How Long Does It Take to Drive Around Oahu? Here’s the Answer!


Jul 28
how long does it take to drive around Oahu

At about 600 square miles, Oahu is bigger than any visitor would expect, which makes it trickier for tourists to plan their trip if they want to see everything within a short period of time. For you to be entirely familiar with the beautiful island of Oahu, a lot of tourists would choose to rent a car. Doing this gives you the freedom to drive the full loop of the island and see its natural beauty. But the important question is, how long does it take to drive around Oahu?


To see the whole loop, it may take you about 4 hours to cover all the places. This time doesn’t include the stops excluding stop, but this is good enough for you to feel its offerings. Because of its infamous cluster of restaurants and hotels, most visitors choose to find their base around Waikiki Beach. This makes a perfect starting point when driving around Oahu.

Below we write a detailed description of famous attractions you can stop when driving around Oahu:

Spitting Caves

Maunalua Bay Beach Park - Situated close to Honolulu itself, Maunalua Bay Beach Park is worth visiting for its extensive grassy park located just alongside a long beach. You can get a free parking space and picnic tables from this park. On top of that, you will have an amazing sight of the Diamond Head.

Spitting Caves – Located further to the eastern side of the island, the Spitting Caves is a range of cliffs tucked away in a residential neighborhood. The cliffs will give you beautiful photo ops. If you are a daredevil, don’t attempt to jump on any of these cliffs as it is very dangerous because of the high winds, sharp rocks, and other hazards.

Hanauma Bay - One of the most beautiful things on the island, Hanauma Bay is a must-see place if you don’t care how long does it take to drive around Oahu. The bay boasts crystal-clear blue water along a beautiful narrow stretch of glistening sand under the sun. If you have a lot of time, rent snorkeling gears and enjoy what’s underneath.

Kualoa Regional Park

Kualoa Regional Park – Going to the northern part, Kualoa Regional Park is a huge beach with a spectacular sight of the Chinaman's Hat Island. If you happen to visit during a calm day, you can ride a kayak here.

Waimea Bay Beach Park – This place is another expansive, unspoiled beach with beautiful clear water and long lines of palm trees. At this pace, you will find the Waimea Bay jump rock. It’s free to park here, however, it is usually crowded when the day is pleasant.

Mokuleia Beach Park - Located on the west coast, Mokuleia Beach Park is a very windy place, that it has gained a reputation as one of the best kites flying destinations on the island. It is so common to see the skies full of colorful streamers and kites, which makes it an amazing destination for families.

Ko Olina Marina

Ko Olina Marina - Situated in Ko Olina itself, the Marina will give you a different vibe. You will not find nice beaches here, but you might enjoy the sight of boats and yachts. Many boat tours depart from here.

No matter what your interests are, and seeing that you don’t care how long does it take to drive around Oahu, driving around here will provide you with a spectacular sight of sea and lands, and it will also give you an opportunity to enjoy what the island really has to offer.

Things to Remember When Driving in Oahu

Driving in Oahu, especially during peak season can be pretty frustrating because of the heavy traffic. That’s why there are some precautions you need to be aware in order to road rage during your vacation. Here are some tips you make your Oahu road trip more fun and non-stressful.

Consider whether you need a rental car

Hanauma Bay

The best transportation you can take in Oahu is TheBus. This transport system is very safe, clean, and pass by a lot of attractions in Oahu. Furthermore, a lot of tours provide transportation to and from Waikiki when you take their packaged tour. On the other hand, renting a car would be good if you want to take charge of your own time and schedule. Most of the major car rental companies have booths at the airport, which include Avis, Alamo, Budget, Enterprise, Dollar, Hertz, Thrifty, and National.

Plan your parking early

Finding a parking space is not the easiest thing to do when driving around Oahu, especially during the peak season, so it’s best to pre-plan before you go. Here are some questions you need to ask:

-If you’re staying at a hotel, do they have a parking space? Is it free? If not, how much?

-Do you know where to park near the places you are planning to go?

Spending a couple of minutes planning your parking for your trip will save you a lot of time and trouble while driving in Oahu.

Waimanalo Beach

Get yourself familiar using Google Maps or any map apps of your choice

You can have customized directions from Once you get it, get yourself familiar with it. This will make it easier for you to drive around knowing where to go next.

All in all, in order to drive in Oahu properly, it’s important to prepare yourself with things you need to expect and to drive carefully. Local residents hate it when other drivers, especially tourists, are driving too fast and recklessly. Remember, Hawaii is known for its laidback lifestyle, so you need to blend in. You must also prepare yourself for possible traffic.

We hope you find this article helpful and answered the question, “How long does it take to drive around Oahu?” If you have other questions regarding this topic, don’t hesitate to ask us in the comment box below!

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    About the Author

    Hi, I’m Alice Ross, a long-term traveler who left the corporate world to travel the world. I chose to live life on my own phase and live day by day while immersing myself in new experiences, new knowledge, and new people in a different walk of life I met along the way.

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