12 days in Oahu, Kailua-Kona & Hilo Itinerary

12 days in Oahu, Kailua-Kona & Hilo Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Oahu, Kailua-Kona & Hilo Itinerary

Start: New York City
Bus + Fly:  13​h 45​min
1
Honolulu
— 4 nights
Fly:  3​h 45​min
2
Kailua-Kona
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
3
Hilo
— 3 nights
Fly + Bus:  14​h 45​min
End: New York City

4
nights
Honolulu

In many ways much more Asian than American, Honolulu is Hawaii's largest city and its center of government, transportation, commerce, and tourism.
Step off the beaten path and head to Photography Tours and Room Escape Games. Explore Honolulu's surroundings by going to Byodo-In Temple (in Kaneohe), Kapolei (Ko Olina Lagoons & Dolphin & Whale Watching) and Kailua (Lanikai Beach, Kailua Beach Park, & more). There's much more to do: let your taste buds guide you at a local gastronomic tour, appreciate the views at Nu’uanu Pali, admire the natural beauty at Lyon Arboretum, and stroll through Makapuu Lighthouse Trail.

To find where to stay, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, read Honolulu trip itinerary tool .

New York City to Honolulu is an approximately 14-hour combination of bus and flight. You can also fly. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 5 hours traveling from New York City to Honolulu. In August, daytime highs in Honolulu are 36°C, while nighttime lows are 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Kailua-Kona.

Things to do in Honolulu

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Kailua, Byodo-In Temple, Nu’uanu Pali, Ko Olina Lagoons
Highlights from your plan
Photography Tours
Koko Crater Railway Trail ©
Koko Crater Railway Trail
Food Tours

3
nights
Kailua-Kona

Kailua-Kona ©
Thanks to its favorable location near a mountain range blocking the northeasterly trade winds, Kailua-Kona gets little rainfall, allowing adventure seekers and nature lovers a chance to enjoy over 300 days of sunshine each year.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Thu): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park and then pause for some serene contemplation at St. Michael the Archangel Church. Keep things going the next day: kick back and relax at Waialea Beach, then enjoy the sand and surf at Makalawena/Pu'u Ali'i, then experience rural life at Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation, and finally see the world from above with a helicopter tour.

To see more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Kailua-Kona trip planner .

You can fly from Honolulu to Kailua-Kona in 4 hours. In August, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 29°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sat) so you can drive to Hilo.

Things to do in Kailua-Kona

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Waialea Beach
Highlights from your plan
Helicopter Tours
Waialea Beach ©
Waialea Beach

3
nights
Hilo

Hilo ©
One of the island of Hawaii's major towns, Hilo contains a mix of Asian and Polynesian cultures and is known for its proximity to a national park encompassing two active volcanoes.
Step off the beaten path and head to Kīlauea and Holei Sea Arch. Explore Hilo's surroundings by going to Sulphur Banks (in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park), Kapoho Tide Pools (in Pahoa) and Hawaiian Vanilla Company (in Paauilo). There's still lots to do: kick back and relax at Richardson Beach Park, take in nature's colorful creations at Liliuokalani Gardens, stop by Hilo Coffee Mill, and stroll through Carlsmith Beach Park.

For maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Hilo tour itinerary planner .

Drive from Kailua-Kona to Hilo in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Plan for a bit cooler nights when traveling from Kailua-Kona in August since evenings lows in Hilo dip to 25°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Hilo

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hilo Coffee Mill, Chain of Craters Rd, Hawaiian Vanilla Company, Akatsuka Orchid Gardens
Highlights from your plan
Kīlauea ©
Kīlauea
Holei Sea Arch ©
Holei Sea Arch
Hawaiian Vanilla Company ©
Hawaiian Vanilla Company

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