Uh, so these posts are like, totally overdue! We visited Oahu back in mid October and I took my sweet time going through them, haha. I actually have an entire separate post about our hotel, I felt like the Surfjack deserved its own. 😉 Oahu was so badass! Even on the days where the sun had a hard time breaking through the clouds and there were raindrops, it was still paradise…and 85 degrees.
We had a lot of fun exploring and not being tied down everyday with an itinerary, something I’ve never done before. It actually felt good to avoid the clock and just do what felt right to us. We searched for beaches and food spots, then just hit the road.
Welcome to Oahu: The Coolest Places to Visit on the Island Welcome to Oahu: The Coolest Places to Visit on the Island Welcome to Oahu: The Coolest Places to Visit on the Island Welcome to Oahu: The Coolest Places to Visit on the Island Welcome to Oahu: The Coolest Places to Visit on the Island Welcome to Oahu: The Coolest Places to Visit on the Island Welcome to Oahu: The Coolest Places to Visit on the Island Welcome to Oahu: The Coolest Places to Visit on the Island Welcome to Oahu: The Coolest Places to Visit on the Island Welcome to Oahu: The Coolest Places to Visit on the Island
Okay, so I broke down our favorite places we visited ad the best places we ate! It was all super fun, promise!
MAHINA & SUN’S – I made Griffin take me here for my Birthday dinner and it did not disappoint! For real, so damn delicious! We just went for appetizers and loved them all, especially the Avocado Tacos, Aku Tartare, and the Naked Pig Pizza.
BOOTS & KIMO’S HOMESTYLE KITCHEN– Delicious Pancakes with drool-worthy Macadamia Nut Sauce. Also…Hawaiian-style Kalbi Ribs. *Finger Lickin’ Good.*
ME’S BBQ – It’s a little hole in the wall place, but has the best Korean BBQ I’ve ever tasted! The price is good, plus you can get 3 sides, haha. I got the Macaroni Salad, Kimchi, and potatoes.
LEONARD’S BAKERY – If you’ve never had Malasadas before, I can guarantee you are missing out. These little pastries are a gift from God and you can’t eat just one! Also, the boxes are pink! 😉
SURF N TURF TACOS – We ate here twice and loved it both times! Their fish tacos are mouth watering and they have a huge selection of sauces and toppings! We didn’t try the Poke Tacos, but it’s what they’re known for.
HULA DOG – I’m not kidding when I say these are my reason for living. I love hot dogs and Hula Dog’s unique twist on the classic keeps me wanting more…same goes for Anthony Bourdain. When I saw him eat this dog on No Reservations, I know I had to go. It’s a small food truck that changes locations, so just call to get a pinpoint location! Their tropical relish options are so damn good!
HEAVENLY – We ate here for breakfast and probably waited 40 minutes in line to actually sit down, but it was worth it! This place used local and organic ingredients to create beautiful plates! Go for the Pitaya Bowl or Salmon Eggs Benedict.
SNORKELING AT HANAUMA BAY – I have mixed feelings about this place…but I did love seeing all the fish and coral. It’s the #1 snorkeling destination in Oahu and is large enough that it doesn’t feel too overcrowded. The only downside was the shallow water and the waves, a combination that caused me to crash into coral a few times the further I went out. We actually heard good things about Sharks Cove but didn’t have time to check it out.
DOLE PLANTATION – Another touristy spot, but pretty fun nonetheless. The food itself was worth a trip. Also, pineapples are so freaking adorable when they’re small!!!!
SPITTING CAVES – This place is a little hidden, nestled between 2 mansion overlooking the open ocean. It’s a great lookout spot, we spotted turtles immediately, and also a great jump spot. Of course Griffin found this place and did some cliff jumping.
WAIMEA VALLEY – Wow! We actually only had the intention of going here to see where a scene from LOST was filmed. The waterfall was cool and we were able to swim underneath it, all while reenacting scenes form the show. We also visited some other places LOST was filmed, but this was my fave. The walk to the waterfall takes you through a valley with a tree canopy. It was nice to see a jungle-y side of Hawaii.
WAIMEA BAY – Across from Waimea Valley is this lovely little park. There’s a rock to jump from and waves that you can surf. I actually hurt my tailbone and wrist after being tossed around in some larger waves, but it was so fun! This was our favorite beach to stop at!
TURTLE BAY – I really liked this place! Forgetting Sarah Marshall was filmed here too, so naturally I had to check it out. The beach reflected probably 5 different shades of blue and the water was super calm. You could rent snorkel gear for really cheap, so I got some practice in, haha. On the drive out to Turtle Bay, you can pull off and hit up a million different food trucks.
BIKING AROUND – We actually did this twice because it was free at our hotel and only $10 across the street from Kimo & Boots. Each time we just rode to the beach, making little stops along the way. The traffic in Waikiki is similar to Seattle in so many ways, so when we opted to ride our bikes we definitely got to where we were going faster. Hallelujah!
SURFJACK HOTEL – I la la loved this place! I actually have an entire post dedicated to this hotel. Everywhere you turned was another picture-worthy scene. The pool was my favorite spot, and the rooms were so beautiful and relaxing! If you are looking for a boutique hotel with tons of amenities, this place is for you.