Aloha! Welcome to a little taste of paradise!
Oahu, Hawaii: home of the famous North Shore waves, hiking trails, waterfalls, and smoothie bowls- we enjoyed 9 days of venturing this island. Oahu is one of the most beautiful and captivating places to visit for a sun-kissed tropical getaway!
We rented a gorgeous modern beach-home by the mountain, on the North side of the island in Hauula. And luckily, we rented a car to drive around and visit the most northern point (North Shore) all the way south to Honolulu.
Waimea Bay beach park in North Shore: the waves reached as high as 20 feet tall!
Banyan Tree: a 1.5 km pathway walk from the Turtle Bay Resort. This is ONE individual tree that grows its roots into the ground, rather than from. You may recognize it from movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean and TV shows such as LOST.
Kualoa is a 4,000-acre private nature reserve. This scenery may look quite familiar to you; Movies such as Jurassic Park, 50 First Dates, and Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates have all been filmed here We also spotted a few wild piglets roaming around the trees.
Rated as one of the Top 10 Beaches in Oahu, Kokololio Beach was a 5 minute drive from our Airbnb; it was the most secluded and beautiful beach we discovered in Oahu!!
Beach bums at Kokololio Beach 😉
Pearl Harbour Memorial, west of Honolulu. Although there is an entrance fee, there’s a fairly large section that you can visit for free.
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Honolulu. We snorkelled here for half the day and saw hundreds of tropical fish and coral reefs; the beach was beautiful and also offered a grassy-surface, if you’re not a fan of laying by the busy shoreline.
A view from from Magic Island in Honolulu during the sunset.
Nightlife in Waikiki at RumFire Lounge. Enjoy a cocktail and live music right by the ocean.
Hikes and Trails in Oahu
A view of Diamond Head State Park from Magic Island, Honolulu.
The view from hiking up Diamond Head: there was a combination of slightly steeped hills, stairs, and caves! It took us about 20 minutes to briskly walk up this trail.
From the peak of Diamond Head: you will notice the cone-shaped centre from what was once an active volcano.
On the opposite side of the Diamond Head peak: a breath-taking view of Waikiki downtown.
Waimea Falls Park in Haleiwa: a one-mile ‘pleasurable stroll through lush botanical gardens, leading up to the beautiful Waimea waterfall’.
The gardens have more than 5,000 species of tropical plants, including Native and endangered Hawaiian plants.
Almost at the waterfall 😀 Just enjoying the scenic walk.
Waihi Waterfall in Waimea Bay (45 feet tall waterfall!)
Enjoying the last bit of sun before it sets.
What we ate in Oahu
Downbeat Diner in China Town (pretty much everything on the menu can be made vegan to order): the infamous Loco Moco! A veganized version of the traditional Hawaiian comfort dish. It’s served as rice, tofu scramble, a veggie ‘beef’ patty, onions, and loads of gravy. We highly recommend trying the Buffalo Chick’n Sandwich as well, with a side of curly fries 😉
Banana Ice Cream with fresh pineapple, strawberries, coconut, and granola from Banan: using ONLY frozen blended bananas!
Dole Soft Serve from the Dole Plantation: as of a few years ago, it’s 100% dairy-free and vegan!
Gourmet wood-oven pizzas from What It Dough; the dough was incredibly soft!! And they used fresh ingredients used from the farmer’s markets nearby!
Farmers Markets were plenty in Oahu! There are various locations throughout the island which are open on a daily basis. We found that fruits and vegetables were quite pricey in regular grocery stores; they also lacked variety of tropical fruits. However, these markets offered an abundance of fruits and veggies, at reasonable prices.
Fresh Lilikoi (also known as passion fruit), pineapples, and apple-bananas (pictured above) were some of our favourites! We also had the opportunity to try star apple, eggfruit, and rambutan.
Kona Blend coffee! We brewed a fresh pot of vanilla macadamia Kona-blend coffee almost every morning (thanks to our furnished Airbnb).
Organic Acai bowl at Haleiwa Bowls, in North Shore. Topped with fresh mango, coconut, bananas, and granola. *Drooling, BRB*
And we saved our last meal for Loving Hut in Honolulu! We shared the Sweet & Sour Haga, Spicy Veg Shrimp Moana (both pictured above), Lemongrass Pho, Golden Nuggets, Crispy Rolls, and Broccoli Pua (with veg “beef”).
Aside from farmer’s markets, we bought most of our groceries from Costco and Down to Earth (a 100% vegetarian/vegan grocery store!) Down to Earth was probably our favourite choice: they have a hot table and salad bar, pizza station with mock meats, pastries (including a variety of donuts, muffins, and cookies), and delicacy items such as vegan yogurts and ice creams. Whole Foods in Honolulu also offered great options, including vegan fudge, gelato and freshly baked cookies.
Word of advice: definitely watch at least one sunrise and sunset in Hawaii!
Sunrise at Kokololio Beach: we were up early at 6AM every day (thanks to the roosters lol) and had the opportunity to watch some of the most beautiful sunrises!
“it’s a wild, wonderful world… Follow your heart, and let the adventure unfold.”
Check out our Hawaii Youtube video below to see more phenomenal drone shots, beach yoga fun, and our friend’s tree-house!!