Known for: Water activities Island lifestyle Traditional Hawaiian culture Music & dance Volcano, waterfalls and great hikes
Get tossed around in the enlivening surf in the morning, break a sweat up to a mountain summit, lay under a palm tree in a hammock in the heat of the day and cool off at an Eastern beach, floating in ultimate relaxation in the blue azure ocean. Why would you want to leave Hawaii?
WHAT TO DO
1. Take a tour with Hoku Tours. Our host Kanamu was witty and knows absolutely everything about Oahu. The trip lasted 11 hours, and Kanamu shared fascinating stories and history the entire time. If you’re going to take any tour, this is the one.
🌊 Had the best time travelling the island with Kanamu from Hoku Tours. She took me to the dole plantation, Waimea falls, paddle boarding, to the Japanese temple and so much more. She knew everything about Oahu and gave a hilarious commentary too. Thank you so much for 11 hours of fun adventures! 💃🏼 #OliviaRoundHawaii
2. Spruce up your surfing skills at Ohana Surf Project. Owned by a group of the hippest young people, Chelsea and the team know their waves like the back of their hand, and will help you feel like a pro in no time.
3. Take a dip at Kailua beach and explore the cute surf and craft shops.
4. While you’re in Kailua, do the Lanikai Pillbox hike. Take in the landscape of the east coast, with a birds-eye-view of leafy palms, neighbourhoods and rolling surf beaches.
8. Get up at 5am and hike up Diamond Head monument.
9. Buy fresh fruit from the side of the road and sip on fresh coconuts.
10. Relax under a palm tree and watch the sunset.
WHERE TO STAY
While in Oahu I stayed at an incredible apartment in Kapiolani Blvd. This was the view!
WHERE TO EAT
Ai Love Nalo: If you can’t decide what you feel like, get a buddha bowl, they have a taste of everything!
Nalu: A health food bar which is fresh, tasty and affordable. I highly recommend their acai bowl.
Travel tip: Love cookies? Honolulu Cookie company give away free samples in EVERY STORE. This was great to find out as I ate my fair share, probably for a lifetime. They are out of this world.
WHAT TO WEAR
My pack was full of winter coats and boots this time round, so I lived in a spaghetti strap dress my mum picked up in California, a singlet + leggings/beach wrap skirt, and my white Tommy Hilfiger shirt as a cover which is honestly the best item of clothing I have ever bought (I have never been burnt since, touch wood).
People will tell you not to go to Waikiki because it’s “touristy” and “packed with people”, but seriously, where isn’t these days? I loved Oahu and felt comforted as a solo traveller by all the people. It meant I could walk around alone at night and feel safe. The city is lively with great live music and both locals and tourists go out to dance and be merry. The beaches are idillic, once you get away from Waikiki, and if you get to the hiking spots and monuments early, you can escape the tourist rush.
Hawaii, you have my heart! Next stop: Rome.