If you’re looking for a way to experience the beauty and diversity of Hawaii beyond Oahu, you’re in luck. There are plenty of day trips available that will take you to other islands and give you a taste of what each has to offer.

Whether you’re interested in hiking, beach lounging, or cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone.

Kauai, known as the ‘Garden Island,’is a popular day trip destination from Oahu. With its lush greenery, stunning waterfalls, and dramatic cliffs, it’s no wonder why.

Maui is another great option, with its world-famous beaches and quaint towns.

If you’re looking for something a little more off the beaten path, Lanai and Molokai are both secluded and peaceful, with plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities.

The Big Island, as its name suggests, is the largest of the Hawaiian islands and boasts everything from active volcanoes to snow-capped mountains.

And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even take a helicopter tour of the remote island of Niihau or snorkel in the crystal-clear waters of Molokini.

With so many options available, you’re sure to find a day trip that suits your interests and budget.

Key Takeaways

  • Kauai, Maui, Lanai, and Molokai are all great day trip options from Oahu, each offering unique experiences such as helicopter tours, zip-lining, and hiking.
  • The Big Island is the largest Hawaiian island and boasts diverse landscapes and the opportunity to witness lava flows and manta rays.
  • Niihau, the ‘Forbidden Island’, is a remote destination with rich cultural history and crystal-clear waters for snorkeling and diving, but tours must be guided and cultural heritage must be respected.
  • Outdoor activities such as skydiving, cliff diving, and snorkeling with sharks are available on day trips, and the natural beauty of Hawaii, including the Pacific Ocean and wildlife, is breathtaking.


If you’re looking for breathtaking scenery and outdoor adventures, Kauai should definitely be on your day trip list! This beautiful island is known for its lush greenery, towering cliffs, and stunning waterfalls.

One of the best ways to experience all that Kauai has to offer is by taking a helicopter tour. From above, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the island’s natural wonders, including the famous Na Pali Coast.

Another must-see attraction on Kauai is Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. This stunning geological formation is over ten miles long and up to 3,000 feet deep, with vibrant red and orange rock formations that will take your breath away. There are multiple lookout points throughout the canyon, each offering a unique perspective on its beauty.

After a day of exploring Kauai’s natural wonders, you’ll be ready to head back to Oahu. But before you go, be sure to stop by some of the island’s charming towns and villages, like Hanalei or Poipu. You can grab a bite to eat, do some souvenir shopping, or simply enjoy the laid-back island atmosphere.

Now, let’s move on to the next destination on our day trip list: Maui.


Visiting Maui is a must for anyone looking to explore more of what the Hawaiian islands have to offer. This island is known for its stunning natural beauty and unique experiences.

One of the best ways to explore Maui is by taking a scenic drive along the road to Hana. Along the way, you’ll pass by breathtaking waterfalls, lush forests, and stunning coastal views. Be sure to stop at some of the lookout points to take in the scenery and snap some photos.

No trip to Maui would be complete without tasting some of the island’s fresh pineapple. Visit a local plantation to learn about the history and cultivation of this delicious fruit, and maybe even try your hand at harvesting it yourself. You’ll love the sweet, juicy flavor of freshly picked pineapple.

For a truly unforgettable experience, head out to Molokini to snorkel with sea turtles. This crescent-shaped island is home to a vibrant coral reef, teeming with colorful fish and marine life. Get up close and personal with these gentle giants of the sea as you glide through the crystal-clear water. Or, if you prefer to stay on land, hike through lush forests to discover hidden waterfalls and cascading pools.

As you wrap up your time in Maui, consider taking a short ferry ride over to the nearby island of Lanai. Here, you can explore pristine beaches, rugged coastal cliffs, and stunning natural landscapes. Whether you choose to spend your time snorkeling, hiking, or simply soaking up the sun, you’re sure to find something to love on this beautiful island.


If you’re looking for excitement and adventure, Lanai is the perfect destination for you. Here, you can experience thrilling activities like off-roading, horseback riding, and hiking through rugged terrain.

But if you’re looking for a more relaxing experience, head to Hulopoe Beach, where you can soak up some sun and enjoy the natural beauty of the island.

Lastly, don’t miss the chance to visit the unique Garden of the Gods, where you’ll be surrounded by stunning rock formations and breathtaking views.

Lanai is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Hawaii.

Experience Thrilling Adventure Activities

You can’t miss out on the heart-pumping adventure activities that await you on your day trips from Oahu. Hawaii has it all, from thrilling excursions to an adrenaline rush.

Take a helicopter tour over the lush green mountains of Kauai, or go skydiving over the stunning North Shore of Oahu. If you’re feeling brave, try cliff diving at Waimea Bay or snorkeling with sharks in Haleiwa. For a unique experience, try zip-lining through the rainforest at Kualoa Ranch or take an ATV tour through the rugged terrain of Kauai.

But the adventure doesn’t have to end there. After your adrenaline-filled day, unwind and enjoy the natural beauty of Hulopoe Beach. Relax on the white sandy beach, go for a swim in the crystal clear waters, or take a hike along the scenic coast.

You’ll be amazed by the stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the wildlife that calls this area home. So, don’t miss out on these heart-pumping activities and the natural beauty that awaits you on your day trips from Oahu.

Enjoy the Natural Beauty of Hulopoe Beach

Indulging in the natural beauty of Hulopoe Beach is an absolute must for those seeking a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Here, you’ll find an array of activities that’ll keep you entertained and relaxed. Take a look at some of the things you can do at Hulopoe Beach:

  1. Beach activities: The crystal-clear waters of Hulopoe Beach are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and paddleboarding. You can rent equipment from nearby vendors and explore the underwater world. The beach also has a calm tide pool that’s perfect for children to splash around in.

  2. Wildlife spotting: Hulopoe Beach is home to a variety of wildlife, including spinner dolphins and humpback whales. Take a whale-watching tour and witness these majestic creatures up close. You can also spot green sea turtles basking in the sun on the beach.

  3. Relaxing on the beach: If you’re looking for a more laid-back experience, Hulopoe Beach is perfect for sunbathing, reading a book, or simply enjoying the stunning views. The beach is surrounded by lush greenery and towering cliffs, creating a peaceful ambiance.

After soaking up the beauty of Hulopoe Beach, it’s time to visit the unique Garden of the Gods. The garden is a geological wonder and is a must-visit attraction on your day trip from Oahu.

Visit the Unique Garden of the Gods

Now it’s time to discover the next incredible spot on your adventure: prepare to be amazed as you delve into the unique geological formations of the Garden of the Gods. Located on the island of Molokai, this otherworldly landscape will leave you in awe. The Garden of the Gods is a stark contrast to the lush greenery and sandy beaches of Oahu, but its unique rock formations are a sight to behold.

As you explore the area, you’ll notice that the rocks come in a variety of colors, ranging from pale yellow to deep red. The shapes are equally fascinating, with some resembling human figures and others appearing to be giant mushrooms. But the Garden of the Gods is more than just a geological wonder; it also holds spiritual significance for the native Hawaiians. According to legend, the rocks were once the site of a battle between two powerful gods, and the area is considered sacred. Take a moment to appreciate the natural beauty of this special place and reflect on the ancient history it holds.

Now that you’ve experienced the unique beauty of the Garden of the Gods, it’s time to head back to Oahu and continue your adventure. But don’t worry, there are still plenty of amazing sights to see on this island paradise. Next up, we’ll explore the fascinating history and culture of Molokai.


Visiting Molokai is a must for those seeking an authentic Hawaiian experience with its untouched nature and rich cultural heritage. This island is known for its pristine beaches, lush valleys, and towering sea cliffs that offer breathtaking views. Molokai is the perfect place to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.

To truly experience the cultural heritage of Molokai, a visit to the Kalaupapa National Historical Park is a must. This park is home to a former leprosy settlement and offers a glimpse into the lives of those who were exiled to the remote peninsula. The park also offers stunning views of the Molokai sea cliffs and the Pacific Ocean.

Another must-visit attraction is the Molokai Museum and Cultural Center, which showcases the island’s history, culture, and traditions through exhibits and artifacts.

In addition to its cultural heritage, Molokai is also known for its scenic beauty. The island boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Hawaii, including Papohaku Beach, which is one of the largest white sand beaches in the state. The Halawa Valley on the eastern side of the island is also a popular destination for its lush tropical foliage, waterfalls, and ancient Hawaiian sites. And let’s not forget about the stunning views of the Molokai sea cliffs, which can be seen from various lookout points around the island.

As you leave Molokai behind, you can look forward to the next adventure on your trip to Hawaii – exploring the Big Island. With its active volcanoes, black sand beaches, and diverse landscapes, the Big Island is sure to offer a unique and unforgettable experience.

Big Island

Looking for adventure? Head to the Big Island!

Witness the Power of Pele at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where you can explore volcanic landscapes and witness lava flows.

Snorkel with Manta Rays in Kona, an unforgettable experience where you’ll get up close and personal with these gentle giants.

And don’t miss the colorful Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area, where you can relax on the sand or take a dip in the crystal-clear water.

The Big Island has something for everyone!

Witness the Power of Pele at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

You can feel the earth rumble beneath your feet as you explore the fascinating landscapes of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire, is said to reside. Witnessing Pele’s power at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is an awe-inspiring experience that will leave you in awe of the natural forces that shape our world.

Explore the park’s vast expanse of lava fields, towering craters, and smoking vents, and you’ll see firsthand the raw power of the volcanic activity that has shaped this island. To fully appreciate the park’s unique landscape, make sure to visit the Jaggar Museum, which offers an in-depth look at the geology and history of the area.

Take a hike around the Kilauea Iki crater or venture down into the Thurston Lava Tube for an unforgettable underground adventure. And if you’re feeling brave, sign up for a guided tour that will take you up close and personal with the park’s most active volcanic vents. But be warned, witnessing Pele’s power can be a dangerous adventure, so always follow the park’s safety guidelines and stay alert.

As you leave the fiery landscapes of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, you may be ready for a change of pace. But don’t go too far, because your next adventure awaits just a short trip away. Snorkel with manta rays in Kona and experience the best of Hawaii’s underwater world.

Snorkel with Manta Rays in Kona

After witnessing the power of Pele at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, don’t miss out on the chance to swim alongside magnificent manta rays in Kona. This is a truly unforgettable experience that you won’t want to miss.

Manta rays are some of the most graceful creatures in the ocean, and swimming with them is a unique and awe-inspiring experience. One of the best ways to see these beautiful creatures is through night snorkeling, when they come up to the surface to feed on plankton.

You’ll have the opportunity to get up close and personal with these gentle giants as they gracefully glide through the water. It’s an experience that you’ll remember for a lifetime and a must-do activity when visiting Hawaii.

After your night snorkeling adventure, it’s time to explore the colorful Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area.

Explore the Colorful Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area

To fully appreciate the beauty of Hawaii, explore the Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area. It spans over 61 acres and offers one of the largest white sand beaches on the Big Island. This stunning beach is perfect for those who love to bask in the sun, swim in the crystal-clear waters, and enjoy a wide range of beach activities.

You can rent snorkeling gear and explore the nearby coral reefs, or simply take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline and soak up the breathtaking views. Aside from its natural beauty, the Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area also offers a variety of local food options. Whether you’re in the mood for fresh seafood, traditional Hawaiian cuisine, or a refreshing tropical drink, there’s something for everyone.

You can even pack a picnic and enjoy a relaxing lunch under the shade of the palm trees. So, grab your sunscreen, pack your beach bag, and head to Hapuna Beach for a day filled with fun, relaxation, and delicious eats.

As you leave the Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area, it’s worth taking a moment to appreciate the natural wonders of Hawaii. The next stop on your adventure is the island of Niihau, which boasts a unique and fascinating history.


Visiting Niihau, the ‘Forbidden Island,’ offers a unique opportunity to experience Hawaii’s rich cultural history and pristine natural beauty. This privately owned island is only accessible through guided tours, making it an exclusive and unforgettable adventure.

Niihau is known for its untouched landscapes and crystal-clear waters, providing a glimpse of Hawaii’s natural beauty before it was affected by modernization. When visiting Niihau, it’s essential to respect the island’s cultural heritage. The native Hawaiian people on the island have preserved their traditional way of life, and visitors should be mindful of their customs and beliefs.

It’s an opportunity to immerse oneself in a culture that has been passed down for generations. Visitors can learn about the island’s history, including its role in World War II, and visit local artisans to see their traditional crafts. Niihau’s isolation has helped to maintain its natural beauty, making it an ideal location for snorkeling and diving.

The island’s waters are home to a variety of marine life, including vibrant coral reefs and schools of tropical fish. Visitors can explore the underwater world and witness the beauty of Hawaii’s marine environment. After experiencing the wonders of Niihau, head over to Molokini to continue your adventure.


Located off the coast of Maui, Molokini is a crescent-shaped volcanic crater that offers some of the clearest waters in Hawaii, with visibility up to 150 feet. This makes it an ideal spot for snorkeling adventures and marine life encounters. The crater is home to over 250 species of fish, including the Hawaiian state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapua’a, as well as sea turtles, manta rays, and even sharks.

To fully experience Molokini, it’s best to take a snorkeling tour. There are plenty of tour operators that offer half-day or full-day trips to the crater, complete with snorkeling gear and knowledgeable guides. Some tours even include a stop at a second snorkeling location, such as Turtle Town, where you can swim with green sea turtles.

During your snorkeling adventure at Molokini, you’ll have the opportunity to see the vibrant coral reefs and colorful fish up close. Keep an eye out for the blue-striped snapper, the yellow tang, and the trumpetfish. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a pod of dolphins or a humpback whale in the distance. Molokini is truly a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the beauty of Hawaii’s marine life.

Snorkeling Tour OperatorsTour DetailsPrice Range
Trilogy ExcursionsHalf-day tour, includes breakfast and lunch$125-$165 per person
Redline Rafting Co.Small group tours, includes snorkeling gear$155-$225 per person
Kai KananiFull-day tour, includes snorkeling at two locations$165-$225 per person
Pride of MauiIncludes breakfast, lunch, and open bar$110-$160 per person


So there you have it, the best day trips from Oahu to experience Hawaii! With so many options to choose from, you’ll never run out of new and exciting adventures to embark on.

Whether you decide to explore the lush forests and waterfalls of Kauai or the beautiful beaches and stunning landscapes of Maui, there’s something for everyone. One example of a great day trip is a visit to the Big Island.

Here, you can witness the power of nature as you explore the Kilauea volcano and its surrounding areas. You can also take a dip in the warm waters of Hapuna Beach or snorkel among the colorful marine life at Kealakekua Bay. No matter what you choose, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.

So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to explore all that Hawaii has to offer. With so many amazing day trips available, you’re in for a truly unforgettable adventure.

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