If you’re planning on going to Hawaii (which you should. It’s amazing.) then you’re going to want to do some research before you fly out. Pinterest is fine and dandy, but in my opinion nothing beats a good travel book. Read on to find my opinion on the best guide books for Oahu.

I do a lot of reviews for the awesome people at Raincoast Books, and so when I told them I was going to Hawaii they sent me these two awesome guides from Lonely Planet. I love them! (Raincoast AND the books.)

Oahu Guide BooksPocket Honolulu

First, I love this because it’s so tiny. I brought a few (okay 10) books with me to Oahu, so space and weight are obviously concerns of mine. This guide book was nice and small, so it fit nicely everywhere, even into my coat pocket! (Hence the name, I suppose!) Size is one of the biggest reasons I think this is one of the best guide books for Oahu.

I love that this book has a day-by-day itinerary, with the most popular must-see locations at the beginning of the trip. The guided walks are great and really give you a great taste of the city.

There are a bunch of maps in this book as well, including one you can pull out and use separately. This was super helpful when we were on the go! Mini history and cultural lessons are scattered throughout the pages, making this informative in a bunch of different ways.

But what I really loved was the gorgeous pictures. I need to stop looking at it right now because it makes me want to go back!

Discover Honolulu, Waikiki, and OahuOahu Guidebook

This is one of the more in-depth guide books for Oahu, and covers a lot more of the island than the previous book. If you’re looking to explore the whole place, this is the one for you!

The book is broken up into sections covering each unique part of the island. When we were there we loved it because if he had a couple extra hours somewhere, we could pull it out and see what was nearby. Not having wifi was a bummer, but this book helped make it okay!

With detailed itineraries for each part of Oahu, multiple maps, local hints and awesome food suggestions, you don’t even need Pinterest to plan your trip! (Heresy, I know!)

My favourite thing about this book though are the asides giving you a better idea of Hawaiian culture and life. They include a look at homelessness, Obama’s neighbourhood, info on hula, and royal birthstones.

This may be dorky, but I actually love looking back through these guides after our trip. They perfectly capture the adventure and charm of Oahu.


Do you like using travel books? Which one is your favourite?