Hi friends, this weekend I finally had the time to write up my guide on Oahu Hawaii. This is one of my favorite islands and had a blast both times I’ve been here. Hawaii reminds me of beautiful beaches, rainbow sunsets, sea turtles, dolphins, fruity pineapple drinks, palm trees, Hawaiian luau bbq, tiki torches, leis, hibiscus flowers, hula dancing, bamboo forests, tropical smoothies, Polynesian culture, rainbow shave ice and sea cliffs. Below are just a few of my favorite sights and food places: Enjoy!
Hanauma Bay – Beautiful place to go snorkeling; clear blue turquoise waters, go early before 7am to avoid crowds and admission fee
Hike Diamond Head – The view from the top is stunning overlooking the city buildings and beaches; trail is partially paved and very non-strenuous .08 mile hike
Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail & Tidepools – Such a gorgeous scenic hike; slightly steep but non-strenuous paved road 2.5 miles in length; Lighthouse was roped off when we went due to high tide watch; Got to see the tidepools from afar which was cool, but some brave travelers hiked to the bottom to swim in them despite the warning signs
Lanikai Beach – Bright blue waters gave the feeling of tropical island paradise; Iconic two pillar rocks out in the distance; Great place to go kayaking or canoeing b/c the water is very calm with not a lot of waves
Pearl Harbor – Very historic, but somber place; Good to see once in your lifetime
Waikiki Beach & Shops – Very touristy; Good area for shopping and dining but super crowded and not my favorite place to be due to the mass crowds
Dole Pineapple Plantation – See the cool pineapple plants; Watch the pineapple cutting demonstration; Check out the large gift shop and eat a dole whip…yum!
Waimea Bay – Cute little bay; super windy and cold when we went but neat lighthouse
Pali Lookout – Gorgeous overlook into the valley
Punchbowl – Best view of Waikiki from the Main Office Overlook spot in the national cemetery; Don’t miss the famous memorial statue out front
Banan Food Truck – BEST acai bowl i’ve had in my life….well technically it’s more like banana soft serve but very similar concept (wish I could eat one of these every day for breakfast); Probably hands down my favorite thing I tried in Hawaii
Matsumoto Shaved Ice – Not the best shaved ice I’ve ever had but a cute iconic famous shaved ice shop on the island; tons of flavors and cute gift shop; just your classic flavored shaved ice
Lanikai Juice – Delicious smoothies
Chuck’s Steakhouse – Ended up here by accident b/c Duke’s was way too crowded; Dinner ended up being amazing and the ocean front Waikiki sunset view off the balcony was to die for
Duke’s – Hula pie is AMAZING! Check out my OC travel guide for more details on this restaurant 🙂
Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha – Second favorite shaved ice place we went to on the island; amazing and unique take to a traditional shaved ice with real fruit toppings (didn’t taste artificially flavored). We ordered Classic rainbow, Strawberry Dream & Tropical Delight….all wonderful!
Honolulu Cookie Company – Favorite cookies on the islands; Had to bring some home to all of my friends; My favorite is the kona coffee flavored ones dipped in dark chocolate
Cheese Burgers in Paradise – Pretty good burgers off the Waikiki strip right by the beach
Leonard’s Malasadas Bakery – Best malasadas on the island; Portuguese donuts. Cinnamon Sugar & Original were my favorite.
Musukawas – Ton Katsu and Original spam misubi was a tasty snack
Island Vintage Shaved Ice – Hands down best shaved ice i’ve had in Hawaii. So delectably yummy! Heavenly Lilikoi was my favorite!
Nordstrom Gelato Bar – who knew Nordstrom in Hawaii had a gelato bar? We definitely don’t have this back home so sure was a treat to get Lilikoi sorbet
Loved staying at Luana…it is right on the Waikiki strip with all the shopping and restaurants, but far away from the beach where you won’t get all the noise and tourists. We had a gorgeous suite room that made me feel like I was in tropical paradise. The customer service here was amazing!
I recommend renting a car since everything is pretty far in proximity. Hawaiian license plates are too adorable. Wish ours were as pretty.
We flew on Hawaiian Airlines….I’d say this is the best way to get to Hawaii! They give you meals onboard fit with Hawaiian flair. I liked getting the guava and POG juice. I loved their marketing safety video that showed you all the landmarks of Hawaii (made it easier to pay attention). Plus there’s an option to have a lei welcoming which is so special. Always appreciated the Aloha spirit of the staff. It was so fun to take the transfer to island hop.
On my next visit I’d like to do the Koko Crater Hike, Lanikai Pillbox Hike, Crouching Lion Hike and Stairway to Heaven Hike (once it becomes not illegal).
Hawaii truly is the state of rainbows!