More than five million visitors come to Oahu every year, to visit legendary Waikiki and metro Honolulu as well as the rugged surfers’ paradise of the North Shore and the historic landmarks at Pearl Harbor. With the Go Oahu Card from Smart Destinations, you can make the most of your time and money while vacationing in Hawaii’s capital.
For one price, you’ll get access to more than a dozen tours and excursions including boat rides, kayaking, surfing, and luaus. If you happen to catch a rainy day, there are several great museums including the Bishop Museum and the Pacific Aviation Museum. The Go Oahu Card can be used on non-consecutive days, which is great for visitors who are hoping to spend lots of time lounging on the beach.
Top Included Hawaii Attractions
Grand Circle Island Tour
Pearl Harbor and Honolulu City Tour
Sea Life Park
Waikiki Hon-On Hop-Off Trolley
Polynesian Cultural Center or Germaines Luau (3, 5 or 7 day cards)
See the complete list of attractions and tours in the sidebar.
The greatest strength of the Go Oahu Card is the sheer breadth of the included attractions. Almost everything a visitor would want to see on the island of Oahu. Also the range of activities from historical sites, to tours, cruises, rentals and water parks ensures that there is something for everyone.
The Go Oahu Card offers good savings for travelers who are planning a fast-paced vacation and want to see as many attractions as possible. For instance if you went on the Makani Catamaran, Sea Life Park and Grand Circle Island Tour on a 2-day card, you would save over $50.
You can use your cards on non-consecutive days. The card is activated the first time you use it, then you have 2 weeks to use the rest of your days. In the above example, you can go on the Catamaran and Sea Life Park on a Monday, and go on the Grand CIrcle Island Tour on a Friday (relaxing in between).
Because each person has his or her own card, families can split up and visit different attractions based on their interests. Because of this flexibility, individuals or families can easily switch gears if they change their mind about an attraction or tour.
In addition, the Go Oahu Card includes discounts to restaurants, including Planet Hollywood and Moose McGillycuddys Pub and Cafe, and retail locations such as Hilo Hattie and the Maui Divers Jewelry..
Lastly, the 125-page guidebook included with the passes is an invaluable resource and can help visitors get the most out of their Go Oahu Card and their visit.
What Could get better?
The Go Oahu Card has great bonus attractions if you buy a longer duration card: the Polynesian Cultural Center, Germaine’s Luau, Surf Lesson, or Rental Car. Unfortunately, you only get to do one of those things. My pick would be the Germaine’ Luaus. Usually you cannot use the Go Oahu Card after 5:30 but the luaus only happen at night, freeing up the rest of your day. See the tips section for another creative use of the bonus.
Get Your Money’s Worth
Generally, the more days you purchase for your Go Oahu Card, the fewer attractions per day you need to visit to get your money’s worth. For example, if you buy a one-day pass, you’ll need to go to a couple attractions; buy the seven-day pass and one attraction per day is enough to reap the benefits of the Go Oahu Card. I’m also assuming that you will be going to the more expensive attractions such as the Trolley and Tours.
Your Go Oahu Card is activated by the first attraction you visit. Your consecutive day passes are not counted in 24-hour increments. For example, if you activate your card at 4 pm, that counts as day one on the length of your card.
If you go on Hanauma Bay Snorkeling- go EARLY in the morning. It gets really crowded.
If you want to rent a car and there are multiple people in your party you can use them all towards a rental car. For instance if you had a family of 4, each with their own card, you could get 4 days of a rental car. Use the rental car to get to all the activities you do that day as each day you rent a car counts as a day on the card.
The Go Oahu Card is not accepted after 5:30 p.m. Though most attractions will close around this time, plan your days carefully.
If you plan well and are aware of the included extras—like dining, for example—you can save a lot of money on eating out and souvenirs. In most cases, these discounts are “show and save;” therefore you can get these discounts the day before your card is activated or the day after it expires.
Bring a map with you to find the pickup locations for your Go Oahu Card. The pickup locations are pretty convenient but Oahu can be difficult to navigate.
Get $20 off your Go Card/Explorer Pass order over $400! via coupon code: GOSAVE20 .
The fine print: Limit 1 Coupon/Order; Must Be Redeemed Online. Not valid on Build Your Own Pass. Travel anytime but book by September 30th, 2015. NOTE: Smart Destinations has been known to expire their coupon codes earlier than anticipated so don't wait.
Where to Buy It
The card is available at many outlets. You can buy it at Expedia, Orbitz or Travelocity or you can buy it once you get to Hawaii but these are not great options as you may pay more. The best place the buy the card is at the Smart Destinations website. The 3 5 and 7day cards frequently go on sale. They also have a great return policy. If you are pressed for time, use the voucher option.
All Included Attractions
BONUS! Your choice of one of these with the purchase of a 3, 5 or 7 day Card!
- Sea Life Park–Dolphin Encounter
- Germaine’s Luau
- Polynesian Cultural Center–HA Breath of Life
- Kualoa Experience (all-day) Pass and Legends of Kualoa Dinner & Show
- Dollar Rent A Car* (JEEP Wrangler Special)
TOURS AND EXCURSIONS
- All of Oahu in One Day Tour
- Diamond Head Crater Hike
- Dole Plantation Pineapple Express Train Ride and Garden Tour
- Hanauma Bay Snorkel Adventure
- Honolulu City and Shopping Tour
- Makani Catamaran Afternoon Sail
- Makapuu Lighthouse Hike
- Movie Sites and Ranch Tour at Kualoa Ranch, Secret Beach Tour, Ocean Voyaging Tour (1-hour catamaran sail), Jungle Tour, OR Ancient Hawaiian Fishpond & Garden Tour (one tour per day only)
- Pearl Harbor Historical-City Tour
- Battleship Missouri Memorial
- Bishop Museum
- Honolulu Museum of Art
- Lyon Arboretum
- Pacific Aviation Museum
CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL ATTRACTIONS
- Byodo-In Temple
- Dole Plantation: The Maze
- Iolani Palace
- Polynesian Cultural Center
- Queen Emma Summer Palace
- USS Arizona Memorial – Audio Tour
- USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park
- Waimea Valley
- Hawaiian Oceans Waikiki – Surfboard Rental
- Hawaiian Style Rentals: 4-hour Moped (once per life of card) or 24-hour Bike Rental
- Oahu Kayaking with Hawaii Beach Time
- Podium Raceway
- Stand Up Paddle Boarding at Ala Moana Beach
- Sea Life Park
- Snorkel the North Shore
- Waikiki Ocean Club
- Wet ‘n Wild Hawaii
Choice of one Hawaiian Ocean’s Waikiki Beach Gear Rental per day:
- Boogie Board (3 hours)
- Fins (3 hours)
- Umbrella (3 hours)
- Chaise Lounge (3 hours)
- Surfboard rental (1.5 hours)