There is a lot to do on Oahu from helicopter rides to cage diving with the sharks. But.....we wanted to relax - so we didn't do a whole lot of the touristy stuff. We spent most of our time at the Kahala Resort - laying around and playing on their private beach and snorkeling around their man made reefs.
We spent one whole day driving around the entire island - seeing all the popular tourist spots. It was fun but the traffic - oh the traffic - nearly drove me nuts. There was only one lane at a lot of spots and the speed limit was only 35 MPH!
Waikiki - we saw this busy little city on the first day in. It was packed full of people! Mental note - avoid Waikiki the rest of the trip! We did stop here for dinner at Ramen Nakamura on the recommendation of a friend - it was delicious! If you go - it's cash only - that's one thing that I noticed on the island - a lot of establishments is cash only. The beach is packed - there is no easy parking - people were walking all over the place in their tiny bikinis and surfboards in tow.
Oh did I say that I was here to relax? Yes - the beach. I loved the beach at the Kahala - it was clean and many times there were only a few families sharing a nice stretch of beach with us. Quiet and a protected lagoon. This swimsuit was perfect - ruffles and stripes and under $100. These sunnies are another favorite of mine - super dark shades and oversized.
Loved that the Kahala had a diving platform for the older kiddos to jump off of while Mama laid on the beach. Cute bow sandals for $25!
The snorkeling at Hanauma Bay was awesome - so many schools of fish. Make sure you get there early because they will run out of parking - that and they only let 3000 people in per day. Entry is $7.50 for 12 and up.
Water shoes are a must. These are super comfy and stay put via velcro. You definitely don't want to cut your feet on the coral.
And when the little guy gets tired - he wants to be carried. I LOVE the new ErgoBaby 360 that lets him face forward. He loves being able to see everything! It is so comfortable to wear that I didn't even bring a stroller on this trip. The belt is thicker than the old style and allows you to adjust the tightness via velcro - almost like a weight belt.
Olivia really wanted to swim with the dolphins so we booked it through Dolphin Quest which was located right on property at the Kahala. Amazing and attentive staff who really took the time to explain dolphin behavior, training, and husbandry to the kids.
We visited the shrimp trucks in Haleiwa along the North Shore. The husband got the garlic shrimp and rice from Giovannis and I got mine from Honos. We both agreed that the rice at Giovanni's is better but the shrimp was better at Honos. Both were delicious and definitely a must eat. Bring cash - $13 a plate. The only drawback was - there were a million flies flying around which was quite gross....but everyone said we had to try it - so we did!
We stopped by the North Shore to see the famed 15-20 foot waves. So sad. There was nothing that day. It was a pretty stop nonetheless! We also stopped by the Dole Plantation and learned some fascinating facts about pineapples. Don't get ripped off like I did and buy the chocolate covered macadamia nuts there - they charge $14 a box whereas at Costco - yes I went to Costco - sells it for only $2.35 a box!! The husband liked to joke that the Pineaapple Dole-ar exchange rate is 6:1.
Our next stop around the island was at the Mormon Temple in Laie. It was beautiful but we didn't get to stay because it was getting late and it was another hour and a half long drive before we would get around the island.
We kept driving and saw the ranch where they filmed Jurassic Park - it's a beautiful drive if you have the time. Where are your favorite, must see spots in Oahu?