First Timers Guide to Oahu HI

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If you are heading to Hawaii for the first time I have to tell you that you are in for the most fun ever! Ok, I might be a little biased but I also know planning a trip to an island in the middle of the ocean can be a little intimidating no matter how excited you are. So, I wanted to put together an Oahu travel guide to help prepare you with everything you need to know.

Oahu Travel Guide

Click a link below to jump to a section if you wish.

Where to Stay in Oahu Hawaii

Where to Eat in Oahu Hawaii

What to Do in Oahu Hawaii

How to Save Money When Visiting Oahu Hawaii

Ok on tot he fun stuff!

Where to Stay in Oahu HI

Ala Moana Hotel – While you might think Moana is related to this hotel, this isn’t true. However, it’s still an amazing place to stay while you’re in Oahu.

The Modern Honolulu – Staying in a modern hotel is always welcome. Perhaps this will be the place you stay while in Oahu.

Turtle Bay Resort – Another great place to stay while in Oahu. This resort will truly take your breath away, in a good way.

Waikiki Beach at the Hawaiian Hilton Village

Hilton Waikiki Beach – When you want to be right on the beach in Oahu, Hawaii, you stay at the Hilton Waikiki Beach. You will get the most amazing views!

Paradise Bay Resort – I mean you are in paradise, so why not stay at a place called Paradise Bay? This resort is very popular and a good choice, while in Oahu.

Shoreline Hotel – Yes! Staying along the shoreline is always welcome. This is a must visit hotel, so put this on your list the first time you visit Oahu.

Choice Hotels also has several hotels in the area perfect for your stay.

Airbnb Rental Airbnb has everything from a cozy waterfront apartment, a tropical garden converted shed, to amazing rooms to rent.

HomeAway Vacation Rentals– HomeAway has so many tropical rents many with private beach access!

Related: Planning a Trip to Hawaii on a Budget 101

Where to Eat in Oahu HI

Tommy Bahama Restaurant When you’re hungry in Oahu, check out this restaurant. The kids love it and they have an all around a delicious menu.

Kono’s – Whether you want breakfast, lunch, or dinner, this is the place to check out.

Helena’s Hawaiian Food – First time in Hawaii? Make sure you check out this place to eat! Best Hawaiian food in Oahu.

Hau Tree Lanai – Another favorite in our family, the Hau Tree Lanai is a restaurant worth checking out in Oahu.

A Place to Eat – This is a place that the whole family will enjoy eating here. It’s a place to eat, which is awesome and a great representation of Hawaiian food.

Sweet Home Cafe A total yum to check out while in Oahu. The food here is Taiwanese and many people find it very enjoyable!

Oh and make sure to check out the McDonalds menu for some traditional Spam and Eggs!

Related: How We Find Field Trips for Free

What to do in Oahu HI

Waikiki Aquarium The whole family can stop by the Waikiki Aquarium and have a ton of fun! Sealife up that close and personal is always fun.

Children’s Discovery Center Spend some time, with the kids, discovering this children’s center.

Sea Life Park Hawaii You have to believe that this place is awesome. Another place to see sea life up close.

Kualoa Ranch and Zipline When you’re ready for an adventure, you’ll want to check this place out!

Honolulu Zoo

Honolulu ZooWhen you’re close to Oahu, zip on over to the Honolulu Zoo. You’ll have a ton of fun seeing the animals!

Go Oahu Card allows you to save up to 55% on the most popular attractions. This pass is customizable which is why I love it! You can use your pass for up to 2 weeks and on over 30 attractions! Check out the details trust me this is the one pass you need!

Checking out these places that are in Oahu or close to Oahu will make you very happy. From places to eat to things to do, there is never a shortage of activities.

How to Save Money While Visiting Oahu HI

Go Oahu Card – OK I know I mentioned this one above but I want to bring it up again. The go card will allow you to save up to 55% off 31 attraction around the Island. Pick the time frame you can choose from Explore for 1, 2, 3, 5, or 7 calendar days over a two-week period. Basically, pick how many days you want to be able to use your card and then it's all you can do during those days. So if you can rock it out and do 10 things a day imagine how much you can save! But really no one can do that!

Attractions included being things like swimming with dolphins, a Luau, Pearl Harbor Tours, Snorkeling, most of the attractions mentioned above and more!

Pearl Harbor Memorial

Groupon – Once we knew our dates I stalked Groupon for ticket discounts. Not only can you book vacation packages with them (that have lots of extras included!) you can get discounts on things to do and places to eat. Just peeking around as I write this I see guided Pearl Harbor tours, helicopter tours, a complete luau experience, coral reef snorkeling, and more. If you are looking for food they have discounts on everything from chain restaurants to mom and pop places with traditional foods.

Vacation Bundle – When you are booking your trip make sure to check out the bundle deals! I love a good bundle if you can’t tell! One of the best I’ve seen is with Get Away Today and their Hawaiian Vacation bundle. They have activity packages and travel packages to check out. This is an amazing thing if you are planning a trip Hawaii on a budget.

Gift Cards – This is the best way to save on what you are looking to do! I share my 45 places to earn free Amazon Gift Cards most of these you can also earn cash out for PayPal and use that money for travel.  Sites like Swag Bucks have gift cards you airline tickets you can cash out for, InstaGC also has airline gift cards along with hotel and Airbnb gift cards.

I also share how I earn $210 a month in Amazon Gift Cards, this would be a huge boost to your vacation fund!

Make sure to check out our Planning a Trip to Hawaii on a Budget post for more ways to save! Including the best time to travel for the lowest rates!

So is there anything you would add to this Oahu travel guide? Let us know in the comment below to help other travelers prepare better!

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