Hello friends! It's been awhile since I've posted. I started a new job, and we're trying to move (can someone please sell their house? Ugh). BUT, in the midst of all this we just took a trip with my husband's side of the family to Oahu.
Fun fact about me, I went to BYU-Hawaii as a visiting student 15 years ago. I LOVED being there, it was a wonderful experience in my life. Unfortunately, I haven't been back since, but I have thought about Hawaii and my deep and abiding love of it several times. So when my mother in law said she wanted to take the whole family on a trip somewhere and Hawaii was brought up, I was ALL for it!
Now that things are opening up, and you've been trapped in your house for a year, it is the perfect time to plan a trip to Hawaii! However, things are still different due to COVID restrictions, so I want to give you some tips to make your trip go smoothly. Note, this is only for the island of Oahu, if you are planning your Hawaii trip to another island, the COVID rules are helpful, but I can't give you suggestions on places to go.
How to get to Hawaii:
The first thing you'll need to do is go to the Travel Safe Hawaii website and create an account. Then check out the site for trusted partners so you'll know where you can get your COVID test from.
A few things to note:
Where to stay on Oahu:
Likely, the majority of people will stay in a hotel in Honolulu. I honestly don't think this is the best choice. Honolulu and Waikiki are so overcrowded I don't want to spend the majority of my time there. I think it's better to stay on the north side of the island. As a student I lived in Laie, and we stayed in Kahuku, which is right next to Laie. There is a lot of great place to visit on the North shore (as well as northeast and northwest) and it's such a beautiful side of the island.
Airbnb and VRBO are both great options to find housing. This time we stayed in a gorgeous home which fit our entire extended family of 17 people.
Things to Do on Oahu:
Now I'll just give you a brief list of places to visit while on Oahu. There are several musts that you won't want to miss, such as:
3. Pearl Harbor: You really can't miss going to Pearl Harbor while on Oahu. Plan a Honolulu day and make sure this is your first stop. There is so much to do and see there. The biggest attraction is the U.S.S. Arizona memorial. It is poetic and sad to be there, and you really ought to go. Right now you need to reserve tickets in advance (when normally you can just show up the same day.) Tickets become available seven days in advance at 3 PM Hawaii time. Since we had so many tickets to get there were four of us at the ready (because one person can reserve up to five tickets) and as soon as 6 PM hit (since we're three hours ahead) we all tried to get tickets for the slot we wanted, and still ended up with 5 people having to go an hour later than the rest of us. There are 30 reservations per slot so don't delay!
While you're there you can also check out the U.S.S. Bowfin, and take the bus on base to see the air museum and the U.S.S. Missouri.
4. The Swap Meet: The Sweep Meet is a fun shopping experience that takes place every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. To plan a good Honolulu day you'll need to include Pearl Harbor, the Swap Meet and...
5. Hiking Diamond Head: Diamond Head is a volcanic tuff cone that was also used by the military. There is a lot to see on the hike itself, and the views at the top are amazing.
6. Hale'iwa: When I think of the North Shore, I think of Hale'iwa. It has some beautiful beaches, and it's a great place to take a surfing lesson! While you're there, head to Aoki's or Matsumoto's for some delicious shave ice! Even though things are a little different with COVID, Hale'iwa is also a great town to get some shopping done!
7. Lai'e Falls: This is a great hike behind BYU-Hawaii. Fun fact, my roommate and I tried to hike to it in 2006 and never found the falls. We hiked to the top of the mountain instead and saw the most beatiful views. Either way, it'll be a hike you don't regret.
8. Kualoa Ranch and Chinaman's Hat: If you are a big Jurassic Park fan like Alicia is, you're not going to want to miss Kualoa Ranch, where the movie was filmed. Afterwards, head over to Chinaman's hat, a small island that you can walk to in low tide, but you can also kayak out to!
9. Byodo-in Temple: This beautiful Buddhist temple in Kahaluu, Hawaii is a smaller replica of the one in Uji, Japan. The grounds are peaceful. It's a great place to walk around, and enjoy the koi ponds while you're there!
10. snorkeling on the North shore: While you're on Oahu make sure you see some great underwater wildlife by snorkeling! Turtle Bay gives you three great spots for your Hawaii snorkeling adventure: Three Tables, Kuilima Cove, and Shark's Cove!
Places to Eat in Hawaii
During your Honolulu day, make sure you grab some food at Honolulu Burger Co.! I had a Kalua Pig burger and, it was amazing!
Some other great places to eat are:
Ted's Bakery: Get a delicious pastry with your katsu chicken and enjoy it at Sunset Beach!
Mike's Huli Chicken: head to the Kahuku Food Truck area to get some of this delicious chicken featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives! There are also a ton of other delicious food options there, so you can go back several days and try them all! I also highly recommend Da Brazilian Braddahs.
Ken's Fresh Fish: I mean, the name says it all. You're in Hawaii so, treat yo' self to the best fish!
I really hope you use this list to plan your Hawaiian get away to Oahu. Hawaii is a beautiful place, get out there and explore! You will create memories to last a lifetime! Come back and tell me about it after you do!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!