We made it to Oahu after being on Maui for a couple of weeks and it was quite the change of pace! Oahu is bustling and busy with people all headed somewhere in a hurry while Maui was laid-back and relaxed with people on lazy “island time”. Oahu is home to Honolulu a major city and Waikiki beach which is a tourist magnet like no other beach on Oahu.
Needless to say we really enjoyed hanging out in Oahu and exploring parts of the island we hadn’t seen on our previous trip here (about 4 years ago). We also met a really cool couple of world travelers that have recently made Oahu their home (how lucky are they)!! Rick and Tys (@marriedandabroad) are from the mainland but seem to have adjusted to the tropical climate and palm trees just fine 😉 They also took the time to take us around to some of their favorite spots and even a secret waterfall.
Below is our little road map of where to visit, what to eat and do while visiting Oahu.
Waikiki Beach and boardwalk
This is where all the tourists are, but they are here for a reason! The crystal clear waters, sea turtles that glide by and tons of shopping and restaurants. The beach is crowded so get there a little earlier and head down towards one of the hotels in order to have a little more space.
If you really want to see some sea turtles and tons of tropical fish this is the place to come. It’s great for snorkeling since the bay is a wildlife preserve and there are lots of fish here. There is an entrance fee and you will have to watch a marine life safety video before you are allowed to enter the park but it’s worth if you haven’t been before. Expect to spend at least half the day here, and get here early as it does get busy.
This is where the surfers come because of the massive waves! It’s also where you are going to find a lot of the local crowed, who don’t also take to kindly to the tourists we found out. I would make it a point to visit the North shore area and try some of the food trucks parked near the beach.
The China walls in Kai are spectacular! We were taken by Rick and Tys and had a blast jumping off of the cliffs and climbing around the “walls”. This a great place to come to watch the sunset over Oahu. If you come at the right time when the ocean is at a high tide you can see the “spitting cave” putting on a show as well!
This is a spectacular water fall with a pretty easy hike to get there. But, if we told you where it was it wouldn’t be a secret, happy hunting! (hint: not too far from Honolulu)
Where to eat:
if you are like us, then you probably like having delicious and memorable meal. These are some of the places we recommend:
Top of Waikiki:
This is a beautiful restaurant that you have to visit at least once! Come here on a clear day to watch the sunset and to see the Waikiki strip light up in the evening. Be sure to make a reservation in advance and we recommend getting there right at 5PM. It’s a revolving restaurant so you will get to see the whole city and beach from above. We did two revolutions by the time we were done with dinner.
The Royal Hawaiian – Surf Lanai
We came here for breakfast and their incredible pink pancakes! What an experience with a spectacular ocean view! The food is absolutely delicious with top notch service, as expected. Make a reservation in advance.
This is a cult classic! Come here and order the chicken cutlet or the loco moco or both!! ask for some extra gravy on the side.. Your Welcome!! No seriously, EAT HERE at least once
Island Vintage Coffee
So besides the obvious great coffee, we loved the Poke bowls and also the acai bowls
Where to stay:
These are a couple of the hotels that we would recommend while staying on Waikiki beach.
This is a great hotel to stay at with incredible ocean views. We loved the breakfast here, they have a huge selection to choose from along with an omelet bar. We recommend staying in the Deluxe ocean view room. Use promo code “couplesworldtour” to get a free upgrade, breakfast for two, and free parking! Valid for stays through September 30, 2018
Hans Hedemann Surf School
We also did the stand up paddle board lessons here which were a blast! We saw 2 logger head turtles while we were out there too.
The Royal Hawaiian Hotel
Beautiful, pink and top notch accommodation on the Waikiki strip. This is a beachfront resort with all the bells and whistles, including incredibly comfortable pillow-top bed, spacious common areas and and lavish gardens. We stayed in the Mailani Tower which was great since all the rooms are ocean view rooms.
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