OAHU TRAVEL GUIDE & GRAMMABLE SPOTS
I've been going back and forth between Honolulu and Arizona for almost 10 years now, and get asked ALL THE TIME for my favorite places to go with kids, where to eat, where to stay, and so much more! So here it is!
PLACES TO VISIT
This is ur go-to beach with the little ones. It's calm, no a lot of traffic, perfect sea shell picking, and is close to where we stay in Kahala. A lot of beaches in Hawaii (unless you're staying at a resort) we don't trust because there is a lot of petty theft. This one we definitely feel safe.
THE HONOLULU ZOO
This is a must see place if you have kids! It is probably one of the prettiest zoos I have ever been to (and I've been to A LOT). Just the trees alone is worth going for. If you go with kids be sure to check out the keiki zoo in the back, where they have a petting zoo and fun carp exhibit with a huge tunnel to crawl through.
Monsaratt Avenue is filled with yummy local restaurants! I definitely recommend venturing away from Waikiki and exploring this side of Diamond head for good food, shopping and more! Sunny Days is our go to spot for breakfast and lunch! They are known for their incredibly fluffy and delicious pancakes and smoothies. I always order their plate lunches which comes displayed on a beautiful plank of wood and always made fresh!
First off, I haven't had such good avocado toast in my life! I love all the food they serve here from the matcha chia pudding to their lavender lattes. Arvo is a bit of a drive if you're staying in Waikiki, but I promise it's worth it. Inside, they have a store filled with gorgeous flowers and plants to choose from and take home along with hand made pottery, cards and so much more that is made local.
This is my favorite spot for an afternoon snack! And if you're dairy free like me, you MUST try it! Banana is frozen yogurt without the diary! All of it is made from BANANAS! Yum!!! It's located for Monsaratt avenue in a food truck next to the Coffee Bean. You can load it with all the fruit, puffed quinoa, bananas, or even chocolate a local honey! My favorite is the organically with papaya and strawberries. They also have locations in Kahala Mall and Manoa.
Little tip: If you bring a glass jar like in the picture above, you get $3 off your order. You're welcome!
MOSARATT SHAVE ICE
There are endless shave ice places all over the island, but this place is my fave. Its a little hole in the wall that serves fresh pressed juices and pulp from pineapple, passionfruit, strawberries and so much more over shave ice. NO SYRUPS OR ARTIFICIAL JUNK! AN TASTES SO GOOD! Another hot spot on Monsaratt Avenue.
Michel’s at Colony Surf
This is a restaurant for romance. You have ocean views, impeccable service, and food to die for. If spending money on for is not your thing, I wouldn’t recommend this place, but I will say it the experience of a lifetime. Table side Caesar salads, souflee’s an seafood as fresh as you can get in the world. I would go here for a special occasion. Definitely book in advance!
OTHER PLACES NOT PICTURED
Tokkuri Tei: Best sushi on island! The atmosphere is more homey, but you don't get better authentic Japanese food
Orchids: This is more upscale dining. Their fish is incredible and my favorite is the coconut cake!
EXPLORE THE ISLAND
If you want to drive around the island:
China Man’s Hat: super scenic, easy place to stop driving around the island
North Shore: great shopping, food, beaches seen in a lot of films, larger waves especially in the winter if that’s your thing ;)
Waimanalo Beach Park: wonderful little tide pools for kids
Kokohead trail: our go-to spot for an incredible workout and even better views
Ala Moana Center: the most beautiful outdoor shopping center you will ever see. The halls are lined with koi ponds and water lilies and have everything from small local sim shops to your high end Dior an Cartier stores.
Kahala Hotel: our favorite beach for kids, safe, you can order delicious food and rent a cabana for the day. They also have dolphins and sea turtles that are always fun for my kids to see
Royal Hawaiian Hotel: This is the famous Pink hotel you see in social media. They rent cabanas to non-guests but you need to make sure to bring your own towels if you decide to do so! Great vies of diamond head and all of Waikiki strip.
Diamond Head Hike: this is a must and an easy hike if you’re staying in Waikiki.
Saturday Farmer’s Market Kapiolani Community College: every Saturday all the local famers and all businesses come together to sell their best locally made produce, pineapples filled with fresh pressed juices, freshly grilled pizza, oysters in the shell, plate lunches and so much more! I would recommend getting up very early for this, like 7am to make it before the buses of Japanese tourists arrive. I am not kidding, they arrive by THE BUS LOAD!
Dole Plantation: if you are already headed to the North shore, this is a must stop place for their famous dole whip ice ream and train tour.