Travel: Oahu, Hawaii

Fresh off the plane from Oahu, Hawaii, I wanted to share all of the activities we did while on vacation, as well as a few other things that were on my list that we didn't get to.

We had an incredible first time to Hawaii and I didn't know what to expect! I love how the Polynesian culture is still celebrated in Hawaii, and it really doesn't feel like you are in the US at all, aside from the shopping areas!
Also, I think you could visit Oahu and sit on the beach the entire time and never leave OR you could visit, and never sit on the beach because there is so much to see! This trip we decided to do a little bit of both because my boyfriend and I really love a mix of adventure, and I love a bit of time relaxing as well. 

Classics

Polynesian Cultural Centre
If you google the top things to do in Oahu, this is one of the top attractions and it was great! We really enjoyed our afternoon learning about the Polynesian culture and visiting the different "islands." In th evening we went to a luau and enjoyed dinner, followed by an incredible show/performance. 


Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden Visitor Center
The gardens were a beautiful place to visit for free, and the location of the iconic blogger photo location. This location actually has a sign up saying you can't take photos on the road, but it is still manageable as of March 2019. There are a few parking spots outside of the gate, so we parked there and started walking up, and quickly took a photo, and then took the car further up the road to the gardens and there were more parking spots. 


Pearl Harbour
This was not something high up on my list and my boyfriend really wanted to go. He made the smart choice of showing me the moving the night before going. I found that this really made me more interested when I was there. You definitely need the whole afternoon to go through everything. We did not get to the USS Arizona memorial because there were no tickets left at 1pm. You need to go really early to get these tickets, and we spent the morning at the beach. I am glad that we went, so if you are on the fence, I would recommend trying!



Kauloa aka Jurassic Park
We did not get to do this because you need to book tours weeks in advance. There were a few tours that were available the day we showed up, but we would have to wait around the ranch for a few hours before we could go, and they still weren't tours we wanted to do. 


Sail and Snorkel Adventure
We took our trip with with Holokai Catamaran and it was approximately 2 and a half hours! The crew were amazing, they had drinks and snacks. They even had prescription goggles for me to use!! I thought that was above and beyond and not something I expected. 

Hikes

These are the ones that I was able to complete during my trip:

Mauanawili Falls & Trail
This was an absolutely beautiful waterfall, however the hike was covered in tree roots and lots of mud! It was an area that was like a rain forest, with many river crosses, so I imagine it is muddy most of the time. Definitely worth wearing hiking boots or water shoes to complete!


The Pillbox Trail
This trail was beautiful with views over Waikiki! Definitely gets your heart pumping as you hike up!


Diamond Head
The views were beautiful from Diamond Head, and I found from afar, it seemed very lush and green, but when you wee walking it, you were on a paved trial most of the time. It cost $5 to drive to the base and park, and it took two fit 25 year olds about 18 minutes to hike to the top!

Waimea Falls
This was a really easy walk up, with lots to see on the way! It was paved the whole walk, and it was a busy falls to swim in with many groups there. Also, you need to swim with a life jacket and the water is very very... Fresh!


These are some other incredible hikes that were on my list:
Olomano/3 Peaks Trail
Makapu'u Tide Pools
Lighthouse Trail
Kaawa/Crouching Lion Hike

Beaches

We spent our time at Waikiki. This is where we floated on my pink inflatable lemon, and rented a surf board! We aren't the type that sit on the beach for hours, but we spent most of our time in the water! I really enjoyed it, but I know some might find that it was too busy.
The locals seemed to really recommend Lanikai Beach!

Other Options: 
Lanikai Beach
Pieline/Sunset Beach
Hanauma Bay

Food

Leonard's
A locals favourite doughnut shop! We had to go to Leonard's twice to have doughnuts because they were so good! If you have a car, it isn't too far to drive from Waikiki for a quick treat! We found that the best time to go was around 3PM. Earlier in the day, the line is out the door. 

Beachhouse at the Moana
This is where I had my beautiful birthday breakfast. If this picture doesn't show you how incredible the view is, go check out my Instagram stories from Hawaii. It was stunning.

The Veranda
This is where I celebrated my birthday with high tea, Hawaiian style with local twists on a classic British tea. The hotel is also beautiful, we were able to drive and receive complementary parking for 4 hours and walk around the hotel grounds after. Definitely worth the little trip. Just a short drive from Waikiki. There are two Veranda's in the area, this one is located at 5000 Kahala Ave. 


The Hotel

We stayed at the Alohilani resort on Waikiki beach. It was a beautiful designed hotel that had been newly renovated with an infinity pool and bar area on the 5th floor. We really loved our stay here, it was really close to everything. At night we were able to walk around and enjoy the shopping areas and go to dinner.

Another popular resort in the area is the Royal Hawaiian, which is beautiful and pink and I ran over for a photo! Definitely beautiful grounds and I loved the pink exterior. 

The North Shore



The Dole Plantation
There is also a Coffee plantation for coffee drinkers
I was able to take a quick stop at the Dole Plantation where Dole Pineapples are grown! This is a must for Pineapple, or Dole Whip lovers! We just stopped briefly, it was cool to see, but we really didn't spend that long. 


Food Trucks
The food trucks were fun, definitely great for a foodie, but I am more of a sweets girl than a savoury girl so this was maybe less exciting for me!? Still a cool concept and worth checking out if you head to the north shore.

The Sunrise Shack
This is one of those blogger/instagrammer spots, but honestly, when I got there I decided to skip the photo and just head back to the beach and watch the surfers. Check it out of you're there, but it's really not close to the other food trucks!


Useful information

You can easily fly between islands for $150 return! If you want to take a day trip, or hop between islands, it isn't that expensive!

Lei
If you wondered where I got this beautiful flower crown Lei, Lei Po'o, Haku Lei (there are so many names and I did not learn the proper name...oops). 
I picked mine up from Le Flowers which is close to Waikiki. They have a large variety of options available without ordering ahead. 

1 comment:

  1. Oahu is a U.S. island in the Central Pacific, part of the Hawaiian island chain and home to the state capital, Honolulu. It has many beautiful places for visiting that attract visitors. I also want to visit Oahu as soon as possible. Thanks for sharing this informative information.wildlouisianatours

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