If you’re flying all the way to Hawaii, are you really only going to see Disney’s Aulani while you’re there?! If so, that’s absolutely fine! Everyone travels differently and if that’s your style, then we say go for it. But if you’re a bit more of a traveler, adventurer and explorer, like we are, and want to explore more of the beautiful island of Oahu, here are some amazing places you can add to your Hawaii adventure. We’re sharing 5 Things to do on a Disney Aulani Road Trip on Oahu, Hawaii.Now obviously, you know your child better than anyone and can decide how much, if any, freedom you want them to have on your trip to Aulani. But as a mom who keeps a pretty tight leash on my daughter even at Walt Disney World, I felt completely safe with her being able to do a few things on her own.
Disney Aulani Road Trip on Oahu
If you’re staying at Disney Aulani and have a day or two to take to the road, then it’s time to rent a jeep and get to it!. We found you can drive most places on island within 1-1.5 hours from anywhere else on the island. Of course, this will all depend on traffic so do your best to avoid rush hour at all costs.
The first stop on our Disney Aulani Road Trip is the home of Dole Whip. Ever wanted to see a pineapple plantation?! Well, now is your chance! The Dole Plantation is every pineapple lover’s dream, with lush gardens, pineapple merch and our favorite snack, dole whip. And trust us when we say, Dole Whip is the absolute best in Hawaii. It just is. Have fun navigating the maze, take the train around the plantation, explore the gardens, and grab some of their delicious food.
According to our friends in Hawaii, this is totally a touristy thing to do in Oahu. But hey, you’re a tourist, right?! So live it up. Kualoa Ranch is where many movies have been filmed including Jurassic World, Jumanji, Kong Skull Island, 50 First Dates and more. Kualoa Ranch offers all kinds of tours all over the Ranch that allow you to see some amazing views, learn awesome history facts and they even have food if you need to fuel up for your adventures. We took the 2 hour UTV tour, got some amazing photos, learned a ton of cinematic history and had an absolute blast. They have all kinds of tours, so check out their page to find one perfect for you!
Explore the North Shore
You can also get some time at the beach! We actually spent part of our Disney Aulani trip in an Airbnb at the North Shore. This helped us save some money and gave us a reason to get our and see the sights. From exploring the local beaches, to trying out as many food trucks as we could. To drinking all the coffee and exploring the historic town of Hale’iwa, there was so much to do just wandering around this place. Be sure to grab some famous Matsumoto Shave Ice and see why they’ve been around for over 60 years!
The waves on the North Shore are generally the best surfing waves from what we are told, so grab an iced coffee and head to the beach to watch the surfers do their thing. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, take a surfing lesson yourself! You’re in Hawaii after all.
Aulani is located on the western part of Oahu, and has some of the best sunsets you will find. But, if you head over to the eastern part of the island, you’ll find some of the whitest, softest sand ever. Plus the most gorgeous turquoise water that resembles something out of a dream! You can also plan to do the Lanikai Pillbox Hike to catch the sunrise. Grab the map for the hike in the All Trails app.
There is a reason that Lanikai Beach is consistently voted one of the best in the world; beauty, long stretched of beach, gorgeous waters and nature at its best. And absolute must-see when you visit Oahu, Hawaii.
While Waikiki can get super touristy and crowded, we did love that you could get coffee from the Kona Coffee Purveyors, and explore the open air mall Ala Moana Center. Add in an afternoon stroll walking Waikiki Beach and be sure to visit the prettiest pink hotel, the Royal Hawaiian. They have a bakery, and great restaurants if you’re up for a break in your day. Keep in mind, this is a VERY touristy area. So if crowds aren’t your thing, definitely feel free to skip this for a less crowded part of Hawaii.
Disney Aulani on Ohau 5 Things to See
We narrowed this list down to 5 things to to keep it manageable. But, trust us when we say there is SO MUCH MORE to see and do. Hike the beautiful Waimea Valley and Falls, explore the gardens of Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens, snorkel at Hanauma Bay, hike Diamond Head or hunt down every instagrammable spot on Oahu. Chances are you find amazing things to do on your trip. What are you looking forward to in Oahu? Let us know.