TRAVEL GUIDE OAHU, HI
- September 15, 2017
I hope you are doing well and you had an amazing summer! I am back in Munich now for a couple of days to pack my stuff and be ready move to Italy.
If you guys are following me on Instagram you already know where I spend my summer. I traveled to Hawaii and Los Angeles with my family. This was kind of our last real family vacation for now because my sister starts working now and I start my studies in Florence. Therefore I really enjoyed every single minute.
Since this was one of my favorite trips ever I decided to give you guys some tips if you are also planning a vacation in Hawaii or LA.
I divide my travel into three blogposts so this one will be about Oahu the next about Maui and another one about LA is following soon.
So let’s get on board and be part of my journey to Hawaii!
Here is my Vlog about Oahu:
Since there is no direct flight to Hawaii we decided to make a 2 day stop-over in LA. After a 11h flight we finally arrived in the City of Angels ( I will tell you about the 2 days in LA in my LA blogpost).
After the 2 days in LA our next destination was Oahu. We arrived after a 6h flight in Honolulu. Honolulu is the capitol of Hawaii which is why Oahu is known as one of the most touristic islands. Well, they say it is but to me it didn’t seemed so. I mean sure Honolulu is a big city but the rest of the island was really non-touristic to me. Anyway after we picked up our luggage we drove directly to the hotel.
We decided to stay at the Four Seasons which is located in Ko Olina – the west side of the island. The hotel was so amazing! I can definitely recommend you this place. It is located on the beach and it has three beautiful pools. My favorite one was the adult pool which was the most amazing infinity pool I have ever seen. Of course the rooms were beautiful too and the view from the balcony was incredible. The sunsets were amazing and you were able to hear the birds singing in the palm trees. You felt like you were in the middle of the jungle. The food was sooo good they had super fresh fruit every morning and the pastries were delicious. Oh and before I forget about it – make sure to order the truffle fries for dinner 😛 The hotel has 3 different restaurants to choose from so there is something for everyone! There are two different beaches in walking distance. The beach directly in front of the hotel is not the most beautiful one but you can go rent paddle boards. The other beach around the corner is stunning! Ko Olina is actually the main hotel area on Oahu after Honolulu. I would totally recommend to stay at the Four Seasons because Ko Olina is a very calm and peaceful area. The west side is also known for the most beautiful beaches on the island. I agree on this one! There are so many stunning beaches when you drive up to Waimea (around here I also took the underwater shots with @jaymgreiner). The beaches are nearly empty, the sand is super white and the sea is cristal blue. But what impressed me the most were the lush green mountains in the back. This is what makes Hawaii to a very special place. But for some reason Oahu felt magical to me. I can’t tell why but there was just something about this island that made me feel free and happy.
But to finally come to the actual travel guide – here I list my must-do’s on Oahu:
Since I have mentioned Honolulu is the capital of Hawaii. It is a big and crowded city where you can either go shopping on Kalakaua Avenue or enjoy the incredible sunsets on Waikiki Beach. Of course Waikiki Beach is also well known for surfing – so make sure to rent a surfboard and catch the waves!
On your way from Waikiki to the city center you will pass a lot of huge hotels. However I would not recommend to book a hotel there if you are actually looking for a holiday getaway. Honolulu is very busy and crowded city and I guess the hotels located on Waikiki Beach are pretty overpriced and they don’t look so nice. But for just a day trip Honolulu is a really cool experience!
2. North Shore
North Shore is actually most known for the best surfing spots. During winter they have the biggest waves over there. It is also a good place to go diving and if you want to get a little excited you can even dive with sharks over there! A nice place to go diving is Sharks Cove. There you can spot a lot of fish and even turtles. But I have to disappoint you – no sharks. If you want to see sharks you can book a tour and they will bring you to a spot where there is plenty of them 🙂
Up on north shore there is this cute food place called the sunrise shack – they serve acai bowls and the cafe looks so cute from the outside. For some reason I couldn’t find it so if you guys ever visit Oahu let me know if you found the place!!
Sunset beach is one of the most beautiful beaches up on North Shore.
On the way from North Shore to Kailua you can find a lonely tree swing in Hauula.
And if you are also hunting street art like me you should check out the angel wings in Haleiwa!
3. Kaka’aku Neighborhood
If you are interested in arts you should definitely check out the street art of the Kaka’aku Neighborhood. There are so many nice paintings you can spot and the atmosphere there is so nice! Ah I almost forgot! There is also the ARVO which is a super cute cafe. They serve healthy food such as avocado bread and acai bowls. And they make the coffee with a palm tree on it! Make sure to stop by for breakfast or lunch (open until 5pm IG: @a_r_v_o).
4. Kailua and Lanikai
There are so many beautiful beaches located in Kailua and Lanikai. The most amazing beach I have ever seen was Lanikai beach. If you have ever been to the Withsundays (Australia) you can compare them. The sand was nearly as smooth and white as on the Withsundays. This place is magic. It looks so unreal – I have never seen turquoise water like this. From the beach you can spot little islands which look just as unreal as the rest of the place. This is literally a place where mermaids are real.
Another must-do in this area is the Lanikai Pillbox trail. This is a little hike and when you are on top of the mountain you get the most beautiful view over Lanikai. Unfortunately we couldn’t di the hike because the day we wanted to go it began to rain and the path was too slippery. But the best time to do the hike is either in the morning or in the evening for sunset. The only thing I can’t recommend is the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden in Kaneohe because there is nothing special about it. You just can see the green mountains and some plants haha not really interesting 😛
5. West coast
So let’s come to my favorite area of the island. I already mentioned that our hotel was located at Ko Olina which is a sweet little village with a lot of hotels. It is a very calm place so the perfect location for a hawaiian getaway vacation. I loved the vegetation on the west coast and north shore the most because in there areas the vegetation is very green and just looks so beautiful! I also loved the beaches there and the atmosphere is so relaxing! I also got a secret tip for you if you read till the end!
The Lanikai Pillbox trail is probably one of the less exhausting hikes on Oahu so I would totally go for it! I am so sad that I missed the view from up there but I am doing it the next time I’m on Oahu!
The Crouching Lion is also a very beautiful hike on Oahu. This one is a longer hike but totally worth it. You will have an amazing view and you get to see the typical lush green mountains on Oahu.
I tell you the next hike is on top of my life-must-dos list. The Stairway to heaven is probably one of the most exciting hikes on Oahu and actually even illegal. But guys I tell you the view from there must be extraordinary. So if you are looking for some excitement you should definitely go, but psst 😛
Do you like horses? If so the Kuola Ranch is probably your place to be! Here you can go horseback riding and enjoy the green and typical hawaiian nature. And know what? Jurassic Park was filmed there!!
Of course Honolulu is the best place to go shopping on Oahu. On Kalakaua Avenue you can find all high end labels such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton but also stores like Urban outfitters or Victoria’s secret. But my favorite store I found there is San lorenzo – this is an hawaiian swimwear brand and they have the most beautiful bikinis!!! Go check out their IG (@sanlorenzo)
I always got my daily dose of coffee at Island vintage coffee (they also sell delicious acai bowls).
I definitely recommend booking a helicopter tour over Oahu. Since you can book helicopter rides on all hawaiian islands I thought I wait for Maui and do the helicopter ride there. But this was the biggest mistake! On Maui the prices were so much higher and the view wasn’t that nice so I decided not to book a helicopter tour on Maui. But next time I will go on Oahu!! You can either book a normal helicopter ride or an open doors helicopter ride. The open doors helicopter ride was the one I wanted to do. Make sure to bring your camera because the view is incredible! A single ride costs between 300-400$ but I think the money is totally worth the unique experience!
I found a pretty good company on Instagram (@bpcopters). Just have a look at their page their pics are breathtaking!
Swim with dolphins or sharks in the wild:
Who hasn’t dreamed to swim with dolphins in the wild? If you would like to do this you can book tours online. But I give you a secret tip: When you are very lucky you can even spot them on your own. The best area to see dolphins is the west side. My sister went snorkeling on electric beach which is 10min from the Four Seasons and she spotted some dolphins and was even able to swim with them! When I went to a beach near Waimea with Jay (the underwater photographer) we also saw dolphins from the beach. Unfortunately there were people chasing them so they weren’t there when we made it into the water (we went at 6am so make sure you are an early bird for this experience).
If you want to get a little more excited you can also book a tour to swim with sharks in the wild (no cave). I won’t miss this experience next time!! So Jay if you read this you know who I’m going with 😛
What impressed me the most on Oahu?
Some of you might know what Hawaii is famous for – right the rainbows!! It often rains for 10-20min especially in the north and then the sun comes out again 😛 Sometimes we saw 2 rainbows at once. THIS WAS SO BEAUTIFUL!
But actually what I appreciated the most is that the people on Oahu were sooo friendly!
And as I already mentioned Oahu was magical to me – I can’t tell you why you have to experience it on your own and you will know what I mean!
So babes this was my travelguide for Oahu! I hope you got some inspiration for your travel to Oahu and let me know how you liked this beautiful place!!!
PS: my vlog about Oahu is coming soon!!