Image of Hanauma Bay.
Hanauma Bay. Photo: Napua Heen /

You’re headed to Hawaiʻi. There’s so much to see and so little time. Well, actually, one week on Oʻahu is a good amount of time to explore, adventure and relax. Traveling to the “Gathering Place” of Oʻahu, you get the best of both worlds (country and cosmopolitan) and an endless array of sights, experiences and memories to make.

Day 1

Depending on what time you arrive, you will most likely want to relax, settle in to your hotel and remedy your jet lag. Find a nearby restaurant and enjoy happy hour. (Sometimes you can find early happy hour spots from 3-6 p.m. and late happy hour 9-11 p.m.) Grab a famous Hawaiian Mai Tai and a bite to eat. Get some rest and prepare for the adventures ahead.

Day 2

Start your day with Hawaiʻi’s famous island coffee. Fresh, locally-grown, harvested and roasted beans from most of the main Hawaiian Islands make for a great way to kick-start your day. Venture to the west side of the island where there’s no limit to the number of white sandy beaches. There you can swim with dolphins, snorkel, body surf and enjoy the most amazing and picturesque sunsets. From Ko Olina to Yokohama Bay, you won’t be disappointed in the untouched sandy paradise at your feet.

Day 3

After the sun, sand and breathtaking sunsets on the west side of the island it’s time to get a bird’s eye view of the island. For the adventurous hiker seeking a great leg workout, visit Koko Head Crater Trail. Or if you prefer a less intense climb, stop by Diamond Head State Monument. Both hikes offer impeccable panoramic views that are not to be missed.

In the evening book a lūʻau where you can feast on traditional Hawaiian food, enjoy Polynesian entertainment and embrace the island culture. These are best at sunset and usually include drinks, dinner and a show.

Day 4

Image of Suring in Waikiki.
Suring in Waikiki. Photo: Salty Glass Co.

Now that you’re in Hawaii, “home of modern-day surfing,” you have to partake in the activity. Hawaiʻi’s warm ocean and rolling tides are the best place to learn how to surf. Looking for another memorable water activity? Go on a parasailing ride, which is like a catamaran and a majestic midair adventure all in one.

Day 5

On Oʻahu, and after your surf adventure, head north. Visit the shops and sights from Haleʻiwa to Lāiʻe for your chance to experience the wonder that is country living. Eat famous garlic shrimp, fresh poke, stop by the many farms, even try zip lining. Oʻahu’s northern tip is endless with activities, experiences and foods that will tantalize your taste buds.

Day 6

Organic Hawaiian beauty products available at the Trump International Hotel Waikiki. (Photo: Napua Heen /

Organic Hawaiian beauty products available at the Trump International Hotel Waikiki. (Photo: Napua Heen /

After all this physical activity it would be a great idea to unwind with massages. There are many spas around the island and most specialize in traditional Hawaiian techniques including lomi lomi and hot-stone massage. This is a wonderful way to relax and is extremely therapeutic for the mind, body and soul.

After your massage, enjoy afternoon tea, another relaxing moment to partake of the flavors and many cultural influences in the islands.

Day 7

Your last day on island should be an epic one, so bring your camera and head to east Honolulu. Starting at Halona Blowhole, you will see the power and force of the Pacific Ocean. This natural phenomenon is a great place to take photos and videos. Next take a stroll along Makapuʻu Lighthouse Trail. This vantage point is perfect for whale watching (in the winter) and a good mild uphill workout. Next, stop off in Waimānalo for some fresh local foods, Hawaiʻi delicacies or your staple “plate lunch.” Then visit Bellows Beach where the waves are gentle and the Sherwood Forest is a great respite to picnic, relax, sunbathe and enjoy the last daylight hours of the final moments of your Hawaiian vacation.