If you’ve been following me on Instagram you’ll know that I just spent a magical 3 weeks in Hawaii, eating and exploring all the goodness these islands have to offer.
Over the next few weeks I’m going to be sharing more about my travels because 1) I know these type of posts were SO useful for me in planning my own trip and 2) to document my adventures while they are still fresh and real in my mind.
WHY was I in Hawaii in the first place? Business or pleasure? Read this post.
OAHU was the first stop on my trip.
Oahu is the third largest of the Hawaiian islands size wise and home to over 2/3 of the total population of the state. The capital of Hawaii, Honolulu, is located on Oahu. The island is also a major military hub and houses one of the largest military word forces in the country.
My very good friend, Karie, recently moved to Oahu with her family, and so when I learned I would be traveling to the big island of Hawaii as part of my Universal Health Principles training, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to visit her too!
Here are some of the highlights from my trip:
- Dinner (or happy hour!) at Nico’s Pier 38 - A great spot for fresh food! I had grilled swordfish and veggies and it was a perfect dinner for my first night in Hawaii. It was raining when we ate there, but they also have outdoor seating with harbor views and a great happy hour!
- Breakfast at Island Vintage Coffee - Looking for beautiful, bountiful breakfasts and acai bowls? Look no further. They also carry cold pressed juices and (like many Hawaii coffee shops) offer coconut milk for your coffee.
- An acai bowl at Lanikai Juice - This popular juice bar knows how to do acai bowls (and has about 10 different options for you to pick from!). They also have a run club! A quick note: I believe they make their acai base with apple juice which is WAY too sweet for my taste buds. Next time I’d ask to swap for almond or coconut milk.
- Dinner + drinks at Top of Waikiki - We ended up at this revolving bar on accident (our first choice spot was too long of a wait!), but I’m glad we did because it was one of the best meals I had on my whole trip!
- Shaved ice at Matsumoto’s - Shaved ice is a must-try treat when you are in Hawaii, and Matsumoto’s on Oahu’s North Shore is famous for it’s unique and tasty flavors (I had passionfruit, guava and birthday cake!).
- Banana ice cream from Banan - A food truck that serves up totally vegan banana ice cream? YES, please! (And NYC… take note!) They have a few different flavors to choose from (I went with the chocolate macadamia nut) plus the most incredible toppings (bee pollen, coconut, macadamia nut butter << get that!).
- Grab groceries at Down to Earth Organic & Natural Market - Awesome health foods store with multiple locations in Hawaii. They’ve got local produce and goodies, as well as mainland health food store staples.
- Chillax on the beautiful beaches at the Ko Olina Lagoons - The Ko Olina Lagoons is a great places to spend a day relaxing. The white sand beaches are beautiful and the water is super calm. This area is home to many of Oahu’s resorts but the beaches are public so anyone can enjoy the idyllic scenery. Also a great place to run along the water!
- Watch the sunset in Waikiki - You’ve probably heard of Waikiki because it’s the most popular spot for tourists on Oahu. I didn’t spend much time there, but we did go down one night to watch the sunset over the water and it was epic! There are a few restaurants along the beach so get there a little early, grab a spot looking out over the ocean, order yourself a Mai Tai and ENJOY!
- Sample local eats at the Kailua Farmer’s Market - This farmer’s market has a great mix of local produce and locally made treats like matcha honey slushies (!!), strawberry guava kombucha, gluten free pastries and more! Great spot to grab gifts to take home (for others, or for yourself!).
- Hike the Lanikai Pillboxes - A moderate hike with breathtaking views of the shore and brilliant blue Pacific Ocean.
- Hike Diamond Head - Probably the most popular hike on the island, and for a good reason! The views are incredible. While most of the trail is paved and equipped with railings, this is still a moderate hike (the last bit is a steep incline!).
Note: This is by no mean a comprehensive guide but rather my tips based on places I visited, researched or was recommended.
Have you visited Oahu? What are your favorite spots on the island? Share with us all in the comments below! And stay tuned for more Hawaii travel recaps coming soon!