How to Spend a Week in Oahu

A few of you have been asking for the rundown of my week in Hawaii, so today I’m sharing the highlights of my week across the country!

After numerous flight delays and almost 24 hours of traveling, my sister and I arrived in Hawaii in the middle of the night on Saturday/Sunday. Four hours of sleep later, we started planning out our week.

As an aside, I was ultimately traveling to Hawaii for work, which is why it was so last-minute–and my sister was kind enough to keep me company. That said, the majority of my week was actually spent working, but we did manage to make the most of our week in Oahu nonetheless. Our goal was to have a mix of relaxation and sight-seeing and, in the end, I would say we were able to accomplish that goal.


Groupon happened to be featuring a discounted Go Oahu Card for $175, giving us access to 34 different attractions for a set price. (I had previously used a Go City card when my husband and I visited Boston, and it was absolutely worth it. I was really excited to find that Oahu was also included in the Go City program.) We purchased three-day cards, which meant that we could activate them on three separate days during the week; the days did not have to be consecutive.

If you’ve never used a Go City card before, you purchase the card and receive an email confirmation with a barcode pass. Print or screenshot your pass with barcode, and you automatically have access to any of the attractions offered on the card. Simply scan your printed or screenshot pass at each attraction. For Oahu, this meant 34 different attractions, but that number does vary from city to city. (Oahu actually offers one of the largest numbers of attractions in comparison to other cities.)


Because of my work schedule, we were located in Waikiki for the majority of the week. I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of major “touristy” locations, so I wouldn’t say that Waikiki was my favorite area on the island, but we were definitely able to find some fun things to do and places to eat while we were there.


We also stayed in a beautiful hotel, the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, and our room overlooked the Diamond Head monument. I highly recommend a stay here; the two pools, spa, and numerous restaurants allowed us to relax, despite being in such a busy area.


The most exciting parts of the week, however, were spent outside of Waikiki. Some photos and highlights of our week are below…


This was actually one of the parts of the trip that I was most looking forward to. We were able to visit Battleship Missouri for a guided tour, as well as the Pacific Aviation Museum, both of which were really moving to see in person.

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Our husbands are big Jurassic Park fans, my brother-in-law especially, so they were pretty jealous when we told them we were visiting Kualoa Ranch for a movie tour. The three-hour tour took place in an old school bus (a few times I wasn’t sure if we were going to make it through the mountains!) with a pretty hilarious tour guide. This was a great way to see the north side of the island and learn about the thriving agriculture and aquaculture programs in Oahu.

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(^ One must wear palm trees when visiting Hawaii…)


Before I left, a co-worker (and former Navy lieutenant stationed in Hawaii) told me that if I could make it out to Kailua, it would be worth it. I cannot even describe how right she was. This was easily the most worthwhile part of our week. It was so, so beautiful to take in the view, and the beach was incredible.

We started the morning with a two-hour hike on the Pillbox Trail, and the view from the top was nothing short of breathtaking. As beautiful as they are, these pictures don’t even do it justice. It’s amazing to think that you can travel to a place so different from where you live and still be in the same country.



After we made our way back down the mountain, we walked (only two blocks) to Lanakai Beach. This is where we spent the last few hours of our Hawaiian vacation. This was the clearest and warmest water that I’ve ever seen. After visiting this beach, I could see how one might fall in love with this island; it was quite difficult for us to leave that afternoon.

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To close out the week on a high note, we both enjoyed massages and facials from the Kaila Spa in our hotel. Our thoughtful husbands had booked them in advance for us, and it was such a nice way to end our trip and feel refreshed.

…and then, in the blink of an eye, it was back to the real world. 🙂 Thank you so much for reading; I’ll be back tomorrow with another one of my looks from our trip.


I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend with family or friends but, most of all, I hope you were able to take a moment to remember the men and women who lost their lives fighting for our country.


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  1. 5.30.17
    Amanda Y said:

    I love this post! It makes me want to go there so bad! I never knew about the Groupon thing ( which Im obsessed with everything else Groupon) so I will totally look into that the next time we travel!


    • 5.30.17
      Lauren said:

      The Go City passes are awesome! I’m hoping to use them when I go to Chicago in August. They sell them for adults and children, and it’s totally worth the price. You’ll save so much!

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