26 days in Honolulu & Island of Hawaii Itinerary

26 days in Honolulu & Island of Hawaii Itinerary

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Route & dates

26 days in Honolulu & Island of Hawaii Itinerary

Start: Durham
Fly:  14​h 15​min
1
Honolulu
— 5 nights
Fly:  2​h 30​min
2
Hilo
— 7 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
3
Waimea
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
4
Honaunau
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
5
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
— 7 nights
Fly:  14​h 15​min
End: Durham

5
nights
Honolulu

Honolulu ©
In many ways much more Asian than American, Honolulu is Hawaii's largest city and its center of government, transportation, commerce, and tourism.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Kailua Beach Park and Ala Moana Center. Explore Honolulu's surroundings by going to Haleiwa (Sunset Beach Park & Scuba & Snorkeling), Lanikai Beach (in Kailua) and Byodo-In Temple (in Kaneohe). Next up on the itinerary: enjoy the sand and surf at Waikiki Beach, stroll the grounds of National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, get great views at Puu Ualakaa State Park, and fulfill a lifelong dream with a swim-with-the-dolphins experience.

For traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, use the Honolulu trip planner .

Durham to Honolulu is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus, taxi, and flight; or do a combination of train, bus, and flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Durham to Honolulu is minus 5 hours. Expect much warmer temperatures when traveling from Durham in January; daily highs in Honolulu reach 81°F and lows reach 67°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Hilo.

Things to do in Honolulu

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Kailua, Haleiwa, Byodo-In Temple, Halona Blowhole
Highlights from your plan
Kailua Beach Park ©
Kailua Beach Park
Scuba & Snorkeling
Lanikai Beach ©
Lanikai Beach

7
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.
Explore hidden gems such as Liliuokalani Gardens and Imiloa Astronomy Center. Explore Hilo's surroundings by going to Kipuka Pu’u Huluhulu (in Kailua-Kona), Laupahoehoe (Hamakua Heritage Farm, Laupahoehoe Beach Park, & more) and Pahoa (Maku'u Farmer's Market & Kapoho Tide Pools). The adventure continues: immerse yourself in nature at Akaka Falls State Park, learn more about the world around you at Mokupapapa Discovery Center, cruise along Saddle Road, and admire the sheer force of Rainbow Falls.

For where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Hilo driving holiday site .

Traveling by flight from Honolulu to Hilo takes 2.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 81°F in January, and nighttime lows around 64°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Mon) so you can go by car to Waimea.

Things to do in Hilo

Parks Outdoors Museums

Side Trips

Laupahoehoe, Kailua-Kona, Pahoa, Hawaii Plantation Museum, Hilo Coffee Mill
Highlights from your plan
Richardson Beach Park ©
Richardson Beach Park
Saddle Road ©
Saddle Road
Kapoho Tide Pools ©
Kapoho Tide Pools

4
nights
Waimea

Waimea ©
A vast agricultural land with one of the largest cattle ranches in the United States, Waimea embraces its ranching roots.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area and Stand-Up Paddleboarding. Get out of town with these interesting Waimea side-trips: Waikoloa (Waikoloa Beach Resort & Swim with Dolphins). There's much more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Mauna Kea Beach, get engrossed in the history at Parker Ranch, kick back and relax at Samuel M. Spencer Beach Park, and take in the exciting artwork at Isaacs Art Center Museum and Gallery.

For maps, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Waimea trip planner.

You can drive from Hilo to Waimea in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. When traveling from Hilo in January, plan for a bit cooler days in Waimea, with highs around 67°F, while nights are colder with lows around 43°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Fri) to allow time to drive to Honaunau.

Things to do in Waimea

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Kawaihae, Island of Hawaii, Puako, Waikoloa, Kohala Mountain Road
Highlights from your plan
Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area ©
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Dolphin & Whale Watching

2
nights
Honaunau

Honaunau ©
Hōnaunau is an unincorporated community on the island of Hawaii in Hawaii County, Hawaii, United States. Keep things going the next day: get outside with Hawaii Offshore, then enjoy the sand and surf at Manini Kapahukapu Beach, then contemplate the long history of Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park, and finally kick back and relax at Holoholokai Beach Park.

To see photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Honaunau route planner.

Drive from Waimea to Honaunau in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Waimea in January: highs in Honaunau hover around 80°F, while lows dip to 67°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sun) early enough to go by car to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Things to do in Honaunau

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Captain Cook, Keauhou, Holoholokai Beach Park
Highlights from your plan

7
nights
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park ©
Volcanoes have played an important role in shaping the Earth, and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park shows visitors the process in action.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Kilauea Iki Trailhead and Keanakakoi Crater Overlook. Explore Hawaii Volcanoes National Park's surroundings by going to Uncle Robert's Awa Bar and Farmers Market (in Kaimu), Star of the Sea Painted Church (in Kalapana) and Pahoa (Red Road (Hwy 137), Kehena Black Sand Beach, & more). The adventure continues: trek along Kipuka Puaulu (Bird Park) Trail, identify plant and animal life at Devastation Trail, get impressive views of Kīlauea, and take in the dramatic natural features at Thurston Lava Tube (Nahuku).

To see other places to visit, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park driving holiday planner.

Getting from Honaunau to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. In February, daytime highs in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are 81°F, while nighttime lows are 65°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Volcano, Pahoa, Pahala, Island of Hawaii, Whittington Beach Park
Highlights from your plan
Kilauea Iki Trailhead ©
Kilauea Iki Trailhead
Punalu‘U Beach ©
Punalu‘U Beach
Kīlauea ©
Kīlauea

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