My loved one and I traveled to Hawaii for almost a month in August of 2015. I was then around 15 weeks pregnant with Téo #feelingnostalic. We stayed 4 days in Oahu, discovering the cities and the beaches while doing activities. Four days in Oahu are more than enough to discover the best attractions that this island has to offer.
During our trip, we visited Hawaii’s four islands: Oahu, Kauai, Maui and Big Island. To be honest, Oahu is the island we liked the least.
If you only have 1 or 2 islands to visit, I would advise you not to “waste” your precious time on this island. The other ones have much more to offer in activities, beaches, and exotic landscapes.
However, if you happen to pass by, here are the best things to do when visiting the island of Oahu.
VISITING THE USS MISSOURI, PEARL HARBOR AND THE ARIZONA MEMORIAL
In Honolulu, we visited Pearl Harbour, the USS Missouri and the Arizona Memorial. My boyfriend is a real savvy when it comes to history and the army. We visited the site by ourselves instead of taking a guided tour, which took us a good part of the afternoon, the site being quite big and interesting. It was easy for us to take public transport as the area is well connected. These activities cost us around $25 per person.
VISITING HONOLULU’S CHINA TOWN
During our trip, we took a walk in Honolulu’s Chinatown, where we also had lunch. This place is very “Chinese” ?#IThinkIAmFunny. This place offers all kinds of different restaurants that serve typical Asian food. It’s an interesting place to visit if you have time ahead of you, but I wouldn’t consider it as a must see.
One of Honolulu’s gorgeous beaches is the Waikiki Beach, which is quite popular for tanning sessions and summer dips. It was our first beach in Hawaii and already, we could see huge turtles a few feet from us. How amazing is it to see these beautiful creatures, a thrilling experience, that’s for sure! The best part is that turtles are everywhere in Hawaii. What makes this beach special is its view of the Diamond Head State Monument, a beautiful site which we will talk about later!
HIKING THE DIAMOND HEAD STATE MONUMENT
This hiking site is pretty cool. It is a broad volcano crater where trails and stairs were built to give access to visitors. When arriving on the site, you find yourself in the middle of the crater that you will need to hike to discover the beautiful coastal view of Honolulu and the ocean. A parking spot cost around $5. The walk is quite mild, despite the several stairs. If the site is busy, there might be traffic, hence you might have to wait for climbing up and down the stairs.
KAILUA BEACH AND LANIKAI BEACH
These two beaches in Oahu are perfect for relaxing. In our humble opinion, these are the most beautiful beaches on the island. Or at least, the northeast area of Oahu has 3 or 4 of the most gorgeous beaches on the island. The deep crystalline water is perfect for a good swim. However, it is not a place for snorkeling as there are lots of waves.
If you pass by the center of the island, make sure to stop by the Dole Plantation… Yes! Like the Dole juice! There, you can take a guided tour of the site and hop on a little train that will take you to the pineapple and other fruit plantations. As for us, we decided to go with what was free: a walk around the little gardens where a couple of pineapple plants grow. It is pretty cool to see pineapple plantations for the first time. We also tasted a pineapple ice cream, what a delight!! The ice cream shop is in the main building where the burger restaurant is located. There is even a pineapple themed gift shop!
WHERE TO EAT WHEN #SLOWTRAVELLING
We like to travel and take it slow here. One of the things we prefer to do is to find something to eat for a picnic and enjoy our meal among the most amazing sites. It brings us magical moments filled with beautiful landscapes. Go on and enjoy your breakfast by the beach!
We tried a sushi restaurant called Banzai Sushi Bar. Their slogan is “Keep it real, keep it raw with Banzai Sushi bar!” it gives you an idea of the ambiance and the delightful sushi we devoured that evening. The restaurant has a cute exterior terrace where you can either sit on the floor or at a table. We highly recommend that restaurant!
We like to rent a vehicle when travelling, something we did also when visiting Oahu. It’s a good alternative to discover the island, we paid $200 for 3 days.
Note that when renting a vehicle, you should return it on time – we made the mistake of returning ours 2 hours later and it cost us an extra $80. It is important to respect contracts to avoid paying extras $$$!
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed in an Airbnb. It was our first-time experiencing an Airbnb (it was back in 2015). Due to our lack of experience with Airbnb, we did not make the best decisions. Lots of places we went to were dirty and poorly maintained. I recommend you read carefully the comments and take a close look at the pictures before booking anything. On our side, the reviews did not mention the poor maintenance of the places we stayed in. Also, make sure your Airbnb has air conditioning or at least a fan in your room. Hawaii gets pretty warm, especially in August.
If you haven’t subscribed to Airbnb yet and would love to try it out, subscribe using this link. We love it so much; we can’t think of another way to travel. It is a great option for comfort, unique opportunities and it saves us tons of money!