After visiting Maui a couple years ago I was beyond excited to when I got invited to Oahu last year to go back to beautiful and sunny Hawaii. I was excited to go back not only for the amazing weather but also for the tasty food, delicious cocktails, warm and welcoming people and just to experience again the vibes of the island life as cliche as that might be to say.
A view of the Royal Hawaiin Hotel in Honolulu on Waikiki Beach as seen from the ocean
On Oahu, I stayed in Honolulu on Waikiki Beach at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort. While there I did everything I could possibly do, eat, see and experience in my short time on the island to bring you my video Oahu in a Minute. From my video here are my top favourite things to do in Oahu including a few bonus items that didn’t make the video.
Tasty Ube Pancakes
A box of tasty malasadas from Leonard’s Bakery
Hawaii is of course known for pineapple, kalua pork, loco moco, spam musubi, and Mai Tai’s but on this trip I also got to try a few other new foods that I hadn’t heard of before. On a food tour with Aloha Food Tours I got to taste the startlingly bright purple Ube pancakes from Yogurstory. I also woke up early one morning to head to a famous bakery called Leonard’s that sells malasadas, a Portuguese pastry / doughnut type awesomeness. My favourite was the Li Hing flavoured malasadas (salty dry plum with sugar, hard to explain), but I might have also taste tested almost one of each flavour…
2. Visit the Kualoa Ranch
Located on the north side of Oahu from Honolulu is the Kualoa Ranch which is a 4,000 acre private nature reserve of stunning Hawaiian landscape by the ocean. The ranch was established in 1850 and is known for horseback riding, ATVing and more notably it’s film and TV history tours as it is often the location for popular films and TV shows. Everything from Pearl Harbour to Hawaii Five-0, 50 First Dates, Lost, Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, Windtalkers, Godzilla and more.
Learning to play the pineapple Ukulele with Jake Shimabukuro one of the world’s best Ukulele players
3. Visit Kamaka Hawaii
Kamaka Hawaii made the first ever pineapple ukulele and have been making Ukulele’s in Hawaii for over 100 years. They are also known for making some of the best ukuleles in the world. Originally started by Samuel Kaialiilii Kamaka, Kamaka Hawaii is still a family run business today now being run by his sons and grandsons. You can take a free guided tour behind the scenes at Kamaka Hawaii every Tuesday to Friday at 10:30am for small groups. If you are lucky you might even get to try to play one!
A Royal Hawaiian Luau at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel
Delicious Kalua Pig at the Luau buffet
4. Go to a Luau
No matter where you visit in Hawaii you must go to a Luau. While there I had the chance to go to the Royal Luau at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel which takes place every Monday night and is the only waterfront Luau in Waikiki. Guests are offered a large and tasty buffet meal while enjoying a show that goes through the history of Waikiki and Oahu with story, hula, song and more.
The view of Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head from the Royal Hawaiian
5. Relax on Waikiki
You can’t visit Hawaii and not enjoy a little sun and relaxation and Waikiki Beach is the best place to do it. You can drop a towel on the sand, rent a chair or enjoy the atmosphere poolside if your hotel is on the beach. You can relax in the sun or do various activities from learning to surf, going on a catamaran cruise, playing beach volleyball, ride in an Outrigger Canoe and more.
The entrance to the “Iolani palace
If you have the time I also recommend renting a car for at least a day and road tripping around the island. There is also TONS of shopping to be done in Waikiki, or you can even learn a bit more history about the island and visit the Iolani Palace. You might also want to check out the Blue Note Hawaii in the Outrigger Waikiki Resort for some Jazz music and local music and more. Lastly if you want to be really fancy you can even enjoy a tasty afternoon tea at the Moana Surfrider Hotel.
Whatever you decide to see, do and eat in Oahu you will definitely love it. To learn more about my trip watch my video Oahu in a Minute:
Special thanks to the OahuVB for inviting me to explore this awesome island. As always all opinions and views expressed are my own.