10 Unforgettable Early Morning Adventures Before 8 AM on Oahu, Hawaii

(Updated August 10, 2023)

Welcome to the breathtaking island of Oahu, Hawaii, where the early hours hold a world of enchantment waiting to be discovered. 

From witnessing mesmerizing sunrises to indulging in delectable treats, embarking on these 10 captivating activities before 8 AM will ignite your sense of adventure and leave you with unforgettable memories.  

Join us on this journey as we unveil Oahu’s hidden gems and show you how Hui Car Share can make each moment more accessible, while offering valuable travel tips.

General Travel Tips

Why should I start my day early on Oahu?

Embracing early mornings on Oahu, Hawaii during your vacation yields a multitude of invaluable benefits. 

First, it enables you to maximize your limited vacation time by making the most of the daylight hours. The island’s captivating scenery, from pristine beaches to lush hikes, is best enjoyed when the sun is rising. 

Second, beginning your day early grants you the advantage of avoiding the notorious traffic that can clog Oahu’s roads as the day progresses. This means less time spent in transit and more time relishing the attractions and activities that drew you to the island in the first place. 

In essence, starting your day early on Oahu amplifies the quality of your vacation, ensuring you experience more and stress less.

What time is rush hour traffic on Oahu?

Rush hour traffic on Oahu occurs from 6:30 AM to 8 AM and 3 PM to 6 PM, causing congestion in Honolulu. Allow for extra time if you travel on Interstate H-201 and Interstate H-1 when heading towards Honolulu in the morning. Similarly, in the afternoon, plan for additional driving time when traveling within Honolulu and on Interstates H-1 and H-201.

Traffic tends to improve during the summer months, specifically from June to August, due to students being on summer break. If you’re planning your trips outside of these summer months, consider allocating an additional 30 minutes to an hour to your travel time.

Use your favorite navigation app for estimated travel times.

What transportation should I take?

Uber and Lyft are valid options due to their quick and convenient transportation, but be cautious of surge pricing, as traveling with Uber or Lyft can become expensive rapidly.

TheBus is an economical option for travelers, offering a single fare of $3.00 for each boarding. Keep in mind that travel times might be longer as the bus will make stops at each bus stop.

Hui Car Share provides a self-service car rental solution, granting 24/7 access and numerous locations across Honolulu and Waikiki. You can view Hui Car Share’s 75+ locations here

The convenience lies in the fact that there is no need to visit a counter or interact with an agent, as everything is managed through the Hui app (no subscription fees and available to download for free on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store). 

Gas is included at no extra cost, and reservations come with unlimited mileage.

Travelers hoping to start their day before 8AM may encounter limitations due to the early hours if you intend on using Uber, Lyft, or TheBus. Fortunately, Hui Car Share offers round-the-clock access to both stations and vehicles, allowing you to kick off your day by sunrise, or even earlier if you’re really motivated.

Tips when traveling on Oahu

We recommend removing all of your important belongings from the vehicle when traveling around the island. While Oahu is welcoming, that doesn’t mean we are exempt from our fair share of crime. Vehicle break-ins do happen, so please remain vigilant while on vacation.

Be attentive to tow-away zones and no-parking zones, as your vehicle could be towed or ticketed. You can refer to our guide for parking in Waikiki.

Starting from November 2022, the State of Hawaii has implemented red light cameras on Oahu, with a total of 10 locations. Some notable locations include:

  • McCully Street and Algaroba Street
  • Kapiolani Boulevard and Kamakee Street
  • Ward Avenue and King Street
  • Vineyard Boulevard and Liliha Street

You can find the complete list here.

Additional tips to consider:

  • Watch out for pedestrians crossing the street, as they have the right of way in Hawaii.
  • Refrain from using your cellphone while driving. While this might be legal in some states, using your cellphone while driving is illegal in Hawaii.

What can I do on Oahu before 8 AM?

1. Sunrise Hike at Lanikai Pillbox

Opens: 6 AM

Price: Free

Estimated Time: 1-2 hours

Address: 265 Kaelepulu Drive, Kailua, Hawaii 96734

Begin your day by conquering the Lanikai Pillbox Hike, an iconic trail that leads to panoramic views of Lanikai Beach. Arrive early to experience the breathtaking sunrise vistas and the vibrant hues that paint the sky. 

There isn’t a designated parking lot for the Lanikai Pillbox hike. The hike begins in a residential neighborhood, so please be considerate when parking or passing through. To avoid the risk of being towed or ticketed, refrain from parking in bike lanes, adjacent to fire hydrants, or near “no parking” signs.

2. Indulge in Malasadas at Leonard’s Bakery

Opens: 5:30 AM

Price: $1.85/malasada

Estimated Time: 20 minutes

Address: 933 Kapahulu Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii 96816

Satisfy your taste buds with the sweet ecstasy of malasadas from the iconic Leonard’s Bakery. From classic flavors, to unique variations, every bite at Leonard’s is a journey into the world of sweet indulgence. Get there early to savor these Portuguese-style donuts, also known as malasadas, while they’re warm and freshly made.

3. Tee Off with Early Bird Golfing at Hawaii Kai Golf Course

Opens: 6 AM

Price: $40-$65

Estimated Time: 2-3 hours

Address: 8902 Kalanianaole Highway, Honolulu, Hawaii 96825

Experience golf like never before with early bird tee times at the Hawaii Kai Golf Course. The course’s design takes full advantage of its coastal location, offering panoramic views of Maunalua Bay and the surrounding Koolau Mountains. Take your first swing amidst this breathtaking scenery, all while basking in the soft morning sunlight.

4. Explore Ala Moana Beach Park

Opens: 4 AM

Price: Free

Estimated Time: 30 minutes-1 hour

Address: 1201 Ala Moana Boulevard, Honolulu, Hawaii

Discover the serenity of Ala Moana Beach Park before the hustle and bustle begins. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the pristine shoreline or simply bask in the beauty of this coastal oasis. As you wander, you might even catch a glimpse of local surfers riding the morning waves, adding an extra layer of coastal charm to your early exploration.

Bring along a towel to sit on the sand and savor the soothing waves. Convenient free parking is available next to Magic Island and throughout the beach park.    

5. Savor Pastries from Kamehameha Bakery

Opens: 2 AM

Price: $1-$2/pastry

Estimated Time: 20 minutes

Address: 1284 Kalani Street Unit D106, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817

Indulge in the delightful treats from Kamehameha Bakery, renowned for its mouthwatering poi-glazed donuts, banana fritters, and taro haupia rolls. The bakery’s early opening hours allow you to enjoy freshly-baked warm pastries. It’s advisable to arrive early, as their treats tend to sell out quickly. Convenient parking is available right in front of the store.

6. Connect with Nature through Sunrise Beach Yoga

Starts: 5:30 AM

Price: $16/class

Estimated Time: 1 hour

Address: 526 Kawailoa Road, Kailua, Hawaii 96734

Immerse yourself in a rejuvenating session of sunrise beach yoga. Let the gentle sounds of the ocean guide your practice as you find tranquility and inner harmony. Enjoy this experience with Island Flow Yoga at Kailua Beach Park, across the street from Buzz’s Original Steak House, where an instructor will lead you through a mindful practice amidst the stunning natural beauty of the beach.

7. Conquer Diamond Head State Monument for Sunrise

Opens: 6 AM

Price: $10/vehicle and $5/person

Estimated Time: 2 hours

Address: 4189 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815

Embark on a journey to the iconic Diamond Head State Monument and witness the island come alive with the first rays of sun. The panoramic views from the summit are a sight to behold. As you ascend, you’ll experience the transformation of colors painting the sky, creating an unforgettable backdrop for your morning adventure.

For out-of-state residents, there is a $10 per-vehicle fee and a $5 entry fee per-person. Reservations are also required. Hawaii State Residents can enjoy free entry with a valid Hawaii State ID. Don’t forget your camera, as these views create unforgettable memories.  

8. Feast at Moke’s Bread and Breakfast

Opens: 7:30 AM

Price: $10-$20

Estimated Time: 2 hours

Address: 1127 11th Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii 96816

Nestled in the heart of Kaimuki, a 10 minute drive from Waikiki, Moke’s Bread and Breakfast is a charming culinary haven that captures the essence of comfort and community. With its warm and welcoming atmosphere, this quaint establishment has become a beloved destination for locals and tourists alike. Their signature lilikoi pancakes and their mouthwatering loco mocos are sure to leave you satisfied.

To ensure you secure a spot for breakfast, we recommend arriving early, as seating operates on a first-come, first-served basis. You’ll find the restaurant is upstairs, next door to the Subway. For parking, the Kaimuki Municipal Lot 1 is available, with multiple pay stations situated within the lot for your convenience. 

9. Discover Oahu’s Charms with Shaka Guide’s Circle Island Tour

Start: 7 AM

Price: Free (when you book with Hui Car Share)

Estimated Time: 6-8 hours

Address: Across Oahu

Enjoy authentic stories and a guided tour with Shaka Guide, an interactive GPS-based tour of Hawaii, through your smartphone. Avoid the hassle of traffic and get an early start to your island tour. Shaka Guide ensures a seamless journey, unveiling Oahu’s beauty as you embark on this island-wide adventure. 

10. Morning Hike to Makapuu Lighthouse

Opens: 7 AM

Price: Free

Estimated Time: 1-2 hours

Address: Makapuu Point Lighthouse Trail, Waimanalo, Hawaii 96795

Embark on a morning hike to the Makapuu Point Lighthouse Trail for panoramic ocean views and the opportunity to spot humpback whales (seasonal) or spot the island of Molokai in the distance. The serene start to your day will leave you feeling invigorated. 

Don’t forget your water bottle and camera. Please note that parking stalls are limited, so expect to walk an extra five minutes before starting the hike. This quick hike is an excellent way to kick off your day. 

Hui Car Share: Your Key to Early Morning Exploration

To make the most of your early morning adventures on Oahu, consider using Hui Car Share. Hui offers a convenient and flexible way to access transportation, allowing you to seamlessly travel to different activities and eateries across the island. 

With Hui’s user-friendly app, you can easily locate and reserve a car near your location, unlocking the freedom to explore Oahu’s treasures at your own pace. 

Reservations can be made by the hour or day. A Hui reservation includes fuel and unlimited mileage. The benefits of using Hui: 

  • No paperwork
  • No counter
  • No waiting in lines

Use the vehicle when you need it, rather than being stuck with one because of a traditional rental car. 

Download and signup for the Hui Car Share app for free from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.  

Whether you’re heading to a sunrise viewpoint or a breakfast spot, Hui Car Share ensures that transportation is never a barrier to enjoying the island’s beauty.

Conclusion

As the sun paints the skies of Oahu in hues of gold and pink, seize the early hours to embark on a journey of wonder and discovery. From hiking to breathtaking views to savoring local delicacies, these 10 activities before 8 AM promise to make your Oahu experience truly unforgettable. With Hui Car Share as your travel partner, you can seamlessly access these remarkable moments. Embrace the beauty of the dawn and let Oahu’s hidden treasures enchant you with their magic.

Still Deciding? 

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Disclaimer: Our goal is to help you make the most informed decision and bring you the most accurate information as of August 10, 2023. We will continuously be adding and updating to this post. While we thoroughly researched the topic, Hui Car Share cannot guarantee any prices or times as they can frequently change. When making your final decision, please confirm all details.