I recently traveled to the island of Oahu, one of Hawaii’s islands and the home of Honolulu. It was a short 3-day trip, but I got a lot done! I am going to break down my trip and give a review of the excursions, hotels, and restaurants. Enjoy!
Flight to Hawaii
In total I flew for 15 hours. I left Orlando at 7:30 PM and arrived in Los Angeles at 9:15 PM. From there I flew to Las Vegas and landed at 11:55 PM. Lastly, I flew to Hawaii and landed at 5:05 AM. So I was flying all night, but landed early enough that my first day there was a complete day. I flew on United for my first two flights, then Hawaii Airlines for my last one. All three flights were great, no complaints about them. Yet, Hawaii Airlines was definitely a great experience. I highly recommend using them!
So, as I mentioned I arrived at 5 AM. My family had arrived there earlier in the week and were enjoying the Hotel for several days. We were staying at the Hilton Hawaii Village resort located in Waikiki. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, Waikiki is located in the island of O’ahu. O’ahu is also home to Hawaii’s capital, Honolulu. I had booked a Speedi Shuttle beforehand to take me to the hotel from the airport. The ticket for the shuttle was $15.48. The trip was about 20 minutes which wasn’t bad. When I arrived at the hotel I was taken back. The hotel was beautiful, incredibly unique. The lobby was located in an open area overlooking one of the pools and the Pacific Ocean in the distance. There were several bars, shops, and restaurants around the resort.
I was exhausted so I took a nap and woke back up around 10 am. My family and I got ready to start our day. My dad rented a car to drive to Kahuku which was about an hour and a half away from Waikiki. Kahuku is on the other side of O’ahu, but was a surprisingly shorter trip than I expected. There we found our way to Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck. This was some of the BEST shrimp I have ever had. If you’re ever on this side of O’ahu you need to stop by Giovanni’s! I ordered the most popular dish, which is the scampi. The scampi is marinated shrimp in olive oil and chopped garlic sautéed. Seriously, it was amazing. The plate comes with a good amount of shrimp, a lemon slice, and some rice. The rice is a topped with olive oil and garlic sauce. If you aren’t a shrimp-lover then you definitely will be after trying this delicious meal.
Still on the other side of O’ahu we visited Ted’s Bakery, which is home to the original chocolate-haupia cream pie. Haupia is a coconut-based dessert in Hawaii. So the pie is chocolate coconut cream pie. I’m going to be honest, I had high expectations for this place. Yelp has very high and praising reviews for Ted’s so I figured it was going to be phenomenal. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. The pie was OKAY, it wasn’t great. Maybe the flavors just didn’t go together? It just wasn’t for me. I wasn’t the only one who didn’t enjoy it, my mom and brother didn’t like their pies either. My dad was the only one who liked his pie. I don’t want to tell people not to try this bakery, but I don’t want to recommend it either. It is a neat place to stop and try, but I don’t believe it’s a must-do.
Driving back to Waikiki, we made several stops at beaches and cliffs. Every beach in Hawaii is beautiful. The views are all breathe-taking, they almost don’t feel real. Here are just some of the many gorgeous views we encountered on our trip.
We all had a good night’s rest and got ready for the adventurous day we had planned. My family and I were going to be climbing Diamond Head. Diamond Head is a dormant volcano in Hawaii that is hiked by many. It was a tough climb. I’m getting sweaty just thinking about it, bleh. It’ll take you at least an hour climbing up and maybe a little less going down. MAKE SURE TO PACK WATER! They only sell water at the bottom of the volcano, there is NO WATER at the top. It is very important to stay hydrated. It is incredibly hot, especially when you’re climbing up that volcano. If you go through water quickly take like five bottles of water, I’m not kidding. Besides the torture that is climbing the volcano, the views from the top make it all worth it. Here are some photos of the views from the top. The climb is definitely worth it so don’t pass up this opportunity. Plus, you can tell your friends you hiked a volcano! How cool is that?
Diamond Head wasn’t the only hike we did that day, we also hiked up to Manoa Falls. This hike wasn’t as long, but still extremely tiring. The hike was a lot different, it felt like hiking through a rain forest. The waterfall was beautiful. This is another hike where you’ll want to bring water. The hike is about 45 minutes up and about 30 minutes down. This was the first natural waterfall I’ve seen and was blown away. You can imagine how tired we were after this adventurous day, but it wasn’t over.
The Beach Boys were in town and we had tickets to see them. No they were not the original Beach Boys, there was only one original on stage. Mike Love which is one of the original Beach Boys performed on stage that night. It was a short show, but enjoyable. They played their classics and left Surfin’ USA for last. Mike Love’s still got it! The other members also did a fantastic job. I don’t know how much longer they’re going to be performing so it was really cool to see them. The night ended with some amazing fireworks thrown by our hotel. They weren’t Disney fireworks, but it was a great end to a great day.
Last day :,(. My flight was leaving at 10:00 PM and my family’s flight was leaving around the same time. Before then, we wanted to make the most of our last day. We packed up everything and headed to Wailana Coffee House for breakfast. I ordered the magnificent macadamia pancakes. They were absolutely delicious. I cherished every bite of that pancake. If you’re in Waikiki you MUST try this restaurant for breakfast and, of course, order the macadamia pancake. After breakfast we headed to Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve for some snorkeling. This is not a man-made lake or bay, this was made 100% by nature. The snorkeling here was truly breathe-taking. Seeing all these different kinds of fish and sea life in this bay was amazing. This is definitely a must-do in O’ahu. I highly recommend snorkeling here. To me, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
We snorkeled for a bout an hour and then decided to head out. Our last stop on this trip was Disney’s Aulani Resort. You can already guess it was my suggestion to visit this resort. If you’re a Disney fanatic, like me, you’ll know that this resort is definitely something worth seeing for yourself in Hawaii. The drive from Waikiki was about 45 minutes, not too terrible. First thing you should know, they charge for parking. No matter if your visiting or only staying for a little bit, they charge. It is a flat rate of $37 per day. So if you’re looking into visiting, know you will be spending that much on parking, no matter how long you’re staying for. The resort itself is magnificent. It is very similar to the Polynesian resort in Walt Disney World, but a lot more cultural. You can already guess Stitch, Mickey, and Moana are some of the characters you can meet on property. The cast members are also great, some of the sweetest people I met in Hawaii were at this resort. The food here was also delicious. I ate by the poolside and ordered the tuna salad sandwich. I wrote a review on that meal in my Disney Food Bucket List, if you’re interested in learning more, go check it out! After spending a couple of hours here we headed for the airport. My dad turned in the car and we headed for our gate. It was sad to be leaving this unique, incredible state. I was so grateful to spend three days here. One day I’ll return and definitely for longer. This is somewhere everyone should come before they die.
All photos by: Bismarie and Bairene Plasencia