Why you should rent a car for a road trip in Oahu, Hawaii

When trying to figure out some exciting things to do in Hawaii, you don’t need to look further than the island of Oahu. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and for good reason. Known as “The Gathering Place,” Oahu is the third largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago and home to some of the most beautiful beaches, lush forests, and volcanic landscapes in the world. It’s a place where ancient culture meets modern-day luxury, where visitors can experience authentic Hawaiian traditions and immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the island. From the world-famous surf breaks of the North Shore to the bustling streets of Waikiki, Oahu offers something for everyone, whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a little bit of both. So pack your bags, rent a car, and get ready to experience the magic of Oahu, Hawaii.


If you’re planning to visit, one of the best ways to get around the island is by renting a car. Other than being in an excellent place for a drive, renting a car has many practical benefits that can help you enjoy your stay to the fullest. Here’s why a car rental can make your Oahu road trip even more fun and memorable:


It gives you time to enjoy the sights

Oahu has no shortage of scenic views and beautiful sights, and driving is the best way to take them all in. Renting a car for your Oahu road trip will allow you to maximize the circle tour, giving you an idea of the island’s major landmarks. It gives you the freedom to make the most of the eight hours you’ll be on the road, and you won’t have to make as frequent stops as you would have if you booked a tour or hired a driver. By taking a car, you can start early and finish the tour while the sun is still up, giving you more time to enjoy spots like the north shore surfing town of Haleiwa or observe the turtles at Laniakea Beach.

Here are a few things to see in Oahu while travelling in a car:

  1. North Shore: The North Shore is known for its picturesque beaches, stunning sunsets, and world-famous surf breaks. You can take a drive along Kamehameha Highway and stop at popular surf spots like Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach, as well as charming towns like Haleiwa.
  2. Hanauma Bay: Hanauma Bay is a popular snorkelling destination known for its crystal clear waters, coral reefs, and colourful fish. You can drive to the bay and park your car at the entrance, then take the tram down to the beach and enjoy a day of snorkelling and sunbathing.
  3. Diamond Head: Diamond Head is a popular hiking destination with stunning views of Honolulu and Waikiki. You can drive to the Diamond Head State Monument and park your car, then hike up to the top for panoramic views of the island.
  4. Waikiki: Waikiki is a vibrant and lively area known for its world-famous beaches, luxury resorts, and high-end shopping. You can drive to Waikiki and park your car in one of the many parking garages or lots, then stroll along the beach, explore the shops and restaurants, and take in the nightlife.

These are just a few of the many things to see in Oahu while travelling in a car. Other popular destinations include Pearl Harbor, the Nuuanu Pali Lookout, and the Byodo-In Temple.

Your options aren’t limited

If you book a tour or take public transportation, you’ll be spending a lot of time figuring out schedules or stopping by places you aren’t really interested in. Renting a car eliminates all those concerns—you can hop back in anytime you like and hit the road to go wherever you want. You don’t need to be held back by an itinerary or wait times, and you can comfortably travel anywhere on the island. Renting a car will help you get around to more places in a more time-efficient manner, helping you make the most out of your trip to Oahu, no matter how short it may be.

It’s more convenient for shopping

Shopping is one of the main things many tourists look forward to when travelling, but it can become a challenge if you don’t have the right way to transport your new goods. From buying groceries to souvenirs, shopping in Oahu can be made easier if you have a car to put all your things in. You won’t have to lug your bags around and into taxis, trolleys, or buses, and it’ll save you some time because you won’t have to make frequent trips back and forth if you want to buy more things. To make sure you’re buying all the aloha shirts you want from Hilo Hattie or have stuffed your luggage full of pineapple goodies from the Dole Plantation, renting a car is your best bet for making your trip hassle-free.


It’s easy on the wallet

You may be concerned about the costs of renting a car in Oahu, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised that the rates are pretty reasonable, and it will be much more cost-effective than regularly paying for public transportation or tours. The costs of taking public transportation can quickly add up and eat away some of your budget for other expenses, and that isn’t worth it compared to the freedom and convenience that comes with a car.

For more travel tips, check out our posts at StreetTrotter for more travel hacks and information about your next destination.


StreetTrotter is a Travel, Culture & Lifestyle blog, inspiring people everyday with real stories to look good and travel even better. Founded in 2012 by Shraddha Gupta, Founder & COO, this space is all about experiencing new things in life, be it a daring mountain trek, a frugal backpacking trip, a runway look made local, or simply anything that scares you enough to live a little more deeper.

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