As many of you know, I recently returned (OK, it's actually been a month-ish now, but who's counting?) from a week-long holiday in paradise. Otherwise known as the Hawaiian island of Oahu...
Since one of our family members owns a beach-front home in the town of Kailua (located on the windward side of Oahu), as a youngster, I was fortunate enough to get to vacation there every other Christmas break. And, while I appreciated it then, it really wasn't until this most recent visit that I fell even deeper in love with this remote isle of paradise.
So, if you find yourself planning a visit to the island of Oahu, have a look at some of my personal recommendations and experiences, below. Mahalo!
Planes, trains, and automobiles
Obviously, you can't drive to the islands of Hawaii. Or take a train. Boat? Maybe. Personally, I'd rather get there as soon as humanly possible, so I fly.
Unlike family members, you have the good fortune of being able to choose which air carrier will have the privilege of flying you to paradise. Might I recommend Hawaiian Airlines? If you think that all most of the domestic carriers suck as much as I do, then I'm willing to be that you'd be quite pleasantly surprised by Hawaiian. From the soothing ukulele music playing overhead - the less expensive seat/class upgrades than "the other guys" - the quality selection of Hawaiian food/snacks and beverages - to the indescribable feeling of truly "leaving it all behind" from the moment you board, there really isn't a faster way to physically - or mentally - get to Hawaii.
To rent a car or to not rent a car? That is the question. And here's the answer: RENT A CAR! There are just way too many amazing adventures to be had outside of Honolulu/Waikiki Beach.
The Hilton Hawaiian Village is the first - and the only - place I've ever stayed on Waikiki Beach. While there are tons of fabulous hotels to choose from, I don't think I could bare to try something else. It would be like cheating on a significant other. Or something. I don't know - I just can't explain it. Sure, the rooms aren't anything extraordinary - aside from the fact that most have balconies - but the grounds are quite spectacular. And, if you're in town on a Friday, make sure to catch the weekly fireworks show that begins around 6:45pm! It's quite an event.
From Pearl Harbor to Hanauma Bay, I've done nearly every adventurous/historical activity on the island of Oahu. And, while all of them are very much worth checking out, one of the most epic was our recent visit to the infamous North Shore. Unlike in the winter time, during the summer months, the legendary waters that produce 30-foot waves are transformed in to a glassy and serene swimming pool, of sorts.
Head to Waimea Bay Beach Park for an adrenaline-packed day of...wait for it...cliff diving! If that sounds too adventurous for you, bring some snorkel gear, a camera, some sunscreen and enjoy a relaxing day on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. As for me? I'll wave to you from the cliff. Pre-jump.
My favorite spots to dine & nibble on the island of Oahu
Foods/drinks you *must* try while in Hawaii
Purple sweet potatoes
Until we hula again,
The Lunch Belle