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Island Hopping On Oahu & Kauai With Hawaiian Airlines


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Biddy Shell



Welcome to the enchanting islands of Oahu and Kauai, where turquoise waters, lush landscapes, and vibrant cultures await. Embark on an unforgettable island hopping adventure with Hawaiian Airlines and immerse yourself in the beauty of these Hawaiian gems. From bustling city life to secluded beaches and dramatic cliffside views, Oahu and Kauai offer a perfect blend of excitement and tranquility.


Whether you’re a nature lover seeking epic outdoor adventures or a history buff intrigued by the stories of ancient civilizations, these islands have something for everyone. Discover the iconic landmarks of Oahu, such as the historic Pearl Harbor and the vibrant Waikiki Beach. Then, journey to the Garden Isle of Kauai, known for its breathtaking waterfalls, stunning beaches, and the magical Na Pali Coast.


To make the most of your island hopping experience, careful planning is crucial. From choosing the right time to visit to deciding on the must-see attractions, this guide will help you create an itinerary that maximizes your time and ensures you don’t miss out on any of the hidden gems.


With the convenience of Hawaiian Airlines, your island hopping adventure starts as soon as you step on the plane. Experience the warm aloha spirit, comfortable flights, and delicious onboard meals, setting the tone for an amazing journey ahead. So, pack your bags, put on your favorite aloha shirt, and get ready for an incredible island hopping experience.


Planning Your Island Hopping Adventure

Before embarking on your island hopping adventure, it’s important to plan and prepare to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Timing: The best time to visit Oahu and Kauai is during the drier months of April to October when the weather is pleasant and there are fewer chances of rain. However, do keep in mind that these are also the peak tourist seasons, so expect more crowds and higher prices.
  • Flights: Hawaiian Airlines offers convenient and frequent flights between the islands, making it easy to hop from one island to the other. Be sure to check the flight schedules in advance and book your tickets accordingly.
  • Duration: Ideally, plan to spend at least 3-4 days on each island to fully explore and experience their unique offerings. This will give you enough time to visit the top attractions, indulge in outdoor activities, and immerse yourself in the local culture.
  • Accommodations: Research and book your accommodations in advance. Both Oahu and Kauai offer a wide range of options, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly hotels and cozy vacation rentals. Consider staying in different areas of each island to get a varied experience.
  • Transportation: While renting a car is recommended for exploring the islands at your own pace, public transportation options like buses or shuttles are also available. Keep in mind that certain areas and attractions may be more accessible by car, so plan accordingly.
  • Must-See Attractions: Make a list of the must-see attractions on each island and create a rough itinerary. On Oahu, don’t miss the iconic Diamond Head, the serene Hanauma Bay, and the picturesque North Shore. In Kauai, make sure to visit the stunning Waimea Canyon, the quaint town of Hanalei, and the breathtaking Wailua Falls.
  • Outdoor Activities: Both islands offer a wide range of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts. From hiking to water sports to helicopter tours, there’s something for everyone. Research and pre-book any activities or tours that you’re particularly interested in to secure your spot.
  • Cultural Experiences: Immerse yourself in the local culture by attending a traditional luau, visiting historic sites like Iolani Palace in Oahu, or exploring the ancient Hawaiian temples and petroglyphs in Kauai.

By taking the time to plan your island hopping adventure, you’ll be able to make the most of your time on each island and create unforgettable memories. Now, let’s delve deeper into the wonders of Oahu and Kauai and discover the treasures they hold.


Getting to Oahu

Getting to Oahu is easy with Hawaiian Airlines providing regular flights to Honolulu, the capital city of Hawaii. Whether you’re traveling from the mainland U.S. or from international destinations, there are several options to consider:

  • Domestic Flights: If you’re traveling from within the United States, major airlines offer direct flights to Honolulu International Airport (HNL) from various cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and New York. Hawaiian Airlines, with its extensive network, provides a wide range of flight options.
  • International Flights: International travelers can fly directly to Honolulu from major cities in Asia, Australia, Canada, and other parts of the world. The Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) is well-connected and serves as a gateway to the Hawaiian Islands.
  • Inter-Island Flights: If you’re already in Hawaii and planning to island hop, consider booking a connecting flight from the neighboring islands to Oahu. Hawaiian Airlines offers multiple daily flights between the islands, making it convenient to travel between them.
  • Traveling by Sea: Another unique way to reach Oahu is by taking a cruise that docks at the Honolulu Harbor. Several cruise lines offer itineraries that include a stop in Honolulu, allowing you to explore Oahu before or after your cruise.

Once you arrive at Honolulu International Airport, you’ll be greeted with warm Hawaiian hospitality. The airport is well-equipped with facilities like car rental counters, shuttle services, and public transportation options, making it easy to navigate and reach your desired destination on the island.


As you disembark from your flight, take a deep breath and prepare to immerse yourself in the beauty and charm of Oahu. From here, you can kickstart your island adventure and begin exploring all that this vibrant island has to offer.


Now, let’s move on to the next chapter of your island hopping journey – exploring the wonders of Oahu!


Exploring Oahu

Oahu, often referred to as “The Gathering Place,” is a vibrant and diverse island with something for everyone. From bustling city life to breathtaking natural beauty, Oahu offers a wide array of attractions and activities. Here are some highlights to include in your itinerary:

  • Waikiki Beach: Start your exploration of Oahu with a visit to the world-famous Waikiki Beach. Relax on the golden sands, take a dip in the crystal-clear waters, or try your hand at surfing in the gentle waves. Waikiki is also home to a vibrant nightlife scene, shopping centers, and delicious dining options.
  • Pearl Harbor: Pay your respects at the historic Pearl Harbor, where you can visit the USS Arizona Memorial and the USS Missouri Battleship. Learn about the events of December 7, 1941, and gain a deeper understanding of this pivotal moment in history.
  • Diamond Head: Embark on a hike to the top of Diamond Head, an iconic volcanic crater with panoramic views of Waikiki and the Pacific Ocean. The moderate trail takes you through tunnels and up stairs, rewarding you with breathtaking vistas at the summit.
  • North Shore: Head to the North Shore of Oahu, renowned for its world-class surfing. Watch professional surfers ride massive waves at popular spots like Pipeline and Sunset Beach. During winter months, the North Shore hosts big-wave surfing competitions that attract surf enthusiasts from around the world.
  • Hanauma Bay: Snorkel in the crystal-clear waters of Hanauma Bay, a protected marine preserve teeming with vibrant coral reefs and a variety of marine life. Spend a leisurely day exploring the underwater world or simply lounging on the picturesque beach.
  • Iolani Palace: Step back in time with a visit to Iolani Palace, the only royal palace in the United States. Marvel at the opulent architecture, lush gardens, and learn about Hawaii’s royal history.
  • Polynesian Cultural Center: Immerse yourself in the rich cultures of Polynesia at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Experience traditional music, dance, and learn about the customs and traditions of Hawaii and other Pacific Island nations.
  • Kualoa Ranch: For movie buffs and nature lovers, a visit to Kualoa Ranch is a must. Explore the breathtaking landscapes that have been featured in countless films and TV shows, including “Jurassic Park,” “Lost,” and “Hawaii Five-0.”

Be sure to sample the delicious local cuisine during your Oahu adventure. Indulge in a plate lunch with mouthwatering kalua pork, try fresh poke (marinated raw fish), or satisfy your sweet tooth with a refreshing shave ice.


With its mix of stunning beaches, historical sites, and outdoor adventures, Oahu offers a captivating blend of island life and urban excitement. As you explore the island, you’ll be enchanted by the beauty and warm hospitality that Oahu has to offer.


Now, it’s time to hop on a flight and venture to the next stop on your island hopping journey – the breathtaking island of Kauai!


Getting to Kauai

Getting to the picturesque island of Kauai is a breeze with Hawaiian Airlines providing convenient flights to Lihue Airport (LIH), the main airport on the island. Whether you’re coming from Oahu or any other destination, here are some options to consider when planning your journey:

  • Inter-Island Flights: If you’re already on Oahu or another Hawaiian island, flying to Kauai is the easiest and fastest way to reach the Garden Isle. Hawaiian Airlines offers multiple daily flights between the islands, allowing you to seamlessly hop from one paradise to another.
  • Domestic Flights: If you’re traveling from the mainland U.S., major airlines offer direct flights from cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland to Lihue Airport. Hawaiian Airlines provides numerous flight options to Kauai.
  • International Flights: International travelers can reach Kauai by flying to Honolulu International Airport on Oahu first and then taking a domestic flight from Honolulu to Lihue. Alternatively, you can also consider booking a multi-stop itinerary that includes a stopover in the mainland U.S.
  • Traveling by Sea: While there are no direct cruise routes to Kauai, you can include Kauai in your island hopping adventure by taking a cruise that stops at Nawiliwili Harbor. Some cruise itineraries offer a day or two in Kauai, allowing you to explore the island’s wonders.

Upon arrival at Lihue Airport, you will immediately feel the laid-back and welcoming atmosphere of Kauai. The airport is well-equipped with car rental counters, transportation options, and visitor information centers to ensure a smooth transition to your accommodation.


Now that you’ve arrived on the paradise island of Kauai, it’s time to embark on a journey of discovery and immerse yourself in its breathtaking beauty and natural wonders.


Let’s continue our island hopping adventure and uncover the gems of Kauai!


Discovering the Beauty of Kauai

Welcome to the Garden Isle, where majestic mountains, emerald valleys, and pristine beaches await. Kauai’s natural beauty is renowned, earning it the nickname “The Garden Isle.” Get ready to be captivated by the enchanting landscapes and immerse yourself in the laid-back island lifestyle. Here are some of the top attractions and activities to experience on Kauai:

  • Na Pali Coast: Witness the awe-inspiring Na Pali Coast, a rugged coastline adorned with towering sea cliffs, lush valleys, and cascading waterfalls. Take a helicopter or boat tour to fully appreciate the dramatic beauty of this iconic Kauai landmark.
  • Waimea Canyon State Park: Explore the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” at Waimea Canyon State Park. Hike along scenic trails, marvel at the vibrant colors of the canyon walls, and take in breathtaking panoramic views of the lush valleys below.
  • Wailua River: Embark on a serene boat tour or kayak adventure along the enchanting Wailua River. Explore the lush Fern Grotto, visit the scenic Opaekaa Falls, or take a guided hike to the Secret Falls for an unforgettable waterfall experience.
  • Hanalei Bay: Relax on the stunning Hanalei Bay, a crescent-shaped beach fringed by lush mountains. Swim in the turquoise waters, soak up the sun on the golden sands, or try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding in the calm waves.
  • Kalalau Trail: For avid hikers, the Kalalau Trail is a must-visit. This challenging but rewarding trail winds along the Na Pali Coast, offering breathtaking views and secluded beaches. A permit is required for overnight camping.
  • Poipu Beach: Enjoy the sunshine and snorkel in the crystal-clear waters of Poipu Beach. Keep an eye out for Hawaiian green sea turtles and colorful tropical fish. Relax under a palm tree or explore the nearby Poipu Shopping Village for unique souvenirs.
  • Spouting Horn: Witness the power of nature at Spouting Horn, where water shoots up through a lava tube, creating a dramatic spout and a mesmerizing sound. Capture stunning photos and enjoy the coastal views at this famous attraction.
  • Napali Coast Boat Tour: For a scenic adventure, take a boat tour along the Napali Coast. Marvel at the towering sea cliffs, discover hidden sea caves, and encounter marine wildlife such as dolphins and sea turtles along the way.

During your visit to Kauai, don’t miss the chance to indulge in Hawaiian cuisine. Try local delights such as poi, kalua pig, and fresh seafood. Don’t forget to enjoy a traditional Hawaiian luau for an evening of cultural performances, music, and a delicious feast.


Kauai’s beauty extends beyond its natural wonders. Take the time to explore charming towns like Hanalei and Kapaa, browse local markets for unique crafts and products, and engage with the friendly locals who call this island home.


With its unspoiled landscapes and tranquil atmosphere, Kauai offers a true escape from the busyness of everyday life. Immerse yourself in the beauty and serenity of this island paradise, and let Kauai’s enchanting spirit leave a lasting impression on your heart.


Now, as you bid farewell to Kauai, take with you the cherished memories of your island hopping adventure in Hawaii.


Island Hopping Tips

Island hopping in Hawaii is an incredible way to experience the diversity and beauty of the different islands. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your island hopping adventure:

  • Flexible Itinerary: Keep your itinerary flexible to allow for spontaneity and exploration. While it’s good to have a general plan, be open to making changes and discovering off-the-beaten-path destinations.
  • Timing and Weather: Consider the weather patterns and peak tourism seasons when planning your trip. Hawaii’s weather can vary from island to island, so be prepared for different conditions during your visit.
  • Inter-Island Flights: Take advantage of the convenience of inter-island flights to move between the islands. Hawaiian Airlines offers reliable connections, allowing you to easily hop from one island to another.
  • Pack Wisely: Pack essentials such as sunscreen, a swimsuit, comfortable walking shoes, and lightweight clothing. Also, don’t forget to bring a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated during your adventures.
  • Transportation: Renting a car is recommended for exploring the islands at your own pace, but public transportation options like buses and shuttles are available for certain areas.
  • Local Recommendations: Engage with locals and seek their recommendations for hidden gems, local eateries, and lesser-known attractions. They can provide valuable insights and enhance your overall experience.
  • Research Activities and Attractions: Research and pre-book any activities or tours you’re interested in to secure availability. Popular activities like helicopter tours and boat excursions can fill up quickly, especially during peak seasons.
  • Respect the Environment: Practice responsible tourism by respecting the natural environment. Follow hiking trail guidelines, refrain from littering, and be mindful of wildlife and delicate ecosystems.
  • Learn the Culture: Embrace the rich Hawaiian culture by attending a traditional luau, learning a few Hawaiian words or phrases, and respecting the customs and traditions of the local communities.
  • Relax and Enjoy: While it’s tempting to cram in as many activities as possible, don’t forget to take breaks and relax. Allow yourself time to soak in the beauty of the islands and enjoy the laid-back island vibes.

Island hopping in Hawaii is a unique and unforgettable experience. Each island has its own distinct charm and attractions, offering a different slice of paradise. Embrace the adventure, connect with the spirit of aloha, and let your Hawaiian journey unfold before you.


As you explore multiple islands, you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime, and the beauty and warmth of Hawaii will leave a lasting impression on your heart.



Embarking on an island hopping adventure in Hawaii is an incredible experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the diverse beauty and rich culture of the islands. With Hawaiian Airlines as your trusted travel companion, exploring the enchanting islands of Oahu and Kauai becomes seamless and convenient.


On Oahu, you’ll discover the perfect blend of urban excitement and natural wonders. From the iconic Waikiki Beach to the historic sites of Pearl Harbor, Oahu offers a captivating mix of history, adventure, and relaxation.


Venturing to Kauai, you’ll be enchanted by the lush landscapes, dramatic cliffs, and tranquil beaches. Witness the breathtaking Na Pali Coast, explore the stunning Waimea Canyon, and immerse yourself in the laid-back island lifestyle that Kauai has to offer.


Throughout your island hopping journey, remember to embrace the Hawaiian spirit of aloha. Respect the land and its people, engage with the local culture, and take the time to relax and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you.


From planning your adventure to exploring each island’s unique attractions, this guide has provided you with the essential information to make your island hopping experience unforgettable. So pack your bags, embark on that Hawaiian Airlines flight, and indulge in the magic of island hopping in Oahu and Kauai.


Get ready to create lifelong memories, bask in the natural beauty, and experience the warm aloha spirit of the Hawaiian Islands as you embark on a remarkable island-hopping adventure with Hawaiian Airlines.