My boyfriend and I recently went to Hawaii and it was AMAZING. Actually, I had the honor of being his plus one on a sponsored trip to Honolulu which made it even more incredible. Going to Hawaii was such an amazing experience that we wanted to share the experience with you, and encourage you to go for a visit if you can!
Now this post is a little bit different than most, but don’t worry – there is still food involved Today I want to share the best things to do on Oahu. Something that we did not know at first, is that the city of Honolulu is on the island of Oahu, and it is beautiful! I highly suggest exploring the island as a whole, and not just staying on your resort or in the major city!
TOP 9 THINGS TO DO ON THE ISLAND OF OAHU:
Snorkel on the North Shore
Ladies and gentlemen, I cannot stress enough how important it is to rent a car and drive up to the North Shore. We snorkeled at Turtle Bay Resort (Kuilima Cove), and it was incredible! The fish were awesome, and one day there was even a SEA TURTLE that we swam along side! There is a stand at the beach where you can rent snorkel gear, and even a local plant all around the beach called Naupaka which you can use as a defogger for your goggles. Another near by snorkel location is Sharks Cove, but be sure to check the weather to ensure waves won’t be too rough. Don’t worry, we didn’t see any sharks!
2. Ted’s Bakery on the North Shore
Y’all, Teds Bakery is the real deal for local food! I am so sad we spent 4 days on the North Shore and only got to enjoy this place once. They are known for their Chocolate-Haupia Cream Pie which is a delicious chocolate coconut pie. I would highly suggest getting a slice of pie with a lunch plate! I got the Ted’s Bento Plate (pictured below) with fish, chicken, spam, and teriyaki beef, and it was AMAZING. I am still dreaming about how yummy that lunch was. Seriously – go back to this place as many times as you can when you are on the island. The couple that suggested Ted’s Bakery to us said the hamburgers are great too. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for you to check this place out!
3. Hike Diamond Head
Now if you are staying on Waikiki Beach, you definitely cannot miss the view of this gorgeous mountain. Not only is Diamond Head a great backdrop for your beach pictures, but the views from the top are well worth the hike! We grabbed an Uber from our resort in Waikiki and had the driver drop us off at the base of the state park. Make sure to bring cash, water bottles, and your camera. Entrance into the park by foot is $1 per person. There are tons of stairs and a lot of tourists, but I promise the view from the top is spectacular! Some of our favorite pictures were captured from the top.
4. Swim in Waimea Falls
I don’t know about you, but when I think about Hawaii, I think of beautiful waterfalls everywhere! Waimea Falls is a gorgeous state park on the North Shore where you go on a 3/4 mile hike and end at a waterfall that you can go swimming in. Talk about a super cool Hawaiian experience! It’s helpful if you bring a backpack with an extra towel or two so you can dry off before walking back. I would also suggest bringing a change of clothes so you aren’t stuck in a wet swimsuit for the rest of your day. In addition to the waterfall experience, the hike includes historical native Hawaiian information and gorgeous gardens throughout your walk. Waimea means “Valley of the Priest.”
5. Eat at a Garlic Shrimp Truck
We had worked up a healthy appetite on our hike/ swim at Waimea Falls, so wanted to check out one of the famous shrimp trucks on the North Shore for lunch. We ended up going to Giovanni’s for garlic shrimp plates. Now this wasn’t our favorite meal of the trip, but it was still fun to say we stopped at a famous food truck in Hawaii! This is another stop that you need to make sure you have cash for
6) Check out surfing on the North Shore
Sitting and watching the surfing from Turtle Bay became a new favorite past time when staying on the North Shore. I even started checking out the “swell” levels each mornings to see when and where the best waves would be! The resort had great seats you could sit and watch surfers from in the morning or as the sun was setting. They even had the World Series of Paddleboarding at the resort while we were there. It was super cool and fun to watch the pros! The Pipeline is also on the North Shore and is world famous for hosting the best pros in the world in the Billabong Pipe Masters event. Hope you fall in love with (watching) surfing as much as I did while on the North Shore!
7) Go to a Luau
Going to a Hawaiian Luau is a must when you visit Oahu! You get to eat as the locals do and watch a spectacular show of Hawaiian culture. Both the resorts we stayed at held luaus, but I have to say that the Hilton Hawaiian Villages’ was our absolute favorite! The food was delicious and the entertainment was so much fun! One surprising thing that I found was the leis are not included in these Luaus, so we bought ours at a flower shop before so we would have festive outfits for the occasion.
8) Drive around the Oahu Shoreline
I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to appreciate the beauty of the island. Rent a car and drive around the coast, it is so breathtaking! A few key places we enjoyed off of Kalanianaole Highway included Makapu’u Beach, Hanauma Bay, Kauloa Ranch (where Lost and Jurassic Park were filmed), and Lanikai Beach. The whole drive is breathtaking and lets you truly appreciate the glory of the island! Here are a few of my favorite pictures we were able to capture along the drive.
9) Explore Waikiki Beach
Last but not least, enjoy the city life of Waikiki Beach! We had so much fun walking up and down the beach people watching and looking in the little shops/ restaurants on this beach. There is something for everyone on this part of the island! We were able to grab late night drinks on the beach but also had the options of hitting up sushi, Indian, and burger restaurants. The sunset views are spectacular and very romantic! Hope you enjoy your Oahu trip as much as we did!
Cheers from the heart,