I spent a month on the island of Oahu in Hawaii in 2012. This trip is the inspiration and the reason I started blogging. Today I’m sharing my full guide and favorites things to do in Oahu!
–Waimea Waterfall Park | This is on the way to North Shore, a beautiful hike to the waterfall.
–Dole Pineapple Plantation | The plantation is on the way to North Shore and I highly recommend a visit just for the delicious pineapple soft serve ice cream!!! This place is all things pineapple, you can do a tour or just walk in a visit the shop and try samples. I didn’t do the tour, just went for the ice cream!
–Giovanni’s Shrimp Trucks | There is an area in North Shore where there are shrimp trucks, BBQ corn, and delicious food. Most of the spots only accept cash. Be sure to have some on hand or there is an ATM. The food is first come first serve, they will run out of stuff! I recommend going for lunch!
–Ted’s Bakery | This place is known for their Shaved ice and pie!
–Turtle Beach | This place is where you can see the sea turtles. You just park your car on the side of the street and walk over, we almost missed it because the signs aren’t really that great. Just follow the GPS and park as soon as it says you have arrived.
–Historic Haleiwa Town | Grab Hawaiin Shave Ice, visit local stores and shops and enjoy this laid back town on your way to north shore.
–Hiking at Diamond Head | One of my favorite hikes on the island, I did it 4 times during my visit. The hike isn’t bad at all, at the very end there are about 100 stairs to the top. The view is incredible from the top!
–Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay | This is an absolute must!! The Bay is closed on Tuesdays, make note of that. Otherwise it opens at 6am! Get there early because once it’s at capacity they don’t allow a lot people in. You can bring your own gear or rent there. It’s absolutely beautiful here!! I don’t know how to swim that well however just standing on the beach and going a little bit in the water I was able to see all the beautiful sea life!!
–Punchbowl National Cemetery | It’s a national cemetery that is very interesting to visit and the views from the top of the hill are incredible.
–Pearl Harbor | Definitely visit, go earlier in the day to avoid the crowds.
–Aloha Stadium Swamp Meet & Marketplace | The market is open Sunday 6:30am-3pm, Wednesday & Saturday 8am-3pm. It’s a 20 minute drive from Waikiki. Such a fun place to shop, eat, and find all local things!
–Shangri La | This is the home of Doris Duke that has been turned into a museum. Definitely get tickets in advance, the tour leaves from the Honolulu Museum of Art. This was one of the highlights of my trip! I absolutely loved it and highly recommend it to everyone.
–Halona Blowhole | This blowhole is near Hanauma Bay and a fun quick stop to view the water shooting upwards out of the volcanic rock formation.
–Iolani Palace | Hawaii has a lot of history, if you are into museums the Iolani Palace is fun to visit.
–Roy’s Hawaii Restaurant Waikiki | The menu here is delicious! I love the sushi and the fish trio dish, the food is very fresh.
–Hau Tree Lanai Restaurant | Lovely spot for brunch or dinner. Be sure to make reservations and request the patio!
–Town Restaurant | A delicious restaurant that has unique and interesting menu.
–Ono Seafood | If you like Poke this place is delicious! It’s more of a grab and go place. We grabbed poke bowls from here and went down to the beach to watch the sunset.
–Duke’s Waikiki | This is a great chill spot for drinks, surf and turf food.
–Leonard’s Bakery | Famous bakery known for their delicious malasadas doughnut.
–Crack Seed Store | This place is so fun!! Crack seed is a type of snack from China, it’s very popular in Hawaii. This store has different flavors and variety. I love trying all the different versions and buying some to bring back home!
Windward East (Kailua)
–Byodo-In Temple | A beautiful Buddhist temple to visit.
–Boots & Kimo’s | This place is known for their delicious macadamia pancakes, see picture above! Get there early to avoid the crowds.
–Crepes Na Ka ‘Oi | Delicious breakfast spot in Kailua!
–Island Snow Shave Ice | Best. Shave. Ice. I had a lot of shave ice in Hawaii and this was hands down my favorite spot!
–Kailua Beach Park | Voted one of the best beaches, the water is beautiful, and it’s a beautiful place to just hang. Bring a beach towel and enjoy the views and warm water.
If you are into it, go to a Luau! We went to a Luau and Show at the Polynesian Cultural Center. They have Luau’s everywhere honestly! I hope this quick guide to Oahu was helpful. If you are traveling to Hawaii and have any questions or need recommendations feel free to reach out. I Love sharing and talking about all things Oahu!