Drive Guide

Renting & Sightseeing in Hawaii

DRIVING IN HAWAII

Renting a car in Honolulu, Hawaii is the best and most practical way to get around. There are many activities, beaches, and scenic spots that can only be reached by car, especially if you want to stop at several in one day.

Most Oahu visitors are staying in Waikiki, and interested in seeing Pearl Harbor’s USS Arizona Memorial and more distant spots, like Haleiwa on the North Shore. With a car rental, you can easily do both in one day, and see so much more.

Here are a few tips and routes to help you plan your trip and maximize the value of your rental car:

Oahu is about 44 miles top-to-bottom, and 30 miles across (that’s approximately 70.811 km by 48.280 km).

Waikiki is conveniently located along the south shore, in “town”, about 30-45 minutes from Honolulu International Airport and our adjacent rental location at 2999 North Nimitz Highway. The two main routes between the airport and Waikiki are “H1” and “Nimitz”.

SIGHTSEEING OPTIONS

QUICK DRIVES

In Town:
  • Manoa Valley
  • Kaimuki Shopping and Dining District
  • Ala Moana Beach Park and Magic Island
Heading East:
  • Diamond Head Lookout
  • Koko Head, Koko Crater and the road to Sandy Beach
  • Makapuu Trail and Lighthouse
Heading West:
  • Kakaako’s Art Walls
  • Punchbowl National Cemetery
  • Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial

LONGER DRIVES

Heading East:
  • Kailua Town and Kailua Beach
  • Hanauma Bay, Sandy Beach and Waimanalo Beach
  • Pali Lookout
Heading West:
  • Ko Olina
  • Aloha Stadium
  • Waikele Outlet Mall
North Shore via H1/H2:
  • Haleiwa
  • Sunset Beach
  • Waimea Bay
Windward Oahu:
  • Polynesian Cultural Center
  • Kahana Bay
  • Kualoa Ranch

CIRCLE ISLAND

Circle Island drives may be done clockwise or counterclockwise, but local wisdom is to set off from Waikiki headed west on H1 and H2, planning to drive around clockwise. The West Side or Leeward Coast doesn’t have a road that connects, so the circle island splits Oahu in two and loops around the middle and eastern half of the island.

Clockwise from Waikiki:

Find the nearest H1 on-ramp; via McCully St or Kapahulu Avenue then head West towards H2 and Mililani/Wahiawa. Carry on to the North Shore, its beaches and the Windward attractions.

Counterclockwise from Waikiki:

Locate an off-ramp to H1 East, and then Kalanianaole Highway and start heading towards Hawaii Kai, Sandy Beach, Makapuu and Waimanalo. Once beyond ‘nalo town, Kailua brings the choice of heading to Kailua Beach, or heading to Kaneohe and points-north on that side of the island, like Kualoa Park and Kahana Bay.