How long does it take to drive around Oahu?

Travel Destinations

By Kristy Tolley

Driving around Oahu

Oahu is the third-largest island in Hawaii and is renowned for its picturesque beaches, scenic drives, and beautiful landscapes. Driving around the island is one of the best ways to explore its hidden gems, and it can be done in a single day. The 112-mile drive around the island takes you through some of the most exotic locations, including the east coast, the north shore, and the leeward side of the island.

The perimeter of Oahu

The perimeter of Oahu is a 112-mile stretch that circles the entire island. The road is known as the Kamehameha Highway and is the primary route to drive around the island. The highway starts in Honolulu and takes you through the east coast, the north shore, the west coast, and the leeward side of the island.

Traffic and road conditions

Traffic on Oahu can be a concern, especially during rush hour. However, the road conditions are generally good, with well-maintained highways and roads. The speed limit on most roads is 55 mph, but it can be lower in some areas, such as residential neighborhoods or the downtown area.

Starting from Honolulu

Starting your drive from Honolulu, you will pass through the eastern part of the island, which is home to many of the island’s famous beaches. The drive through this area can take about an hour, depending on traffic.

Driving the east coast

The east coast drive offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and is known for its lush green forests, beautiful beaches, and rugged coastline. The drive through this area can take about two hours, including stops at scenic lookout points.

The scenic north shore

The north shore of Oahu is a surfer’s paradise, with some of the best waves in the world. The drive through this area takes you through charming towns, beautiful beaches, and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. The drive through this area can take about two hours, including stops at various beaches and lookout points.

The western coastline

Driving through the western coastline takes you through seaside towns, beautiful beaches, and rugged terrain. This part of the island is known for its dry climate and offers a stark contrast to the lush green landscapes found on the east coast. The drive through this area can take about one and a half hours, including stops at scenic lookout points.

The leeward side of Oahu

The leeward side of Oahu is known for its white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and beautiful sunsets. The drive through this area takes you through charming towns, beautiful beaches, and historic landmarks. The drive through this area can take about two hours, including stops at various beaches and lookout points.

Time for stops and detours

The time it takes to drive around Oahu can vary depending on the number of stops and detours you take. It is recommended that you plan ahead and allocate enough time for stops and detours to fully experience the beauty of the island.

Planning for rush hour

Planning your drive around rush hour is essential, as traffic can be heavy during peak periods. Rush hour on Oahu typically occurs between 7 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 6 pm.

Average time to drive the island

The average time it takes to drive around Oahu is about 4 to 6 hours, depending on traffic and the number of stops you take. However, it is recommended that you allocate a full day for the drive to enjoy the island’s beauty fully.

Conclusion: The beauty of Oahu by car

Driving around Oahu is a fantastic way to explore the island’s hidden gems and experience its beauty. The drive offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, beautiful beaches, and rugged terrain, and can be done in a single day. Plan ahead, allocate enough time for stops and detours, and enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Oahu by car.

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Kristy Tolley

Kristy Tolley, an accomplished editor at TravelAsker, boasts a rich background in travel content creation. Before TravelAsker, she led editorial efforts at Red Ventures Puerto Rico, shaping content for Platea English. Kristy's extensive two-decade career spans writing and editing travel topics, from destinations to road trips. Her passion for travel and storytelling inspire readers to embark on their own journeys.

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