the Go Oahu® Card. 

Kualoa Ranch

Kualoa-Ranch-Secret-Beach-2There are so many things to do at Kualoa Ranch that you’ll run out of time before you run out of activities.

Explore the jungle, take a tour of famous movie sites, visit an ancient Hawaiian fishpond and tropic garden, or relax on Secret Island Beach – you can do it all at Kualoa Ranch!

Getting In: Many activities at Kualoa Ranch are included with the Go Oahu® Card. 

Hoomaluhia Botanical Gardens

Located at the base of the Ko’olau Mountains, this gorgeous 400-acre botanical garden features a vast selection of native Hawaiian plants, tropical trees & flowers, and even ethnobotanical exhibits.

In addition to roaming the gardens, you can also hike, bike, or camp. Nature lovers should consider this a must-visit.

Getting In: Admission to the Hoomaluhia Botanical Gardens is free.

North Shore Options to Add to Your Itinerary:

Surf Lesson

Surf-Lesson-by-Sea-and-Board-Sports-Hawaii-5This semi-private surf lesson, offered by Sea & Board Sports Hawaii, is a great opportunity to learn how to participate in one of Hawaii’s most treasured pastimes.

Under the watchful eye of your instructor over the course of this two-hour lesson, you’ll learn how to tackle basic surfing skills. You’ll be able to catch waves in no time!

Getting In: Oahu Beginner Surf Lessons are available as a premium option on 3, 5, and 7-Day Go Oahu® Cards.

Polynesian Cultural Center

Polynesian Cultural Center (3)Visit one of Oahu’s best attractions and learn lots about Polynesian cultures, peoples, and history.

This 42-acre marvel is filled with authentic activities and demonstrations like fire-dancing, spear-throwing, canoe rides, coconut husking, and even the Haka warrior dance. 

Getting In: Polynesian Cultural Center tickets are included with the Go Oahu® Card.

Ali’i Luau & Dinner Show

Polynesian-Cultural-Center-3Hosted at the Polynesian Cultural Center, the amazing Ali’i Luau and Dinner Show is a unique, totally Hawaiian entertainment experience that is not to be missed.

As you dine upon authentic, delicious Hawaiian cuisine, you’ll be treated to the show of a lifetime. “Ha – Breath of Life” is an inspiring tale told through dance, song, and even fire knives.

Getting In: Ali’i Luau & Dinner show tickets are available as a premium option on 3, 5, and 7-Day Go Oahu® Cards.

Haleiwa Art Gallery

This is one of the more popular destinations on the North Shore. Perfect for art connoisseurs or just fans of pretty things, the Haleiwa Art Gallery has been serving Oahu for years, offering beautiful and unique works of art to view or to purchase.

Featuring everything from glass sculptures to painting to photographs and even textiles, this gallery displays practically any media you can think of!

Getting In: Admission to the Haleiwa Art Gallery is free.

Leeward Coast Options to Include on Your Itinerary:

Wet n’ Wild Hawaii

wet-n-wild-hawaiiWith over 25 rides and attractions to enjoy, Wet n’ Wild Hawaii promises hours of fun to all.

Body surf in a massive wave pool, hop aboard exhilarating rides and slides, unwind in a hot tub, and float down an 800-foot river.

It’s great for adults and kids alike and is an ideal way to cool down on a hot Hawaiian day.

Getting In: Wet n’ Wild Hawaii tickets are included with the Go Oahu® Card.

Kaena Point

The spectacular views available from Kaena Point are unlike anything else on the island. You’ll see the Waianae coast (south) and Mokuleia (north), in addition to sweeping vistas of the Pacific.

This is also traditionally considered a sacred spot, so a visit here is both a natural and cultural opportunity. Take a hike up the top for postcard-perfect pictures.

Getting In: Admission to Kaena Point is free. 

Let’s Recap

This one week in Hawaii itinerary was designed to be a great introduction to the island, and a fun way to spend 7 days in Oahu.

Remember, many of these amazing options and more are available on our Oahu attractions passes, where you can save up to 55% on combined admission vs. paying at the gate.

We hope you consider adding a few of these fun options to your upcoming Hawaiian vacation itinerary.
Go Oahu Card

The information contained in this post, to the best of the author's knowledge, was accurate at time of publishing. We do our best to ensure and maintain the accuracy of this information.