My last blog I covered the first part of my Hawaiian Vacation and the Island of Hawaii. You can read about it here. I love the Big Island; but the majority of my vacation to the Aloha state was spent on the island of Oahu. The most populous of all the Hawaiian islands; Oahu offers a variety of things to do. From the excitement of the big city of Honolulu to the more relaxed north shore; one is bound to find something to enjoy. Here is my list of some of my favorite spots on the island
If you ever find yourself on this island for just a day (example a cruise), I would say make this your only stop. Really it could be the only thing on my list, as everything else on the island (though beautiful) pales in comparison. An incredibly moving place, words cannot describe the emotions you will feel when you are standing in the memorial above the USS Arizona. Tickets to the memorial are free but are first come, first serve. I recommend arriving early, as they can go fast and you may arrive at 9:00 am but can’t get a tour until 1:00 pm. Before you take the boat over to the memorial, you will watch an informative video that discusses what lead up to Japan attacking Pearl Harbor, the events of that fateful day, and the aftermath. When you return there is a museum I recommend checking out, and it's worth the few dollars to purchase the headsets to listen as you take the tour. If you are lucky a Veteran from World War II or Pearl Harbor may be on site to talk to you.
From there purchase tickets and take the shuttle bus over the water to tour the battleship, USS Missouri. Just make sure to allow enough time. We headed over with a little over an hour to kill before our USS Arizona boat was set to leave. Big mistake on our part. The boat was fascinating and we had to rush through it. I would suggest doing this after the Arizona tour.The entire area has a lot to offer. I recommend allowing yourself a good 5 hours (if not the entire day) to visit the National Park and its entirety.
If you want to learn some of the history of the culture, as well as enjoy some beautiful scenery, this is the place to visit. Take a stroll through the botanical gardens and see some unique blooms you won’t see on the mainland. The hike is fairly easy, though a little longer than I anticipated. However, the views along the way were not lacking. AT the end of the trail any hard work is rewarded by Waimea falls. Not the most impressive waterfall I have ever seen, but still lovely. Best part it dumps into a pool that you can swim; so be sure to take your swimsuit.
I am still not 100% sure what a malasada is, but to me it's just a tasty doughnut. Leonards is one of the most famous places to try this sweet confection, but they also have a variety of other pastries. We also tried the pao doce and that was even better in my opinion. Just know the place is popular and the parking lot is small. Took us a little bit to get a spot. Though a longer line, the wait wasn't’ too bad.
No visit to Hawaii is complete without attending a luau. This was rated one of the highest on the island and glad it was the one we chose to attend. A complimentary shuttle bus picked us up at hour hotel and we were entertained by Flo from the company the entire way over. She told us stories of Polynesian culture and tradition. At the luau itself we got to partake in warrior feats before dinner. As we ate our feast and after, we got to enjoy a show of dancing and fire on the stage.
The north shore is famous for its waves and surfing competition. It’s also a more relaxed and less crowded side of the island. It’s a good area to just slow down and enjoy the moment. Enjoy picturesque beaches, or shop the cool boutique stores of Haleiwa. Also while driving along the Kamehameha Highway along the north shore, look for an area that has a bunch of food trucks and stands in one location. I recommend stopping there to grab a delicious bite to eat at a reasonable price.
No one, big place,must stop, location in this city. I just recommend spending some time on the biggest city on the entire Hawaiian island chain. Sunbathe and swim on Waikiki beach. Stop at the famous Duke’s for a bite to eat. Walk down Kalakaua Avenue with your credit card in hand and do some serious shopping. Visit a museum, take a hike to Diamond Head, or just relax. That is the beauty of this city. It offers you the chance to do everything or absolutely nothing in paradise.