Welcome to Oahu! I am looking forward to meeting you and your loved ones. Many of you are curious about the best restaurants, beaches, coffee shops, good hikes and other things to do around the Island…. So I made this Island guide with all my favorite things to do around Oahu!
Waimanalo Beach Park (good to swim), Mokuleia (good to swim), Makua (good to swim sometimes), Lanikai Beach (good to swim, parking is hard to come by), Sandys Beach (bodyboarding/surfing beach, and typically not good for just swimming), Hanauma Bay (need reservations) and you have to pay to enter, but it is beautiful.
Electric Beach, Sharks Cove (higher tide is best), and Hanauma Bay.
Sea Turtle Beach – Located on the Northshore and it’s called Laniakea Beach. Parking is easy, and the best chances to see sea turtles are midday because they come up and sleep on the sand and chill under the sun. Don’t go near or touch them, and stay at least 10 feet away, they enforce sea turtle federal laws here very heavily.
Crouching Lion (moderate and muddy- go 2 hours before sunset), Makaapuu Lighthouse (easy – sunrise), Diamond Head (need reservations- easy), Makua Caves (moderate), Lanikai Pillbox (moderate – go for sunrise), Koko Head (moderate), Kaena Point Trail (northshore side off Dillingham – easy).
Waimea Falls (easy, and they charge an entrance fee), Manoa Falls (easy but crowded), Lulumahu Falls (moderate). All the waterfalls here are typically busy at all hours of the day, but they are still pretty to look at and go for a dip!
Hoomaluhia is the most visited and popular. The road leading in, is famous and used to once be an awesome location for photos. They do not allow it anymore, but there are other great photo opportunities elsewhere. Koko Botanical Gardens has cactus, and a lot of different types of plants and trees and it’s nice to walk around. Wahiawa Botanical Gardens is also nice to walk around as well. They are all the last I checked free of charge.
Island Brew Coffeehouse (they have a few locations), and Lions General Coffee Store.
Best Mai Tais
Merrimans, Monkey Pod, and Moku Kitchen (all owned by the same company).
Kona Brewing, Hana Koa, Honolulu Beer Works, and Aloha Beer Company.
Ramen- Tanaka of Tokyo, Tanaka Saimin, and Tanaka Ramen & Izakaya
Mexican – Mexico, Mexico Lindo, De Taqueria El Ranchero, Surf N Salsa, and Straight Outta Husk
Pizza – Bostons or Pieology (the pizza really lacks here in the Islands)
Tai Food – The Elephant Shack (3 locations on Island)
Other Restaurants: Merrimans, Moku Kitchen, Shrimp Trucks on the Northshore, Matsumotos Shaved Ice (Northshore), Haleiwa Joes in Kaneohe, The Beachhouse, Istanbul, and Teddys Burgers.
Polynesian Cultural Center (make reservations, they sell out 3-6 months in advance), Paradise Cove, Toa, and Nutridge.