Guest post by rbixler
Map tips: each color represents a different day. Click a marker to learn more about the spot, and click the star in the map header to save the entire map under Your Places in Google Maps.
Day 1: San Francisco layover
- Golden Gate Bridge
- Fisherman’s Wharf
Had more than a 4-hour layover, it’s doable to get out of the airport, see a couple of things, and get back in time. Took public transportation and it worked out fine – BART train from the airport for $9, then streetcars from there. Highly recommend to break up a long trip to Hawaii.
Day 2: Koko Head, Oahu
We stayed in Waimanalo Beach, which was great and away from the touristy section of Waikiki. Stunning coastline, would definitely stay here instead of Waikiki Beach.
We climbed the Koko Head Crater which has great views at the top.
Day 3: Pearl Harbor and North Shore, Oahu
- Pearl Harbor
- Dole Plantation
- Waimea Falls
Get to Pearl Harbor early, before the doors open, so you can make the most of your time. We didn’t book anything ahead of time. We were there about 3 hours but you could spend all day.
We drove to the North Shore and hoped to see surfers, but the time of year wasn’t ideal. The hike to Waimea Falls was nice, there are a lot of gardens and it’s a botanical park.
The Plantation isn’t a must-see but the pineapple was unbelievable.
Day 4: Kauai
Flew to Kauai and stayed at the Sheraton – would recommend. There are 2 sides, you need to be careful on where you select – make sure you get oceanfront.
The Sleeping Giant hike is pretty easy, maybe moderate.
Day 5: Helicopter Tour
Blue Hawaiian was excellent as a tour company. We did not book in advance and did the Discover Kauai tour. Helicopter ride was about 45 minutes, and getting to see the Na Pali Coast from above was amazing. We got to see the Jurassic Park waterfall (Manawaiopuna Falls) from the air, too.
- Kalalau Lookout
- Waimea Canyon Trail
- Luau Kalamaku
We drove Kokee Road/Route 550 until it ends at the Kalalau Lookout. The Waimea Canyon trail takes you into the canyon and has great views all the way to the top of the big waterfall.
Good to know what you’re looking for in a luau – if you want a full-on, touristy “show” or a smaller, authentic pig roast. The one we went to was more of the “show” side – not bad by any means, but not what we were looking for. Our hotel had a smaller one but it wasn’t available. If that’s what you’re looking for I’d book in advance.
Day 7: Sunset Catamaran Tour
After relaxing by the beach, the sunset catamaran tour by Captain Andy’s was a perfect way to end the day – steak and shrimp dinner, great tour company.
Traveled in September 2018