Hawaii Spring Break 2016 – Attractions & Things to Do

What better place to spend a Hawaiian spring break than the lush tropical paradise of Oahu?

It’s got everything you could ask for – sunny beaches, killer waves, luxurious plant life, fascinating cultural events, great museums, and unbeatable cuisine.

If you’re planning on heading to beautiful Hawaii this year on your perfect spring break vacation, you’re probably looking for ways to flesh out the itinerary beyond sunbathing and swimming.

Fortunately for you, we’ve got just the solution – a sample itinerary with advice on how to spend three or five days in Oahu while maintaining the perfect balance of relaxation and fun. This itinerary includes top attractions like:

  • Snorkeling in Waikiki
  • The Pearl Harbor Historic Sites
  • Authentic Luaus
  • Wet n’ Wild Hawaii
  • And more!
Many of the attractions listed here are included on the Go Oahu® Card.

Choose as you go from dozens of top Oahu attractions and save up to 55% off combined admission vs paying at the gate. Or, build your own pass and save up to 20% off.

See all available passes, attractions & prices – Learn more.

Day 1: Relax in Waikiki

During the Day:

Image credit: Waikiki Beach Hawaii Facebook page.

Image credit: Waikiki Beach Hawaii Facebook page.

First day in Oahu, of course you have to go to the beach. You can always shift this day around depending upon the weather, but a beach day is a must on our perfect itinerary.

Whether you want to do nothing but sunbathe and swim, or are looking for something more active like snorkeling or surfing, there’s something to suit every taste in Waikiki. Just remember to put on sunscreen!

There’s also some convenient public transportation options to get you around town, if you decide you’ve seen enough sand for one day and want to explore other parts of the neighborhood.

At Night:

germaine's luauIf you’re looking for something fun and uniquely Hawaiian to enjoy your first night in Oahu, there’s nothing better than a good old-fashioned luau.

Just a short twenty minutes from the heart of Waikiki is the Big Kahuna Luau, held on a gorgeous estate with striking views of nature.

To round out your experience, you get complimentary cocktails!

Day 2: Explore Honolulu

During the Day:


The charming Iolani Palace.

There’s more to Oahu than just beaches and trees – so head into downtown Honolulu to prove to your parents and friends that you did something more than sunbathe.

Do you love arts and culture? Then spend some time at the fascinating and serene Honolulu Museum of Art.

They’ve got an amazing collection of Asian and American art, especially featuring art inspired by Hawaii.

Image credit: Queen Emma Summer Palace Facebook page.

Image credit: Queen Emma Summer Palace Facebook page.

History lovers won’t want to miss the Queen Emma Summer Palace, a lovely 19th century abode that served as a summer home for Hawaiian royalty in the mid-nineteenth century.

You’re also right nearby the Iolani Palace, another majestic royal residence with a ton of history.

If you really just want to explore urban Honolulu without getting too cultural, then why not take a bus tour of the city (which, as a bonus, also includes a little bit of Pearl Harbor).

This tour can take up the entire day, so plan for between seven to nine hours if you’re interested in this comprehensive and popular tour (it sounds long, but everyone who takes the tour finds it totally worthwhile).

At Night:

If you’ve already enjoyed a local luau, now it’s time to explore the modern side of Oahu with an evening spent dining in downtown Honolulu.

You’ll find amazing seafood and locally inspired cuisine, but without the hula dancing and the music. (Although, you can find that without much effort. It is Hawaii after all.)

Day 3: Hit the North Shore

During the Day:


Isn’t Waimea Valley gorgeous?

You can’t leave Oahu without having explored the area beyond Honolulu and Waikiki, and a trip to the North Shore is the perfect way to do that.

It’s a more isolated part of the island and is less popular with tourists, but it’s breathtakingly beautiful and is well worth the drive up there.

For example, spend an hour or two roaming the natural wonderland that is Waimea Valley and you’ll never want to leave.

Or, gain new appreciation for your favorite films and T.V. shows with a movie sites tour at a place like Kualoa Ranch, which highlights famous locations from popular shows like Lost or the famed Jurassic Park movie franchise.

secret-island-beachIf a tour sounds a little too active for you, then get in some more swimming and sunbathing at Secret Island Beach, one of the most enchanting beaches on the North Shore.

As a bonus, there’s also plenty of activities to enjoy like beach volleyball, paddle-boarding, ping pong, and more. It’s basically the whole package.

At Night:

An example of the local color to be found in Haleiwa.

An example of the local color to be found in Haleiwa.

Although it doesn’t have the urbane sophistication of Honolulu, the North Shore has plenty of great dinner and nightlife options.

Haleiwa is a charming little historical village with delicious food and some great local shopping. Don’t leave without trying the shaved ice!

And if you’re in town for more than three days, here are our suggestions for how to spend the next two!

Day 4: Visit Pearl Harbor

During the Day:

Uss Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor

Credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Joe Solem

Didn’t get a chance to hop on that city tour, or felt like that wasn’t enough in the way of exploring Pearl Harbor? Fortunately, you can explore Pearl Harbor all on your own with visits to the different museums and memorials that make up the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites.

From the Battleship Missouri Memorial to the Pacific Aviation Museum, you can spend a few hours at each attraction and basically spend an entire day of learning all about the history of the Pearl Harbor Naval Base and the events of 1941 and beyond.

Don’t forget a narrated tour of the USS Arizona Memorial, which has just been voted the #5 Landmark in the U.S. in a Tripadvisor poll.

At Night:

Pop back into downtown Honolulu for even more tasty dining options and a chance for some lovely evening strolls on the beach.

Day 5: Get Wild at Theme Parks

During the Day:

wet-n-wild-hawaiiNow that you’ve had your fill of history, culture, and perhaps even relaxation, it’s time to breathe some more excitement into your vacation.

Amp up your energy levels with a trip to some of the state’s most thrilling attractions like Wet n’ Wild Hawaii.

Why visit a waterpark when you’re already surrounded by water? That’s easy – there are no thrilling rides, slides, tunnels, rafts, or fountains found in nature.

Wet n’ Wild is the perfect option for the adrenaline junkie, and their amazing adult-oriented rides will make you wish you could come back time and again.

Of course, there’s also plenty of stuff appropriate for children if you’re traveling with family, like gentle wave pools and supervised swimming areas.

At Night:

makani-catamaran-sailOn your last night in Oahu, it’s time to enjoy a cruise. Whether you want to hop aboard a cruise like the Makani Catamaran in the late afternoon, or opt for something like a sunset dinner cruise, be sure to get out on the water one last time.

Save on Admission

While you can’t cover everything with a discounted attraction pass, products like the Go Oahu® Card can save you some serious cash when it comes to attraction visits.

It includes admission to the best local attractions, from luaus and museums to snorkeling and hiking, plus extra discounts on select dining and shopping options.

Like this itinerary? Snag a three- or five-day Go Oahu® Card and get ready to have the best spring break ever!

Go Oahu card

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