Experience Aloha: A 4-Day Hawaii Exploration Itinerary

Hawaii

4 days

Surfboards in the rack at Waikiki Beach
Na Pali Coast on Kauai island
Palm tree in Kauai
Palm trees on a tropical beach
Lanikai beach on Oahu island

About Hawaii

Experience the tropical paradise of Hawaii, a unique blend of lush landscapes, vibrant culture, and stunning beaches. Discover the active volcanoes at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, or immerse yourself in the rich Polynesian culture at Oahu's Polynesian Cultural Center. Enjoy the world-renowned surf on the North Shore, or relax on the pristine sands of Maui's Kaanapali Beach. Explore the stunning Na Pali Coast on Kauai by boat or helicopter, and don't miss the historic Pearl Harbor. Indulge in the local cuisine, featuring fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and the iconic Hawaiian Luau. Whether you're seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, Hawaii offers an unforgettable vacation experience.

4-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring Waikiki and Pearl Harbor

Morning

Start your day with a visit to the world-famous Waikiki Beach. Enjoy the warm sun, clear waters, and white sands. Try out surfing or simply relax by the shore.

Lunch

Enjoy a traditional Hawaiian lunch. Try the local delicacy, 'poke', a raw fish salad, along with other Hawaiian cuisines.

Afternoon

Visit the Pearl Harbor National Memorial. Learn about the historic events of December 7, 1941, through the exhibits and audio-visual presentations.

Dinner

Have a beachfront dinner. Enjoy the local seafood while watching the sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

Evening

Experience a traditional Hawaiian Luau. Watch the hula dancers and fire knife performers while enjoying a buffet of Hawaiian food.

Morning

Explore the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. Snorkel in the clear waters and see a variety of marine life.

Lunch

Have a picnic lunch at the bay. Enjoy the beautiful views of the ocean and the surrounding landscape.

Afternoon

Visit the Diamond Head State Monument. Hike up the trail for panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Honolulu.

Dinner

Enjoy a dinner at a local Hawaiian restaurant. Try the 'Kalua Pig', a traditional Hawaiian dish.

Evening

Take a stroll along the Waikiki Beach Walk. Enjoy the vibrant nightlife and live music performances.

Morning

Visit the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. See the active volcanoes and walk through the Thurston Lava Tube.

Lunch

Have lunch at a local restaurant. Try the 'Loco Moco', a Hawaiian comfort food.

Afternoon

Explore the Akaka Falls State Park. See the spectacular waterfalls and the lush tropical vegetation.

Dinner

Enjoy a dinner with a view of the ocean. Try the 'Huli Huli Chicken', a Hawaiian grilled chicken dish.

Evening

Experience the Manta Ray Night Dive. See the manta rays feeding on plankton under the glow of underwater lights.

Morning

Visit the Polynesian Cultural Center. Learn about the Polynesian cultures and watch the cultural performances.

Lunch

Have lunch at the center. Try the 'Poi', a Hawaiian staple made from taro root.

Afternoon

Explore the North Shore. See the famous surfing beaches and the historic Haleiwa town.

Dinner

Have a dinner at a beachfront restaurant. Enjoy the fresh seafood and the beautiful sunset.

Evening

End your trip with a visit to the Mauna Kea Observatories. Stargaze and see the clear night sky.

Attractions in Itinerary (9)

Waikiki Beach

1
Waikiki Beach

One of the most famous and popular beaches in the world, known for its beautiful white sand and excellent surfing conditions.

Beaches
Landmarks
Pearl Harbor National Memorial

2
Pearl Harbor National Memorial

A national memorial commemorating the attack on Pearl Harbor, featuring a museum and the USS Arizona Memorial.

Attractions
Monuments
Landmarks
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

3
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

A marine embayment formed within a volcanic cone, known for snorkeling and marine biodiversity.

Beaches
Parks
Attractions
Diamond Head State Monument

4
Diamond Head State Monument

A historic hiking trail on a dormant volcano with panoramic views of Waikiki and the Pacific Ocean.

Attractions
Monuments
Parks
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

5
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

A national park that encompasses two active volcanoes, where visitors can hike and witness volcanic activity.

Parks
Attractions
Landmarks
Akaka Falls State Park

6
Akaka Falls State Park

A state park on Hawaii Island, offering a short hike to two waterfalls, Akaka Falls and Kahuna Falls.

Parks
Attractions
Polynesian Cultural Center

7
Polynesian Cultural Center

A living museum and theme park that showcases the culture and daily life of the Polynesian people.

Attractions
Cultural Experiences
Tours
North Shore

8
North Shore

Known for its massive waves, attracting surfers from all around the globe. It is home to the infamous Banzai Pipeline, Sunset Beach, and Waimea Bay.

Beaches
Attractions
Food and Drink
Mauna Kea Observatories

9
Mauna Kea Observatories

A number of independent astronomical research facilities and large telescope observatories that are located at the summit of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi.

Attractions
Cultural Experiences

Local Food and Drinks (12)

Poke

Poke

A traditional Hawaiian dish made from raw, marinated fish (usually tuna) cut into small chunks and mixed with ingredients like soy sauce, green onions, and sesame oil. It's a staple in Hawaii and a must-try for seafood lovers.

Spam Musubi

Spam Musubi

A popular snack and lunch food in Hawaii, Spam Musubi is a sushi-style creation made with grilled Spam on a block of rice, wrapped together with nori (dried seaweed). It's a fusion of Hawaiian and Japanese cuisines.

Kalua Pig

Kalua Pig

A traditional Hawaiian dish, Kalua Pig is a slow-cooked, tender, smoky flavored pork. It's usually cooked in an underground oven, known as an imu, and is a common dish at luaus.

Lau Lau

Lau Lau

A traditional Hawaiian dish, Lau Lau consists of pork, fish, or chicken wrapped in taro leaves and then steamed until tender. It's a flavorful, hearty dish that's a staple in Hawaiian cuisine.

Lomi Lomi Salmon

Lomi Lomi Salmon

A traditional Hawaiian side dish, Lomi Lomi Salmon is a refreshing salad made from salted salmon, tomatoes, onions, and chili peppers. It's often served at luaus and other Hawaiian gatherings.

Haupia

Haupia

A traditional Hawaiian dessert, Haupia is a coconut milk-based custard that's cut into squares and served chilled. It's a sweet, creamy treat that's a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

Malasadas

Malasadas

A popular dessert in Hawaii, Malasadas are Portuguese doughnuts without a hole. They're fried until golden brown and coated with sugar. They're a sweet treat that's a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

Poi

Poi

A traditional Hawaiian side dish, Poi is made from the fermented root of the taro plant. It has a unique, slightly sour taste and a sticky, pudding-like texture. It's a staple in Hawaiian cuisine.

Loco Moco

Loco Moco

A popular dish in Hawaii, Loco Moco consists of white rice topped with a hamburger patty, a fried egg, and brown gravy. It's a hearty, comfort food that's a favorite among locals.

Shave Ice

Shave Ice

A popular dessert in Hawaii, Shave Ice is a cone of finely shaved ice topped with sweet syrups. It's a refreshing treat that's perfect for cooling off on a hot Hawaiian day.

Mai Tai

Mai Tai

A popular cocktail in Hawaii, the Mai Tai is made with rum, lime juice, and tropical fruit juices. It's a sweet, refreshing drink that's perfect for enjoying on the beach.

Kona Coffee

Kona Coffee

Grown on the slopes of Mauna Loa in the Kona district of Hawaii, Kona Coffee is known for its rich flavor and aroma. It's a must-try for coffee lovers visiting Hawaii.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Hawaii as a tourist is typically during the shoulder seasons, which are April to June and September to November. During these periods, the weather is pleasant, and the tourist crowds are less dense. However, Hawaii enjoys a tropical climate year-round, so any time is a good time to visit. It really depends on what you want to do. For instance, if you're interested in whale watching, the best time would be from December to April.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1

Mon

New Year's Day

January 15

Mon

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

February 19

Mon

Presidents' Day

May 27

Mon

Memorial Day

June 19

Wed

Juneteenth

July 4

Thu

Independence Day

September 2

Mon

Labor Day

October 14

Mon

Columbus Day

November 11

Mon

Veterans Day

November 28

Thu

Thanksgiving Day

December 25

Wed

Christmas Day

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

Renting a car is one of the most popular ways to get around Hawaii. It offers the most flexibility and convenience, especially for families or groups. All major rental companies are available at the airports.

Hawaii's public bus system, known as TheBus, operates on all major islands and can take you to most tourist destinations. However, it may not be the fastest or most convenient option if you're on a tight schedule.

Many hotels and resorts offer shuttle services to and from the airport, as well as to popular tourist destinations. This can be a convenient option if you're staying at a property that offers this service.

Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft operate in Hawaii, particularly in the more populated areas like Honolulu. This can be a convenient and often cheaper alternative to taxis.

In some areas, particularly in Honolulu, renting a bicycle can be a fun and eco-friendly way to get around. There are numerous bike rental shops and some cities also have bike-share programs.

Taxis are available throughout Hawaii, especially in the larger cities and at the airports. They can be a convenient option for short trips or if you don't want to worry about parking.

Many of Hawaii's attractions are located in close proximity to each other, especially in areas like Waikiki. Walking can be a pleasant way to explore these areas at your own pace.

Many companies offer tour bus services that take you to Hawaii's top attractions. This can be a convenient option if you prefer a guided experience and don't want to worry about transportation.

Renting a moped or scooter can be a fun way to explore Hawaii's cities and towns. However, you should be comfortable with this mode of transportation and aware of local traffic laws.

Ferries operate between some of the Hawaiian Islands, providing a scenic way to travel and the opportunity to visit multiple islands during your trip.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currency$ USD

Time zoneUTC-5

Driving sideRight

Emergency phone911

Drinking waterYes

Power sockets

Power socket type APower socket type B

Voltage120 V

Things to know about Hawaii as a first time visitor

1

Hawaii is made up of eight main islands: Hawaii (the Big Island), Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Niihau, and Kahoolawe.

2

The official state language is English, but you'll also hear a lot of Hawaiian and Pidgin (a creole language that is a blend of English, Hawaiian, and other languages).

3

Hawaii operates on Hawaii Standard Time. It does not observe Daylight Saving Time, so it can be anywhere from 2 to 5 hours behind the mainland U.S., depending on the time of year and the time zone of your home state.

4

The climate is tropical, but temperatures and humidity tend to be less extreme than other tropical locales due to the constant trade winds. Average temperatures range from 78-88°F (25-31°C) in the summer and 73-78°F (22-25°C) in the winter.

5

Hawaii has a casual dress code. Pack lightweight, breathable clothing, a hat, sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreen. Don't forget a light jacket or sweater for the evenings or higher elevations.

6

Hawaii has strict agricultural laws to prevent the spread of pests and diseases. You are not allowed to bring fresh fruits, vegetables, plants, or flowers from the mainland without inspection.

7

Tipping is customary in Hawaii, similar to the rest of the U.S. A 15-20% tip is standard for restaurants, taxis, and services.

8

Hawaii has a high cost of living, so expect prices for food, goods, and services to be higher than on the mainland.

9

The ocean can be dangerous, so always heed posted warnings and never turn your back on the ocean. Rip currents, high surf, and dangerous marine life can pose risks.

10

Hawaii is a paradise for outdoor activities. However, it's important to respect nature and stay on marked trails, not to touch or disturb wildlife, and to pack out what you pack in.

11

Hawaii has a rich cultural history. Respect sacred sites, like heiaus (ancient Hawaiian temples), and don't remove rocks or sand from the islands.

12

The sun in Hawaii is stronger than most places, due to its proximity to the equator. Always wear sunscreen, even on cloudy days.

13

Hawaii has a slower pace of life, often referred to as 'Island Time'. Be patient and enjoy the relaxed pace.

14

Public transportation options vary by island. Oahu has extensive bus service, while the other islands are best explored by rental car.

15

Hawaii has a diverse food scene, influenced by Native Hawaiian, Asian, and American cuisines. Try local specialties like poke, loco moco, and shave ice.

16

Hawaii is home to many endangered species. It's illegal and harmful to the environment to feed, touch, or harass wildlife.

17

Hawaii has a rainy season from November to March, but showers are usually brief and followed by sunshine.

18

Hawaii is a popular destination, so it's best to book accommodations and activities well in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.

19

Hawaii has a sales tax of 4.166% to 4.712%, depending on the county. This is often added at the register, so the price you see on a tag may not be the final price.

20

Hawaii is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, so flights can be long. Make sure to stay hydrated, move around during the flight, and adjust to the local time as quickly as possible to minimize jet lag.

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Swimsuits

  • Beach cover-up

  • Shorts

  • T-shirts

  • Underwear

  • Socks

  • Sleepwear

  • Lightweight jacket or sweater

  • Sandals or flip flops

  • Walking shoes

  • Hat for sun protection

  • Sunglasses

  • Water shoes for rocky beaches

  • Toiletries

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Deodorant

  • Razor and shaving cream

  • Shampoo and conditioner

  • Body wash or soap

  • Sunscreen

  • After-sun lotion or aloe vera

  • Lip balm with SPF

  • Insect repellent

  • Prescription medications

  • First-aid kit

  • Makeup and makeup remover

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport or ID

  • Airline tickets or e-ticket confirmation

  • Hotel reservation confirmation

  • Car rental reservation confirmation

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Cash

  • Guidebook or map

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for smartphone

  • Headphones

  • Camera

  • Charger for camera

  • Memory card for camera

  • Portable power bank

  • Travel adapter (if needed)

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Beach bag

  • Beach towel

  • Snorkeling gear

  • Reusable water bottle

  • Books or e-reader for the beach

  • Travel pillow and blanket for the plane

  • Earplugs and eye mask

  • Zip-top plastic bags for wet swimsuits or toiletries

  • Laundry bag

  • Notepad and pen

Weather Conditions

Hawaii is a tropical paradise known for its year-round mild climate. However, it's important to remember that the weather can vary depending on the time of year and location within the islands. The average daytime temperature in Hawaii is generally around 85°F (29°C), while at night it can drop to around 70°F (21°C). However, these temperatures can fluctuate depending on the season and the specific island you're visiting. Hawaii experiences two main seasons: the dry season (May to October) and the wet season (November to April). The dry season is typically warmer and less humid, while the wet season is cooler and more humid, with more frequent rainfall. However, even during the wet season, rain showers are often brief and followed by sunshine. If you're planning to visit the islands during the wet season, it's a good idea to pack a lightweight rain jacket or umbrella. Even during the dry season, it's wise to have a hat and sunscreen to protect against the strong tropical sun. One unique aspect of Hawaii's weather is the microclimates. The islands' diverse landscapes, from beaches to mountains, can create localized weather conditions. For instance, the windward (eastern) sides of the islands often receive more rain than the leeward (western) sides. So, if you're planning to explore different parts of the islands, be prepared for varying weather conditions. Lastly, if you're planning to visit the higher elevations like Mauna Kea or Haleakala, remember that temperatures can be significantly cooler, and these areas can even experience snowfall in the winter months. So, pack accordingly with warmer clothing. In conclusion, Hawaii's weather is generally pleasant, but it's always a good idea to check the local forecast and pack for a variety of conditions. Enjoy your trip to this beautiful tropical paradise!

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview

January

27° / 18°

January is the coldest month in Hawaii, but it's still warm with an average high of 27°C. Expect occasional rain showers.

February

27° / 18°

February is similar to January, with a slight increase in rainfall. The temperature remains warm, perfect for beach activities.

March

28° / 19°

March sees a slight increase in temperature. It's a great time to visit for those who enjoy water sports.

April

28° / 20°

April is a beautiful month with a perfect balance of warm temperatures and less rainfall. Ideal for outdoor activities.

May

29° / 21°

May marks the beginning of the dry season. The weather is warm and sunny, perfect for sunbathing.

June

30° / 22°

June is one of the hottest months, with less rainfall. It's a great time for snorkeling and diving.

July

31° / 23°

July is the peak of summer with high temperatures. It's the perfect time for surfing and other water activities.

August

31° / 23°

August continues the summer heat. It's a great time to explore Hawaii's stunning landscapes.

September

31° / 23°

September is slightly cooler but still warm. It's an excellent time for hiking and exploring the natural beauty of Hawaii.

October

30° / 22°

October sees a slight drop in temperature. It's a great time to visit for those who prefer less crowded tourist spots.

November

29° / 21°

November marks the beginning of the rainy season. However, the weather remains warm, making it a good time for indoor activities.

December

27° / 19°

December is a festive month with a bit cooler temperatures. It's a great time to enjoy Hawaii's Christmas celebrations.

Did you know?

Did you know that Hawaii is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands?

1 of 10

Places near by Hawaii

Maui

Maui

Known as the 'Valley Isle', Maui is famous for its beautiful beaches, the sacred Iao Valley, views of migrating humpback whales (during winter months), farm-to-table cuisine and the magnificent sunrise and sunset from Haleakala.

30m
188.12 km / 116.9 mi
How to get there
Kauai

Kauai

Known as the 'Garden Isle', Kauai is home to a vast array of diverse microclimates, from arid deserts to lush rainforests, from sunny beaches to cool highlands.

35m
173.36 km / 107.7 mi
How to get there
Molokai

Molokai

Known as the 'Friendly Isle', Molokai is a Hawaiian island in the central Pacific, east of Oahu and west of Maui. Its coastline is largely inaccessible high cliffs, where the Kalaupapa National Historical Park once was a leper colony.

40m
78.12 km / 48.5 mi
How to get there
Lanai

Lanai

Known as the 'Pineapple Isle', Lanai is the smallest inhabited island in Hawaii and is home to luxurious resorts and beautiful landscapes.

45m
114.26 km / 71.0 mi
How to get there
Big Island

Big Island

The Island of Hawaii, also known as the Big Island, is the largest of Hawaii's main islands with a diverse range of climate and the active Kilauea volcano.

50m
321.86 km / 200.0 mi
How to get there
Los Angeles

Los Angeles

The city of Los Angeles is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, and the entertainment industry.

5h
4115.41 km / 2557.2 mi
How to get there
San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco, in northern California, is a hilly city on the tip of a peninsula surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. It's known for its year-round fog, iconic Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars and colorful Victorian houses.

5.3h
3864.68 km / 2401.4 mi
How to get there
Seattle

Seattle

Seattle, a city on Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest, is surrounded by water, mountains and evergreen forests, and contains thousands of acres of parkland.

5.7h
4347.96 km / 2701.7 mi
How to get there
Vancouver

Vancouver

Vancouver, a bustling west coast seaport in British Columbia, is among Canada’s densest, most ethnically diverse cities. It’s surrounded by mountains and invites outdoor pursuits of all kinds.

6h
4462.26 km / 2772.7 mi
How to get there
Tokyo

Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan’s busy capital, mixes the ultramodern and the traditional, from neon-lit skyscrapers to historic temples.

8h
6191.77 km / 3847.4 mi
How to get there

Other Destinations in Hawaii