Hawaii Week: Oahu

Oahu is one of the most popular islands of Hawaii. It’s home to Hawaii’s capital, Honolulu, and the Waikiki Coast. There are several military bases here as well as the remains of Pearl Harbor. The surfing of Oahu is legend and just because the sun sets doesn’t mean the party is over on this island. I’m going to share with you my top picks for where to Eat, Stay and Play and also share my own experiences on Oahu with you in order to help you plan the best Oahu trip possible. For more Oahu photos, view my Flickr photostream.


Helena’s Hawaiian Food: Truly the epitome of Hawaiian food, Helena’s is a favorite. They were even featured on an episode of Man v. Food. The Kalua Pig and the Short Ribs are top picks for this location.

Matsumoto’s Shaved Ice: I’m still bitter my family couldn’t find time to visit Matsumoto’s during our Hawaiian visit. Matsumoto’s is located up on the North Shore and it differs from other shaved ice places. Beyond the usual flavors, you can get your shaved ice over ice cream or even sweet azuki beans and you can also have it topped with condensed milk. Make sure you get the holder for an extra 25 cents!

Opal Thai Food: Thai food out of a food truck? Head up to the North Shore by Haleiwa to find this highly rated food truck option. The Garlic Chicken Wings are a huge hit but you can’t go wrong with a pad thai or a curry. Opal, the owner can help you pick a dish by asking asking about your preferences, allergies, or even how much spice you like.


Outrigger Reef on the Beach: This is an oceanfront hotel named as one of TripAdvisor’s Top 5 Honolulu hotels. They have several dining options and live music as well. View the Outrigger’s travel deals before booking.

Coconut Waikiki Hotel: The Coconut Waikiki is a boutique hotel located along the Ala Wai Canal, just three blocks from Waikiki Beach. Rooms are modern with wifi, HDTVs, refrigerators, microwaves, and private lanais. They also offer a number of travel deals for advanced bookings and weekday bookings.

Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel

Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel's Breakfast on the Beach, personal photo

Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel: This was the hotel I stayed in during my Oahu trip. You’re across the street from Waikiki Beach but right by Diamond Head so you have amazing views all around. One of my favorite features was their Breakfast on the Beach. It’s a free breakfast where everyone goes around the pool to food stations to fill up on all their favorites. You can eat around the pool, on the beach, or up on your room’s lanai.


Diamond Head State Monument, personal photo

Diamond Head State Monument: Diamond Head is a former volcano that now sits as a crater. You pay to park and then make the long hike up the concrete path. From the top the view is amazing. During my climb up I moaned and groaned to myself, sure the steep hike wouldn’t be worth it but at the top I couldn’t believe how magnificent it was and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Waikiki Beach: Waikiki Beach is the main beach in the Honolulu area. It’s full of hotels, the waves are mild enough to swim in but wild enough to surf on, and it’s the happening area of town. Nearby are the zoos, the aquarium, shops, restaurants, and a marketplace.

Turtle Beach

Turtle Beach, personal photo

North Shore: Most people know the North Shore for its wild waves and surfing competitions. In the area you can find Sharks Cove, an area only accessible in the summer full of reefs and sharks, Turtle Beach, home to plenty of turtles, Waimea Bay, perfect for cliff jumping and surfing, and Sunset Beach, a place perfect to end your day at the North Shore with amazing views of the sun.

Lanikai Beach: All the way on the Eastern side of the island, Lanikai Beach is shielded from harsh waves bringing about calm waters perfect for snorkeling. Not as many tourists come to this beach so you may be shielded from the crowds of other beaches.

My Experiences

USS Arizona Memorial

Pearl Harbor, personal photo

During my visit to Oahu, my family made the trip to Pearl Harbor. I won’t put this in the Play category because this is a very solemn attraction in Hawaii but I do think it is worth a visit. The USS Arizona memorial is accessed via a small boat where you can see the full extent of the tragedy.

My family also visited Schofield Barracks during our visit. My father was stationed here in 1980 and my mother flew out to marry him there. We took our trip for their 25th wedding anniversary and it was their first trip back to their first home and wedding chapel.

Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay, personal photo

Another destination we saw was Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. My parents used to snorkel there when they lived on Oahu so they took the family. Years of tourism had clearly damaged the area and the restoration was a large focus of the area. While you can still snorkel here, I wouldn’t say this is the best area for beginners. Still, it’s worth a visit.

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I'm Julie, I love to travel, I'm very hyper and I like to "hype" things and from that, TravelHyper was born. I'm a Missouri native and I cover St. Louis travel ideas as well as my own travels. I also like to focus on places I want to visit and budget travel ideas by creating trip plans. There's so much world out there and I hope you'll find that it's worth seeing and that vacation doesn't have to be out of reach to you.

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