What to do in 48 hours on Oahu

By Marion Fernandez
Publish Date:

Hawaii is, without a doubt, one of the most amazing places in the world that you can visit, with Oahu being the most popular island to see. But while a beach getaway might be the dream, it is not always easy to take the necessary time off from work or your daily life.

So, if you only have a couple of days off, you might question whether you should go to Hawaii. Well, if you can you should. This is what you should do when you only have 48 hours on Oahu.

Day One

  • Find a place to stay

The first place you should hit up, of course, is your hotel. If you only have two days to spend on Oahu, it is best that you stay on Waikiki rather than heading up to the North Shore on the other end of the island. The North Shore may be less populated, but you will not get the most out of your time by going there. Staying on the famous beach will give you easy access to play in the water or hang out on the sand.

  • Go surfing

Start your Hawaii adventure with some surf lessons. It doesn’t matter if you have never tried before, you are on one of the most famous surfing beaches in the world.

You’re in surf heaven – take a lesson or two and test your water fins
  • Grab something to eat

After your lesson and other beach play, you will be hungry and in need of some food. Since your next stop should be Diamond Head, you can grab a bite to eat on the way there at any of the restaurants lining the route. This is a good time to try out some local Hawaiian food, which, if you haven’t experienced it before, is different than it is on the mainland.

  • Take a hike

Once your energy is restored, it is time to go hiking on Diamond Head. The hike will take you to a volcanic crater, a World War II bunker, and finally, the views that make the hike worth it. Again, you should get some food once you are done, but this time aim for some amazing fish dishes, like Ahi or Mahi Mahi.

  • Visit some historic sites

If you are still up for an adventure, you can go for a bike tour of Honolulu’s Chinatown, where you can catch some of the most historic sites in the city, including the Aloha Tower, the Capitol building, and Iolani Palace.


Iolani Palace – Author: Edmund German – CC BY 2.0
  • It’s time for dinner

You should be starving by the end of this busy day, so it is time to go eat again. You should try some of the local ramens or hit up a local restaurant for some authentic Hawaiian cuisine.

  • Some leisure activities

After dinner, you could partake in any of the beach parties that happen along Waikiki, but odds are you are going to be tired and ready for bed.

Day Two

  • Visit the Weekend Market

Now that you have seen some of the most amazing sights already, it is time for new adventure. You can start with the Weekend Market, which opens at 7:30 in the morning. This is a great place to grab souvenirs for yourself or loved ones back home.

International Marketplace, Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii – Author: Ken Lund – CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Grab some lunch

After a morning of wandering through the market, it is time to grab some lunch at Yama’s Fish Market, which will give you a Hawaiian plate.

  • Hit the beach

After lunch, head back to the beach for some snorkeling. This will give you a chance to see the amazing fish while giving you a chance to play in the water. You can then spend your afternoon enjoying the sun and water as your time on the island is coming to an end.

Relax in the pristine waters and unleash the water baby within, while playing with the spectacular marine life

For dinner on your last day, make sure to try out a barbecue, which traditionally features a roasted pig. When you are done, head over to the Hilton Hawaiian Village to watch the evening fireworks before crashing for the night.

It may seem like a whirlwind, but the adventure is worth it.

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