If you simply must make it a short trip, you can still have a great time on Oahu. Pack in some of the top things to do in Oahu with the kids and try to plan a longer trip for next time!

Day One – Hit the Beach

You would definitely be missing out if you didn’t make it to the beach during your Oahu trip, so you might as well make it your first stop! For some of the most spectacular stretches of sand, head over to Kailua Beach on the windward side, and take the scenic (and longer) route around Makapuu Point, with stops along the way at the lighthouse and Halona Blowhole. To make a full day of it, rent kayaks in Kailua and paddle out to Flat Island, a bird sanctuary just offshore. Don’t forget to have some shave ice afterward at Island Snow, one of President Obama’s favorite hometown spots.

Day Two – Eat

While you might think it sounds absurd to focus an entire day around on eating, that’s only if you haven’t been to Oahu before. Those who have, already know: this island is a veritable mecca of amazing cuisine. Depending on where you’re staying, start your day off right: Nico’s Pier 38 in Kalihi for furikake ahi and eggs, Boots & Kimo’s in Kailua for mac nut pancakes, or Koko Head Cafe in Kaimuki for Asian-American fusion diner food.

Next, no trips to Oahu, Hawaii would be complete without sampling the real and original poke. No matter what they claim, poke places in NY and LA just can’t compete, because they don’t have the freshest ahi like we have here in Hawaii. Head to places like Ono Seafood, just outside Waikiki, for the true hole-in-the-wall, top-class poke experience.

If you’re craving a mini trip to Asia during your visit, be sure to stop by the amazing Shirokiya Japan Village Walk at Ala Moana Shopping Center. It’s probably as close to Japan as you can get, outside of Japan. The incredible food court selections will blow your mind, once you manage to actually choose what to eat!

Day Three – See the Town

Although there are tons of great spots to drive to around the island, you’d be missing out if you didn’t explore Honolulu itself. Those interested in Hawaiian history and culture will appreciate visiting the Bishop Museum and ‘Iolani Palace. If you’re looking for incredible views of the city, drive up to Punchbowl Cemetery or Tantalus. And of course, don’t forget Waikiki! It’s a world-class tourist destination for a reason, and it’s still one of the best places in Hawaii to learn to surf. Grab a Mai Tai at Duke’s Waikiki and end your day with a classic Honolulu sunset.

Check out our great Oahu rentals, and start planning your three-day trip today!