Vacation Hawaii with kids: mini travel guide!

What to do on Oahu Hawaii with kids: eight attractions!

Many families will combine a Hawaii vacation with kids with a trip to Los Angeles. Most families vacation in Hawaii with kids on the island of Oahu. We already wrote a blog about our vacation in the capital city of Honolulu, but the island has much more in store. We rented a car for three days during our vacation in Hawaii and visited several attractions with our daughter. We list them for you

World trip HAwaii with kids
Waikiki beach

what to do on Oahu

what to do on Oahu

Vacation Hawaii with kids: What kind of rental car do you need?

For a rental car, we were able to go to Sunny Cars. With this rental company, we always look first because all insurance is included in the price, so there are no surprises. If you want to know what else to look out for when renting a car read our travel blog renting a car abroad.

How many days to rent a car?

We rented a car for three days on the island of Oahu, because most of the sights around Honolulu are perfectly manageable by bus or cab. We considered in advance what all we wanted to see and based on that we determined the number of days. Below is a list of the sights you can all visit with a rental car on your vacation in Hawaii with kids.

Activities Hawaii with kids
Hawaii with kids

what to do on Oahu

what to do on Oahu

hawaii with kids #1: Lanikai Beach

A half-hour drive from Honolulu, east of the island lies one of the most beautiful beaches in the world: Lanikai Beach. The sea here is calm and you can do great snorkeling with your kids. You can easily park your car in the neighborhood adjacent to the beach. Especially in the morning, the beach is not crowded.

Just keep in mind that you can’t easily get lunch here, so you’ll have to bring your own lunch. We also did not encounter other facilities such as public restrooms here at this beach.

By the way, you can take the bus to this beach from Honolulu, but you will have to change buses three times and take more than 1.5 hours. A rental car is therefore a lot faster, though.

Beach Oahu Hawaii with kid
Bounty beach Hawaii with kids

what to do on Oahu

what to do on Oahu

hawaii with kids #2: Waimanolo Beach

A 20-minute drive from Lanikai Beach you will find another very beautiful beach: Waimanolo Beach. This beach is huge, so it generally does not feel crowded. Here, though, the sea is a lot wilder. Our daughter immediately lost her goggles after a dip in the sea, so if you have to choose between the two beaches we would recommend Lanikai Beach with kids.

Waimanolo Beach can also be visited by bus and the travel time is about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Tip: You could combine visiting these two beaches with a third beach: Hanauma Bay. We already wrote about this in our blog Honolulu with kids about Honolulu. Hanauma Bay is a 15-minute drive from Waimanolo Beach and is the best option of these three beaches in terms of snorkeling. One disadvantage of this beach is that you do have to pay an entrance fee and only a limited number of people are allowed to visit the beach each day.

Hawaii with kids
Beach snorkeling with family on trip

what to do on Oahu

what to do on Oahu

hawaii with kids #3: turtle beach

The north of the island of Oahu is very nice to visit and you drive here from Honolulu in just over an hour. Turtle Beach (Laniakea Beach) is known for its large turtles that visit the beach there.

We were lucky when we were there that two giant turtles were just trying to come ashore. The beach itself is basically fine to spend an hour or two with your kids, despite the sea here not being very suitable for swimming (lots of rocks in the water, too). For adults, though, it is a great location for snorkeling.

hawaii with kids #4: Sharks Cove

Sharks Cove is a nice place to have lunch after visiting Turtle Beach in the morning. There are several food trucks at Sharks Cove, where you can get something to eat for not too much money. There are many food trucks in the north of the island anyway, with Giovanni’s Shrimp’s being the most famous worldwide.

In addition, Sharks Cove is a great place for snorkeling. For kids, you have a kind of bay here where the water is very calm. Be careful of the sharp rocks. Our daughter opened her leg right here on a rock.

Also further out in the sea around the rocks you can do fantastic snorkeling as adults. Just keep in mind that you need to be able to swim pretty well, as the sea here can also be a bit wild. Here, too, we saw several turtles swimming and lots and lots of different big and small fish.

In the north of the island, you can also dive with sharks in a cage as adults. We had done this before in South Africa and absolutely loved it there! For more information on shark diving in Hawaii, click
here
.

Hawaii with kids
Hawaii with kids

what to do on Oahu

what to do on Oahu

hawaii with kids #: Koko Crater Railway Trail

For the athletic parents among us, this climb is a great start to the day. I myself (Joep) walked this trail at 5:30 in the morning, so it was not too hot yet.

The hike up is over all old railroad sleepers and you walk up this trail in 30 to 45 minutes. The view is beautiful at the top. Parking at the base of the climb is free. Be sure to bring plenty of water. At 8 a.m. I was back at the accommodation and could join the breakfast right away.

Again, the bus is an option, only the bus doesn’t leave as early. Bus line 22 takes 25 minutes to the starting point.

Hawaii with kids
Hawaii with kids
Honolulu views with kids and family
travel guide online

hawaii with kids #6: Pearl Harbor

As we describe in our travel blog about Honolulu, Pearl Harbor is one of the most impressive sights in Hawaii with kids. By car, this museum can be reached from Honolulu in less than half an hour.

This U.S. naval base has become known worldwide, due to the attack on the base in World War II. Even with small kids, this is a great place to spend an hour or two. Then especially visit the USS Arizona ship by boat and the little museum at the embarkation point.

You can additionally visit the submarine Bowfin, Battleship Missouri and the aircraft museum, but then you need to buy a more extensive ticket and need more time to see everything.

Tip: A limited number of free tickets are given away every day at the museum to visit the sunken USS Arizona ship. So be there on time!

Honolulu with kids
Honolulu with kids

hawaii with kids #7: Ko’Olina Beach

Known as Oahu’s most family-friendly beach, these four lagoons are a half-hour drive from Honolulu. These lagoons are located in the western part of the country and can be combined well with a visit to Pearl Harbor.

The waves here are very calm and there are several facilities for kids. There is also good snorkeling here, and turtles are regularly seen in the sea here as well. For more information look
here
.

Waikiki beach with kids
Hawaii with family

hawaii with kids #8: Manoa Falls

The hike to this waterfall is known as one of the most family-friendly hikes on the island of Oahu. The walk of about 1.5 kilometers is good to do with small kids.

The trail can be muddy, though, so do bring shoes for your kids. The size of the waterfall depends on the season. From Honolulu, it is about 20 minutes away by car. Parking costs $5.

Hawaii with kids
Hawaii sightseeing with kids

Scroll to Top