Travel planning for Oahu and Maui amid Hawaii’s reopening

It’s the moment many have been waiting for. Starting Oct 15, mainland visitors can once again return to the Hawaiian Islands without a mandatory quarantine period. That is, of course, with proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of traveling, and the satisfactory completion of a traveler declaration form.

The Hawaiian Tourism Authority has a new travel page sharing the precise details of how travelers can freely travel within the state. If a traveler has taken the necessary testing but not yet received the results before arrival, quarantine will be required until the official negative result comes in. Without the negative test documented, visitors may still explore after quarantining in place for two weeks.

“Now that visitors can once again enjoy Hawaii’s breathtaking natural beauty, extraordinary open spaces, unique experiences and signature hospitality,” says the tourism authority, “we are asking you to join in our efforts to help keep Hawaii safe.”

Current approved testing facilities include CVS and Kaiser Permanente. Everyone, including minors, must provide a negative test prior to traveling without quarantine.

With travelers again welcome, what should a family plan for safe exploration around the islands? Get your map and notebook ready as we share some of the best family fun to be had across Oahu and Maui, then stay tuned for a forthcoming update on Kauai, Lanai and the Big Island.

Oahu is known as The Gathering Place and rightly so. Most first-time island visitors and repeat vacationers flock to Honolulu, Waikiki Beach and the North Shore. These are some of the most popular beach destinations for casual swims, surfing of all skill levels and adventures on kayaks or standup paddleboards.

Adventurist couples will find a cozy retreat at Vive Hotel Waikiki. This boutique property is perfect for twosomes in search of quick access to Waikiki beaches, along with shopping and dining along both Kuhio and Kalakaua Avenues. Vive provides complimentary use of boogie boards and beach towels, while surf shops all along the beachfront provide hourly or day long rentals of longboards and paddleboards.

Travel planning for Oahu and Maui amid Hawaii\'s reopeningColin Anderson Productions pty l/Getty Images

Within Honolulu, couples and families alike will find a few hours of fun at Honolulu Zoo, trekking around Diamond Head, or splashing down slides at Wet ‘n’ Wild waterpark.

On the windward coast, visit Kualoa Ranch for ATV trails, film site tours and horseback rides through a tropical paradise. Fan of the Jurassic film franchise? This is a must-visit film location where guests can take a Jurassic Valley zipline tour.

On the North Shore, book a luxurious stay at Turtle Bay Resort for easy access to sunsets along the water and famous surfing shores just a few miles down the road. Visit historic Haleiwa Town for surf culture hot spots, board rentals and surf lessons and some of the best beaches of Oahu.

Take a breathtaking cage dive to see sharks in their natural habitat, then sample fish tacos, shrimp plate lunches and shave ice from a variety of locally famous food trucks sprinkled along the shoreline.

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