H a w a i i
So I'm finally finishing this blog post, yay!! I'll be telling you all about my bf and I's recent trip to Hawaii including some of the things I recommend you do while visiting!
So we were in Hawaii for 8 days. We had the best time of our lives and honestly we didn't want to come back to CA. Haha We were seriously considering moving there in a couple years.
On this trip we had so much planned to do but unfortunately Hurricane Lane interrupted. 🤷🏽 That being said, we didn't get a chance to do everything on our Itinerary (yes I made an itinerary because I need to be organized haha)... I hope you guys get to check some of these things off bucket list. In case you are wondering what island we were on, it was Oahu, Hawaii.
Okay so 1st things first, let's talk B e a c h e s. FYI I'm only listing my top favorite beaches.
TIP: When in Hawaii, & NO matter what else you do there,
You MUST swim in the beach & watch the sunset on the beach EVERYDAY!!!
I promise you will not regret it. There's no point in being in Hawaii if you're not going to swim in the beautiful blue, clear, and warm waters?!
Waikiki Beach 🍍
Ahh the most popular beach for tourists (there are many reasons for that). It's located near all the hotels, shopping, restaurants, etc. It kind of reminds me of being in Santa Monica with the promenade because you can shop and eat, then walk over to the beach. You can rent a surfboard here too, I believe it was like $20 for an hour? Not bad right. You'll find a ton of surfers at this beach, way out there in the water. I was too scared to go all the way out there. Anyway, they also had a free Hula show on the beach as the sun was setting. It was BEAUTFUL. As I mentioned in my TIP above, you must watch the sunset every night. My boyfriend and I sure did that and most nights it was at Waikiki beach. Other than Waikiki, we got to watch the sunset at Waimea Beach. Waikiki was also close to our airbnb which is why we would end up here every night. I wouldn't change a thing.
Food in W a i k i k i:
If you're looking for a good burger joint, check out "Cheeseburger Waikiki"as they have some really good burgers here. I would eat there again for sure.
If you're looking for a good Sushi spot I recommend Doraku Sushi. They have a pretty wide selection of Sushi and everything is FRESH! Oh and they have good Happy Hour items too!! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. haha :)
You will also find plenty of food trucks in Waikiki, only a couple of blocks from the beach.
Lanikai Beach 🐢🏖️
Omg! This was my favorite beach to swi
m at because it was the clearest body of water we found. We actually came to swim at this beach twice because it was that good.
The first time, the water was clear as day (and warm), and the weather was nice and sunny. Also, the waves were very calm so you could actually swim without worrying of waves attacking you. We also saw two sea turtles here and tried swimming with them, it was a m a z i n g. I would recommend snorkeling here because like I said the water is clear and the waves are calm. Another good thing about the water being clear is that you will be able to spot a shark haha FYI I'm terrified of sharks but yet they still fascinate me! 🦈
Now let me tell you a funny story about the second time we came to Lanikai. So this time around, the water wasn't as clear because of Hurricane Lane. The waters were murky and it was very hard to see what's in the water. We had actually rented snorkel gear and we were so excited to see some fish and more turtles. But just our luck we could not see anything. So anyway, my bf had his GoPro so we could film underwater. I guess as he sat on the sand to put on his fins, the GoPro fell out of his pocket and into the water. Well once he was ready to finally swim he went to grab it and it was gone. Mind you, his GoPro was attached to my GoPro Stick so it was a pretty big thing to lose sight of. Good thing we had our goggles to see under the water right?! No. lol We couldn't see crap due to the murkiness. So I started walking in lines along the shore, digging my feet deep into the sand until I could feel anything with my feet. I thought for sure he lost it; we couldn't feel or see anything. Then 15 min later my luck turned back around, or his I should say cause he was gonna have to buy another one. 😂 Thanks to my determination and hard work (lol) I finally felt something with my toes... it was my GoPro selfie stick! haha Thank god for the stick because if it was just the GoPro itself that would be easily lost somewhere in the sand because it's tiny and lightweight. Let me tell you though, this GoPro was deep in the sand!! I've never been so excited to find something (it was like loosing something you know you'll never get back and then suddenly you find it again) IN THE OCEAN. Like what are the chances?! Funny thing is, it wasn't even my GoPro but I was still ecstatic. Thank goodness he wasn't borrowing my GoPro at the time haha jk. P.s I only wish the same thing would've happened for me when I was in Cancun and lost my Ray Bans in the ocean. *sigh
Food at Lanikai:
Waimea Bay (North Shore) 🌅
This was another beach that we went back to a couple of times. Waimea Bay is in the North Shore, so you'll see many locals here who like to fish. They also have this huge rock that you could climb and cliff dive. My bf and I decided to jump off this cliff and it was so scary!! It felt like I was jumping off a building. Definitely an adrenaline rush. I could now cross it off my bucket list but Idk if I would be able to do it again... you get so scared up there when you're looking down. Also when I jumped off, I was going down so fast I could barely move on my way down therefore leading to my hand accidentally scratching my face. The wind on the way down was so strong! Yup my face burned after. Good thing it didn't scar!
P.s This was the other beach where we watched the s u n s e t at and it was by far the most beautiful sunset I have ever witnessed!!! Not even my pictures do it justice, although I'll share some photos below.
Surfing: You'll also find more surf boards that you can rent out here and they have snorkel turtle tours here as well. I definitely recommend the turtle tour if you're a s e a t u r t l e lover like I am. We would've done one if it wasn't for Hurricane Lane because tours were canceled due to the weather conditions. I'm telling you guys a lot of our plans were canceled but at least we were safe right, that's what matters.
✰For more info on Turtle Tours, click here. :)
Food at the North Shore:
Here you'll find a ton of food trucks. We tried some shrimp tacos from one of the trucks and they were okay. I forgot what the name of the truck was.
However, someone did recommend Fumi's Kahuku Shrimp for their spicy garlic shrimp. So try that if you're in the North Shore. Fumi's also has food trucks around the island.
If you're looking for a semi-fancy restaurant I ABSOLUTELY recommend Haleiwa Joe's!!! Omg I'm getting excited talking about it haha can you tell I'm hungry right now? I believe there are two locations but the one I recommend is in Haiku Gardens. I ordered the salmon and it was sooo tasty! It came with mashed potatoes and veggies! Oh and they serve you sourdough bread (my favorite), WOW it was good!! That was by far my favorite meal in Hawaii!
Apart from the food being great at Halewai Joe's, you also get a beautiful view with your dinner! You have to arrive early though so you get seats outside. Because this restaurant is located in the jungle, you have a view of the beautiful greenery and lake. So cool!! Btw I'm putting this restaurant under Waimea Bay because its on the way there.
Funny story: The night we had dinner here at Halewai Joe's was the night right before Hurricane Lane was supposed to hit Oahu. I remember the TVs inside the restaurant were playing two different channels: the news channel, and sports. While everyone else was paying attention to the sports channel, Zayd and I were watching the news for updates. The news reporter was saying it's was a Stage 4 hurricane and that they haven't had such a hurricane so strong since the early 90s. We were freakin out and wondering why everyone there was so calm and not freakin out. People were laughing and drinking, and having a good time. So Zayd decided to get a drink himself so he can relax a little. Haha It sort of worked for him. 😂
P.s Earlier that day we had gone to the grocery store to buy snacks and water incase the hurricane did hit. We noticed that people had bought almost all of the alcohol cause the aisle was almost empty! haha That made us feel more comfortable that people were still planning on partying the night away. Lol. Of course however, there were others that were really preparing by buying a ton of food and water, as well as boarding up the windows in their home. Luckily, nothing strong came our way to where it did damage. 🙏
SNORKELING. Another tourist filled beach. Waters here are soooo clear and again the waves are calm so you're able to snorkel. Main reason this is the number one spot to snorkel in Oahu is because it is filled with marine life. You will definitely see a ton of pretty fish of all different kinds and if you're lucky like I was, you'll also run into sea turtles here!
Makua Beach 🔥
We actually didn't get a chance to head here because the day we had planned on going, well you know.. Hurricane Lane. So anyway I'm mentioning it on here because it is a beach where you can have bonfires at. So if you're like us and love beach bonfires, well this is the place for you.
Keep on reading to get more recommendations... I've got you covered!
These photos above were taken at Waimea Bay. If you read my description above you'll know this is the beach where we cliff dived, and watched the most beautiful sunset of my life. As pictured, you also have the surf shop and food trucks across the street. This beach is near the Pipeline. So if you're a surfer you want to head over to the Pipeline.
The photos above were taken at the Dole Plantation. You must go here! The Dole whip was bomb and my bf loved it so much he made us go back there another day haha. The last photo of me in the water was taken at Lanikai beach. My favorite beach!! I told y'all the water was clear. This is the day where I got so tan from just swimming. That sun was no joke!
So Zayd and I rented my dream car ( Jeep Wrangler ) and we drove around the entire island pretty much. Tbh some of these photos are from random areas we would stop at. The Waterfall however, is at Waimea Valley. It's an easy hike up the mountain and then you reach the waterfall. It was so refreshing to jump in the water after the hike. The weather over there was hot and humid so any rain always felt good especially cause there'd be a nice breeze shortly after.
P.s isn't that photo of Zayd and I funny. We had propped my camera on a tree and put the self-timer on. Even though we would angle the camera different ways we still couldn't get the camera up straight haha! This was honestly the best photo taken. So even thought my hair is in my face and the two men are photobombing us, I still like it cause it reminds of that moment of struggle haha. FYI one of the men came over and offered to take a photo but.... this was still the better photo hahah.
This sunset was at Waikiki Beach, and again even this doesn't do it justice.
Okay so the other thing I recommend doing in Hawaii is heading up to Kualoa Ranch.
They have a couple different tours you could do including heading to a private island on a catamaran or tours of the ranch. We decided to do the Kualoa Ranch Movie Tour. Some of the movies filmed here are: Jurassic Park, Pearl Harbor, 50 First Dates, Godzilla, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, You Me and Dupree, and MORE!! Oh they also showed us where Spartan Race is going down! Other things you can do on the ranch are ride horses or ATV's.
For more information on the Kualoa Ranch Tours, click here. :)
This sunset was also in Waikiki :) The beach where I shot the bikini above is Halewai Beach. This was the day the Hurricane was supposed to hit us but since it had gotten downgraded to a Stage 2 hurricane we decided to head out to the beach and explore away. Why would we waste our time in Hawaii and stay indoors right, we didn't come a long way to not be able to enjoy ourselves. So we decided on Halewai beach and it was very calm that day, not many people were out. There were only like 10 other people on the beach overall ( some in the water surfing and some just hanging out). There was actually a golden retriever surfing with his owner too haha it was the cutest thing! The waves were strong though and I was worried the dog would drown but thank god it didn't. It was also very cloudy this day and the water was super murky and dirty from the winds and rain so not too many people were swimming.
Why I didn't take as many photos as you thought I would:
This trip I was really trying to spend less time on my phone or camera and more time being in the moment. I really wanted to see Hawaii through my eyes and not through my camera lens. Even though this was actually my second time going to Hawaii, I had a completely different experience my second time around and I saw Hawaii in a whole new perspective. I would definitely recommend doing multiple trips to Hawaii lol My first time I did a whole bunch of touristy things with my friends, and took a million pictures of everything in sight haha. This second time around with my bf we wanted to have more of a chill time and spend most of our time at the beach. Salt in your hair, or everywhere is good for you right? lol The jeep was so dirty with sand. No ragrets though. It was nice not wearing makeup or doing my hair. Don't get me wrong Hawaii has a great aesthetic. Everywhere you look is a good view. I could've taken so many OOTD's! lol I definitely missed out on that and my 3rd time around I will take advantage of my camera and take more photos.
There are so many hikes you could do over there but the one I recommend is Lanikai Pillboxes hike. If it gets too hot you can hide out in the Pillboxes so you have some shade. Even better when you hike at sunrise!
There are various luau parties you can buy tickets to. We didn't want to spend a ton of money on that so we looked for free hula shows. There was one in Waikiki right on the beach and there was also another one open to the public for free, Kuhio Beach Hula Show.
There's a spot in Waikiki right next to the beach. The pineapple flavor is BOMB!! You can also try Matsumoto's for shaved ice.
You can find açaí bowl trucks in many places, try Halewai Bowls.