In this Oahu Travel Guide, I will share when I traveled to the island, where I stayed, how I got around, the food and areas & attractions.
Hawaii has to be one of my favorite places ever. The mountains, flowers, and clear blue waters are like no other place. I felt like I was on the set of Jumanji or Jurassic Park every single day. Wait! Let's not forget about the FOOD. The fresh tuna was just outrageous and the garlic shrimp...OMG. I'll tell you all about it later in the post. Though many travelers travel around all of the Hawaiian Islands when they visit, I stayed on the island of Oahu for 10 days. I have to say... I definitely didn't run out of things to do!
When did I go?
I went during the end of June to early July. The weather was perfect! It was about 84 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny each day. Some of the days it rained randomly, but it would be a light drizzle and stop within minutes. I expected to see a rainbow since it was sunny when it rained, but sadly, I didn't see one. Also, it was not humid at all which I really appreciated. It was 95+ degrees and 100% humidity in NJ that same week. Glad I missed out on that!
Where did you stay?
My boyfriend and I stayed in a hotel on Waikiki Beach. It was in the most perfect location! It was affordable, clean and beautiful. The hotel is called Hotel Renew. It's an oceanside premier boutique hotel. I added a picture below of our room. One of my favorite parts about the hotel is that they gave free beach chairs, beach towels, boogie boards and snorkel gear.
How did you get around?
My boyfriend and I walked A LOT! If you have read my other travel guides, you know we basically walk everywhere. The island is definitely NOT that small though. I highly recommend taking a drive up to the North Shore even if you only have a few days. We rented a car for 3 days off of Turo and rented a scoot coup 1 day as a fun adventure from Hawaiian Style Rentals & Sales. Renting cars in Hawaii is expensive. I just want to put that out there. Turo is similar to Airbnb where you rent people's cars. It was actually cheaper than other car rentals and was an easy-to-use service.
It's time for everyone's favorite part.. THE FOOD!
5 Foods to try on Oahu are Hawaiian Garlic Shrimp, shave ice, poke, kalua pig and malasadas.
There are so many delicious restaurants on the island. Find a list of all of my favorite places to eat below. I have written my top 1-2 items to order at each. My favorite location is marked with a star. If you only have the chance to try one of these places, make it Marugame Udon.
Island Vintage Coffee - coffee with vegan coconut cream & the blue crab eggs
Leonard's Bakery - macadamia nut & guava malasadas
Hideout at the Laylow - wagyu beef burger and crispy pork belly (great drinks too!)
Giovanni's Shrimp Truck - shrimp scampi plate (There is a truck right next to Giovanni's that has great kalua pig. Sadly, I couldn't find the name!)
Ono Seafood - ANY of the seafood & try sea asparagus for sure!
Patisserie at Kona Coffee Purveyors - chocolate banana almond croissant and black sesame kouign amann
Matsumoto Shave Ice - lemon, guava and piña colada shave ice with vanilla ice cream and condensed milk
The Deck - guava wings & truffle fries (great margaritas!)
Momosan - sticky ribs & tokyo chicken ramen
Poké Bar - try your favorite combo, but make sure you get tuna
LuLu's - spicy ahi poke & beachboy nachos (good drinks!)
Shorefyre - hibachi steak/chicken & tropical shrimp ceviche (good happy hour menu!)
Duke's Marketplace - get the coconut milk brownie!!
*Marugame Udon - nikutama & curry nikutama
Sunrise Shack - monkey bowl
Areas & Attractions
Waikiki Beach - make sure you check out Kepoikai II Catamaran for a $30 sailboat ride
Diamond Head Hike - great hike with amazing views (get dole whip when you finish!)
Royal Hawaiian Center - lots of stores to shop
Mitsuwa Marketplace - an awesome Japanese supermarket with so many goodies
Kalakaua Avenue - main shopping street in Waikiki
Honolulu Zoo - a zoo with an emphasis on SO many tropical birds and turtles
Dole Plantation - historic pineapple plantation (DO not just pay for the garden tour. It is a .5 mile long garden with no pineapples. If you go, pay for the entire train ride tour.)
Green World Coffee Farm - coffee farm with lots of fun goodies and free coffee samples
Manoa Falls Trail - fun hike through the rainforest (parts of Jurassic Park were filmed here)
Koko Crater Railway Trail - abandoned railroad track hike with nice views (this is a bit of a difficult hike and don't go if you're scared of heights)
Sandy Beach - a lot of surfers on this beach - I wouldn't recommend swimming here, but rather watching with surfers
Makapuu Lighthouse Hike - beautiful uphill walk next to the ocean with incredible views
Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden - huge garden with views of the mountains - you will feel like you're in Jurassic Park
Lanikai Beach - I highly recommend walking around the area where the beach is located (I found my dream house there)
Pin Me for Later!
There were more places I couldn't get to, but that's all the more reason to go back! I hope you enjoy your trip!