Before I even began to dream about traveling internationally, Hawaii was on my bucket list! It was like THE ultimate place to travel to for as long as I can remember!
When I began traveling internationally, I thought maybe Hawaii wouldn't compare to all the Asian tropical destinations I had been to, so it slowly got lower and lower on the to-do list.
It wasn't till my best friend moved to Hawaii that the interest sparked again!
After 3 years of trying to plan a trip out there to see him, my fiancé finally agreed when his childhood friend decided to have a destination wedding there! This was such an awesome trip, was as amazing as I hoped and imagined it to be, and I can't wait to share some of my favorite spots and activities!
Oahu blew my expectations! The beaches are absolutely incredible and this is the perfect place to visit if you like the carefree beach life but also like a bit of city life action!
We spent most of our time in Kailua, which is about 30-40 minutes from Honolulu, so my recommendations are a bit more catered towards nature activities and local style living!
• Pearl Harbor
• Sandy Beach (sea glass and huge waves)
- Eat at DokkaeBi Inc food truck - it's SO good!
• Kula'ila'i Beach (Swim with wild dolphins)
• Lanikai Beach
• Lanikai Pill Box Hike
Not a difficult hike but definitely a workout! Trail is at a 45 degree angle with some rock stairs.
• Diamond Head Crater Hike (no later than 4:30)
• Ice Ponds hike (waterfall)
Bring hiking shoes! This hike is a walk at first and then there is one part that is super challenging because some parts are really, really steep, and if you go after some people have already arrived and swam in the waterfall then the dirt path becomes mud, which makes it much more tricky to get down.
• Koko railway hike
• Shark's Cove (for snorkeling)
• Aloha Stadium Flea Market
• Bee and Tea
Known for their boba tea and lemonades! They also serve your beverage in a cute lightbulb shaped cup!
• Whole Foods Kailua
This place is a vibe! Live music, fully stocked bar and a lengthy dinner menu has people all over town coming to unwind each evening!
• Restaurant 604
Known for the best Bloody Marys! I definitely recommend the coconut shrimp and edamame appetizer!
• Leonard's Bakery
• Giovanni food truck
• Helena's Hawaii Food Menu
• Diamond Head Grill
• Ahi Assasins
• Ono's seafood
• Maguro Bro's
• Foodland (for poke)
• Matsumoto's shave ice
• Kokbunuts shave ice
We actually went to this island for a friend's wedding, so the main objective was being with friends more than exploring the island, but during that time, we did find some really divine spots!
• Waimea Canyon State Park
• Snorkel at Poipu Beach
For the best snorkeling gear visit Kauai Bound Snorkel and Golf Rental. We came across this place by accident and it made our trip 100x better! He really had the best snorkeling gear, was so helpful and sweet to work with AND it was only $7 per 24 hours to rent (that included goggles, snorkel, fins, carrying case and goggle cleaner).
• Queen's Bath
Exquisite tide pools surrounded by rocks. It's a tricky hike especially after rainfall (since there isn't much grip and it gets super muddy)
• Turtle Cove
Such an epic spot! You go down a pretty steep trail (wouldn't recommend this hike after a rainy day for the same reason mentioned above) down to rocks where you will then need to swim a very short amount to a bank of sand where the cave will be located. Walk through the cave and you'll find the most beautiful cove where you can sometimes spot sea turtles!
• Anaké's Juice Bar
The best place for acai bowls!
• Wishing Well Shave Ice
This place is amazing! It's a little shack on the side of the road, but it is so Pinterest-y! It also had really delicious shave ice! We got the rainbow shave ice with macadamia nut ice cream (life changing haha)! We also got a cold brew coffee for about $7 which is quite pricey in my opinion, but when I saw that it came in a mason jar with their name embossed in it (which you get to keep) I thought it was well worth it! It made a great souvenir. :)
• Trilogy Coffee
Such a cute little spot with a strong yogi influence, which I loved! I would come here to relax, work, read, etc.