Sharing some photos from my trip and a few of my favorite things I would recommend (and some recommendations that were given to me) to do/see/eat if you are planning on going to O’ahu one of the Hawaiian Islands!
- Make sure to visit the Pali lookout for some amazing views of the island. I think there are some trails around the area for hikes as well.
- Lanikai Pillboxes http://mykailua.blogspot.com/2008/03/lanikai-bunkerspillboxes-hike.html (this was recommended to me), I heard this is one of the best hikes to go on!!
- Diamond Head – I went on this hike with my family. It’s not too long, but it was humid and there are some intense stairs to climb at the end before you get to the top! There were people young and old on this hike, don’t think you can’t do it! 🙂 Bring lot’s of wata (view of the top of the hike below).
Cultural or Historical
- Pearl Harbor – Naval Base – WWII Memorial. I think my interest in WWII was when I watched Josh Harnett and Ben Affleck in the 2001 film “Pearl Harbor”, I’m sure everyone knows what I’m talking about! I know my interest goes much deeper than that; I think there aren’t many lives and families the war didn’t effect, including my own. It was humbling and a powerful experience going through the tours of USS Bowfin, USS Missouri – unfortunately, the Navy shut down the ferry to the USS Arizona due to high winds, but I will be attending when I’m back! Some suggestions: Go as early as you possibly can (7am) since the tour of the USS Arizona is free and the tickets sell out. We went on the whole tour though and it’s about $65 per person, very worth it. https://pearlharboroahu.com “Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them” – President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Bill of Rights Day, November 27th 1941.
- The Polynesian Cultural Center is great for learning about the culture but is quite pricey and kind of an all-day commitment. They do have an amazing evening show/luau dinner though that I think you can do separately.http://www.polynesia.com/evening-show.html (was recommended to me, didn’t get to go).
- The Dole Pineapple Plantation
- Hanauma Bay is one of the best places to do snorkeling or diving. However, it gets very crowded and parking is limited. Arrive early! Also if you go here make sure to stop by “Toilet Bowl”…actually just look at it from the highway because it’s kind of dangerous!
- The North Shore We love going to Waimea Bay – there is a big rock for diving off and the water is very calm. Kawela Bay is the “secret” beach – it is close to the Turtle Bay Resort.
- Sandy Beach/Bomasi beach has huge waves and is actually very dangerous for people that don’t know what they are doing…but it’s fun to go there and watch some of the top surfers!
- Definitely stop by Ted’s Bakery (Best cream pies! Definitely a local spot) and also hit up Giovanni’s Shrimp cart (you can find these if you type them into Google maps).
- For Snorkeling (which we didn’t get to do because there was a large surf warnings) I was recommended to go to the Shark’s Cove. http://www.hawaiisnorkelingguide.com/sharks_cove.htm
- Matsumoto Shave Ice – best ever!
- Luau – We went to a Luau called “Chief’s Luau at Sea Life Park”. I must admit that I think Luau’s feel like you’re attending a wedding… but they are fun to experience! We were recommended this Luau from our Hotel and I will say, it was pretty funny. The “Chief” is a “comedian” and is very interactive to say the least. And they had some hotties working at the show, so I would say that was all around a thumbs up.
- Flea Market – I am a shopper at heart, but if you are not one to search through tons of tons to find your perfect souvenir, then I woudn’t recommend this for you. It’s only on Wednesdays and Sundays. I thought it was a good expereince and I did find some cool things! We found some Hawai’i stickers, a 40oz hydro flask for $20 and a tee that said “Da North Shore” playing off of “The North Face” haha. Gotta love it!
- Where to stay – We stayed at the Embassy Suites. It’s not right on the water, but it was a nice hotel with everything you could ever need and Waikiki is literally across the street. I would recommend the Royal Hawaiian if you are staying on Waikiki, this is where we will end up next time! https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=pink+palace+waikiki
I could write a whole other post on where to eat, all I have to say is there really isn’t anywhere I didn’t like, and I also can’t remember everywhere we ate – but it is a little on the pricier end, but oh, well! You’re on vacation 😉
Now that I’m back to Portland and in the cold rainy weather again, I think I need to plan another warm weather getaway!
Hope you all have a great day! Aloha!