Solo Female Travel to Oahu, Hawaii
The island tropics of Hawaii are popular among solo female travelers who want to enjoy the best beauties nature has to offer. Oahu, and Honolulu provide a calm escape from busy city life. Over 2,500 miles of escape.
While this article focuses specifically on Oahu, Hawaii, travel between the several Hawaiian Islands is incredibly easy. We’ll talk briefly about a few other popular islands to help you get an understanding of potential stops for your dream vacation. We will tell you about popular attractions in Oahu, giving you some ideas to start planning your perfect getaway. We’ll also go over some safety tips, where to look (and avoid) for hotels, and covid travel restrictions.
Things to Know about Oahu, Hawaii
Oahu is by far the most popular island, with 4.7 million visitors per year. The ocean stays warm year-round making it swimmable no matter when you visit. Overall, the weather in all the Hawaiian Islands is warm, neither unbearable hot, nor chillingly cold.
The busiest times for travel to Hawaii are December through April, with most visiting the last two weeks of December. Booking tickets and hotels will cost you more during this vacation spike, if you can find space at all. The islands will also be much busier than usual which might be a good thing for females traveling alone because you’ll quickly be able to find groups to join on hikes and other fun. Expect delays and traffic around attractions if you visit during this time.
The rainiest months are November through April, however, you can usually drive to a different part of the island, and, like magic, it’ll be completely sunny. In Honolulu, the coldest month is February, with lows around 65.4°F and highs around 80.7°F. The hottest month is August, with lows around 74.7°F and highs averaging 88.9°F.
Safety and Tips for Traveling to Hawaii
When it comes to female safety, and general safety for solo travelers, Hawaii is a bit different than other destinations. There are more laws that affect you directly and things you should know before visiting. As always, be careful. You’ll avoid most problems by staying clear of the wrong places, at the wrong times. Hawaiian culture is also a little different from traditional American/Western culture as the Polynesian people expect greater respect for their home.
- Pack good shoes. Nothing kills vacation like blisters and sprained ankles. Make sure those shoes are broken in but not worn out. Wear whatever you would hiking/walking in your hometown. Some people swear by waterproof boots, but good tennis shoes work well too.
- Pack (and use) loads of sunscreen. The waterproof kind. Reapply frequently. Don’t worry, you can still tan while preventing skin cancer.
- Make sure the sunscreen you get is reef safe. Bad stuff contains oxybenzone or octinoxate. Safe alternatives use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide instead.
- Obey signs. This isn’t just to avoid tickets, it’s to protect you and Hawaii. If it says don’t swim or hike, there are plenty of other things to do.
- Don’t underestimate the ocean, no matter how strong a swimmer you are. Only enter the water if there are others around and be extra vigilant on beaches without lifeguards. Stay clear of rocks that tend to be much sharper and slipperier than they look.
- Check the tide report for the specific beaches you visit to make sure your swims are safe.
- Don’t hike late at night or explore onto illegal trails.
- Don’t hike alone.
- Don’t clog up roads parking randomly when you see something pretty. You’ll annoy locals and earn yourself some tickets.
- Don’t step on coral. They are super fragile, and you don’t want to be the reason a whole colony dies.
- Don’t touch wildlife. It’s dangerous for you and for them. Plus, it’s illegal. Stay away from animals as Hawaii has hefty fines and prison time involved for violators.
- Avoid bonfires, even when invited. They can get you fines up to $5,000.
- Don’t go places alone with people you don’t know. Stay near public, well-lit areas. When it gets dark, consider heading back to the hotel.
- If you drink, consider using the hotel bar. Watch your drinks, and don’t get drunk.
- Not everyone in Hawaii is safe. Leave sketchy situations quickly.
- Let people know where you’re going, even if that’s the hotel clerk or a text to a friend.
- Don’t try to explore without knowing where you’re going. Bad stuff usually happens when you get lost.
Hawaii is strict when it comes to bringing stuff back to the mainland. The USDA has one of the most comprehensive lists which you can find here. Something else to know is that taking anything from a national/state park (including rocks and volcanic rocks) is illegal and said to bring bad luck.
Areas of Caution
While Hawaii is known for its beauty, there are still places that one should avoid. As a solo traveler, try to stay clear of the following areas. Don’t get hotels in these areas (no matter how cheap the deal) and don’t go near these places if you can, especially at night. These areas have high crime rates which are particularly dangerous to females.
- Wahiawa, Oahu
- Makaha, Oahu
- Ewa Beach, Oahu
- Waipahu, Oahu
- Kalihi and Chinatown in Honolulu, Oahu
- Kapaa, Kauai
- Hanamaulu, Kauai
- Kahului, Maui
- Napili-Honokowai, Maui
- Pahoa, Island of Hawaii
- Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii
The following are the safest areas of Hawaii, though they may not have many attractions or hotel options.
- Kaneohe Station, Oahu (U.S. Marine Corps)
- Schofield Barracks, Oahu (U.S. Army)
- Hickam Housing, Honolulu, Oahu (Military Housing)
- Wailea, Maui
- East Honolulu, Oahu
Must See Attractions and Things to Do in Oahu
While Hawaii technically has 137 islands, the 6 most popular islands for tourism are Oahu, Maui, Hawaii Island (also known as big island), Kauai, Lanai, and Molokai. When traveling solo, we recommend sticking to the more popular/populated islands as there are more services and precautions for both fun and safety. If you want to check out some of the less crowded wonders of Hawaii, go with a group or professional tour.
While small shops and fine restaurants do exist in Hawaii, most of the recommended attractions involve nature and ocean. Expect beaches (big and small), hiking, volcanoes, waterfalls, rainforests, mountains, turtles, and whales. Pack to hike and swim.
- Diamond Head State Monument
Found around the eastern edge of the coast of Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head State Monument serves as a fun, cheap opportunity to see Hawaii’s beauty. There is a short trail to hike, plenty of coastal sightseeing, and a tour of the historic landmark.
- North Shore
The North Shore of Oahu is renowned for its monstrous waves and surfing contests—the professional kind. There is also the Marine Life Conservation District where visitors can snorkel in calm waters among colorful reef fish. If you’re not one for outdoors, there are also art galleries, lunch stops, tropical garden tours, and surf shops.
- Byodo-In Temple
This replica temple was built to honor the 100th anniversary of Japanese immigrants to Hawaii. The Buddhist temple boasts beautiful gardens, colorful koi fish, and exotic peacocks. The temple is open to visitors nearly every day with a low entrance fee.
- Kailua Beach Park
Kailua Bay is the stunning home to the famous Kailua Beach Park. The public is warmly welcomed here with picnic tables, volleyball courts, places to barbeque, restrooms, and showers. This bay is perfect for paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling, or swimming. Solo female travelers take caution; do not confuse this beach with Kailua-Kona which is not considered a safe area.
- Ko Olina Lagoons
These four man-made lagoons are near perfect with their crescent shape and clear waters. Located on Marriott property, this makes for a fun day with treats and refreshments just up the hill from lagoons as well as beautiful garden grounds to tour near the hotel.
- Lanikai Beach
Ranked as one of the top beaches in the world and the most beautiful of all Oahu beaches, Lanikai Beach boasts beautiful views, calming turquoise waters, and relaxing landscapes. This public beach is not one to miss!
- Pearl Harbor / USS Arizona Memorial
The USS Arizona memorial is free for all visitors. The two memorials commemorate and teach about the Japanese attacks of December 7, 1941. Tours are offered throughout the memorials, but two world class museums are also nearby to help tourists get as much out of their visit as possible.
Oahu boasts several amazing beaches, bays, and coves for snorkeling: Aweoweo
Beach Park, Hanauma Bay, Shark’s Cove, Kuilima Cove, Turtle Canyon, Ko Olina Lagoons, Lanikai, Waimea Bay, and more.
Trying out your surfing skills? Or are you a seasoned pro looking to shred sick waves? Here are a few highly rated beaches to visit: Sunset Beach, Waimea, Waikiki, and Banzai Pipeline. Surfing lessons are also readily available on nearly every island.
- Whale Watching
Whale watching is a calming way to pass free time and enjoy the wonderful wildlife Oahu has to offer. Oahu has warm shallow waters that attract humpback whales during mating season. The tropical climate and calm environment are a perfect mix to meet these aquatic mammals.
The Other Popular Islands in Hawaii
Known as the “Valley Isle,” Maui is the second largest island in Hawaii. The island is best known for its whale migration during the winter and local cuisine. It also features red and black sand beaches.
- Hawaii Island (Big Island)
Hawaii Island, known as “Big Island,” features an active volcano. It also has an extremely dynamic landscape.
Nicknamed “The Garden Isle,” Kauai Island contains lots of greenery and massive waterfalls, including the 800-foot Waipoo Falls.
Lanai is only 141 square miles but is great for those seeking island luxury. Gourmet dining. The island is popular for executive gatherings.
Molokai, “The Friendly Isle” proudly stands with the highest sea cliffs in the world. It also has the longest fringing (very close to mainland) reef.
Covid-19 Travel Restrictions for Hawaii
Rules about travel to Hawaii change on March 26, 2022. Travelers arriving from the continental United States no longer need to create a “Safe Travels Account,” show proof of Covid-19 vaccination, or take a pre-travel test.
As is standard across the United States, masks are still required in public transportation and hubs, including airports, airplanes, boats, buses, trains, etc. You will need to wear your mask when traveling in any form of public transportation within the United States.